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As with babies, teething is painful to puppies. Chewing is natural and helps to relieve the pain. That doesn't mean, however, that you must let your new pet chew his way through the house.

Why Chewing Occurs
  • Teething - Between the ages of five weeks and s six months, puppies will teethe. Soak a washcloth in water, freeze it, and offer it to your puppy as a chew toy. The coldness will numb his gums and ease the pain of teething. Replace the cloth every two hours.

  • Improper confinement - Dogs are very social animals and react poorly to isolation. Confine a dog behind a see-through puppy gate so that he can see what is going on in surrounding areas; never restrain him behind a closed door in a small room. An improperly confined dog may attempt to chew his way out of seclusion.

  • Improper chewables - Never give your puppy real shoes, clothes, or household objects to chew. He will not be able to differentiate between your discarded items and the good stuff.

  • Lack of exercise - A chewing habit may be the result of lack of exercise. A 15- minute play period each day will discourage your dog from chewing.

Proper Training Technique
While puppies can be taught at an early age to limit their chewing to a few appropriate objects, they should never have the run of the house - the temptation may be too much.

Give your puppy plenty of rawhide toys and other hard rubber toys to chew. Make sure the toys do not squeak or contain bells. Treat items that you do not want your puppy to chew with commercial products that make the item taste unpleasant.

When you catch your puppy or dog in the act of chewing on something you do not want him to chew, correct him according to his personality. Gently tell a shy dog no; use a firmer tone with a stubborn dog. Immediately offer an acceptable chew toy and praise him lavishly.


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