Most dogs start chewing and biting things as puppies. These behaviours become very destructive and annoying when dogs reach adulthood. Some dog breeds, such as pugs, are very likely to develop the habit of chewing if left unchecked. So if your dog is one of those annoying "chewers" here are some hints and tips to break that habit..
Tips On How To Redirect Your Dog From Chewing
According to dog experts, dog chewing comes as a natural expression which should not be necessarily classified as a negative behaviour. For instance, dog experts argue that chewing promotes good dental health in dogs and gives them healthy gums and clean teeth. The chewing should, therefore, be encouraged especially when dogs are teething.
The main focus on chewing according to experts should not be too forcefully stopping dogs from chewing but to redirecting the chewing gradually.
Buying Chew Toys
The first step towards redirecting chewing is to buy your dog a chewing toy. There are very many kinds of chewing toys for dogs in different shapes, textures, and colors. It is even possible to get toys that are custom made for different dental types. Buying your dog an appropriate chewing toy through trial and error is a good way of finding out exactly which toy is engaging enough for your dog to stop chewing on other things eg, furniture.
Once you have bought the right chew toy for your pug, the next step is behaviour training which is aimed at teaching your dog to chew on chew toys only. Behaviour training is simple and should not necessarily involve the services of a dog trainer.
It is possible to do simple behaviour training eg you can replace a shoe your dog is chewing on an appropriate/similar shoe toy. You can then make a point of rewarding your dog every time it chews on the toy as opposed to the shoe. With time, you will find that you may succeed in containing your dogs chewing behaviour.
There is a special kind of training that offers a more permanent solution to chewing. This kind of training is known as crate training which is a widely used dog training technique. Crate training is used for house breaking training which redirects dogs attention to preventing destructive behaviour at the same time ensuring dog safety.
Keeping Your Dog Busy
After you have bought chew toys and experienced some progress in behaviour training. You must make sure that you keep your dog busy from then onwards. Most dog experts associate chewing to boredom. Avoiding boredom is, therefore, a very important aspect of redirecting dog chewing.
According to dog experts, it is important to keep your dog busy especially during teething stages because if your dog puppy is idle during this stage onwards, the chewing problem can become very hard to contain.
There are very many ways of keeping your dog busy. For instance, you can make a point of walking your pug, playing fetch games, training or simply playing with your dog at home. This way you can realise some progress in redirecting dog chewing.
Using Deterrents And Aversion Sprays
This is also an effective way of redirecting the chewing. There are very many natural and humane aversion sprays and deterrents that are capable of effectively diverting your dog's annoying chewing behaviour i.e. chewing furniture, shoes, plants, e.t.c.
You can consider choosing popular deterrents scents such as chili pepper, vinegar, citrus, and alcohol. These scents are capable of preventing your dog from chewing any objects/possessions in the house associating with those scents. It is however important that you choose aversion sprays or deterrents that are friendly to your possessions i.e. plants, shoes etc.
Avoiding Confusion Training
Once you have explored all the above tips of redirecting dog chewing, it is important to ensure that you avoid confusion with the method you choose to use. For instance, you should not buy a stuffed animal as a chew toy and expect your dog to differentiate between the stuffed animal and other stuffed toys that might be in your home i.e. children's toys. This kind of training confuses your dog and in most cases, it doesn't work.
Whichever substitute you choose, you should make sure that it is appropriate so that your dog is never tempted to chew on anything other than chew toys.
In summary, it is possible to redirect dog chewing with the above tips. For the above tips to work effectively, it is important to note that dog owners should focus on redirecting dog chewing as opposed to stopping it completely. This way you and your dog will be happy.