Chewing / Eating

Posted by ruthgus
May 15, 2008
My year old mixed breed puppy chews/eats everything she finds. If I put a muzzle on her, she won't go off my deck. Any suggestions?
Posted by Todd
May 19, 2008
Hi there and thanks for the post.

Chewing can be very frustrating so i will got through things with you.

Some important points in curbing chewing!

1. You will have to spend quite a lot of time doing corrective training with your dog.

2. You will need to reprimand your dog effectively when you can catch it chewing (or performing any other destructive behavior)

3. You will also have to restrict your dogs access to chewable things when you are not around to control it.

The reason for this is because chewing (and being destructive) is an entertaining pastime, and if your dog has been 'let loose' around the house to be allowed to chew on things, then inadvertently, it is being rewarded for the poor behavior.

A lot of people say to me, "I want my dog to stop chewing my furniture, however, I am not always around to watch my dog so how can I train the dog to not chew things?"

When you actually take a good look at this question, you will see the root of many dog owners problems... that they assume that their dog thinks the same as a naughty child! If a dog is given the chance to do something it enjoys, it will do it.

You can train your dog to recognize that chewing anything but its toys is unacceptable, however the minute you are not around, the dog is instantly the alpha dog and can do whatever it wants!

Reprimand Technique

*Spend some time every day, quietly following your dog, so that your dog believes it is alone and free to do as it pleases. The aim being that you want to catch it in the act!

*Startle and reprimand your dog as soon as it starts to chew on something. The best way to do this is by shaking a can (like a soda can) of pebbles, and barge in growling menacingly. The dog will (if the startle has been performed correctly) slink away, tail between its legs, or roll onto its back submissively. Make sure the growl is a harsh guttural growl like "AAHH!" rather then "NO!" as this makes a sharper noise.

* Give your dog time out in another room or an area where there is nothing for it to chew.

Aversive Substance Technique

Use an aversive substance to make the taste of the object unpleasant for your dog. The best way is to restrict your dogs access to the object (if that is possible) and only let it have access after you have used one of the following substances sprayed or applied to the object to deter your dog from playing with it.

*Bitter Apple or a similar spray available from your vet or pet store,
*Cayenne pepper,
*Aloe vera gel,
*A hot Tabasco sauce or similar.

The other major things that are important to help chewing stopping is exercise and obedience.
Give this a go and please let me know how things go.

Posted by diane-martin
Nov 12, 2013
Trouble is my puppy, 7 months old loved the tabasco sauce, also vinegar, also soap, just licked it off and continured on her way, she also eats ladybugs and flies she will find on the floor despite the fact I have tried to make sure I killed them and thrown them away.
Posted by Preethi KOP
Nov 25, 2013
Hi again Diane,

Is this pup the same Chihuahua? If that is the case, I will respond to your query once I have more details from you.

Please let me know.