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NancyH
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
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Experience:  30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
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Puppy chewing

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My nine-month old poodle mix puppy is becoming very destructive all of a sudden. He chews on everything in sight, including a purse, pair of shoes, rataan basket, and he's never done this before. He has plenty of chew toys, both soft and hard, but is now hitting on personal items. Is this his teething stage, and how long will it last? What can I do to prevent the personal destruction? Thank you!
Hi This is a behavioral problem that takes disipline. I have the same problem with my dogs .I have found that If I put my things where they cannot get to them this helps. You might try obediance school or a licensed trainer for this problem because I know my dogs personally do this on purpose. My dogs do this for attention even if its negative they will ruin my shoes and when I discover them in the yard my dog is looking at me from the bushes watching me pick up the ruins. So this is a problem that needs some serious attention. Hope this helps and good luck
This is the time in a dogs life when its teeth are settling into its jaw so the jaw aches.
Its also the time in its life when it is a teenager and trying out new things to see what it can get away with.
As this is a poodle which normally feel very close to their owners they often grab the last thing the owner touched when the owner is out of sight.
The solution to this is to not let the poodle do it :) and the ways to do this vary depending on your lifestyle.
If your dog is crate trained then when you cannot watch him lock him in his crate or a safe room with a legal chew toy so you don't have to worry about him chewing innappropriate things.
If he does it while you are there with him you can tether him to your body to keep him from going out of sight and chewing.
There are products such as Bitter Apple, Sour Grapes, Bitter Orange etc that you can spray on items he thinks he wants to chew that will make them taste terrible.
If you catch him with an illegal chew item you correct him by telling him no, take the object away and then give him a legal chew toy and PRAISE him for having it.
Basic obedience classes (check www.apdt.com for trainers near you) of a positive type will help put you in the leader role for him which will also cut down on any defiance issues including chewing.
Many behaviorists also believe a dog can become confused about what is and what is not a legal chew toy. Having a ton of toys always around may lead him to the conclusion 'if its here I can chew it'. You can help with that by picking up most of his toys and leaving only a few down. Then rotate the toys on different days so that he has 'new' and 'interesting' ones to chew each day.
So this is part age, part teething, part mom needs to be a bit firmer and working on all bits of it should resolve your problem.
I know with my Standard Poodle we went through a lot before he figured out we loved him best when he chewed his own toys but bitter apple lots of not that but yes this and plenty of fun games with his toys made it all work out!
Hope this helps!
NancyH, Dog Expert:Rescue, Train,Breed,Care
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 31958
Experience: 30+ yrs dog home vet care & nursing, rescue, behavior&training, responsible show breeding, genetics
NancyH and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Thank you. Your answers confirmed what I was thinking and what several other friends have told me. I am "puppy proofing" the apartment, have put my personal items in place he cannot reach or get into, and am trying to spend a bit more time with him. When I am on the computer, I bring something for him to play with, and close the door so he cannot wander where I cannot see him. This seems to be working so far. Again, I appreciate your answers. Thanks a lot!
Good luck - its hard with teenage pups but oh the great companions you have after training!
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joann Canafax's Post: Yes, I agree this is somewhat of a behavioral problem, but at this age there are also other factors such as teething involved. We are working on "puppy proofing" the apartment and spending more time with him. He is a very affectionate puppy and demands a lot of attention. Whenever I am in the computer room now, I shut the door so I can keep him within eyesight. I also bring things into the room for him and play with him as much as possible.
Thank you for your time and answer.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Nancy Holmes's Post: Thanks for the luck. He has, and is, such a great companion. This is why I was concerned about the chewing. He's very affectionate and demands a lot of attention. I will make a more concentrated effort to give him the attention he needs. And, I will try the replacement idea, too. Both by taking away the "bad" toy and giving him a "good" toy, and by alternating toys and days. Thank you for your answer and support.

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