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7 Top Tips How to Stop Dog Chewing

 Reviewed 28 October 2017 share-a-picture Or go to discussion?join-the-discussion

==> Your GSD chewing your Gucci shoes to pieces? wink

Control this Cheeewing - Arrrgh!

7 Top Tips How to Stop Dog Chewing

Dog chews everything? - 'Heeelp! My dog chews everything!!!'

Yep, that's what we get to hear not just from our puppy owner subscribers, but from some adult GSD owners too.

Is your German Shepherd puppy or adult dog chewing too much for your liking? Or just the wrong kind of items? Clothes, furniture, carpets, shoes, handbags, or maybe its own body parts, creating hot spots?

Let's make this MYGERMANSHEPHERD PERIODICAL brief and explain why do dogs chew, and reveal our top 7 tips how to stop a dog from chewing.

Why do dogs chew?

The first reason is teething - in case we are faced with puppy chewing. If our German Shepherd dog indeed is still a puppy, (s)he may be teething. GSDs can teethe well into 6 to 8 months of age.

Just like with a child, we can check the gums: If they are red and puffy, our pup may very well be getting some new teeth.

Please note that a teething puppy must be allowed to chew a lot to keep gums strong and healthy while the new teeth break through.

Just what our pup is chewing on, this we can and should determine ourselves, not our dog.

How to Stop a Puppy from Chewing our Possessions

Here are some things we can do to help our pup and to reduce the chewing of our belongings:

1) Providing chew toys

We make sure that our dog has plenty of chew approved toys - meaning non-toxic and non-swallowable, not non-destroyable. smile

Eg, all of the following have a high FUN factor for GSDs. Based on our own GSDs and others' testimonials, the FUN seems to increase in the order listed here. But we need to provide both hard and soft dog chew toys.

Here is a list of (arguably) the best chew toys for puppies - and these are also suitable chew toys for dogs that are older:

All these are dog toys for aggressive chewers (with the Squirrel dog toy being least suitable if you have an aggressive chewer).

Also consider to get a chew proof dog bed (sort of 'chew proof').

2) Teaching Leave-it

Once our pup starts to go on our nerves with its 'chewing anything' habit, it's the perfect time to teach the 'Leave it' command:

When we have discovered our puppy's favorite item to chew on (that it is not supposed to be chewing, say a shoe), we take the shoe and offer it to our pup (just not actually hand it over). With the shoe in front of its mouth, we say 'Leave it' and take the shoe away (but we don't hide it from our puppy's view).

We repeat this procedure and command until our dog either looks away or at us, even if just briefly. Immediately at that moment, we praise our dog verbally ('Good - Leave it'), and give a chew toy of the above instead (ie we must have it ready to hand before we walk to our puppy to take the shoe away).

Perfect would be, if we can now in addition give a Real-life reward, because this would provide immediate distraction. - If you don't know what a Real-life reward is, you haven't followed our curriculum/Periodicals, which would be a real shame...

We repeat the entire sequence above whenever our dog chews something it's not supposed to chew. This also is a great training of the 'Leave it' command, because ideally any dog commands should be trained in the relevant situation.

To aid in the teething process, we can place our puppy's chew toys in the freezer for a couple of hours. This will help soothe irritated gums.

In addition, note that we should not let our dog have a toy all the time. Not just for safety reasons, but also for behavioral reasons:

If our dog has a toy all the time, it leaves the impression that our dog can control the possession of the toy - which would contribute to thinking (s)he is the Pack leader, so it would increase the conflict our dog is experiencing in its Pack (see the Periodical The Number 1 Secret about Dogs).

3) Anti-chew Remedies

The following is a list of the top anti chew remedies that help to prevent that your dog chews items (s)he is not supposed to chew (arguably, with increasing effectiveness):

Note that even among the same dog breed (so, among German Shepherds in our case), the effectiveness of the above remedies varies with the individual dog.

For example, for your dog Bitter Apple Spray may work very well, but for our dogs it doesn't. In other words: You may need to try out several different remedies.

The above list includes remedies to spray, paste, powder, and liquid, because obviously you don't want to say, put Tabasco on your furniture, or Bitter Apple Spray on your clothes (or do you like that?). smile

The least variance in effectiveness you get with Sentry Stop That - in other words, it is most effective regardless of the individual dog. This is because it facilitates the scientifically researched pheromone combination that matches the genetical heritage of canines.

I am unsure about any long-term side effects that this remedy might cause, however you will normally not need to actually use the spray often/prolonged: Because after the first few times, for most dogs it's enough to simply show the bottle (we say the dog is conditioned to the sight of the bottle). smile

The above was primarily about 'How to stop a puppy from chewing'. Next, adult dog chewing - in case you are facing dog chewing problems with your adult GSD.

The second reason for why do dogs chew a lot is that the dog is bored - certainly the reason if you have an adult GSD.

How to Stop a Dog from Chewing our Possessions

As you know, German Shepherds normally are extremely active dogs (both mentally and physically), hence GSDs need much playtime, lots of distractions and exercise, and one or two daily challenges. Particularly, training the advanced dog commands can provide the right mental and physical challenge.

Excessive chewing is rather the nice behavioral consequence of a bored dog. Because, without corrective action from our side, this can soon result in more destructive behavior - including aggression. Therefore, here is what we should do:

1) If we have a Rescue dog (thank you), or if we didn't have the opportunity to teach our puppy the 'Leave it'
command, we now teach the 'Leave it' command (yes, we can teach an old dog new tricks!).

2) Again, we make sure that our dog has plenty of approved chew toys (see the list above).

3) We set aside time every day to spend 'together time' with our German Shepherd. For indoors, these wooden dog puzzle toys are fantastic. For outdoors, depending on age and agility, the soft floppy disc or the Chuck-it ball are great.

Regardless of age, a GSD needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation in order to be balanced and calm, healthy and happy, and a safe member of the family.

In most cases, destructive behavior results from boredom. A really exhausted dog lies down calmly. Period.



  • A teething puppy must be allowed to chew a lot to keep gums strong and healthy while the new teeth break through
  • However, both with puppy and adult dog we can, and should, control what our dog is chewing on
  • Provide plenty of chew-approved toys, both hard and soft dog chew toys, eg:
  • Teach the 'Leave it' command
  • If necessary, make use of the top anti chew remedies, and select one that's appropriate to your situation:
  • The effectiveness varies, even among two dogs of the same breed, so you may need to try out several different remedies
  • Spend lots of together time, eg with wooden dog puzzle toys indoors, and soft floppy disc outdoors
  • In most cases, excessive chewing results from boredom!
  • Particularly with GSDs, boredom leads to health problems and destructive behavior, and may even cause aggression - so better avoid boredom for your German Shepherd!

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