Puppies are born with the natural desire to investigate which often comes in the form of puppy chewing and digging.  This can cause problems when your puppy “investigates” how your furniture can come apart, or digs up your garden.  However, punishment is not always the best way to go when it comes to this misbehavior.  You will find that reinforcing good behavior can be much more effective. 

Puppy Chewing
First of all, when you first get a puppy you must provide him with plenty of chew toys.  These will deter him away from the furniture, shoes, socks, flowers and all the other things you prefer him not to chew on.  Provide him with a variety of toys to keep them interested and it may be beneficial to reward them when they chew on their toys.  If chew toys don’t help, you can use commercial anti-chew sprays such as Fooey Training Spray to keep them away from your belongings.

Chewing is often a behavior associated with dog separation anxiety.  You can lessen the problem by teaching your dog that you cannot provide him with attention 24/7.  If your dog is constantly following you around, sleeping next to you in your bed… and destroying things when you’re not around, it may signal that you need to take action.  Training him to sleep in his own bed or crate as well as exercising him and keeping him preoccupied before you leave may help him to feel more relaxed.  It may also help to keep a TV or radio on while you are away.  Easing into short departures and eventually longer departures will teach your dog that you will return and it’s ok to be alone for a while.

Puppy Digging
Another problem that may come with new puppies is digging.  They dig for a number of reasons: to investigate, cool off, chase rodents, bury and retrieve bones, escape confinement or just because they enjoy it.  Pets often dig when they want attention, so prevent it by providing your dog with stimulation.  Ways to stimulate your pet include: chew toys, increased play and exercise and possibly another pet to play with.  It may be helpful to designate an area in your yard specifically for digging and leaving the rest of the yard off limits to your dog.  There are other methods that discourage digging such as remote punishment or changing or covering the surface. 

If the tips stated above don’t help with stopping your puppies chewing and digging habits, it may be helpful to see a veterinarian.  They can help you further in treating your dog’s separation anxiety or other behavioral problems. 





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