Stop Destructive Chewing

by Tise
(Alletown, PA)

How do I get a pit bull to stop destructive chewing?

I am having problems with my boyfriend's 5 year old pit bull. Recently I've been noticing her fascination with chewing things and only my things.

At first I thought it was because of separation anxiety because I am home with her more often. But now I've been noticing even if I am in the same room with her, but not giving her my full attention she still will chew and destroy my stuff (shoes, headbands, brushes, basically anything that's hard). How do I get her to stop?

Gale's Reply:

Hi Tise:

Sometimes dogs chew because they're anxious. But they also chew because it's enjoyable to them. So, if you are in the habit of leaving your shoes and other valuables lying around, you need to start putting things away. It's kind of like child-proofing your home. You don't want her to choke on something. And, you also don't want to keep losing your stuff.

Make sure she has "legal" chew toys. She's going to chew on something. So provide her with regular dog toys that satisfy her need to chew.

Since she has shown a penchant for your things, it seems that she prefers items with your scent on them. You can transfer your scent to her "allowed" chew toys by putting a new toy in your laundry hamper for a day or two before giving it to her.

You might also want to look for toys that can be stuffed with peanut butter or some other treat to make them even more interesting to her.

If you catch her chewing on something of yours, offer her one of her toys in exchange for the contraband item. And praise her for taking the appropriate toy.

In time, you may be able to relax a bit about keeping things out of her reach. But, for now, she's still learning what is and isn't ok to chew.

For additional ideas, check out this previous article: Stop Dog from Chewing. Good luck. Feel free to post back here and let us know how things are going.

Comments for Stop Destructive Chewing

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Sep 01, 2011
try more
by: terimelton

I don't mean to sound harsh, but not enough pack walks, not enough leadership, he has to teach her to respect the girlfriend and she has to show calm assertive leadership and own her space. if the two of them don't work together you cannot blame the dog for being confused. it is not the dog's fault!!! and it does not matter that it is the pibble/pittie. it is the owners and when they get their heads straight the dog will be happy to follow. it is not the breed. my chihuahuas were just as stupid about different things. I started watching Victoria Stilwell and Cesar Milan and Eric Letendre (on youtube) and learned to teach them so many things, but most important manners. and they are 7 and 5 so yes you can teach an old dog new tricks. like not charging the door or jumping on people or sitting and waiting permission to go in or out, and to stop barking when I check and then say thank you (got that from Victoria and it is AWESOME). and you can get "soup bones" at most grocery stores either fresh or in the freezer, just ask. the marrow is so good for them. my daughter has a pittie so I am familiar with the breed, she lived with me for a year and a half. I still maintain it is not any breed, it is up to the owners. try teaching agility on weekends. take longer more often walks, together. so many things you can do!

Mar 01, 2012
congrats u have a chewer
by: MRT

Hahaha i am just laughing about gale saying its "like child proofing" & i agree with gale i have no kids but i have a pit & my house is child proofed for the dog, nice ornaments have to be up high you do really have to have good strong "legal" chewey toys for your dog you can usally get toys that are for strong breeds. my dog sits chewing a burst leather soccer ball & his eyes close you can see he's really enjoying it i also have the toy were you put little treats into it & the dog has to roll it around to get the treat out, its great for their brain too as they have to think but yeh everything has to be put away & now for sure my home has no mess due to my pit :)& nothing gets chewed.

Dec 11, 2013
Pittie chewing
by: Rose

My pit is one year old and very destructive. The only toy I have found that she cant destroy is the Kong. I have spent lots of money on toys that only last one day. Cant even keep a water hose outside. Wish someone had an answer, but in my opinion.....all pitbulls are bull headed and stubborn. Smart, but stubborn!

Jun 21, 2014
destructive chewing NEW
by: Anonymous

What I have done is that if she chews on shoes give her a shoe she already chewed up so she doesn't take a different item I have done this and it works

Aug 05, 2016
Destructive dog NEW
by: Rikki

I have a 15 month old hound/pit mix. I have had him about 7 months. He chews everything. Shoes, blankets, phone cords, and even chewed through a door. My last residence i just moved from, i had to replace a wall from him chewing the dry wall as well as my other two dogs, as well as vinyl flooring, and a wooden door handle. He goes on walks with me, get plenty of attention, and has toys but still continues to chew. I don't know what to do. Help please?

Oct 18, 2017
Destructive chewing NEW
by: Anonymous

Rikki I have the same problem with my pittie! We have resorted to stacking a few cinder blocks around the door jam (because in my case it the door from the garsge to the back door). She was chewing the couch. Only things that I have been told that help are attention, a lot of exercise, and chew toys. It is so frustrating and expensive! Wish I had a better answer and be of more hlep. Just reduce the space and give your dog plenty of safe durable items to chew. We also use a mini educater and that helps too.


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