Archive for the Behavior Category

Gotta Eat That

Posted in Behavior with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2009 by exigentbarker

Does your house look like one giant chew toy, day in and day out? If so, you most likely have tried everything in your power to stop the constant chewing episodes that take place in your home while you are gone. Understanding the reasons for your dogs destructive chewing habits and knowing how to combat these habits can be very beneficial to you as a pet owner, and more importantly to your furniture, clothing, pet door flaps and other possessions of yours that can become chewing targets for your dog. Teething is to be expected in the early stages of your dogs life, but most people don’t realize that the chewing habit will not stop there. When puppies are teething their teeth are very sharp, chewing on things will smooth their teeth so when the permanent teeth come in they will not be so sharp. When the permanent teeth come through they require hard chewing for the new teeth to “set,” into the jaw. This stage is where the heavy chewing can really become an issue. Although this chewing may ruin some of your property, it is very important for your dogs lifelong dental health, and if you are proactive in taking the necessary actions early enough you can often eliminate or at least minimize this destructive chewing of your things. A good way to do this is to make sure that your dog has many different chew toys with a wide variety of textures and sizes to choose from. This variety will hopefully deter your dog from looking for other chewable things around the house like your couch or clothing after they get bored with a certain chew toy. The most effective way to protect your furniture and property is to have a designated safe area for your pet to rest while you are gone. Many pet owners will use pet crates or even put their dog in a room that doesn’t contain any chewable furniture. When leaving your dog alone in room you do not want to close the door on them, instead use a baby gate or two baby gates stacked on top of each other if necessary. Locking your dog in a fully enclosed room can lead to other bad habits such as clawing at the closed door or ripping up carpet under the door frame, which is just another issue for you to deal with.

As a pet owner it is important to understand that you are a human and your dog is a dog. Human logic is much more complex and this must be considered when disciplining your dog. If the dog chews up your couch at noon and you come home at 7 p.m., yelling at your will do no good. Your dog doesn’t have the mental capacity to put a reason behind your displeasure, as it had been seven hours since the destructive chewing occurred. Instead yelling may cause your pet to develop separation anxiety which will make their chewing habit worse.

Destructive chewing is the number one reason that people get rid of their dogs. If you put time and effort in to training and take the necessary actions to fix your dogs destructive chewing habit, you should not have any problems. If your dog is a destructive chewer, be proactive not reactive!

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