The “Collar Grab Game” teaches your puppy that he gets rewarded for staying calm when being touched. If at any time during the game he gets excited and mouths your hand, stand up for a minute, then start again. Ask your puppy to sit in front of you and give him a treat for sitting. Then begin to reach your hand towards his collar — but not all the way. Move your hand back, then give him a treat. Repeat this a few times and watch to see what your puppy is doing. Is he turning to bite your hand, or is focusing on the food and sitting? Keep practicing over a few days until you can reach forward and hold his collar or pet his head without him turning his head to mouth. Be sure to practice this with both hands.
Dogs who chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety usually only chew when left alone or chew most intensely when left alone. They also display other signs of separation anxiety, such as whining, barking, pacing, restlessness, urination and defecation. To learn more about separation anxiety and how to treat it, please see our article, Separation Anxiety.
In this video, Preventive Vet dog, Marshall, can be seen playing with his Mighty Bone. Despite not being as durable as the Tuffy brand, it's been a huge hit with Marshall, who likes to test the limits of all of his toys. This toy has done surprisingly well at withstanding his chewing and tug of war. It's also light, large enough for him to easily catch in his mouth, and soft enough for the times he doesn't catch it and it bounces off his head. He's 10 years old and this is the first time he's actually been able to play catch like this. It turns him into a puppy every time.

The truth is, although some chews are better than others, it’s important to know the potential problems associated with each type of dog chew or toy. Even if you’ve never had an issue, and have friends who say the same, many vets and other dog lovers have seen these problems first-hand. The following breakdown is not meant to scare you. Instead, we hope you will keep these warnings in mind so your dog can enjoy their chewing, and do so safely.
Something as innocuous as dry skin from winter weather, an arid climate or a deficiency of fatty acids in the diet can cause excessive paw chomping. A cracked claw could be to blame or even a corn (Greyhounds are said to be prone to corns). Maybe a thorn, pebble or other foreign object is lodged in or between the paw pads. Fleas, ticks, mites and other parasites irritate the skin, as can some soaps and shampoos, the salt used to treat snowy streets and chemical substances such as harsh lawn and garden pesticides.
“It really comes back to why it’s happening,” Dr. Pachel says. “For any one of these issues, there might be multiple treatment options. Focusing on basic health care is a great start to at least minimizing some of these other issues. Then it’s a matter of watching your dog carefully and making that educated decision about when to have him evaluated by a veterinarian.”
Some dogs bark at things others ignore. Some bark when they're frustrated. Don't yell at your dog when she barks. That could make it worse. Obedience training can help fix frustration barking. If your dog learns to sit before she does something fun like going for a walk, she’ll learn to control her impulses. If she’s outside all day, bringing her inside for a couple of hours could help. But you may need to work with a vet or a trainer.
1. Rule out medical problems. The first step is to make sure that your puppy does not have any serious medical problems. Nutritional deficiencies caused by poor diet and/or intestinal parasitism can lead to pica which may be misconstrued as inappropriate chewing. Gastrointestinal problems may cause nausea which can trigger chewing as a coping mechanism. Therefore it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian to rule out an underlying medical condition that may be causing or contributing to the dog chewing.
Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
Many dog owners swear by these chews, which can be stuffed into certain interactive toys and provide hours of chewing distraction (though some dogs will polish one off in mere minutes!). Bully sticks may be OK chew treats for your dog, it just depends on how many you give, your dog’s chews-onality, and how sterile the sticks are. Bully sticks contain a lot of calories, so don’t give too many; they can also harbor some pretty nasty bacteria, which is covered in this article in the Canadian Veterinary Journal. And they have been known to cause tooth fractures and digestive upset. (Lastly, in case you didn’t know, bully sticks are just processed bull penises … so you might not want to let your dog chew them on your bed.)
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.
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.
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.
Animal hooves, antlers, and bones: Hard animal parts and particularly cooked bones pose the most significant risk to your dog's teeth and GI tract because they are very hard and indigestible. If your dog doesn't break a tooth first, he could manage to snap off a piece and ingest it. Some animal horns (like buffalo or goat horns) soften and fray a little while dogs are chewing them. These can be less dangerous to the teeth and may be more easily tolerated by the GI tract. However, they should be used with extreme caution.
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