Destructive chewing in dogs can be damaging not only to a household but to the health of the dog's teeth and gums. To prevent this type of behavior from forming, behavioral modification techniques and changes to the dog's environment are needed.
Preventing Destructive Chewing in Dogs
If pet owners notice that their dogs are starting to chew a lot, then this behavior can be stopped by breaking the cycle. Every time a dog chews on something it reinforces this behavior. Immediately redirecting the dog's attention from the chewing behavior can prevent the behavior from becoming destructive. This is a behavioral modification technique, and pet owners can redirect their dog's attention by taking the dog for a walk, giving the dog something to play with, or just by interacting with the dog.
Pet owners can also teach their dog a 'leave it' command. Dogs can learn this command in a matter of hours by placing something the dog really wants (like a favorite food) on the floor, and then saying 'leave it' in a strong voice. When the dog backs away from the favored item, the dog should immediately get a treat. Once this command is learned it must be reinforced daily. Pet owners can then tell their dog to 'leave it' when they see their dog chewing on an object.
Dogs often develop destructive chewing behaviors due to boredom, and keeping older dogs active can help prevent this behavior from occurring. Always take dogs for a walk at least a few times a week (though preferably once a day) or to a doggy park if one is available. Dogs should have plenty of toys, and have daily playtimes with their owners too.
How to Stop Puppy Chewing
There are ways you can prevent your puppy from chewing on things. If you find out why your puppy is chewing on things can help you to try and stop the problem. There are causes such as teething or boredom for example. However, you can help to stop this behavior or redirect the behavior by doing a few things.
If your puppy shows signs of teething there is a way to help with this. You can purchase a chew bone or chew toy to help release the pain from their teething. Sometimes even a sock filled with stuffing will be enough for a puppy to chew on as long as you help the puppy distinguish between their chew toy and the socks you don't wish them to chew on.
You can also help to stop your puppy from chewing with a firm "No" and a reward system. If your dog wants to chew on something tell them no. After awhile the dog will realize that they should not be able to chew on that. When they respond well to what you want them to do you can reward them with one of their favorite treats. A reward system will help them to understand that when listening to what you are asking them to do they receive a treat and will learn to follow through.
Make sure you spend enough time with your puppy. Puppies can require a lot of attention and can get bored easily. If you plan activities to get the puppies attention they may tend not to chew on things. They love to play and it will help ease the boredom that they might be experiencing at the time.