At about four months old, puppies begin to cut their
permanent teeth. This causes discomfort and pups often chew objects to gain
relief. Puppies are also naturally inquisitive and will test new objects in
Puppies are usually less inclined to chew everything after
about six months of age. However, their jaws are still growing and developing
until 18 months, and therefore many puppies continue to have bouts of chewing
until this time as their adult teeth settle into place.
Puppies chew – but
adults do too
It is also important to note that most adult dogs enjoy
chewing as an activity as it helps to relieve boredom, releases tension in the
jaw and face muscles and causes “feel-good” chemicals to be released in the
This means that we must provide them with suitable items to
chew throughout their lives.
suitable chew options
Dogs have no way to tell the difference between chew toys
and our belongings and furniture, so it is our job to make sure that they chew
objects that are safe for them and acceptable to us.
If a puppy finds chewing shoes enjoyable and is not given an
appropriate alternative, there is no reason for the puppy to stop doing this as
an adult dog. However, by puppy-proofing our homes (e.g. packing shoes away in
the cupboard), supervising our puppies and providing appropriate chews, we can
condition them to have good chewing habits which will continue into adulthood.
Providing stuffed Kong toys (durable hollow toys that you
fill with your puppy’s food) is an excellent way to direct chewing onto
appropriate objects – because the puppy gets food from this toy when he chews
it he should find it much more rewarding than chewing your shoes.
Other items that dogs love to chew are rawhide, dried
sinews, hooves and large smoked bones especially prepared and sold for dogs.
All these items are available at pet and vet shops.
Keep calm – even if
it’s your Louboutons
If your pup does take something inappropriate, yelling and
chasing him is not the answer.
Instead, calmly entice him to you (using food or a toy as
bait), and invite him to do a swop. Always reward him for leaving the object,
even if you had to bribe him and he has already chewed it a little (yes, still
deserves a reward).
Chasing him will only teach him to avoid you – and you will
soon find out that he is a lot faster than you are!