- Posted by Sharnie Ashton in Uncategorised
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Dogs, especially puppies explore the world with their mouths and chewing is a completely natural dog behaviour. Chewing is a great way of relieving stress, tackling boredom and for puppies it helps to facilitate teething.
For these reasons, we don’t want to completely inhibit chewing. Managing this behaviour first starts by identifying the cause.
Dog that are lacking in mental or physical stimulation are likely to seek their own entertainment by chewing on household items. By providing enrichment toys such as Kongs, Lickimats and Flavorit Bones you can help to relieve boredom and redirect the chewing. Try combining these toys with a high value spreadable paste such as Truffelicious. You can also try safe chews such as Nandi Ostrich tendons.
Dogs that are well exercised are also less likely to suffer bouts of boredom.
Puppies have all their baby teeth by around 8 weeks old, and by around 16 weeks old they begin teething again when their adult teeth come through. During these stages, puppies will seek objects to chew in order to help ease the pain. Providing toys that are meant for chewing such as Kongs can help to keep your puppy busy and away from your furniture!
Try filling a Kong with Truffelicious liver pate and freezing it for a great long lasting, soothing activity. Praise your puppy for chewing on the right objects. Never punish your puppy, as this may teach them to chew on unwanted objects in your absence instead.
Some dogs may become fearful or stressed when left alone. Dogs are very good at picking up on our routines and can begin to predict our departure. During these stages’ dogs can become more and more distressed and when it comes to you leaving, they can then go onto seek a way to manage the stress. This can result in chewing on unwanted objects as chewing releasing calming endorphins.
A good way of helping your dog to cope is by offering distraction tools such as safe enrichment toys. It is important to start by offering this toy in your presence, helping to build up a positive association. You can then move on to offer this toy a few moments before your departure. Your dog can then begin to associate your departure with a fun, enriching toy. It can help to keep your dog focused can prevent unwanted chewing.
Lickimats have been specifically designed to be used in these situations and are a great tool to use during a behaviour modification process. Just spread a paste across the surface of the Lickimat to keep your dog busy and focused. (Ensure your dog is safe with this toy before leaving them alone)