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Cure Destructive Chewing in Dogs

Dog Training

When your puppy is small, you should not expect him to be perfect all the time. Neither should you overwhelm him by correcting everything at once. Instead, concentrate on the more serious behavior problems, working with them as they show up.

For instance, you will want to prevent destructive chewing by putting him in his crate when you are not home or when you can’t watch him. At the same time, when you can watch him, you can begin to let him know what he can chew and what he can’t by monitoring his behavior in a very easygoing fashion. He may even start out on his Nylabone and move, accidentally, to the molding. Simply move him back to his bone. Tap the molding he was biting with your hand, saying, “Nooo,” and offer him the bone again, saying, “Ok, Good dog.”

Creative Commons License photo credit: byob_soad2

Observe him very carefully but be patient as you correct. After all, he doesn’t know any better until you show him. And, in fact, he won’t really know better until you show him many, many times. He really needs the repetition and consistency in order to learn. In addition, he needs to mature both physically and mentally before you can count on him to be reliably well behaved when you leave him alone.

The training can’t work miracles. He will still have to grow up. Naturally, training helps things proceed in the right direction. If you simply wait for the puppy to outgrow the chewing stage, you might find yourself paying off a new couch while you wait. Training speeds the dog’s understanding of what you want and what you don’t want.

Maturity is what enables him to remember the training with reliability and to pocket his anxiety when he is alone. The young puppy cannot do that. So when he has to be alone, the crate is the only sensible answer.

Another puppy problem you’ll want to work with early on is excessive barking. Once again, all you can do when he’s really little is lay some worthwhile groundwork. Working in an appropriately low-key fashion, when your puppy overdoes it in the noise department, tell him “Enough.” If that warning doesn’t quiet him, repeat it once more as you give one firm tug on his collar.

In addition to this, you must give him an outlet for his voice. Your dog has a right to vocalize and you have a right to limit his right. That is, your dog needs some time and perhaps some place where it’s perfectly okay for him to make noise. And you have the right not to let him do that noise making at four in the morning.

In order to give him an outlet for his voice, in addition to letting him have time to run around and bark outdoors, teach him to “Speak” on command. Once he will do this, he will focus more of his barking on you and you can play voice games with him outdoors or when his noise won’t bother your neighbors.  This will make it easier for him to respond to “Enough” when his barking is inappropriate or when it goes on for too long.

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