Puppy Chewing Solutions
Table Of Contents
When you first get a puppy you need to understand that this new dog is going to chew pretty much everything it can get it’s little mouth on to and that includes you.
It is up to us as owners to decide how we are going to manage this situation.
There is an awful lot of activity going on inside a new puppy mouth as they grow to full size and from their birth to the first couple of weeks when they may not look like there is too much going on on the outside, there is plenty going on behind the scenes.
The senses of smell, taste, and touch are fully operational in order to provide the pup with locating its mother for nutrition, safety, and warmth, but that is really all that is going on in the early developmental stages of your puppies life.
In fact, puppies will be sleeping approximately 90% of the time during this period and only waking up for feeds.
From 2 Weeks To 4 Weeks
This is when our pup will start to become a lot more active and you will find them moving away from the mother, exploring and growing in confidence and getting more mobile on their 4 feet. Their ears and eyes will now be wide open to the sights and sounds of this strange new world they are in and this is around the time that their teeth come through in the first 2 to 3 weeks period.
The 6 To 8 Week Period
In this time frame, our puppy will now have a full set of teeth, it’s milk teeth and this is when the chewing and mouthing starts to show it’s self in great aplomb.
Between 8 and 16 Weeks
All 42 adult teeth will have come through in our pup and all of the milk teeth will generally be gone.
The Reasons Puppies Chew
There are two reasons that a puppy chews and they are when it is teething and when it is exploring. It is important for us as owners to try to get an understanding of both of these actions.
If you have been a parent or had any dealings with human babies, you will know the torment that they go through when they are teething. The pain of teeth having to break through the gum can be agonizing for little baby. 20 or so little teeth all trying to break through at once is the main reason that babies cry so much and it is part of our own life that is so traumatic that we don’t remember it as our brain and memories have closed that off to us.
But it happened.
Now imagine 42 teeth all breaking through our little puppies gums at the same time and you start to get an understanding of just how painful it will be for them. Plus the fact, these teeth are not the baby teeth either, these are their big ones!
These teeth have to push out all of the baby teeth, so they are coming through at a fairly rapid and painful rate.
Chewing has two benefits for our puppy during this stage:
1. It helps to relieve the pressure on their mouths
2. It helps to persuade the baby teeth to drop out and give ground to the new fangs!
We as humans refer to this as “chewing”. A better description may well be “pain relief” as it undoubtedly is.
Whilst our pup is chewing it is actually helping them relax by releasing endorphins to help them block out that pain.
During this time everything that a pup can chew, they will chew and we have to realize that it is their right to chew for at least 4 hours a day when they are going through this time.
One of the main reasons that a puppy will chew on almost anything is down to exploration. They need to learn about their environment through their form of touch. As human babies use their hands to touch things, so our dogs will use their mouths.
A puppy chewing everything during this time is perfectly normal and we as responsible owners need to come up with puppy chewing solutions to redirect them to what we want them to chew.
Remember, we can’t stop puppy chewing but it’s about what they chew.
A Great Chewing Remedy
We now understand that chewing is part of our dogs’ evolution and therefore because we now understand why they are chewing it is up to us to work on what we want them to chew.
We need to make sure that there is plenty of things to chew! And by that I mean, things that we WANT them to chew. This is the difference so we need to make sure that our new puppy has plenty of access to chew toys.
How to Stop a Puppy Chewing Furniture
Firstly, with a new puppy, you want to make sure they have a controlled area to live in. A crate or caged off area in your home is an excellent way for you to control their environment.
If you don’t do this and allow your puppy unlimited access to everywhere in your home, then they are going to chew everything so if you don’t want that antique sideboard ruined or your expensive curtains with tassels on completely ripped to shreds, then you have been warned!
It really is that simple at first. Control the area that your puppy has access too. It is much better for them and you.
Don’t leave your puppy alone for long periods of time either. they need to feel wanted and chewing can occur when they are anxious too.
A crate or gated off area in a room is a perfect place for your new puppy to get used to and gradually as they get older, you can introduce them to other areas of the house. This is also great for toilet training as similar principles need to be followed as well.
Puppy Teething Toys
Make sure that you provide as many chew toys as you can afford.
Buy them from reputable pet stores or from well respected Amazon sellers too.
Place these in and around the crate or gated area that your puppy is living in and make sure you keep an eye on them too for any kind of damage or fraying. This can, of course, be negated if you get good quality chew toys, but again be vigilant.
These kinds of chew toys can be so great for your dog to chomp down on and some even have the capacity to pop little treats inside and this can give your puppy a great work out too….and a treat at the end of it!
Dogs love chewing and many breeds enjoy chewing on toys all of their lives so make sure you realize that fact and provide your dog with plenty of chew toys throughout their lives as well.
We have to be sensible and think everything through for our little puppy and this is part of being a great dog owner.
If We don’t want them chewing our clothes and shoes or furniture, then it is up to us and us alone to make sure this doesn’t happen.
Being A Positive Interrupter
From time to time we all slip in concentration and this is perfectly normal when owning and looking after a dog. We are not perfect although some people think they are!
Occasionally you will forget to provide the toy and maybe you forgot to pop fido in his crate or he was on your lap sleeping whilst you watched tv and you got up to make a drink and when you came back…..he is attempting to eat the TV remote or chew a leg of a sideboard!
Dogs are opportunists and puppies are no different.
It’s not their fault either, they are just being dogs.
I find the best way to positively intervene when this has happened is to call my dogs name and then redirect to a suitable chew and reward them with a treat.
Making that connection between their name and something good happening ( a treat) reinforces positive behavior and again, this works really well in connection with toilet training and recall too.
Shouting at your dog is pointless as that is not helping them or you and if anything, it can make them nervous and more prone to unwanted acts later on.
Great ways to reinforce positive associations include:
Having your puppy next to you and calling their name and when they react, give them a tidbit and tell them positive words “Good boy, Good girl” etc..This builds a strong association with them understanding their name and reward.
You can do this as much as you need to and you will need to a lot in the first few months.
Do this is their controlled area, in the garden if you have one and when you are out on walks. This way you are instilling in them that positive association and after a while, it will stick into their memory and you will have positively programmed your puppy!
I always use the mantra “Reward Good Behavior & Ignore Bad Behavior” What that means is, your puppy is going to get things wrong.
That is life. We get things wrong, so what?
Never chastise your puppy as this will undo any good work that you may have done and we want our dogs to be the best they can be right?
It’s important to exercise your puppy too to keep their boredom levels low. Every day should be exciting for them and although it can be routine-based, you owe it to them to keep them amused through exercise, play, love, and reward.
If you truly want to have a puppy, adopt the mindset of a new human parent and really care for them and do all of the things in this article and more.
Join a puppy class when it is safe to do so (after all inoculations) and your vet has said it is fine to commence socialization.
If you remember just one thing from this article then this is is:
Your Puppy Is Going To Chew….But What They Chew…Is Up To You!
The inspiration for this article came from this fantastic book by Steve Mann and I urge you to take a look at it and you will learn a heck of a lot about puppies and dogs in general.