Fingers, calves, slippers, cushions, chair legs, … everything goes through it. Your dog can’t help catching and chewing anything that gets in his way.
If this is a completely normal behavior in puppies, and almost ingrained in their genes, you must be very vigilant to correct this attitude as soon as possible, and prevent it from persisting over time.
In the long term, there is indeed a risk that this attitude could turn into a severe behavioural disorder, or even that your dog could be injured by ingesting an object that is dangerous to his health.
So how do you react when your dog starts chewing on your hand or table legs? Could this be a sign of a deeper disorder?
What can you do to stop a dog that chews everything?
First of all, reassure yourself. In the vast majority of cases, your dog’s behavior is only the reflection of a slight educational deficiency in childhood, and can be quickly controlled after a few months with simple gestures.
Here are several tips to apply when teaching your dog to stop this deviant behavior; it is up to you to test, combine and model them according to the animal’s character, reactions, or context.
Tell him “no! “firmly
When your dog is caught in the act of chewing, don’t hesitate to be firmer. Bend your chest, make yourself more imposing, and suddenly raise your voice with a “no! “This will not only surprise your dog, but also make him understand that you don’t like his current behaviour at all. If your dog does it again a few seconds later, never give in and repeat your ban.
If, despite your efforts, the dog does not listen to you, you can use a training collar. However, we recommend that you select a good model like the Canicom collars and use only the lowest intensities so that it only causes discomfort. A bite will never deserve a pain!
Offer him an alternative
This trick can very well complement the previous idea. As soon as your dog starts tickling your calf, or chewing the chair leg assiduously, and immediately after the “no! “try to draw the animal’s attention to something else. There are chew bones available on the market that are specially designed for your pet. Your puppy will enjoy chewing on them, while your dog will find them a real stress reliever.
This will distract him from his primary target, for your greatest pleasure. Also try solid products such as kong toys. The dog can gnaw on them for hours without them showing signs of wear.
Leave him alone for a few moments
In moments of play and/or excitement, your dog may lose control of his jaw and in the heat of the moment, he may let himself chew you, or even bite you lightly. If this is not intentional, you should not let this happen, as it may lead to the animal gaining confidence and developing this behaviour more frequently.
In this case, indicate your displeasure, stop the game immediately and leave the room for a few moments. If you proceed systematically in the same way, it will end up associating the biting with the end of the play phase, and will therefore calm itself down.
A possible alternative to correct this behaviour is to teach your dog the “kiss” (a little lick) instead of the biting and to praise him when he does it. The negative point of this technique is that he starts licking more, which is less annoying than chewing, but not very hygienic and not always pleasant.
Show him that he hurts you
When the animal heckles and bites an adult dog, or even another puppy in its litter a little too vigorously, the other animal’s reaction is not long in coming; it makes a whimper or growl that puts an immediate end to the biting. As your dog grows older, and through these experiences, he is able to control his jaw movements.
It works the same way with you, especially since human skin is more fragile than dog skin. So, as soon as your puppy or dog chews your hand or calf, show him your pain by emitting a cry or a sentence of discontent, remove your hand immediately, and go about your business. Surprised by the sudden intonation of your voice and the stop of the game, he will stop dead.
By repeating the exercise several times – you can also combine it with the previous suggestion to leave the room – your dog will understand that as soon as he bites, he loses his playmate.
Use anti-bite repellents.
If, on the other hand, your dog’s main victims are your table legs, door frames, and other carpets, use the best means available and brush your furniture with a repellent product whose smell and taste will not please your pet at all.
Mustard, varnishes of all kinds, special sprays, there are plenty of ideas, and your dog will soon realize that chewing on anything other than his toys is not at all pleasant for him. Moreover, it prevents him from destroying everything in your absence.
Adopt a reward-based educational method.
The dog functions mainly on positive education, based on reward and not punishment. Therefore, there is no need to go into a rage and punish your dog too severely. In addition to the previous methods of stopping play or reprimanding, don’t hesitate to praise your dog when he doesn’t bite, with a simple caress and encouragement, without overdoing it.
Biting: Understand the reasons for correcting this behaviour.
“Why does the dog bite? “is the question that should always be asked before even thinking about possible solutions, because depending on the situation, the cause of untimely biting will not necessarily be the same.
There are two main explanations for a dog’s untimely chewing, the first of which is completely normal.
Natural behaviour in puppies
It is important to understand that chewing is a natural behavior in puppies, and this on several levels. From birth, this is how he heckles and interacts with his little brothers and sisters; once the puppy becomes aware that you are also his family, he will adopt a similar behavior with you and the various objects that populate his environment: pillows, table legs, slippers, even your own calf…
So he plays with you as he plays with the rest of the litter. It is also his way of apprehending the world around him. The jaw is indeed the only tool he has at this age to discover his environment and to carry out his learning process.
As they grow older, at about 5 months of age, puppies also go through a teething phase that bothers them and pushes them to chew on anything in their path to relieve themselves.
Hyperactivity or boredom
In adolescent and adult dogs, on the other hand, quasi-permanent biting may reflect a deeper psychological disorder, such as hyperactivity or boredom. The Boxer, Beagle, or Jack Russell are particularly active breeds that need to get out and exercise regularly. If this is not the case, they can manifest their hyperactivity by biting, yourself or objects in their environment.
To correct this behaviour, the dog needs to exercise on a daily basis. If you walk him for 30 minutes every night and repeat this in the morning, he is more tired during the day and spends it sleeping. Try to also make your dog a little independent so that your absence does not cause the stress and biting that sometimes accompanies it.
Finally, always leave him or her available for activities. Toys, viewpoints to watch the street or television for background noise, his activities reduce his boredom and the feeling of loneliness.