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Helping Your Teething Puppy

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If you leave your teething puppy to romp around the house when you’re not home, expect the puppy to chew on shoes, books, socks, the couch, and other items.

The best way to prevent destructive chewing is by crate training your puppy. Crate training not only prevents destructive chewing, but also helps in house training and creates a positive and safe environment for your dog when you’re not around.

The next most important thing to teach your teething puppy is which toys are his and what is off limits. Purchase chew toys or something such as teething keys.

Reinforce which toy is for your dog by giving him his chew toy and saying something like, “Here is your toy, good boy!” If your dog starts chewing on something else, take it away and replace it with one of his chew toys repeating, “This is your toy, good boy!” With persistence, your puppy will learn what to chew on and what not to chew on.

Bite Inhibition

Another important thing to teach your puppy during teething is bite inhibition. In packs of dogs, the mother and other dogs teach the pups, but in a home situation, you must teach your dog at an early age that it is not acceptable for him to put his mouth on you. Redirect your puppy’s mouthing behavior to an acceptable chew toy.

Puppy Socialization

Proper socialization also helps teach bite inhibition and limit mouthing behavior. Take your dog to a puppy class or play group. By playing with other puppies, your dog learns acceptable play behavior and that biting is not appropriate. Socializing your dog to many different kinds of people and situations helps teach your dog not to be afraid of new things, which significantly lessens the possibility your dog will bite someone.

Updated: November 11, 2012 — 4:26 am

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