These are the three main reasons why dogs chew and you have to understand these before you can get your dog to stop chewing the things you would like him not to.
Most dogs have a natural desire to chew. It's fun, it passes the time, and it's a self-rewarding, self reinforcing activity (for example, if he's chewing on something that tastes good.)
Chewing provides a nervous, bored, or lonely dog with an emotional out let. If your dog is feeling anxious, the act of chewing becomes soothing. This is the doggie equivalent of comfort food.
Dogs that are not given enough exercise often use chewing as a way of burning up nervous energy and stop themselves from becoming bored.
You can quite easily train your dog to stop chewing your possessions. All it needs is a little effort and patience.
1. Don't leave temptation in your dog's way, try to dog-proof your home. Your dog explores with his mouth, so if you leave things lying around his natural instincts will take over and he will chew anything he finds interesting.
Dog-proofing your home means moving whatever you don't want to end up chewed, and making it unavailable. Consider the size and agility of your dog when deciding whether something's out of reach.
Common things that you would like your dog to stop chewing around the home include books, eyewear, clothing, shoes, garbage, and items like cameras, cell phones, and remote controls. Some quite pricy items that can cost you a fortune to replace if your dog develops destructive chewing, not to mention a visit to the vets if things don't pass through normally.
All food needs to be put away out of reach. Dogs can be very ingenious when there's food at stake so make sure it's securely stored in containers and out of sight.
2. Destructive chewing is best tackled before it's even started. Don't let your dog begin to enjoy chewing things that are not his or it will be harder to get him out of the habit. Keep him in a part of the house where he can only access his own toys until he realises your things are off limits.
3. Don't give your dog old shoes or clothes to play with. He won't be able to distinguish between what's old and O.K. to play with or those expensive new shoes you just bought.
4. Give him plenty of his own toys and chews to play with so he has no need to go seeking out your stuff. When he's a puppy he needs new things to stimulate him each day.
5. Spend time playing and interacting with your dog so he learns how to behave and understands the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behavior.
6. If you do catch him chewing something inappropriate, interrupt him by clapping your hands and making a loud noise. Then, immediately hand him something tasty and a dog-appropriate alternative. Then praise him lavishly. This is the best way to get your dog to understand that chewing his own toys means praise from you, but destructive chewing of anything else spells trouble.
Always remember to be realistic. Neither you nor your dog are perfect and there's sure to be at least one occasion where a personal item is damaged by his curiosity. While your dog's still young, he's still learning and it'll take some time before he's completely trustworthy. Even then, if he's left on his own for long periods or feels neglected, he may choose your belongings over his.
For more information on dog training techniques and how to deal with problem dog behavior and help him stop chewing check out Secrets to dog training. It's the complete manual for dog ownership and is designed to fast-track your dog's learning.
You can visit the Secrets to dog training site by clicking on the link below: