Is Your Dog Chewing On You?

I probably don't have to tell you that puppy teeth are sharp!  Combine that sharpness with a pup that has no bite inhibition and I know your hands are likely shredded.

 Puppies need to chew, so discouraging chewing completely will leave your puppy frustrated.  We just have to teach our puppies what they can chew on.

There are a few tricks you can pull out of your bag to curb the biting and save your hands and ankles. 

The Bait and Switch

This is the single most important trick to use.

 This trick requires some great chew toys.  I especially like to use the rope tug toys.  This technique is simple.  If your puppy starts to chew something it shouldn't, tell them "No" and grab one of their toys.  Tease and entice your puppy to bite that and praise him when he does.

 Remember to pick up whatever you don't want your puppy to destroy.  Puppy-proofing your home helps set up your pup for success and helps eliminate your dog chewing in later years.

Your Hands Taste Horrible!

Another trick I've used with persistent pups, (the ones who ignore the toys and still go for your hands) is a foul-tasting substance that's non-toxic sprayed on your hands.  Veterinary clinics often use these sprays on wound dressings to discourage dogs from chewing on their bandages.

 It doesn't take long for puppies to learn that your hands are icky!

 You can use this on anything you don't want your puppy to chew on.  I've used it on furniture, leashes and clothing.  (You may want to test for color-fastness before using on some items.  Always read and follow the manufacturer's directions before using.)

Exercise

Take your puppy for a walk.  Or, let him run around your fenced yard for awhile.  A tired dog is a good dog, I always say.

 Exercise and exploring are good mind and body development for your puppy.  If your puppy is thinking and moving, he will wear out quickly and won't have time for biting.  Yes, I know.  It doesn't always work this way with all dogs.  But it's certainly still good for your puppy even if it doesn't deter the biting right away.

Time

Do not worry!  Your puppy will grow out of biting your hands and ankles.  It does take time and consistency.  The time you spend curbing your dog chewing will be money well spent on new furniture your dog won't destroy.  Before long, you will wonder where your little roly-poly puppy went!

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