Chewing can be one of the biggest problem behaviours an owner can experience with their new puppy, and can be difficult to overcome due to the behaviour being instinct. Reasons for chewing can include; teething, to exercise their jaws, to explore their environment and just plainly for entertainment.
Between the ages of three to six months, puppies go through their teething stage, and just like humans, puppies that are teething get an uncontrollable urge to chew to relieve the discomfort.
Another chewing phase also begins at around 7 months of age, and can last for up to six months, and this stage of chewing can be much worse than the teething stage, as by this time, their jaws are much stronger. This stage is believe to have evolved from when wolves would leave their dens to explore their surroundings, and because in many situations, puppies are restricted to only certain areas of the house, when exploring new surroundings in your home, they may chew.
Puppies have no sense of value of an item, so will chew everything they come across. It is therefore important that you don’t leave things that’s you don’t want chewed in reach of your puppy. Teach them right from wrong, by taking away things they are not allowed to chew, and replace them with item they can chew, such as their own toys. Teething specific puppy toys can be great, as they are hard, and durable. Hard rubber toys, such as Kong’s are also great, and can be filled with tasty treats to encourage them to chew them. Hard treats such as antlers and raw bones, are also great, due to being durable and long lasting for your do.
Some toys and treats we don’t recommend are rawhide, and cooked bones. Although sold everywhere, rawhide can be incredibly dangerous for your dog, due to being bleached and processed with lots of chemicals. Cooked bones can also be dangerous, as they can splinter, and become lodged inside your dogs.
Chewing is a stage that your puppy will eventually grow out of, but by teaching them the right things and wrong things to chew will help you to get them though this stage, without them causing too much damage to your possessions and home.