4 Ways to Stop Dog Chewing and Defend Your Shoes
Do you come many days to find that your dog has chewed through your new shoes, ripped your couch a new one, or destroyed some other piece of furniture or article of clothing? Don’t worry you’re not alone; and the great news is that there are several reasons why dogs chew, and techniques to stop the behavior including distraction, training and products such as Fooey Training Spray.
Cause - Boredom:
It is actually very common for dogs to chew on furniture when they are bored. This is especially common in younger dogs with lots of energy, as well as intelligent dogs. It’s similar to a human having a hobby. “There’s nothing to do…I’ll get rid of the itchy fabric on my human's couch.”
STOP IT Technique #1:
The solution to curing your dog’s boredom is to keep him entertained. Sounds easy right? Well it’s more than just buying a new toy; just any stuffed animal or rope will not do. Those toys are only fun to play with when there are other people around. It’s like playing the Wii alone; it’s much more fun with friends. There are some puzzle toys for dogs that usually involve a hidden treat that the dog can smell but has to work to get out. This will capture your dog’s attention for a long time and even if he/she solves the toy before you get home there is a good chance that your dog will be tired or content with his/her daily activity. One really fun toy made specifically for hiding a treat is the Zogoflex Tux toy.
Cause - Unintentional Praise:
It is common for owners to accidently or unintentionally praise a dog and reinforce a bad behavior. It could be as slight as a smile when your dog chewed something that didn’t mean much to you. Dogs are very observant of what their owners do and if they think they did something you like they will try to repeat the action. It is much harder to retrain a dog so it’s important that while training you are aware of everything you do including facial expressions.
STOP IT Technique #2:
Even if you scold your dog when you find chewed items around the house it’s likely your dog will not make the connection with their behavior and the item in question; in fact, you will probably reinforce the behavior more. Showing anger at a chewed item and your dog will most likely lead him/her to think something like, “Well I remember it was good when I chewed that sock, and I tried to chew this shoe the same but I must have done it wrong or not enough. I will do a better job tomorrow.” It’s critical to catch your dog in the act. Take the item away with a stern, “no,” and turn your attention away from your dog for a few minutes. This will help your dog make the connection that chewing is bad entirely.
Cause - Teething:
When puppies are teething it is very common for them to chew everything in sight. They are uncomfortable and most likely in pain.
STOP IT Technique #3:
Purchase several toys that are designed for teething puppies, or freeze a damp rag for them to chew on the cold will ease their discomfort. To keep their attention away from furniture there are a few products that will discourage them.
STOP IT Tecnique #4:
The above 3 techniques are good in terms of providing an alternative to the chewing behavior as well as training. Should the above not work or if you’d like a quick fix, you can try a product like Fooey Training Spray. With Fooey, all you need to do is spray it on the item you would like your pet to cease chewing on and it will become utterly distasteful!
Fooey Training Spray