Furniture chewing is a very common problem with puppies and young dogs. This is due to the fact that they learn to explore their surroundings using their mouths.
Chewing is a very normal trait for puppies. But it can understandably become a pain when important items such as furniture and shoes become the targets for their sharp little teeth.
A dog’s 'baby' teeth come through between the ages of three and six weeks, followed by their permanent teeth after four to six months.
Just like with toddlers, teething is painful for puppies, and they chew even more intensely during this time.
So how do you encourage your dog to chew their toys not your furniture?
Dogbeds.co.uk suggests these five simple steps:
If you can't be around to supervise your dog, then a puppy crate can be really useful. Ensure they have their favourite toys with them, and provide some durable toys for them to sink their teeth into.
Every time your puppy starts to chew furniture, you need to distract them. You'll also learn when they're about to chew, so you’ll be able to jump in first. Throw a toy for them or make a noise to get their attention. If they have something to do that's more interesting than chewing, they'll leave your furniture alone.
When your dog picks up a chewy toy make sure you praise them. Positive reinforcement will help your dog understand what's good to chew and what's out of bounds.
Ensure your dog has lots of quality toys to chew. When they learn to choose their toys before your furniture, you can reinforce the behaviour by putting a little treat in or on the toy. For example, a small lick of peanut butter or some doggy chocolate drops.
5. Bitter spray
If you've tried all the above and your dog still insists on chewing your furniture, then you can apply a spray will taste and smell bad to your dog. This will hopefully turn their interest back to their own toys.
Good luck. And remember that patience is key. Never get angry, just positively reinforce and encourage your dog along the way.