Puppies chew – let’s not be surprised that puppies want something interesting in their mouth frequently, and since puppies sleep about half of our waking hours plus all night, we have a limited window of time where it is our responsibility to get good things, the right things, into that mouth.

With a younger puppy, it starts with a round of shopping to establish good choices and taking your dog’s preferences into account. From Nyla Bones and Kong rubber toys to real cow bones, hooves, etc, you want an array of chew opportunities to identify what your dog likes.

Generally, puppyhood includes plenty of freedom restriction, so if you plan naps and quiet time in a crate, chewing can be used to reduce stress and be a pleasant way to drift off or wake up quietly.

If your puppy is now grown up, and/or you’ve acquired an adult that chews, the rules are not that different. If you want a chance at turning the behavior around, you’ll need to manage the behavior better. Keeping a leash on a puppy around the house is common fare, and dogs with problem habits often benefit from the same kind of freedom restriction: Leash on, often tied to belt, you come and go, dog with you.

This way, each mistake can be quickly redirected.

Interrupting your dog anytime something not planned for mouth has entered mouth will diminish the value of such chewing, assuming you are managing carefully in your presence and maybe crating in your absence – interrupting with PREFERED choices so the dog can enjoy the chew but not offend the family, that is win win.

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