Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only
31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009
Click here for map
651-222-0885 Twin Cities
There are many reasons why
puppies and dogs chew. Puppies utilize their vision and
sense of smell to explore their new world; however (between
2 and 6 months of age) they chew on things to relieve
teething discomfort and to orally investigate new items
within their surroundings. What starts out as a dental issue
or investigative chewing process soon becomes a habit. This
normal behavior is often directed towards unacceptable
household objects. Adult dogs chew to keep their teeth
healthy and their gums free of infection. They also chew
because they experience separation anxiety, stress, boredom,
fear, hunger, noise phobias, medical issues or confinement
problems. Other reasons may be the lack of sufficient
exercise or inadequate mental stimulation or possibly an act
of dominance. Destructive chewing by young dogs is usually a
management issue and persistent household damage reflects a
lack of training or control by their owner. We recommend the
Managing your environment
- Be responsible for
your own belongings. “Dog proof” your home. If you do
not want your puppy to chew on something—put it up or
away. Keep your clothing, shoes, books, eye glasses,
remote controls or anything of value out of their reach.
- Do not confuse your
puppy by offering them your shoe or socks for a toy.
They can not distinguish between their shoe or socks and
yours. Provide them with lots of chew toys, bones, and
educational toys that are clearly distinguishable from
- If you are unable to
watch your puppy -- crate them, confine them to the room
you are in, or attach one end of a leash to them and the
other end to yourself. If they are heading towards an
inappropriate object—call them to you and hand them a
toy that they can chew on. Timing is critical.
- Provide your puppy
with plenty of socialization time. You should teach them
how you expect them to act (appropriate behavior) in
- When you catch your
puppy chewing on an inappropriate object, interrupt the
behavior with a loud noise; replace it with an
acceptable chew toy. Then praise them when they take the
acceptable toy in their mouth.
- Reward or praise them
when they are playing quiet or chewing on their
- Play with your puppy
on a daily basis. To burn off excess energy, teach them
to “fetch”, jump thru a hoola hoop, or over a stick
- Take them for walks
on leash. Expose them to the sights and sounds of the
neighborhood. Encourage children, friends and neighbors
to handle them and give them treats.
- Consider a good
doggie daycare program for two to three days per week to
properly socialize your puppy and to work off their
- Teach the command
“give it” or “not yours”. If they pick up an
inappropriate object, use the command and praise them
for complying. The best way to teach compliance is by
practicing the exchange of a toy for a treat.
- Provide positive
reinforcement with praise for correctly responding. They
should not have to misbehave to get your attention.
- Sign them up for a
structured obedience class
that promotes positive reinforcement.
- CVS recommends
constant supervision while your puppy is loose in your
house. Until he/she knows what it can or cannot chew, it
should not have unsupervised freedom. Total confinement
is not the cure for inappropriate chewing. Breaking the
habit is essential. The most important thing you can do
is to praise and reward your puppy for chewing on their
toys and appropriate items. A good suggestion to
maintain your puppy’s attention and to provide hours of
fun is to fill a Kong with peanut butter and dog food.
Please know that dogs do
not understand the concept of guilt and do not chew on
things out of spite. These are human concepts, not a dog’s.
If you catch a dog in the act of chewing on an unacceptable
item, immediately correct them with “leave it" or "not
yours” and give them an appropriate item such as a dog toy.
Give praise when they pick up the toy. With a few
repetitions, the dog will seek out their own toys. Teach
your dog to choose their acceptable items to chew on.