Dog Behavior – Chewing

Kate | December 3rd, 2009
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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.

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