Stop Dog from Chewing

by Emma
(Fauquier, Virginia)

How do I stop my dog from chewing?

I rescued my dog when he was about twelve weeks old. I have got all the basics down with him. But I cannot get him to stop chewing.

If he is left out of his crate and no one is home he tears the whole house up. He chews everything from trash to books to clothes.

I don't know what to do and my mom wants to get rid of him. But I'd die if I have to! Can someone help?

Gale's Reply:

Hi Emma:

All dogs have the instinct to chew things. It's partly how they explore their world. It can also be a stress reliever. So, you need to make sure he has plenty of appropriate things to chew.

In other words, don't give him an old sock or shoe and then expect him to know the difference between that and your valuables. Give him toys that in no way resemble your possessions. Check out Pit Bull Toys - Suggestions and Squeaky Toys for Pit Bulls if you need some ideas.

As he still needs to learn what is and isn't a chew toy, I recommend that you stop giving him the run of the house when you are gone. That kind of freedom is something he needs to earn.

If you are gone for longer than he should be crated, set him up in small area like a laundry room or spare bathroom. Dog-proof the area so that he cannot get into trouble or get into something that might make him sick. Be sure he has plenty of toys to keep him entertained while you're gone.

If you catch him in the act with something he shouldn't have, you can use it as an opportunity to teach him the "give" command. Offer him his favorite toy in exchange for the item in his mouth and praise/treat him for giving it up.

Dogs LOVE things that carry your scent. That's why they tend to go for clothing items and things you've handled. So it's a good idea to transfer your scent onto a new toy first instead of giving it to your dog straight out of the package.

Associating his toys with food can also enhance their value. Stuff a Kong with peanut butter. Or look for a toy that is also a treat dispenser.

Finally, be sure your boy is getting enough exercise. A lot of what we humans consider destructive behavior is simply pent up energy without a sufficient outlet.

For information on obedience training, check out our Pit Bull Training page.

For help with behavioral issues, visit our Dog Behavior Training page.

Comments for Stop Dog from Chewing

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Jul 04, 2011
by: Anonymous

I personally cannot stress crate training enough. I only had to use it until my dog was about a year and a half old or so. He stopped the destructive chewing and all accidents at about that point. Another thing that really helped was having a large variety of toys that I rotated. Just like little kids, dogs get bored with the same toys. I also discovered that the baked shank bones were the best. They are a little thicker and havnt had one break yet. (Had a bad incident with a femur bone that shattered into long sharp shards.) I always have at least 2 or 3 of them and if you spread a little peanut butter inside of them, it will keep them busy for quite a while. I would also suggest you stay away from rawhides and pig ears. They are actually not very good for your dog and tends to give them the "stinkys" lol. Good luck with your baby :)

Jul 04, 2011
by: Anonymous

Crate training in a great idea. Ive crate trained my pitbull pup since we brought her home and she has never chewed my things. Another idea would be to tire your pup out more. Chewing can be a sign of stress and a tired pup is a good pup. As cesar millan would say, first exercise, then affection :)

May 02, 2015
Chewing NEW
by: Anonymous

Our pit was crated when we first got him and when we returned he rubbed his face raw.
I will try to add more toys to the room instead of just for outside play

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