You love your pet pupper. He’s friendly, lovable and oh-so-adorably cute. But every once in a while, you notice those big white teeth coming out of the sides of his mouth. What gives? Why does your pup bite down on anything that moves? And why do you get so mad when he chomps on a pair of your favorite shoes?
First off, let’s talk about what dogs actually chew. They’re omnivores like wolves, which means they eat meat as well as plants. Dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, and their natural instincts include eating meat and other animal products.
However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean your pooch should go around biting people with no provocation. All animals need to feel safe and secure, including your canine buddy. If you don’t take care of these needs, you could end up with an angry dog who has nothing left to lose.
Dogs will also chew because they’ve got something else going on inside that causes them to want to gnaw away at whatever happens to cross their path. For instance, some dogs are simply moody individuals. When they aren’t feeling happy or content, they tend to look for outlets for their anger by chewing on stuff. Other dogs may be bored, lonely or anxious.
They’ll turn to the nearest available object for comfort if they’re having trouble coping with life. In short, there’s really no reason to punish your dog for chewing. It’s normal behavior. That said, if you’d rather your furry friend didn’t gnaw on your favorite dresser drawer, then here are some tips to help you control his bad habits.
Why Your Dog Chews
There are lots of reasons that dogs chew. Some dogs are born with behavioral problems that cause them to bite objects. Others pick up on bad habits from other dogs or even humans. Still others are just plain old grumpy. Whatever the case, most dogs eventually learn to associate certain behaviors with reward.
For example, let’s say you train your puppy to sit using food treats. Every time he sits, you feed him a treat. Now imagine that you start giving your puppy a bone instead of a treat. Eventually, he’s going to figure out that sitting gets him the best rewards (treats). This is called operant conditioning. Operant conditioning refers to any type …