Patience and consistency are the key factors leading to success. You need to ensure that each and every time your dog heads for your wood coffee table you correct him promptly and hand him a chew toy. This may be pretty annoying at first, but gradually you should notice the attempts tapering off. It is vital that you and your family members are all on the same track, ensuring that everyone will correct in the same correct matter. All it takes is a couple of episodes that are not corrected promptly to positively reinforce the behavior and return. If you are unable to watch your dog it would be in your best interest if you would crate him until you can trust him alone. Remember: corrections must occur within 5 seconds in order to be fully effective. Dogs do not have the same attention spans as humans do. If it takes longer than 5 seconds your dog may no longer know what he did wrong and will not be able to associate the correction with the wood chewing.
Be gentle! A few training books are still on the market that advocate inhumane methods for stopping destructive behaviors, such as putting duct tape around a pet’s mouth or physically hitting a dog. Needless to say, there is no excuse for such corrections. Not only are they extremely unfair, they’re ineffective. The use of proper management (for instance, crating a dog when he is not under your direct supervision), along with proper exercise, takes care of 99 percent of destructive behavior problems.
When you can’t supervise your dog, you must find a way to prevent him from chewing on inappropriate things in your absence. For example, if you work during the day, you can leave your dog at home in a confinement area for up to six hours. Use a crate or put your dog in a small room with the door or a baby gate closed. Be sure to remove all things that your dog shouldn’t chew from his confinement area, and give him a variety of appropriate toys and chew things to enjoy instead. Keep in mind that if you confine your dog, you’ll need to give him plenty of exercise and quality time with you when he’s not confined.
Some chews and toys can provide additional benefits for your dog; like mental stimulation or help with keeping their teeth clean. However, it's also true that chew toys have the potential to cause problems. Always closely observe your dog the first few times they’re playing with a new chew toy or eating a new type of chew. And, even in the long-term, keep watch and if you’re at all worried about a particular toy, don’t leave your dog alone with it, or just take it away and try another.
Always praise your dog when she comes to you, whether you called or not. That teaches her that coming to you is good. Say "come" or "here." She may not understand what you want if you just call her name. If she doesn't come, don't chase her. Call her again while you move away. That might make her come after you. If she still doesn't show up, tell her to sit, and go get her.
Dogs with environmental allergies may need to have daily allergy shots. Dogs with flea allergies should be on monthly flea preventative medication. Corns may need to be surgically removed from the pads. Foreign objects will be removed from the pad and bandaged. Secondary yeast infections are treated with topical antifungal medications. Bacterial infections are treated with topical and oral antibiotics.
As with the lonely dog, the anxious dog should be confined to his crate for the first two weeks when home alone. Beginning with the third week, leave the dog in his crate with the door open for a period of time not to exceed 20 minutes. If you return home to any signs of destruction, shorten the length of time that you are gone until you arrive at a time span that is successful. From that point on, SLOWLY increase the length of time that you are gone until you have reached your goal. If at any time, you come home to destruction, go backward in time at least two steps and maintain that time frame for at least a week; then proceed with the schedule as planned.
Your dog may have been exposed to a certain chemical, pesticide, soap or seasonal pollen, which is causing his paws to be irritated. Cleaning supplies used on the floor or carpets may be too harsh on a dog’s paws. If your yard or your neighbor’s yard was recently treated with pesticides, it may be the reason his paws are bothering him. New shampoos or soaps may be causing an allergic reaction to the products. Grass pollen can cause great discomfort if your dog is allergic to it.
Your dog may be a big chewer necessitating stronger chew toys. Invest in some “heavy duty” chew toys such as Nylabones or pretty durable rubber toys. Try to stay away from rawhide bones that may cause choking and even intestinal obstructions. Stay away as well from squeaky toys as many dogs have gone through the toy and ingested the squeaker requiring major surgery. Kongs are very durable and great as they may be stuffed with peanut butter or other goodies. They may also be frozen to relieve puppy’s teething pain. If you are not supplying the right chew toys that meets your dog’s chewing requirements he/she may easily find your furniture much more appealing. Try to make the toys more atrractive by routinely alternating them to prevent boredom.
Any dog can bite if she feels threatened or nervous. But socializing a dog early teaches her to feel relaxed around people. Gradually expose her to different settings so she will feel safe. Spend lots of time with her so she learns to trust people. Always watch for signs that your dog is uncomfortable and then do what you can to make her feel better. Be especially careful around kids and food. If despite your efforts your dog is a biter, see your vet or your pet's trainer for help.
Discourage chewing inappropriate items by spraying them with chewing deterrents. When you first use a deterrent, apply a small amount to a piece of tissue or cotton wool. Gently place it directly in your dog’s mouth. Allow him to taste it and then spit it out. If your dog finds the taste unpleasant, he might shake his head, drool or retch. He won’t pick up the piece of tissue or wool again. Ideally, he will have learned the connection between the taste and the odor of the deterrent, and he’ll be more likely to avoid chewing items that smell like it. Spray the deterrent on all objects that you don’t want your dog to chew. Reapply the deterrent every day for two to four weeks. Please realize, however, that successful treatment for destructive chewing will require more than just the use of deterrents. Dogs need to learn what they can chew as well as what they can’t chew.
Give him plenty of exercise. Exercise is vitally important for dogs prone to inappropriate chewing or other destructive behaviors. A tired pup will be less likely to get into things. Exercise also produces endorphins, which have a calming effect. In fact, it is these endorphins that are stimulated by chewing, so if your dog is not getting enough exercise, he may unconsciously be seeking to replace needed endorphins by releasing pent-up energy through chewing.
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From fetching his favorite ball to successfully sitting on command, your dog deserves delicious and healthy dog treats. In addition to your verbal praise and affection, there's nothing your dog enjoys more than some mouth-watering rawhide bones or crunchy training treats. Having a natural inclination to please, dogs love to be praised, which is why it's important that they be rewarded with healthy dog biscuits. Healthy dog treats can also add variety to your dog's diet. And because peanut butter dog treats are a fan favorite, they are often available in varieties that provide additional nutritional support under the cloak of their delicious flavor. There are treats enriched with glucosamine to promote better hip and joint health, wheat-grass for better digestion, and more. For dogs with allergies, there are hypoallergenic organic dog treats that are wheat, gluten and corn-free, and even low-calorie treats for less active dogs.
Beef tracheas: Sometimes called "windies" or "moo tubes," beef tracheas are primarily made up of cartilage and contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which benefit the joints. Beef tracheas last almost as long as bully sticks, but it really depends on the dog. They can also be more costly than bully sticks though they do not tend to stink quite as badly.