Breaking Your Puppy’s Chewing Habits

He ate my homework and my newspaper and my…

Your puppy may be very interested in the printed word, especially books, newspapers, files or documents. Paper is a particular favourite since it tears so nicely, rattles and gets all squishy and soft. Most puppies will grow out of it, but in the meantime it decreases your library and leaves canine spit-wads everywhere.

Catching your puppy in the act and providing a negative experience will break that habit. Unpleasant flavour and olfactory deterrents also work well.Check with your veterinarian to suggest a safe product for your puppy. Alternatively, leave a book out in your puppy’s path and wait for him to start chewing. When he does, bang together two aluminum pans to make a loud noise. Anytime your puppy goes near the book, make the noise.

When the above fails, take a passive approach to training – supervise him when he is loose in the home. If he grabs an item that is off limits, distract him with a low tone and a startling sound like “ahhh!”, and he will stop what he is doing. Then you need to redirect his attention immediately to an acceptable behaviour, such as to “come” when he is called. Praise him for coming, then provide your puppy with an acceptable chew toy and praise him when he chews it.

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Games and play are a great way to develop a strong bond with your puppy. Read our Purina article to learn how to play with a puppy and what games you can start with.