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Dog behavior: Gnawing and Chewing
Every newborn baby since it first comes into the world has an instinct for chewing things. Dogs have the same instinct. A dog will learn about its surroundings through taking objects into his mouth to gnaw or chew them. It takes around 6 months for a puppy to get his teeth. You should be ready when that happens. A dog will chew just about anything to avoid feeling the pain of his new found teeth when they are coming out. You should make sure that you leave no valuable objects lying around the house or you may be surprised to find them in pieces when you return from work.
A dog will have to be taught to understand what it is allowed and what materials he may approach and chew. A dog’s orthopedic bed is not for chewing. A dog will more often than not get bored if he is home alone and will begin to play by chewing the furniture.
You should encourage your dog to chew the right items. Your items shouldn’t be left lying around for the dog to find or they will prove to be extremely chewy. The dog will go and chew just about anything from his nice dog sweater to your slippers, shoes, the paper and other objects he can sink his teeth into.
Purchasing some adequate toys for your dog will direct his attention towards a more productive chewing activity. A dog shouldn’t be given a sock or a shoe to munch on. The dog will not distinguish what is old and what is new and he will bite into it regardless of the color, shape or material. You should buy some rubber toys in which you can place his meal. That will keep your dog entertained for some time.
The dog will in most cases feel lonely or afraid if you aren’t home and he will seek comfort into things he can chew. You need to train him as a puppy so he may understand what is and what isn’t allowed to chew. The emphasis is on the word train. Teaching your dog to be obedient will result in a better behavior from his part.
The house rules will have to be enforced at all times so he may become familiar with them. You should have a leash present and use it every time you train your dog to enforce a level of control and show him who is boss. Teaching the dog to behave will cause him to act good most of the time, especially around you and other people. You should also train him to stay in his dog crate, or his room for smaller periods of time so he may accommodate with periods when you aren’t home. Toys are the things a dog loves most. Feeding a dog his kibble may be followed by placing some chewable food into a toy like Kong, so he may work up his teeth.
Training a dog’s mind is almost as important if not more important than training his body. If a dog gets bored frequently then he may end up in doing bad things. Keeping your dog exercised will show him that you are giving him the love and attention he needs. You will thus turn an untrained pup into an obedient senior dog.
The market is filled with all sort of animal products and there are some which are meant to discourage the animal from chewing. The products are safe to be placed on your furniture and have a bad taste so the dog will become accustomed to staying away from them once he has tasted them. This type of deterrent may be the exact thing you require to protect your valuables. You may have to use the deterrent several times until the dog learns to behave.
When the dogs is just getting his teeth giving him a wet frozen washcloth to chew on will often dial down the pain. This method is used similarly as the methods people use when babies get their teeth. You will have to keep an eye on him during that time so he won’t swallow a piece of the item.
You should never discipline a dog after he has done a bad thing because in his mind he will consider his present action as being bad. He doesn’t have the same cognitive abilities as a person does so you need to remember that.
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