Dogs Chew for many reasons it is not just a puppy thing that they automatically grow out of. Most dogs enjoy Chewing all of their lives.
Chewing is normal dog behaviour, chewing is driven by many different instincts. It’s important to understand why your dog chews. You may or may not know; you can have an enormous influence on what your dog chews on. You can keep destructive chewing to a minimum with redirection and proper training habits. We should start by understanding some of the reasons they are chewing in the first place.
Teething: At about 2 months old when their puppy teeth are coming in. Between 4-6 months, as the puppy teeth fall out and are replaced by the adult teeth. Puppies must instinctively chew to help their teeth go through this process. It also helps relieve tenderness of the teeth and gums. Give lots of puppy chew toys like rawhide pup chips, tennis balls, and rope toys, which are made for puppies.
Teeth Setting: As your puppies’ teeth mature they set in their jaws, approximately 7 months to a year old, they must chew because instinct tells them they may need hard things to chew on to help this process. It is at this age dogs can become the most destructive and dogs that have too much fun chewing at this stage can be destructive for the rest of their lives. It is important you give them things to chew on. Replace anything you do not want chewed with dog toys and things you do want them to chew on. If you try to take away chewing all together you may be fighting a losing battle. Be selective with what chew toys you give. Do not give any that may be confused with other things that you do not want chewed. For example wooden toys, shoes, and socks are not good chew toys.
Exercising Muscles: Dogs do chew to exercise their jaw muscles as well. Around 7-8 months old at the height of the destructive stage for chewing. Chewing can last for months, even years, if modification or redirection techniques aren’t used. As with all chewing having good chew toys to redirect your dog to can be the key to getting through this time.
Trying or Exploring: What are things in and around your house for? They may be table legs to you, but to your dog, it’s wood. Throughout a dog’s life they may try exploring items by chewing them to see if it is good to chew on.
Cleaning: Chewing helps keep gums & teeth, clean & strong: Humans brush our teeth, dogs need to chew. There are many dog teeth cleaning products available, rawhide knot bones or dog chew toys that are good for teeth are easy to find.
Stress, Tension, or Anxiety: Chewing helps a dog relieve stress, tension, and anxiety. Many dogs like things in their mouth to help comfort them. If you get them in to their toys using praise and play it will help them increase the chewing on the things you want them to chew.
Boredom: A bored or lonely dog may be more destructive and chew for relieve. This is a stress release as with anxiety and tension. It is common since, if the dog has fun being destructive he wins over his boredom.
Obsessed: Dogs can develop obsessive chewing disorders. Finding comfort in chewing some dog may get over focused on chewing to the point of obsession. It may be chewing on anything they can get a hold of or obsessed with one object or particular material. Prevention is the best cure but if your dog has an obsessive chewing disorder it can be addressed with behavioural modification by a qualified canine Behavioural Specialist.
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