This is one of those periods when you’ll notice your pup is extra chompy since their adult teeth are slowly coming in. Teething can be the time when if you’re not careful, you can lose your favourite pair of shoes or find bite marks in your furniture. However, I’ve learned along the way what works and what doesn’t.
In my time of raising Bear through the puppy chewing phase, my advice is that you must remain vigilant always. First make sure your puppy has been exercised, because chewing behaviours can be magnified if you have a puppy running around with excess energy to burn.
Always make sure to provide your puppy with appropriate chews, and toys that can satisfy your dogs urges to chew, while showing them that hey maybe the couch isn’t as tasty after-all, or even all that satisfying.
Do not think that quick schemes will prevent your pup from chewing your valuables, and that includes gels and or hot sauce as some people may suggest on the internet to act as a deterrent. Instead take this time to educate your puppy, and redirect them to items they can chew. Also make sure to reward them with treats in the beginning when they are gnawing on items meant for that intended purpose. Soon your pup will get the hint. And if you catch your puppy in the act of chewing on something that you don’t want them destroying, re-direct them with a toy, remain calm and then offer praise once they latch onto the said item you used to re-direct them to. Because at the end of the day yelling at them will not benefit either one of you, and will not change the outcome of what they may have destroyed.
Yes let me confess that I once decided to try out the “bad tasting deterrent gel when Bear was going through his awful land-shark phase. Guess what he did, not only did he hate the gel I put on my sneakers, but the moment it wore off, he knew. He attacked me worse than ever before as if seeking revenge. Yes, Baby Bear was spiteful, Baby Bear held grudges, and Baby Bear was mean.
Never punish your puppy after the fact when they did something wrong, they will not understand why you are yelling, in fact do not punish them at all. But that does not mean you can’t teach them what No means either (and this can be achieved in various ways that do not mean raising your voice to a demonic pitch) For Bear the word no or Uh Uh usually only happens when he has not done the right command during training, uh uh usually means he didn’t do the right thing and will not get rewarded, but yes and good boy usually means you’ll get a treat, you did something good!
Some items I liked to use that may be helpful for your pup and making their mouth feel better include:
- Making them ice cubes, including chamomile tea ice cubes!
- Give them frozen peas and carrots lumped together to lick at and chew (it also occupies them)
- Chew appropriate toys (faux tire toys, rope toys, etc)
- Bully sticks (with supervision)
- Moisten their food if they are eating dry kibble.
- Play time to distract them and keep them occupied
- Lots of kisses and cuddles 🙂
Hope these tips were helpful, and don’t forget patience with your pup goes a long way.