Chewing as Part of a Dog’s Natural Behavior
Chewing is just one of those annoying dog behaviors that come with the package of having a pet dog. Chewing, just as sniffing and barking, is a normal part of a dog’s behavior. It only becomes an irregularity if the dog starts destroying objects by chewing on them. There is no way to completely stop chewing, and the best that you can do is control it and maintain it at a non-destructive level. It is also the dog owner’s responsibility to make sure that the dog properly learns which objects can be chewed, and which objects are off limits. Usually, such training can be done alongside his primary training as a puppy. If not, destructive chewing can still be treated with the right approach to the problem.
Causes of Destructive Chewing
Destructive chewing can be caused by several factors. Although chewing is a natural dog behavior, dogs have different reasons why they chew things around. Sometimes, dogs chew around as part of their play behavior. Dogs also use chewing, along with sniffing, when they are curious about something. Dogs can also take up chewing on something out of boredom. The lack of house training can also cause destructive chewing. Even chewing out of play or boredom can lead to destructive chewing if the dog is not house-trained. Destructive chewing is also common among dogs that are, in one way or another, isolated. Activity is part of dog behavior, so it is best to keep your dog surrounded with chewable dog toys, if you cannot ensure that the dog is around people or other dogs most of the time.
Control Destructive Chewing
A surefire way to control destructive chewing is to make sure that all objects that should not be chewed is kept out of the dog’s reach. Since it is in a dog’s nature to chew around, it should also be in your nature as a dog owner to keep your house dog-proof, not only for the safety of your objects, but for the safety of your dogs as well. A dog’s destructive chewing, after all, does not only refer to chewing that destroys objects, but also encompasses chewing on dangerous items that can be of any physical harm to the dog. For puppies, crate training can help control destructive chewing and keep it non-destructive. A properly socialized dog is also more likely to keep to non-destructive chewing. But if the problem arises, the best response is not anger or punishment. In instances when your dog seems to be chewing on something that should not be chewed, catch his attention and hand it something that it is allowed to chew, like chewable dog toys. Since it is impossible to keep your dog from chewing on anything, the next best thing is to know how to properly react to the situation.
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