Chewing is something all puppies need to do, some more than others. Teaching him to chew on things you want him to chew on is an important part of learning to live together with your new dog. I remember coming home from work one day and finding a mirage of white fluff all over the living room floor. My puppy decided to de-stuff the couch! It was an “elevating” experience that required unlimited amounts of self control.

Puppies need to chew, it helps them with teething and to develop strong jaws. The chewing phase usually lasts about six months to a year. He will still chew, but the frequency will be reduced considerably. Training your dog to chew on chew toys just takes persistence. Whenever you see your dog chewing on the wrong thing, take it away while yelling “No!” and give him the chew toy. When he resumes, or starts to chew on the chew toy, give him lots and lots of positive praise. Dogs love praise, you can’t go overboard. There are several chew toys you can use to train your dog to chew the “right” thing. Rawhide chews and chew toys such as nylabone, a non-animal product, are only a few options.

Rawhide chews work perfectly well, but dogs will eventually eat them. Some dogs swallow too large of a chunk, and that can cause some digestive problems such as vomiting or “backing up”. Dog chews which are basted in beef flavor that are dark red will render the spot on your carpet where you dog enjoyed it the same color. You might want to keep to the clear or white colored dog chews. The benefit of these is that dogs really love them. When their rawhide chew is no more or too small to deal with, simply give him another one.

Nylabones and other similar products are designed to avoid the digestive problems associated with rawhide chews, and they are generally much more durable and last a lot longer. The down side of these is that they don’t taste as good to your dog and it is harder to get him to chew on the nylabone rather than his object of choice, like your couch. However, nylabone products are now comming out with new flavors, making them much more enjoyable for your dog.

If your dog insists on using your hand as an object for chewing, it is not recommended to allow him to persist. When he starts chewing on you, he should get a very strong “No!”. If he still persists, you may have to resort to a small tap on the nose to get his attention accompanied with a strong “No!”. Repeating commands without follow up actions is useless and only trains your dog to ignore your commands. Let him know you are serious when you say “No!”, and don’t continue to say the command when he isn’t listening. It means he doesn’t know what you want or he has no reason to think that you mean it.