The puppy chewing stage lasts approximately six months but can continue for up to two years. Puppy chewing is a normal response to teething. It helps reduce discomfort from adult teeth coming in. If your puppy is chewing on furniture, be sure to redirect the chewing to one of their toys.
So you’ve brought home a new puppy, congratulations!
I think all dog owners would agree that there’s not cuter animal than a puppy! Unfortunately, puppies are also a lot of work! Many puppies have a lot of bad habits or behaviors early on.
You might find that your puppy is chewing up all your shoes. They might even be tasting TV wires, which is dangerous to everyone. At that point, you may wonder when the puppy chewing will stop. The answer varies…a lot!
Why Puppies Chew
First, it is essential to understand why puppies are so likely to chew. Think of them as babies: they have no trained behaviors and are just touching everything they can find. They are curious creatures!
Your puppy may be chewing aggressively when they are teething. This is the process when your dog’s adult teeth are coming in. Because your dog can not communicate the discomfort or take Advil or anything for pain, they are stuck with aching gums.
This can often be alleviated through chewing. Teething puppies try to get rid of the soreness in their teeth by chewing on anything they can find. This is very similar to teething babies. They are simply doing the only thing they can to make their pain better!
Another reason for chewing is that it’s fun! For many puppies, chewing on something is entertaining. Finding new textures and tastes to chew on and throw around can be lots of fun for a new puppy. This can be especially applicable if it makes you react. A bored puppy will also be more likely to chew because it’s fun!
Mental stimulation can also be the cause of chewing. Every new smell and taste your puppy discovers is a chance to train their brain.
Chewing on something new is an excellent way for them to train their senses. However, it’s frustrating if it turns out to be that expensive pair of shoes you bought! If you keep your puppy well stimulated, they are less inclined to chew on something they are not supposed to.
This is also often referred to as “exploratory chewing” and makes up the majority of the chewing stage in puppies. Your puppy is trying to get a sense of its surroundings. They do not know what everything around them is yet. By chewing on items, they can taste something new.
Simply seeing something is not enough for your puppy. They want to know what everything is and what it tastes like!
How Long Should The Chewing Stage Last?
This is an answer that differs from dog to dog. It is very individual. Additionally, a puppy will not automatically stop chewing at a certain age. Instead, you have to provide your dog with all the tools needed so that they no longer have to chew.
Teething is a problem that will usually go away around the six-month mark. It is not an exact date, but rather when your dog has gotten its adult teeth, the pain is likely to subside.
This is most often seen in dogs as they are in their “teenage” months. Exploratory chewing is usually from month six up to the year mark. Depending on the dog, however, it varies quite a bit. It can last a lot longer if your dog is under-stimulated or does not have other alternatives for play in the house.
Problem chewing is the type of chewing that seems to come out of nowhere. Your puppy may be bored, acting out, or finding that it is fun to chew on things. Maybe your dog has noticed that you always get up to interact with them if they chew on something they are not supposed to. This means that they will continue chewing on it to get that reaction.
Therefore, in the case of problem chewing, it will not stop until you train your dog to stop. Alternatively, giving your dog other forms of entertainment can help. Additionally, making sure they have used up their energy running or playing is often helpful in problem chewers.
How to Stop Puppy Chewing
Now that you know why your dog may be chewing, there are things you can do to stop the behavior. If you make sure to do everything below, you should see results within days.
First up is chew toys. This is for the dog who gets a lot of joy out of chewing. Many dogs enjoy chewing on things as play. All that is required is for you to get a nice toy that is designated for their chewing.
For heavy chewers, there are even extra-durable toys! Many of them come in fun colors and some with squeak-toys inside, so it’s extra enticing for your dog!
To get your dog to transition to chewing on toys, you can try using a rubber toy and hiding a treat inside (such as a Kong Toy). This is sure to get their attention!
Another thing you should surely do is puppy proof your home. Make sure loose, dangly items are out of the way. Cables hanging down can quickly look like something to play with for a little puppy.
If there are clothing or furniture items that you don’t want ruined, it is best to put them out of reach. Especially early on, your puppy will almost certainly chew on something they are not supposed to. Putting away items you care a lot about will save you some heartache!
This is an important thing for any puppy, but especially chewers. Often, chewing means your dog is bored or lacking entertainment. Make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise and has enough play-time with you or other puppies.
Mental stimulation, however, is equally important. You should be working with your puppy and training them, whether that means a simple “sit” command or something more complicated. This is an excellent way to both spend time with your dog and keep their brain working!
There are lots of fun toys for mental stimulation as well. Many of them are also food-based, which can help entice your dog. If they get enough mental stimulation, they are less likely to chew on your furniture! Ensure your dog has some fun and exciting toys around, especially on days when you do not have as much time to play with them.
This is more of a technique if you find that your dog chews anything, despite your best efforts. Bitter sprays are usually all-natural, non-toxic sprays that taste bad to your pup. If you spray it on things that your dog usually chews, they are less likely to chew on those items in the future.
With consistent use of bitter spray, your pup may learn that chewing is not allowed. This could be especially helpful for puppies who chew on electronics that you can’t put away.
Be Prepared For One Year
The puppy chewing stage varies from dog to dog, but it can last up to a year in most puppies. However, if you work with your dog and make sure they are getting all they need, you can kick the habit a bit earlier. It is important to keep your dog both mentally and physically entertained.
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