You have finally found your new family member and the little guy has now moved into your home, you have already overcome many hurdles together with him and he is slowly getting used to it. Your initial equipment is now complete, and there is no lack of time. Your apartment is puppy-proof and your car is now also set up in such a way that your four-legged friend can travel safely with you, which you are certainly already practicing. But at some point, a quirk might creep in that you have to work on. Chewing on slippers, table legs, plants, or Lego bricks. How to get rid of this bad habit is explained in the following text.
Why is My Dog Chewing on Objects?
Possible causes for this bad habit are quite monotonous, because: Usually it is either a lack of attention or simply boredom. Your dog gets your attention exactly when it takes an object away from you, so to speak. Is your puppy bored? How do you keep him physically and mentally busy? Dogs are enormously intelligent animals and want to be challenged and encouraged. It’s not really different from the human child: if he’s bored, he does nonsense 🙂
What Can I Do Against It?
Rattle cans, any spray collars, and other interesting ideas are not recommended! The moral of the puppy-training story is always: Reward instead of punishment! Positive dog training avoids the fear of dogs and snappers. There is also an alternative to banning your dog. Namely, just teaching him to clean up the stuff he steals instead. In this way, you redirect its energy and even make use of it. However, your dog (and you too!) should be familiar with the command “No!”. And if he is, your four-legged friend immediately drops the toy with this command. But ideally, you just play a swap game with each other. Conceivably simple and very dog-friendly.
Education Strategy Against Nibbling
I can’t stress it often enough: punishment is a no-go, you can achieve much more with play and praise! The game is very simple: your puppy has something that you want. Be it a slipper, a toy, or whatever. So you should get something in exchange that your puppy would like. His favorite toy or treat. A filled kong means employment in the form of real mental work. This is exactly what your pup needs. Exchanging means: You show him the object of his desire, bent forward, but still keep the treat – visibly – in your hand. If your pup drops the toy because he wants the treat, you give him the command “Out!” (so he’ll just drop the toy at the command without getting a permanent exchange) – then get it he – of course – the treat and a compliment (“fine!”).
But then you have to pick up the toy that he dropped and put it away. With very inquisitive breeds, you can also play search games, i.e. hide treats, sometimes point to them with your hand, and give the command “Search!”. Soon your dog will start searching at that command. And if your four-legged friend is simply not challenged and wants to nibble, give him something as a suitable and permissible alternative. So please no socks or discarded slippers, but a chewing bone, for example.
Feed Adequately and Frequently
Another reason for frequent nibbling can be a feeling of hunger. Puppies should be fed up to five meals throughout the day. Since the stomach is still very small, not much can fit in it. But the little ones are still hungry. Make sure your dog gets enough puppy food each day.