Destructive Dog Chewing Tips

Jul 01, 2022
Dog Chewing a rope

It is no secret that dogs can spend a considerable amount of time chewing on things. Whether it is their favourite soft toy, bone or your favourite handbag or slipper, it seems that some dogs love to chew on just about anything. There are many reasons why dogs love to chew. Chewing helps to strengthen a dog’s jaws and clean their teeth. Many dogs also chew for stimulation, and to relieve anxiety and stress. At Dog Bonding, we have highlighted the reasons why your canine companion may be chewing things in your home and the solutions to rein in this behaviour if it has become an issue for you. We hope you find this article helpful.

Reasons for Chewing:

Stress and Separation Anxiety 

For many dogs, when they become distressed or develop separation anxiety when left alone, they begin to chew as a coping mechanism.

Chewing helps your dog to activate the release of endorphins into their blood system, immediately calming and soothing them when they are feeling stressed or anxious.

Boredom

Dogs just like their owners, can become bored and will often turn their attention towards an activity that can stimulate them. Instead of watching a film, reading a book, or going to the cinema, your dog will start chewing their favourite bone or soft toy to keep their mind busy and to feel good. As discussed earlier within the article, chewing releases feel-good chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, two vital neurotransmitters in the brain that improve wellbeing.

Bad Habits

A dog’s destructive chewing behaviour can easily develop into a daily habit, if not addressed as soon as possible by the owner. The first two years in a dog’s life are so important as early signs of destructive chewing need to be discouraged from the very beginning. However, if you have an older dog, you can still correct negative chewing behaviour by training tips discussed further on within this article. It is never too late to treat an old dog new tricks!

Training Tips to Combat Destructive Chewing: 

Trade

A great dog training tip to help combat destructive chewing is to offer your pet a treat after saying the command, “trade!”

As soon as your dog stops chewing, offer them a healthy treat, before returning them their toy or bone. This training technique teaches your pet to associate the command “trade,” with not only receiving a healthy treat but also receiving back their toy. This training tip will help encourage your dog to return your favourite slipper or sock the next time you see them chewing a forbidden item.

Mental Stimulation

As mentioned within this article, when dogs become bored, they often create destructive coping mechanisms like excessive chewing. To help mentally and physically stimulate your dog and prevent them from destructive chewing, you should plan in a set time each day to participate in a fun activity together. This can be a dog walk, a game of Fetch or even just spending quality time together. Daily mental and physical stimulation will help keep your dog from feeling bored and developing destructive chewing habits.   

Help Ease Separation Anxiety for your Dog

Separation anxiety in dogs is a major cause for excessive chewing. Preparing your dog in advance for when you may need to leave them can really help combat any separation anxiety they may have developed. Begin by creating a daily routine for your dog to follow so that they can get used to a schedule. Similarly, allow your dog to get used to their own company by having them spend time in their favourite bed or by leaving a room and allowing them to be by themselves with their favourite comfort toy or snack. The more you practice this, the more your dog will get used to their own company and feel less stressed when you suddenly have to pop out somewhere.

Finally…

We hope you found our article helpful. If you have any tips to help combat destructive chewing in dogs, then please share them with us by leaving a comment at the bottom of this article.  At Dog Bonding, we are a leading online dog training platform that offers expert professional dog training advice. Contact our friendly team today!

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