Summary: You love your new puppy. He is the highlight of your day! He’s cute and fun. He plays, sleeps, eats, and, oh yeah, chews on EVERYTHING. But don’t despair, chewing is natural and essential to your puppy's growth. Let’s just get him to chew on the right things instead of your furniture and your husband's slippers. (Cliché I know!)
Why Puppies Chew?Puppies have puppy teeth the same way babies have baby teeth. As the puppy grows, new permanent/adult teeth develop below the gums and start to loosen the baby teeth. There is a lot of pressure in your puppy’s gums and to relieve that pressure, he is going to chew on anything he can find. Puppy teeth fall out around 7 months, but just like babies, timing can vary. So now that you know why, let’s discuss what you can do to guide your puppy to chew appropriately. You cannot (and should not) stop your puppy from chewing. What you need to do is redirect his chewing.
Try to remove chewing temptation. Keep your shoes in your closet. Make sure your kids keep their toys in their rooms with the door closed. You won’t have to do this forever, but an ounce of prevention is worth not having to buy a ton of new pet shops and Barbies for your kids. You can also limit your dogs access to certain areas of the house. Many experts suggest using crate training during teething. This can be a great way to go considering that you are also house-training your puppy. I like to use baby gates and keep the dog in the kitchen, laundry, and living room area. I also have a crate that I keep in the laundry room with special chew bones that my puppy only has access to when he is in his crate.
Show your puppy what he CAN chew on. Give your puppy plenty of opportunity to get it right. If you find your little girl chewing on a shoe or other item she shouldn’t be using, firmly reprimand (say “no”) and take away the incorrect chew item. Then immediately give her the appropriate chew item and praise her profusely for chewing on the right item. Some experts suggest (and I personally like this method) showing her the correct item and getting her to drop the offending item of her own volition, then rewarding her with the proper chew item and lots of praise. The command I use is “drop” in a firm but gentle tone. Try not to scare your puppy. It is not an effective method of training. 2 proven products provided by Amazon are the KONG Puppy Teething Stick Dog Toy and the Nylabone Puppy Teething Rings Chew Toy.
Socialize your puppy. You MUST socialize your puppy. This is essential to her happiness and yours. By socializing, she learns from other dogs like she would have in the wild from her pack and littermates. When she bites too hard or plays too rough the other dogs will let her know. She will also learn to not be afraid of strange people, places, and animals. Socialization will decrease the potential of your puppy biting out of fear.
Be consistent. Get everyone in the family involved in your puppy's training. Teach them to keep their toys away from the puppy. Not only can toys be expensive to replace, but they are also dangerous for your puppy. Decide which reprimand method you are going to use and teach everyone how to do it correctly. If everyone is on the same page, your dog will be much happier and more confident. If you use a different technique for training each time, your dog will be confused.
Never allow your puppy to bite you. You must teach your puppy to control his biting when necessary. If you rough house with your puppy and let him bite you, you are developing bad habits that will end badly. Any time your puppy or dog puts his teeth on your skin or clothes, yelp in a high-pitched voice, much like another dog would do. Then fold your arms and stop playing. Turn your back, and don’t make eye contact. When he calms down, you may resume playing, running, or whatever you were doing. This is speaking your dogs’ language. He will understand that what he did just hurt you and that you aren’t fun to play with when he bites. This method of training doesn’t take long, but it does require consistency. It will also work for teaching your dog not to jump up on you. Teach everyone who may be around your puppy to do this. It may feel silly, but it is so worth it!
If you can make it through with puppy training, you will be well rewarded. Stick with it.
I promise that even though it may be frustrating at times, it is very much worth it. If you have further comments or questions about 'Puppy Teething Traning', feel free to visit our Forums, Use our 'Ask a Breeder a Question Link' or make a Comment on this article below.