Posted by Dandy
Feb 9, 2008
My 10 month old rottweiler like chewing little stones or pieces of broken plant pot. I cant find a way to stop it. please help me out. and also can you tell me when to start feeding her adult dog food and when to stop giving calcium vitamins.
Posted by Todd
Feb 10, 2008
Hi there and thank you for your question.

Dogs should be feed puppy food till 12 months old. As for the calcium supplements i am not a huge fan. Excess calcium has been linked to a number of orthopaedic diseases in dogs including OCD. A proper formulated large breed puppy food like Hills or Eukanuba will provide all your puppy needs.

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.