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Dogs chew for a number of reasons: Teething, boredom, anxiety. Chewing on the table leg or sofa is better then nothing. Chewing can be a nervous response to pent up energy. Believe it or not dogs donít have a clue that it is your favorite sofa, shoe, shirt, dress or your childís favorite toy. All they know is that it smells like you and it gives them comfort. Dogs are pack animals and when left alone they quickly become bored.
Teething starts at about four months. Puppies will loose the front teeth first, then the canine and then the side teeth. They can chew to help with pain and work these teeth loose so they can fall out. Donít think you are safe when they reach the nine to twelve month period this is when the molars start coming in. Then they will start chewing again but this time you will see them use the back of the mouth when chewing.
I am always where I can see my kids. If they start chewing on something that is not appropriate then I can redirect it to a chew toy. There are several on the market it all just depends on what you want to buy. We use a lot of rawhides. I find that they not only loosen the teeth but when the rawhide becomes soft it still satisfies just the chewing action they love to do if they are bored. Hard rubber toys are another thing we use. I never yell or scream at them when I find they are chewing on something they are not supposed to. I call them to me and give them something else to chew on. If you constantly try to take things away from them it can cause aggression.
I have found in the past that normally if your dog isnít chewing from teething that it is boredom or anxiety. Lots of exercise can take care of this. A tired dog is a good dog! If you donít always have the time to watch you dog then put him in the crate with some toys until you can watch him closer. If you come home and your house is torn apart then donít blame the dog, blame yourself for not leaving him in the crate. Crate training is not cruel and unusual punishment! Crate training is a very useful tool. What is cruel and unusual punishment is being angry at the dog for some reason he canít understand and hitting or yelling at him. Another big plus to study the breed you have and what they are made to do. Some breeds are more destructive than others. This depends on if you have an active breed or a laid back breed. I strongly recommend you take you dog to training classes whether it is a big breed or a small breed. You will be surprised how many problems you can stop before they get started. Doing it right the first time is better than having to go back and retrain you dog.