Archive for the ‘Chewing’ Category

Dog Behavior – Chewing

Kate | December 3rd, 2009
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 4.67 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
236 views

It’s been centuries since humans first domesticated dogs. In bringing them into our society and homes we have placed upon them our expectations of how we they should behave. Much of our expectation changes the way dogs behave and feel. Making a dog part of a human family brings human emotions such as jealously and boredom to what was one a wild creature.

In younger dogs between the ages of six to sixteen months these emotions can’t be controlled as easily as they can in older dogs. In the same way a teenager isn’t capable of exercising the same restraint as an adult, so young dogs may have problems when expressing their emotions.

Chewing Cause #1 – Boredom

Research has shown that the most common cause of chewing is actually boredom. If you spend a little time each day with your dog and give them your total attention much of the chewing can be eliminated. Try spending 15 minutes a day each day to give you dog your full attention.

Chewing Cause #2 – Spite

Spite is another common cause of chewing. A story about a twenty-month old Boxer would be a great example in this case. Ever since he was a puppy, this Boxer had been an “only child” to a couple who spoiled him with lots of love and attention. The dog went along with them shopping, running errands, and visiting friends. He would walk gracefully and loved tagging along with his parents.

Then, a new baby had arrived and things changed. Suddenly, the dog found himself left in the car during errand trips. On one occasion, mom and dad returned to the car only to find the entire interior completely destroyed! The car seats, the padded dashboard, the upholstery, all ripped to shreds, totally obliterated.

The Boxer dog was venting his wrath the only way he knew how. This is a case of spiteful chewing, not jealousy. The canine was not jealous of the new baby in the family, but he was not willing to give up his former position in the family and go back to just being a dog.

Change Your Dogs Chewing Habit

When you catch your dog or puppy chewing a sock, shoe, or other object that he’s not supposed to, take the object away from him, followed by a firm “No!” The object should be replaced with his own chew toy. The toy will take his mind off the object that he was chewing and won’t make him think that you are taking something away from him.

If your life suddenly changes and alters your dog’s life too be sure to pay attention to the new schedule and adjust your focus to avoid your dog’s destructive chewing. Your pet will need a little extra care and training to prevent such behavior and to settle in with the new changes.

How To Stop Your Puppy Chewing & Nipping

Janet | November 27th, 2009
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
3,170 views

Everyone loves puppies when they are being cute and well behaved. But sometimes they act out in bad ways and aren’t so well behaved.

In order to to keep your house a safe and peaceful place your puppy has to learn how to properly behave in the human world. It is your job as their owner to show them how to act and what is acceptable behaviour.

Given a little time and effort even the most difficult puppy can be trained to stop chewing and nipping. It’s just a matter of getting the right technique and repeating it successfully until your puppy learns how they should behave.

How Can I Stop Nipping?

Nipping is quite natural for puppies during their playtime. Puppies will often nip when they get excited and you may be tempted to let it go but shouldn’t. Nipping is a really bad habbit that needs to be stopped right away. If you allow your puppy to nipp at your skin you are setting them up for problems later in life. If your puppy thinks it’s okay to nip at human skin they may end up biting someone in the future.

The trick with nipping is to divert your puppies attention elsewhere. When your puppy starts nipping try to get their attention onto a soft chewable toy instead of your hands. It helps to have toys that are easily chewable and attractive from a dogs point of view.

Experiment with different chewable toys to find one your pup really likes. There are many colorful and soft chewy toys available in pet stores. There are even chew toys with treats inside which will reward your pup for chewing the toy instead of your hand! Your pets favorite chew toy may even turn out to be an old sock or other household item. Just be sure that it’s safe for the puppy to chew and that they like chewing it.

When Can I Train My Puppy?

Puppies can start learning very early. You can start to train the average puppy as young as 8 weeks. If you are consistant in your behaviour this will send a clear message to your puppy. If your puppy bites you during play say “no” in a firm voice without shouting and back away from them. If they start to bite again, simply move away from them and go to a different room of the house, closing the door behind you.

You shouldn’t leave your puppy alone for longer than a minute. This will be long enough for them to get the message. Leaving them alone for a brief moment teaches them that if they bite you then the attention stops. Some puppies may reduce the strength of their nipping but not stop altogether. If this happens then continue to say “no” and move away. Eventually they will learn to associate nipping with you a lack of attention. They know if they nip and bite that your attention will switch off.

What About Chewing?

Chewing is another habbit that can cause problems especially with puppies. Puppies seem to have an unstoppable urge to chew just about anything they can get their paws on. When a puppy is teething they chew to soothe their aching gums and it’s something they should be allowed to do.

However, what you allow them to chew is really up to you. Once again it’s a matter of redirecting their attention onto a favorite chewy toy instead of your shoes, chair legs or other household items.

Make sure that your puppy has a good selection of chewy toys to chew on. Get them used to chewing on these toys from an early age. It’s really important to place all these toys within a confined area with your puppy. If your puppy is allowed to roam the house they will probably go from one object to another and this includes your shoes!

Try to develop a small and secure area where your puppy can move about in but where they can’t access the things you don’t want them to chew. Fill this area with all their chewy toys so their attention is focused on only their toys.

Whenever you see them chewing on something they’re not supposed to say “no” in a firm voice and replace the item with a chewy toy. Instead of trying to grab the item out of your puppy’s mouth and ending up in a tug of war, simply play with their chewy toy and give it all your attention. In that way they should lose interest and drop your shoe or other item in favor of getting the chewy toy which you are playing with!

Why Do Labrador Retrievers Become Destructive?

Kate | June 23rd, 2008
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
224 views

The difference between a good Labrador Retriever owner and a disastrous one depends on whether or not that person leads an active lifestyle. To put it in simple terms, labs were bred to be extremely active when in the company of hunters, from dawn to dusk. They used to run, swim, and retrieve foul for up to 16 hours each day, or more.

Labs have extremely high energy levels and just because your Labrador Retriever does not go out hunting, it does not mean that this dog is missing its inner expression to release the same amount of energy. This is great news for active people who like to swim, jog, and play fetch games as often as possible.

The term disastrous dog owner would best describe a person who is raising a Lab but absolutely hates going outside and being active. There are many people out there who love nothing more than to sit around the house all day watching television while they expect their Lab dogs to lay quietly alongside their feet with no need at all to run and play.

These types of people tend to complain that their pets are overactive and causing too much trouble around the house. However, the truth is that the dogs are perfectly healthy and literally wired and itching to move around. It is the way they were genetically programmed. It is what they were bred to do. Therefore, the problem lies within the owner, not the Lab.

Think Long & Hard Before Buying A Lab Puppy

Most people who run out and buy a puppy, especially one as active as a Labrador Retriever, have a tendency to overestimate the amount of play-time they can invest in their dog. Eventually, the excitement and joy of playing with a new puppy subsides and when the dog owner gets bored, these little balls of energy are left to entertain themselves.

Adult Labrador dogs need a minimum of one hour each and every day, both in the morning and again at night, to participate in strenuous, interactive physical activities. This does not mean simply letting your dog out in the yard by itself while you cook dinner. This will not suffice as playtime. Labs need a partner to run and fetch with. Left to themselves for physical activity will prove unsuccessful as Labs tend not to exercise by themselves in a constructive manner.

When Labs Become Destructive

You can’t just open up the door and tell your Lab to go play. While some dogs are independent enough to run around outside by themselves, Labrador Retrievers need someone to play with and if you are not around then they may become destructive. Behaviors such as non-stop barking, chewing, and digging up the yard will become commonplace.

Should your Lab start to demonstrate these types of negative activities, the last thing you want to do is become frustrated and deem your pet aggressive. The truth is that he is just doing what you wanted him to do: entertain himself.

Unless you are there to direct your Lab and be the leader while taking fun trips outside in the form of a hike, a jog, or retrieving games in the water, you must take responsibility for his destructive behavior and know that it is your fault and your responsibility to take charge of your Lab’s physical needs.

Help… My Labrador Retriever Is Eating The Furniture!

Kate | June 19th, 2008
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
176 views

Many new Lab owners are not familiar with the fact that these puppies have a natural tendency to nip and bite at human hands and arms. In fact, these little guys will put anything in their mouths that can fit. Unfortunately, some dog owners mistake this behavior as pure biting and unfairly scold and punish the animal. You must understand that Labradors are genetically designed to have an oral fixation, specifically for retrieving.

They must be trained with positive reinforcement not to mouth and bite at people’s limbs. A fitting analogy is to look at a Labrador puppy the same as a piranha, but with fur. They run around with their mouths open literally hunting down anything to put in it, something, anything, whatever they can find!

When these puppies get older they have a tendency to start grabbing onto your arms and clothing. Such behavior should be considered inappropriate and completely stopped before it develops into an act of dominance. But as you may have heard before, training a Labrador not to grab onto your arms and clothes with its mouth needs to be carefully instituted. You can never totally stop your Lab from putting things in its mouth but you can certainly teach him to make better choices.

Health Problems Due To Mouthing Stuff

Another fitting analogy to describe the oral fixation of a Labrador Retriever is to consider them like vacuum cleaners. Many times they accidentally suck up and swallow objects which can lead to health problems, especially if they get a hold of products that have poisons in them.

Labradors have been known to swallow toys, balls, rocks, socks, rawhide, bicycle seats, and even knives! Basically anything that can fit in their mouth and down its throat is fair game to the motivated Labrador Retriever. It is good advice to de-fluff your pillows, remove sofa cushions, and discard any loose toys or items around your house that could cause harm if swallowed.

I once came home to find one of my wooden dresser drawers completely removed from the entire unit. The front panel was torn off and I had clothes everywhere. As I was cleaning up the mess I noticed that there was small pieces of wood chips all over the room and the front panel was nowhere to be found. As you can probably guess, my lab chewed up and ate the entire front panel, even the metallic handle was gone! Luckily he did not suffer any internal damages and the handle passed through his system without harm.

The answer to raising a lab while minimizing personal damages to both your home and your dog is to doggie-proof anything and everything you can find. Supervision also plays a huge role in training your dog not to chew up certain items. You must have plenty of time to invest into your Lab which will prove to be time well spent as you watch your dog grow into a well-mannered adult.

Does Your Labrador Retriever Have An Oral Fixation?

Kate | June 14th, 2008
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
138 views

Labrador Retriever dogs were bred to be excellent hunting dogs with the power, stamina, and motivation to chase down fallen game and swim as far needed to bring back the prey to its hunter.

Even today, these dogs have an innate inner drive to retrieve. With utmost focus and determination, Labs take their retrieving jobs seriously. And even though most of these dogs are house pets today and do not hunt, they are just as driven when chasing a tennis ball or fetching a stick.

Labradors were created and developed to use the power of their jaws just like a strong hand. During practically every waking moment they feel the need to put something in their mouths, and without the presence of a bird or other small animal, they will grab onto anything they can. This is fantastic for people who love playing fetch with their dog but it’s not so good for those dog owners that hate when their pets are constantly putting items in its mouth.

Labs Have An Oral Fixation

Many families run out and buy a puppy without doing an ounce of research as to what type of dog they are getting involved in and how the animal will behave based on its genetic make-up. Labrador Retrievers, for example, literally have an oral fixation due to hundreds of years of breeding specifically for grabbing fallen birds into their mouths when hunting. This behavior most definitely carries over into their daily lives.

An educated Lab owner understands that any object within their dog’s reach is considered fair game and they would never dream of scolding the dog for such behavior (except for biting of course). Bad Lab owners consider this behavior destructive and will scold or even hit the animal in an attempt to get the dog to stop grabbing stuff in its mouth.

Of course there is a fine line between letting your Lab express its inner retrieving needs, and letting the animal absolutely destroy anything in the house it can eat. This is where specific training and obedience lessons come in. These dogs are natural chewers and you must take provisions for their tendency to chew by using a crate and dog proofing your house.

Constant supervision and creating daily playtime sessions with your Lab is a requirement for both you and your dog to be healthy. If you choose not to participate in the proper upbringing and training that a Lab requires, more than likely you are going to be frustrated and unhappy while your dog becomes increasingly bored and destructive.

Quick Tips To Prevent Puppies Barking, Biting & Chewing

Gemma | November 12th, 2006
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
178 views

Early training can prevent common puppy behavior problems such as barking, biting, chewing and jumping up on people, and can teach necessary behaviors, such as walking nicely on leash.

Barking

Puppy barking is a common puppy behavior that’s not always easy to control, but if you begin when the puppy is young, you can teach it that being quiet or to stop barking on command is much more productive than endless yapping.

Never reward your puppy by giving the puppy attention or anything else it wants. Wait until the puppy is quiet, praise it, then give it attention, toys or treats. It’s often amazing how quickly a dog can learn that sitting politely produces more rewards than being noisy does.

Biting

Biting is another troublesome issue for many puppy owners. Puppies don’t realize that your skin is a lot more tender than that of their littermates, especially if you encourage them to nibble on your fingers, arms or toes.

Biting can be a matter of life or death for a dog, so your puppy should understand by the time it’s 4 months old that putting teeth on human skin is never, ever acceptable. Make some kind of noise – OUCH! – NO BITE! – STOP IT! and stop playing with your nibbling puppy immediately.

This works fairly well for people who have a relatively gentle, sensitive puppy. But with a roughneck pup, a firmer method may be needed. A puppy kindergarten class can be just the place to obtain that kind of guidance. Any time you have a puppy that can’t be discouraged from biting, seek the help of a trainer or behaviorist as soon as possible.

Chewing

Birds gotta fly, fish gotta swim and puppies gotta chew. Chewing can be one of the most destructive puppy behaviors, but it can be redirected. The simplest way to do this is to teach the give command. When your puppy learns early on to give up items graciously, it’s easy to take away items it shouldn’t chew on and replace them with canine chew toys.

Practice the give cue when the puppy is playing with something it likes but isn’t overly excited about. When the puppy releases the object, praise it, give it a treat if you want, and let it have the object back. You can also teach the puppy to let you open its mouth. When a puppy grabs something valuable to you or dangerous for it to have, you won’t have time to get something to exchange for the forbidden item.

A Simple Reason Why Your Dog Is Chewing Everything In Sight

Gemma | March 21st, 2006
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.20 out of 5)
Loading...Loading...
136 views

Before you can train your dog to stop his destructive chewing habits, you must first identify the type of chewing that your pet is demonstrating. There are different reasons why puppies and dogs engage in this habit, as well as a variety of ways to fix the problem. Therefore, identifying the type of destructive chewing is an important step in eliminating the issue.

There are different motivational factors for chronic and destructive chewing. The most common types are:

1. Puppy chewers
2. Spiteful chewers
3. Jealousy chewers
4. Boredom chewers

Puppies chew mainly for two reasons: to explore their new world and to soothe their aching gums during the teething stage. Dogs between the ages of six to eighteen months have a different motivation to chew: boredom (although this motivator can also apply to puppies as well).

Most dogs who are going through their adolescent stage have high amounts of energy in their systems. This energy, when not utilized or given the proper channel, can result in problem behaviors like destructive chewing. Chewing out of boredom between puppyhood and adulthood usually occur because the newness and excitement of the pets presence in the home wears off. The family does not pay as much attention to them as they used to when he was still a puppy.

A different motivating factor thats responsible for problem-chewing is jealousy. This usually occurs in adult dogs. It could be caused by having a new pet in the household, or because the family has turned their attention to something else, thereby, causing the dog to feel alienated.

For example, if you keep catching your dog chewing on your books, its very likely that he thinks that the books cause you to spend less time with him. The same reason can be stated for dogs who like chewing on their owners shoes. Our beloved pets felt that the shoes were responsible for alienating the owners attention. Each time you leave the house, the dog sees those shoes going with you and he will take his jealousy and frustration out on those shoes at any chance possible.

In this case, the best way to eliminate destructive chewing is as simple as spending more time with your dog. Spend ten or fifteen minutes with your pet before you start reading. Take him for a nice stroll, or maybe brush his coat before leaving the house. Most of the time, all it takes is giving your dog personal attention to get rid of these bad behaviors.