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Author: admin, 16.08.2014Nothing's cuter than a puppy you've just taken home from the shelter, but your initial enthusiasm as a new owner can wear thin as soon as your dog starts ruining your possessions with frequent chewing. Most dog training resources agree that positive reinforcement is one of the most effective, powerful tools you have when training your dog. Pairing the desired action with praise and food associates the action with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction in the dog's mind. Don't use socks, shoes, and other items that you wouldn't ordinarily want your dog chewing on.
If your dog seems to become angry, agitated, fearful, or overly submissive around other dogs, it may have a behavior disorder.
Repeat this process until your dog moves away from your hand as soon as you say "leave it." This teaches your dog that ignoring whatever it wants to bite or chew on is better than chewing on that thing. When a dog starts chewing on something he isn't supposed to, stop him and give him a toy, if you do this consistently, he will know what he can chew and what he can't.
Luckily, with consistent training, smart decisions on the part of the owners, and, in some cases, outside help, nearly any dog can be trained not to chew its owners out of house and home. To train your dog not to chew, you need to make it understand two basic ideas: that chewing its master's possessions is bad, and that chewing its own toys is good. For most dogs, chasing will usually be interpreted as "play" behavior, so you'll be essentially rewarding your dog for chewing on your things. Most animal societies recommend against using corporal punishment for training purposes because it's cruel to the dog, often ineffective, and can lead to other problem behaviors triggered by anxiety. As noted above, teaching your dog that certain items are good for chewing on is just as important (if not more so) than teaching your dog that your possessions are off-limits. Consistency is extremely important when it comes to training a dog (or any other pet.) To ensure your dog learns acceptable chewing behavior as quickly as possible, make sure to reward every positive behavior you see and always avoid rewarding negative behavior. Every member of the family should be rewarding the same "good" chewing behaviors, discouraging the same "bad" chewing behaviors, and using the same sorts of toys and reward. Dogs are much less likely to chew on things with tastes that they find unpleasant, so one easy way to discourage your dogs from chewing on certain items is to rub them with bad-tasting substances.
A dog that has plenty of great toys to chew on is a dog that won't have much of an incentive to chew on your toys. A dog that's cooped up indoors all day may take to chewing to relieve some of its built-up energy. Take young, energetic dogs outdoors as often as possible so they can run, play, and (if they're lucky) socialize with other dogs. A very general rule of thumb is that a dog should be somewhat noticeably "tired" or "slowed" by the end of its daily exercise. Having easy access to its own toys and difficult access to your possessions makes appropriate chewing behavior the more convenient choice for your dog.
If you find that most problematic chewing seems to occur when you're not around, it may be worthwhile to get in the habit of keeping your dog in confined areas when you're away. If you're willing to put in a little extra time and effort, it's possible to teach your dog a handy command that can save your possessions in cases where you catch it chewing on them. As soon as it loses interest in your hand, however, offer it the treat from the other hand and give it lavish praise. Depending on the dog, it may be possible to teach this trick in a single day, or it may require a few days' practice.
Also, if your dog doesn't mind bitter apple spray, then instead of bitter apple spray, your can pour water in a spray bottle and spray him if he chews on something.
As with any type of behavior you wish to change, one of the most important things to do is manage the environment. If your dog attempts to chew on an inappropriate item while in your presence, simply interrupt the behavior and re-direct him to an appropriate chew toy. Exercise is vitally important for dogs prone to inappropriate chewing or other destructive behaviors. Occasionally chewing or tearing things up is a symptom of a more serious problem, such as separation anxiety. A few training books are still on the market that advocate inhumane methods for stopping destructive behaviors, such as putting duct tape around a pet’s mouth or physically hitting a dog. To discourage your dog from chewing your possessions, wait until you see it chewing something of yours, then quickly approach it while scolding it with loud, clear commands like "NO" and "Bad dog!" Quickly give your dog something appropriate to chew and praise it lavishly when it does so. Being inconsistent sends mixed messages to your dog, teaching it that it's sometimes OK to chew on your possessions but that it can get away with it at other times.
If the dog learns that even one member of the family is a "softie," its training can be greatly sidetracked in the long term. This is a great strategy for things like chair legs which can't easily be kept out of the dog's reach. Any dog should have at least a modest selection of chew toys available to it in a location it has easy access to (like its crate or bed.) With this arrangement, the dog always has something acceptable to gnaw on when it gets the urge to chew, so it won't need to look for its own solutions.
Be sure to take the time to play with your dog a little bit every day, especially if it's been chewing.
If kept from contact with other dogs, some dogs can resort to destructive coping behavior, including chewing. Try keeping items that you don't want your dog to chew, (like, for instance, your shoes) in spots that are inaccessible to your dog.
As long as only chew toys are easily accessible within this area, your dog should keep its chewing to these acceptable outlets. Chewing or tearing things up (like paper) can also be a displacement behavior, a way to release pent-up energy or stress.
For example, spray items with Bitter Apple spray or Boundary dog repellant, or use a Scat Mat at the edge of a countertop, to stop counter surfers. If you suspect separation anxiety, the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment with your veterinarian. Just twenty minutes of play or so can go a long way towards expending a dog's excess energy and calming it down. Luckily, the solution to this is easy: simply give your dog a chance to meet and play with other dogs.
For small dogs, it's usually enough to keep your possessions on a high table or counter top as long as there isn't any way for the dog to jump up to them. But we often forget that many adult dogs need the same type of management to keep them out of trouble.
Many pups have certain times of day when they are more likely to chew, so you can head this behavior off at the pass if you choose this time of day to give the dog an approved chewie. This type of training operates on the same principle as a child touching a hot stove – if something is particularly unpleasant, most likely the child or the dog will make the decision not to repeat that behavior.
In addition, if your dog has been chewing as a way of getting you to pay attention to it, this will help reduce the bad behavior.
For bigger dogs, you may need to keep your prized possessions in places the dog can't reach, like within cabinets or behind closed doors. For longer absences, an area where the dog is free to move around (like a backyard or a fenced-off section of the house) is usually better.
In fact, it is these endorphins that are stimulated by chewing, so if your dog is not getting enough exercise, he may unconsciously be seeking to replace needed endorphins by releasing pent-up energy through chewing. The use of proper management (for instance, crating a dog when he is not under your direct supervision), along with proper exercise, takes care of 99 percent of destructive behavior problems.
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