Most puppies have a strong, natural desire to investigate. But this curiosity can lead to problems when your puppy digs up your roses or destroys your new shoes. Many owners rely solely on punishment to correct problem behavior, but you’ll find that reinforcing good behavior works better and keeps your dog happier.
Begin with a variety of toys and determine which types your pup prefers. Rotate different toys to keep them novel and interesting. Reward your dog when it chews its toys.
Never give items to the puppy to chew that are similar to household items you don’t want destroyed. (e.g., your puppy may not distinguish between old shoes and new shoes.)
Use commercial anti-chew sprays, citronella oil, or a small amount of cayenne pepper mixed with water as deterrents.
Chewing and Anxiety
Destructive behavior is often a direct response to anxiety. Lesson the problem by teaching the dog that it cannot receive attention on demand. Train it to rest in its own bed or crate, rather than constantly lying near you. Exercise your dog before you leave home, and try to sneak out when it is occupied. Practice short departures, then gradually increase the length of time your dog is alone.
Dogs dig for a number of reasons: to cool off, chase rodents, bury and retrieve bones, escape confinement, or just for the fun of it.
Digging commonly occurs when pets are left alone with insufficient stimulation. Provide your dog with stimulating chew toys, increased play and exercise, and perhaps even a second pet. Of course, give some thought to the addition of a second pet, since you could end up with two diggers instead of one.
Try these methods to discourage digging:
- Remote punishment (Pulling on an extended leash, tossing a tin can containing a few pebbles near the pet)
- Changing or covering the surface (by placing rocks over the area or covering with concrete).
- For some dogs the most practical solution is to provide a digging area and to reinforce appropriate digging.
Dog Treats and Chews
What better way to comfort your new puppy, or even your existing special companion, with the great tasting treats and chews by Life’s Abundance! And what better gift for your best friend than the treats formulated by Dr. Jane Bicks, a famous holistic veterinarian who has written several books on pet nutrition and is also seen on Animal Planet! These dog treats are wonderful and can help ease separation anxiety and even teach your pet a thing or two. And you don’t have to worry when you feed Life’s Abundance – none of the products have ever been on a recall list!
Our favorite is the Porky Puffs!