Friday, June 16, 2006

Puppy Chewing Problems

My Puppy Chews a Lot - Mostly on Me
Puppies who chew are normal. Chewing is a natural and necessary puppy behavior. Puppies at about four months of age are more prone to chewing because this is when they usually start teething. Other dogs that chew, especially when you are not at home, may be suffering from separation anxiety. Separation anxiety requires an entire new behavior treatment plan. In this newsletter, I want to give you a few tips for your typical, normal-behaving puppy chewer!
Some things you can do is try to teach your puppy not to chew inappropriate items. You can sit on the floor with him, casually place an object before him like a shoe, or a pencil (something he has chewed on inappropriately). As puppy approaches the object, give a firm "No," and replace the item with appropriate chew toy. When puppy takes the appropriate chew toy, praise him. You might even offer him a treat to try and reenforce the appropriate behavior and also.....that chewing on treats is alright too.
Have a variety of chew toys on hand. Give him no more than 3 or 4 chew toys at a time. Rotate the chew toys to provide variety and to help stimulate interest. Puppies can be compared to children who enjoy a new toy or returning to a toy they have not played with in a while.
Keep plenty of Bitter Apple Spray on hand and use it on spots where you find puppy has chewed or is about to chew. This has been the absolute best trick I have ever found in keeping puppies/dogs away from objects I don't want them chewing on.
My Puppy Bites my Hands When we Play!
If you have ever watched puppies playing together or moms playing with their puppies, you will notice how they nip and bite each other sometimes to the point of what sounds like a blood curling scream.....Very Normal Behavior, however. Not so pleasant though when puppy plays with you and attempts the same kind of antics. You will need to teach puppy not to play biting games with you. Try screaming: "Ouch!" Walk away from her for several minutes. You don't want to give her attention for this behavior. You want to plainly tell her "THAT HURTS," and I do not like it!!! If she just barely touches your skin with a little nip, just gently say "No." Try feeding her treats straight from your hand and do not throw them on the floor or leave them out for her to nibble on. Sort of like, puppies/dogs will not bite the hands that feed them, most usually, unless they have some kind of severe psychological disorder. You can also grab her mouth, hold it together firmly and say "NO BITE."
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