Puppies are notorious for chewing on things. They will put just about anything in their mouths, just like babies. The difference is that your puppy has sharp teeth and he has them from a much younger age. Your puppy will happily eat your remote control, your cellphone, or your shoes. He doesn’t care what it is. If it will fit in his mouth, he will chew on it.
It’s hard to train a puppy not to chew on things but there are some things you can do to deter your puppy and point him in a different direction.
1. Provide your puppy with lots of his own things to chew on, such as toys, hard plastic bones, hard rubber chew toys like Busy Buddy, and other safe things to chew on. Provide him with some stuffed toys and rope toys, too. If he has his own things to chew on he is much less likely to chew on inappropriate things that belong to you.
2. Give your puppy plenty of exercise. Puppies who get plenty of healthy exercise will be too tired to go looking for things to chew on or take part in destructive behavior.
3. Spend time playing with your puppy and rewarding calm behavior such as being petted. Let your puppy know that good behavior includes calm petting and not things like chewing on inappropriate objects. Spending time with you should be one of your puppy’s favorite things.
Keep in mind that puppies start getting their adult teeth when they are about four months old. This process continues for months. During this time your puppy is teething, with new teeth coming up through the gums. This hurts your puppy the same way it hurts when a baby teethes. This is one reason why puppies chew on things. Chewing on things helps reduce the pain and it helps the new teeth emerge.
You can help your puppy feel better by providing him with cool things to chew on. One thing that works is soaking and freezing some clean wash cloths and giving one to your puppy to chew on. As your puppy gets through with it you can give him a new one. Wash and refreeze the old one to use again.
If your puppy still tries to chew on inappropriate things like woodwork or furniture you contact a local behavior expert or dog trainer to implement a behavior modification plan suited for your specific needs.