Stop Puppy Chewing with textOne of the most common issues that new puppies bring to the table is their need to be constantly chewing on something. Their little teeth are just growing in and their gums are sore; chewing gives them some relief. Most puppies aren’t old enough and haven’t had enough training to differentiate between items that are good to chew on (their toys) and things that are not good to chew on (your shoes). This leads to a wake of destruction everywhere your puppy goes. It is possible to stop puppy chewing, but it takes patience. Here are some tips to help you and your puppy get through the chewing phase.

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* Put away your belongings. While it’s not possible to hide every item in your home that may look enticing to your puppy’s teeth, you can stop a lot of chewing by hiding things that are most tempting. Put shoes in a closet behind a closed door. Store clothing in a dresser or plastic tub with a lid. Put your decorative pillows away for a few weeks. Put other chewable items on shelves or in drawers. You may also want to store irreplaceable items at a friend’s house or in a safe. Limiting access to things your puppy finds “chewable” will go a long way to stop their chewing habits.

* Redirect your puppy’s attention to stop puppy chewing. Some puppy parents work outside the home, so you can’t monitor your puppy at all times. When you are home with your puppy, redirect his attention to other pursuits. Play fetch in the yard or at the park. Spend some time relaxing with him, rubbing his tummy and ears, or brushing his fur with a soft brush. Go for a long walk. Sometimes the cause of excessive chewing is lack of exercise; if you get out for a long, brisk walk once or twice a day, your puppy will want to sleep instead of destroy.

* Provide your puppy with “chewies” for his teeth when you are home. Giving your puppy some long-lasting bully sticks, antlers or puppy teething rings will keep him chewing on his own belongings and save yours from destruction. There are also toys made of fire hose material that are great for teething puppies, since they can’t be easily shredded by tiny teeth. Always make sure your puppy is supervised with these items, though, as they can present a choking hazard.

* Crate train your puppy. Most chewing rampages happen when your puppy is alone and bored. Provide him with a sturdy, safe crate to hang out in when you aren’t home. It won’t hurt your puppy to be in a crate without a blankie or pillow, since he may be tempted to chew on these items. You can also find pillows that are made of material that is not easily shredded by puppy teeth. This will eliminate choking hazards. Most dogs like to have a den that they can call their own, so crate training can be beneficial in more ways than one. It may take a while for your puppy to get used to being crated; just be patient and work with him.

The most important thing to remember is that this phase won’t last forever; you can stop puppy chewing, but it takes time and training. Positive reinforcement is key when training your dog on any subject. Don’t blow up if your puppy ruins one of your possessions, be calm and patient with him. Be prepared for destruction, and lock things up that can hurt your puppy, such as medicines, ammunition or anything else that could poison him.