(Closed) Puppy Won't Stop Chewing

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
754 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@megz06:  We used a spray bottle as a more humane way to train (as opposed to hitting with a newpaper).  It worked amazingly.  As far as the teething on you guys – stop play immediately when teeth touch your skin – no eye contact, and ignore.  After a certain amount of time has passed, resume playing!  This will help to teach your dog that when teeth touch skin, play time stops – which in his eyes is a negative consequence.  As for chewing the furniture- try bitter apple spray or wasabi! Sometimes you can use the spray bottle for this as well.  It also helps to stop the behavior before it begins.  When you notice him getting distracted, try to prevent him from ever getting near what he wants to chew on! Good Luck! puppies are hard!

Post # 4
63 posts
Worker bee

We have a 14 week old lab and he is a big chewer. We have his toys around us at all times. When he goes for us or something he’s not supposed to have we say a firm “NO!” And stick one of his toys in his mouth. He is getting better but it’s still a constant battle. 

Post # 5
3081 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

OMGGG he’s so cute!

We’re going through something similar with our 12 week old English Mastiff. Did you try spraying the items you don’t want him chewing with bitter apple spray? Works for some dogs, not for others (and wouldn’t work to make him stop chewing YOU obviously haha). 

What about making the toys he does have even more enticing? We have a lot of those rubber Kong toys that we stuff with Charlotte’s kibble or peanut butter, which she loves. When she bites my arm or hair, I find the closest attractive stuffed toy and put it at her nose so she replaces my arm with her toy. We’re also teaching her “drop” in a similar way. 

We are now in a more advanced stage to really stop her from biting US hard…and it’s tough to be consistent but seems to be working: when she bites something on us that we don’t want her to (skin, clothes, hair)…we stop, get up, and leave the room, effectively ending her play time for about a minute or so until she calms down. We have to do this a lot, and it’s annoying when I’m tired and don’t feel like getting up, but again, she seems to be “getting it”. 

We aren’t going to do any physical punishment or spraying the dog with anything…there are other ways to do it from our perspective, but consistency is key. 

Good luck, and please post more pictures!


Post # 7
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

He is adorable! 

I have trained a newfoundland and a malamute (both gone to doggie heaven – sniff) and I would say that the best thing for puppies that love to chew is exercise. When they’re tired, they don’t chew on things as much – but it sounds like he is getting lots. Also, firm reinforcement that some things are not to be chewed on. Gently pulling them away or yelling often is seen as a game of tug of war – and puppies yelp when excited, so loud high noises often don’t help. They need to be firmly taken away from the couch/rug/whatever and made to sit/stay. When he quits play and goes over to the couch, lead him away firmly and have 5 minutes of not-play.Low voices (think growl) are better at conveying a negative tone. Similarly, happy high tones when they play with the appropriate toy helps with positive reinforcement.

Teaching a dog to do a “long down” – aka 15-20 minutes of lying down can really help cause behavioural issues that are mostly just caused by restlessness. It worked miracles for my malamute- but be patient. It can take them months to learn how to sit still for this long.

As for nipping hands, etc – puppies need to learn this is not okay. My malamute weighed 140 pounds and could pull a small car (no joke). They can do a lot of damage without meaning to. It sounds mean (but its not), a light pinch on the upper gum is good reinforcement that this behaviour is not okay. It won’t hurt them, but it is a physical reminder. If biting happens during playtime – give a light pinch, and playtime needs to stop (briefly) and a good sit/stay exercise to remind the puppy who is in control. Another helpful exercise for nippy puppies is the “dominant” position. Roll the puppy over to his back and stand/kneel overtop of him. This is what a dominant dog would do. Then praise him and pet him so that he associates this position with a positive environment. It shows him who is in control and may help with nipping. 

Hope some of these tips help. I love big breeds, but they can be a huge pain if they’re not trained. It’s just more dog to do damage!

Post # 8
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@megz06:  I don’t like the bottle spraying method, or squeezing their little noses. Puppies explore with their mouths and yes, it is annoying as hell. But it does stop. Honestly, you just need to be patient. Any time the little/big guy chews on something he isn’t supposed to, give him a firm no. If you were playing with him and he chewed on you, then stop playing with him (he has to learn he loses his playmate if he is bad). If he chews on the couch, then give him the firm no and quickly replace the “bad” thing he is chewing on with one of his many toys.

He needs to be taught what is okay to chew and what isn’t.

Post # 9
2685 posts
Sugar bee

Awwww cute puppy!  Do not continue playing with him if he nips you.  Eventually he will learn that things won’t go his way if he chews on people.  For furniture, bitter apple spray has worked really well for us.  Dogs hate bitter taste and they’re not going to chew on anything that tastes nasty.  Always have a toy handy so that if you catch him in the act, you can replace with the toy.  

Post # 11
1475 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@MrsPanda99:  Completely agree with your method – I do not think it is necessary to use a spray bottle or a “bop on the nose” to get a puppy to learn what is okay and not okay to chew on.

All puppies chew, but they are also very smart and will learn – eventually. You just need to be consistent.

Post # 13
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@megz06:  I wouldn’t recommend the bitter apple spray. We tried that and our puppy loved to lick it, lol. I feel that isn’t actually teaching him that you’re not okay with his behaviour anyway – he would choose not to do it because it tasted bad, not because mom said no. What about when he finds a couch that doesn’t taste bad? As annoying as it is, just be consistent with replacing the bad things he’s chewing with his favourite bone. I thought our little monster would NEVER stop chewing but he finally caught on because we never let him get away with it.

And OMG he’s adorable. I want to gobble him up.

Post # 14
8604 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’d give a sharp “AAANNNHHH NO!” and immediately move him away from the couch. If he persists, then I’d say firmly, “OK, TIME OUT!” and put him in a puppy safe room for 5-10 minutes alone.

You could try the bitter apple spray too. I’d test it on the back or bottom of the couch first just to make sure it didn’t stain. And don’t get it on your hands and then make tacos – it’s a bad combo, lol!

Post # 15
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Sea_Ashley:  The consistency is the part people struggle with. It’s exhausting and frustrating but if you let them get away with it even one time, they will remember that it’s okay sometimes. Dogs will take full advantage of you if you let them. Boxers are known for that – they need a stronger trainer or else they take over as alpha (we have a boxer). He’s been fun to train because he is so smart, but he’s also so stubborn.

Post # 16
1448 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Chewing is normal behavior for a dog.

Have you tried Kongs?  You can stuff them with food or treats (essentially feed him out of the Kongs) and he ends up being interested in gnawing on the toy that gives him treats (and rewards his good behavior).

It also sounds like he needs to learn to have a “soft mouth”.  Whenever he nips you too hard, stop playing with him and turn your back to him.  He’ll learn.

I really recommend picking up a book or two by Ian Dunbar.  His view of animal training and behavior is amazing.  Here’s a TED talk he did a few years ago.

This little guy is going to get huge very fast.  He doesn’t understand English, and he doesn’t understand what *is* OK to chew on and what is *not* OK to chew on.  If you can’t get this behavior problem solved, please consider seeing a professional trainer ASAP.

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