Relief For A Puppy’s Sore Gums
Puppies are notorious for chewing shoes, and it’s not just because they are perpetually stuck in the “oral phase.” As it happens with babies, the teething process in poor pups can cause cranky behaviors and seeking out novel things to chew on.
When a puppy is teething, he quickly learns that chewing helps alleviate the pain on their growing teeth, while providing comfort and relief. Pups will surely remember this and seek out shoes, slippers, and whatever soothes their painful gums more and more.
Give Them Brain Exercise Too
The best way to stop thinking about something negative is to do things you enjoy. Its no different for your dog.
Stimulate your dog by leaving them with fun games and their favorite toys when you leave.
Its best to pick a leaving toy which could be their favorite. Consider leaving our dog with long-lasting chews or a frozen Kong.
Keep Your German Shepherd Dog Well
As a high-energy and extremely smart dog, an adult German Shepherd requires plenty of mental and physical stimulation with at least 2 hours of exercise daily. This can be distributed between a morning and evening walk and the play and training exercises during the day.
If your German Shepherd is under-exercised, his high energy and smartness will have to be directed to other outlets. Besides, he will feel bored and frustrated, resulting in destructive behavior and that could be excessive chewing.
Research on dog anxiety found that those who had little daily exercise as puppies were more prone to separation anxiety and noise sensitivity when compared to those who had the recommended amount of daily exercise.
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Two Take Away The Shoes Restrict Access To The Shoes
The best way to stop your dog from chewing on your shoes is to keep them out of reach while youre not supervising, even if only for a moment.
Every time your dog chews on your shoes, it reinforces that behavior and makes it a stronger habit.
Putting shoes in a closet or a different room and shutting the door so the dog cant get in sets the dog up for success.
First Off Never Donate Shoes To Dogs
OK, not everybody does this, but just in case, it’s important to point this out. It is outdated to give puppies and dogs old slippers and shoes to gnaw on.
Perhaps you may have thought this is a great idea and a crafty way of providing young dogs with some entertainment. Perhaps you don’t want to spend money on dog toys, so why not have Rover rip shoes to pieces rather than just tossing them in the trash can? After all, it’s so fun watching a dog have fun carrying the shoes around and ripping them to pieces.
This is a big mistake and can turn even costly in the long run. Your dog has no way to know the difference between those prehistoric smelly tennis shoes you have owned for a decade and those brand new expensive Gucci suede and leather sneakers you recently purchased from a boutique.
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Put Away Anything That A Dog Can Chew On
You must put away all of the things your dog can get into his mouth. Even things that appear to be out of reach may be reached by a diligent dog.
This includes shoes, childrens toys , articles of clothing , plastic bags, trash bins, containers of medicine, wallets and purses, supplements, plantsjust about everything.
Do not ever allow a dog to go into the bathroom unsupervised, since there are a lot of hazardous things he could get into, like cleaning products. There are also objects there that you do not want to have chewed and scattered through the house. This includes items commonly found in the wastebasket, but also rolls of toilet paper.
You must also take care to store valuable objects such as jewelry in a safe place that a dog cannot reach a closed closet, dresser drawer or cabinet is best.
The ‘bait & Switch’ Technique
Okay, so what if your pup is in the living room and you’ve turned your back for a minute and she suddenly streaks past you with your sons baseball glove clamped firmly between her teeth?
First do not run after her – yes I do know how much that glove cost – but that tactic won’t work!
When you chase your puppy she thinks it’s a delicious new game and I promise you she’ll be better at ‘tag’ than you are. Besides, even if you do succeed in catching her she’ll be so excited that she’ll have death grip on that baseball glove and you’re going to be surprised by how much pressure per square inch those little jaws can exert!
Here’s what you do instead:
Pick up one of her very favorite toys and get a tasty treat , then call your puppy’s name in a bright, happy voice and say something like this:
“Oh Fifi! What have you got there? Oh my goodness, can I see that?”
Your puppy will probably come bounding over to show you her prize, her little tail wagging up a storm. When she gets to you, slowly take hold of her collar and show her the tasty treat in your hand. Chances are good she’ll drop the stolen item right away. If she doesn’t, gently remove it from her mouth. Then offer her the treat in exchange. It’s a win-win. Repeat this routine every time she grabs something forbidden.
Puppies learn through repetition, so be firm and consistent and she’ll get the message.
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How To Change Your Dog’s Chewing Habits
You will need to start by removing the temptation to chew your shoes by making it impossible for your dog to get them. Keep shoes in closed closets, in latched bins or on a shelf that is too high for your dog to reach. Don’t leave shoes anywhere your dog can easily get to them, like under the coffee table or on the floor in your bedroom and remind visitors and family members to do the same.
Instead, put appropriate chew toys out for your dog to play with. And when she chews on something acceptable, like a Kong or rope toy, praise and reward her.
If you find her chewing on a shoe, resist the urge to yell at her or punish her scolding may be negative attention, but its still attention, and it reinforces the chewing. Instead, take the shoe away and redirect her to her chew toys. The more you do this praise her for chewing the right things and withhold attention when she chews something she shouldn’t the more likely she is to gnaw on a toy and not your shoes.
Every time a dog engages in a behavior, especially a behavior that pays off with rewards like extra attention, the habit becomes more ingrained. An established habit is harder to break, but with time and patience, it can be done.
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Not Mentally Or Physically Exercised Enough
Tired dogs are good dogs.
Having toys for your dog is excellent. Its even better to use those toys and play a game like go-fetch for at least 30 minutes per day.
Going for a long walk can be enough to tire your dog out and calm him down. Without exercising daily, you run the risk of leaving your dog agitated, which then leads to acting out and chewing on everything.
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What Causes Destructive Chewing In German Shepherds
Firstly, lets look at why your German Shepherd chews. Heres a 3-minute video from dog training expert Jez Rose explaining exactlywhy dogs need to chew and the benefits chewing brings:
As we learned in the above video, chewing to relieve the discomfort from teething in puppies or strengthen teeth and jaws in adult German Shepherds is normal canine behavior. But chewing becomes abnormal and destructive if it takes the following patterns:
- Your German Shepherd is 6 months of age or older and, therefore, not teething but is still manifesting excessive chewing behavior.
- When your GSD chews any object in your home, including valuable objects such as couches, bed pillows, and furniture.
- When your GSD chews to the point of causing harm to himself, which could be symptomized by vomiting, diarrhea, bloodstains on his toys, loss of appetite, or a general condition of inactivity and low energy after chewing stuff.
- When your German Shepherd is chewing non-stop for the entire day and will even resist your calls to engage in other activities such as play or the daily walks.
- Your GSD is overly protective of his chew toys and becomes aggressive if they are touched or taken away.
So, what causes your German Shepherd to turn to destructive chewing? Here are 5 major causes of destructive chewing in German Shepherds:
Keep Your German Shepherd Dog Contained When He Is Alone
If you have to leave your German Shepherd dog home alone, your best bet is to contain him in his cage. Most dogs love their crate and see it as their special place where they can go to relax or sleep after a good exercise session.
I like dog crates with double doors, such as the Midwest Homes for Pets iCrate from Amazon. They give you more options when deciding where in your home to place it, but this one also has a single door option.
Make sure you choose a size 48 as this gives your GSD plenty of room to move around and stretch out comfortably. You may want to leave him two or three toy chews to keep him busy.
If you dont have a crate you can keep him contained in either one room of the house or segregate an area using baby gates or a dog pen.
Alternatively, hire a dog walker or professional trainer to occupy your dog at least for some of the hours that youll be away. Your GSD should be caged for the rest of the time.
Remember that the maximum number of hours you should leave your dog in a crate is 4. More than that is considered extreme, and your dog may even turn to self-destructive behavior like biting himself or chewing his crate to the point of hurting his teeth and mouth.
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How To Not Punish A Dog For Chewing
When your dog chews everything, its not only exasperating. It can also be quite dangerous, especially if your pooch has a penchant for nibbling on electric cables, or tends to swallow the things they chew up. Bits and pieces from socks, shoes or wood can cause many serious problems, like blockages or perforation of the intestines.
So, both for their safety and your own peace of mind, its essential to prevent dogs from chewing. However, negative punishments, such as spanking or hitting your dog might only make matters worse and make your pooch become even more destructive.
If you need further consultation on stopping your dog from chewing, take your time to consult a vet online. Using Vet Chat, you can discuss this and other behavioral problems with a certified vet online. If you’re up for personalized vet advice, trying Vet Chat is indeed a superb option.
Instead, punish your dog for chewing by scolding them and confiscating whatever they were nibbling on. Offer toys or chewing treats as a substitute that will keep them busy for hours on end. This will teach your dog that they should chew on only what they are allowed to, and help them satisfy their urge for chomping.
Give Your Puppy Plenty Of Exercise
A tired puppy is a happy puppy. Be sure to give your puppy enough playtime and cuddle time. If it’s had all of its puppy vaccinations, make walks part of your dog’s daily routine. If left to its own devices, your puppy is going to start looking for ways to burn off energy. This leads to destructive behavior. A puppy who gets regular exercise is much more likely to be well behaved.
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How To Stop Puppies Chewing
Stay calm but firm
Your puppy may chew when hungry or bored. Even if you catch them red handed gnawing at the leg of your dining table or nibbling away at your hands and feet try not to lose your cool. A simple no will suffice. Getting upset may excite your puppy and encourage attention-seeking behaviour. Instead, make sure they have plenty of activities to entertain them throughout the day so they dont resort to chewing.
Provide toys as a distraction
Greencross Vets recommend toys of different shapes, tastes and textures giving your bundle of enthusiasm some variety so that they dont get bored. To distract your puppy from the pain of their mouth, a chase toy is a good, interactive start. Alternatively, a plush squeaky toy stimulates a variety of their senses. Read our guide on how to choose the best chew toys for your puppy.
Use taste deterrents
If your puppy remains attached to your shoe collection even after youve supplied them with suitable toys to sink their teeth into, apply an anti-chew spray to your puppys items of choice. These have a bitter taste which will soon discourage your puppy from going near your things with their mouth.
Make sure they arent hungry
Your puppys adult teeth start growing in when they are 4-5 months old. Visit your local Greencross Vets for a puppy dental checkup to make sure all their teeth are grow in properly before their permanent adult teeth set in.
Birth To 12 Weeks Old: No Puppy Teething Toys Needed
Although baby teeth may start to erupt as puppies reach 4 weeks of age, this is not typically a time that puppies require toys or enrichment aside from their nesting environment with their mom and littermates.
During weeks 4 to12, the baby teeth continue to erupt. Most puppies won’t need teething toys at this age either. This is when puppies are typically weaned from their mothers milk and transition to soft puppy food. These tiny teeth can be very sharp but are not typically very strong, and they can be easily damaged if the puppy has access to a toy meant for an older dog.
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Idle Teeth Make Shoes A Dog’s Perfect Workshop
Fact: Chewing keeps a dog’s mind busy. All animals need forms of enrichment in their lives when things get too dull. Many dogs need a job .
Because of the calming stimulation that happens, shoe-chewing helps alleviate a dogs boredom by giving him something to be preoccupied withwith the reward of finding out how many chews it takes to get to the tootsie roll center of the shoe.
Even a lack of owner attention can trigger chew biting. Your dog loves your attention so much that many puppies and dogs will happily be reprimanded if only youd pay attention to them in exchange.
If you work long hours all day, your return is most likely the perk of your dog’s day. Imagine your dog’s disappointment when you feed him and then plop yourself in front of the TV set to watch your favorite show in a semi-comatose state.
When a dog goes to chew on your shoes right in front of you, he knows that this action will get you off the couch in no time and coming to him in a hurry, which is almost all of the ingredients needed for play time! If you chase him to retrieve the shoe, that’s a big bonus: your pup has just trained you to engage in a fun game of “keep away!” Weeeeee . . . how fun is that?
How To Stop A Puppy From Chewing
Considering that your puppy is chewing things mostly because their gums are inflamed from teething, the best way to get them to stop ruining your belongings is to redirect their interest to something else.
Lets face it, there might be no realistic way to completely stopping a puppy from chewing. But what you can do is get them some dog chew toys that will provide a more welcome gnaw target than your slippers or wood trims.
When your puppy chews something theyre not supposed to, scold them and take the object away, replacing it with their toy. This helps them learn that only toys are for chewing and that everything else is off limits!
In addition to getting some chew toys for puppies, consider puppy-proofing your home. It will minimize the damage to your house while youre training your puppy, and prevent them from getting hurt. Keep a close watch on your puppy or problem adult dog by using Petcube, a dog camera that will broadcast your voice from a remote location. Its a good way to let your dog know that youre watching, even when youre not in the room.
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Why Do Dogs Like To Chew On Wood
Wooden sticks as well as pretty much anything made of wood, wooden chairs, shelves and even wooden stairs are very common chewing toys. Dogs which like to play and run for wooden sticks often consider wooden furniture to be toys as well.
When it comes to puppies, wood may seem like a perfect material to cut the itchy teeth on, and if not forbidden it may develop into a lifelong habit.
As well as any other no-chewing strategy, the one considering the wooden objects works by the same principle. With the exception of sticks, do not tolerate any wood chewing action.
Also, do not allow bringing the wooden sticks from the park back home let the sticks remain an outdoor activity. Make no exceptions and stick to the rules.
Also, provide your dog with appropriate chewing toys that will be available and reachable at any time. Some dogs chew on stuff when alone, as a manifestation of anxiety.
Try playing with some of those toys with your dog. The play time is at the same time the practice time that supports the habit of playing with toys, which is also a powerful anxiety release mechanism.