How do you train a dog to stop chewing things?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

To train a dog to stop chewing things, it is important to take responsibility for your own belongings and provide appropriate chew toys for your furry friend. Here are some steps you can follow:

1. Take responsibility for your own belongings: Keep valuable or dangerous items out of your dog’s reach. Put shoes, clothes, and other personal items in closed closets or drawers. This will prevent your dog from developing a habit of chewing on these items.

2. Provide distinguishable chew toys: Give your dog a variety of toys that are clearly different from household goods. This helps them understand what is appropriate to chew on. Choose toys made of safe materials like rubber or nylon, and avoid toys that resemble household items, such as old socks or shoes.

3. Supervise your dog: Until your dog consistently chews on appropriate items, it is important to supervise them closely. This allows you to redirect their chewing behavior whenever they start to chew on something they shouldn’t. If you catch them in the act, calmly say “no” and redirect them to a chew toy instead.

4. Physical and mental exercise: Dogs often chew out of boredom or excess energy. Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise through daily walks or playtime. Mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys or training sessions, can also help tire them out and reduce unwanted chewing behavior.

5. Build toys into daily routine: Incorporate chew toys into your dog’s daily routine. For example, give them a toy to chew on during mealtime or when you’re watching TV. This will provide an alternative outlet for their chewing needs and reinforce appropriate behavior.

6. Positive reinforcement: Whenever you catch your dog chewing on a toy or appropriate item, praise and reward them with treats or verbal praise. Positive reinforcement helps reinforce the desired behavior and encourages them to continue chewing on appropriate items.

7. Correcting unwanted chewing: If you find your dog chewing on something they shouldn’t, avoid harsh punishment as it may confuse or scare them. Instead, calmly remove the item and replace it with an appropriate chew toy. Redirecting their attention and providing an alternative is key to teaching them what is acceptable to chew on.

Remember, training takes time and patience. Consistency is key, and it’s important to set your dog up for success by providing them with appropriate chew toys and plenty of exercise. By following these steps and being proactive, you can help train your dog to stop chewing on things they shouldn’t.