==> Your GSD chewing your Gucci shoes to pieces? ;-)

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. :-)

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

This is what a Top dog expert says:
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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?). :-)

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). :-)

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

This is what a Top dog expert says:
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  23 Site Comments, ZERO SPAM Add one


    Luuuuvvv the newsletters.
    Just thought I'd let you know,(not sure if you've already mentioned it,& I've missed it), we have 2 gsd's,one black medium haired,& one long haired b&t,who lost a lot of hair.i have recently purchased the 'smart collar',not sure if it was just another gimmick.but it actually does work.i think we are down by about 70-80%. For about $25, it was a good investment,& maybe other readers might benefit as well????
    Thanx again.


      No, they won't benefit, I replied already earlier: We are strictly AGAINST training collars. I also explained why.

      EDIT: huuh just realize: or did you mean the collar that's only meant to "reduce bacteria"? Then sorry, I thought you meant one of those electronic "training collars"?


    Your newsletters are really helpful. Thank you so much!


    Donna aged 9 months has started chewing all sorts of items when I am not around, even including tools such as hammer or pliers which I then find on the lawn. I discovered the telephone in my office was not working and found that she had chewed through the cable! I seldom catch her at it. She stopped her teething chewing months ago and there is no evidence that she is still teething. She has plenty of exercise. I think this is just adolescent attempts at self-assertion. Your article on chewing is thus timely and helpful and has given me lots to chew on. Thank you Tim.


      "lots to chew on" :-)
      Thanks Bill. Based on what you say I feel I should mention: Plenty of exercise, good, I believe you. But can you believe: She wants more! She's energetic, right? She's bored.
      But there's even more: Her behavior is typical dog language, she's saying: "If you don't have time for me, I'll do what I want."
      You know what that means, right?
      You aren't the accepted Pack leader.
      Can you pl re-introduce the complete Feeding Routine, and Ignoring Attention Seeking?
      After 3 days doing both you can start with the above tips on chewing. But I'd first focus on reducing her feeling of a Pack conflict, see the Prime Secret about Dogs.


    My 10 month old puppy is very smart and highly trainable, but Chance has one issue: he chews our couch. When I'm with him or at home alone with him and his older sister Nike, he is well behaved and only chews on his toys or his sister, even if I'm asleep; but once my wife comes home and I'm in bed he will chew on the couch, even if she is sitting or sleeping right there. He knows it is wrong, you can see it in his face when he gets caught with stuffing all over; I just can't get him to stop, what can I do to get Chance to behave for my wife like he does for me?


      Ken, the reason is a Pack conflict experienced by the puppy. Remember the Prime Secret about Dogs (was maybe 3 months back for you).
      Thus your wife can do two things:
      1) Perform the Feeding Routine (as discussed 2 weeks before the Prime Secret)
      2) Ignore Attention-Seeking (as discussed in the Training Essentials that came a week after the Prime Secret)

      This should take most of the pup's stress out of the situation. The rest is then doing what is in this Periodical on Chewing, and then it will help.


    My GSD pup 6 months old likes to rip up paper towels. I try to keep them outta reach but occasionally Jäger finds one I left within reach. Thought I was doing a great job of keeping stuff out of reach. Now today he took a Kleenex box off of a table and scattered tore up Kleenex all over the house. Jäger has a nice variety of chew tows but the paper towels now Kleenex very irritating. Any suggestions to remedy this?? Thanks. Ed


      Yes Ed. Although, you may think it's not relevant, I feel it would completely help your case: the House Training guide of course.
      Why? Because "ripping up paper towels" is only the symptom. The cause is something else ;-) and only if you address the cause you will prevent the symptoms - of which there will be many more annoying ones if you don't act now.

      "Ripping up paper towels" will be a fond memory then. :-)


    My 6 month old GS likes to chew up shoes and on the house no matter how many toys she has or how much attention we show her. She has even started a bad habit that she would wait until we are not paying attention and jump on the stove or table and ate a $40 Roast! I really don't know what to do with her at this point. It makes me want to get rid of her. Any suggestions that could help me remedy these


      Michelle, I would do what I wrote above, but only the behavior bits (because we do Behavior Training here), I don't use gimmicks/gadgets/remedies (yet :-) )

      Example: My new puppy started a habit at age 8 weeks to pick one of my outdoor shoes when we came back from walk and I washed hands. Didn't even notice it sometimes, until I suddenly saw my shoe on his bed!
      Admittedly I got angry, but advice is you shouldn't, I then said and showed "NO, not my shoes!", next time the same plus isolation. He needed (I think) 3 or 4 times, but hasn't picked any shoe for a week or so now.

      Should he do again, I report back. :-)


    My 8 month old puppy just ate my couch so this was perfect! Thank you so much!


    I have a 7 month old GSD Zeus, he is eating everything. Rugs, shoes, wood trim, paper, my computer chairs legs. He had plenty of chew toys which he destroyed in a few days. I have tried everything, but he is still chewing. Someone told me to give him a ham bone. I don't know what else to do with him. If he chews one more thing, I am to the point of getting rid of him. HELP !!!!


    Helpful as always thanks alot Tim,


    For good chew toys that can also be used for tugging, Tim, I would recommend the West Paw Design Zogoflex Bumi Guaranteed Tough Tug-o-War Dog Play Toy, Large. I found the string toys were shedding pieces of string. These are in an S shape. Chewing does them no harm (at least not yet) and you can take one end of the S while they pull on the other.

    Kara never destroyed her soft toys until she hit six months and her first heat (vet and I both agreed she should have this first heat before being spayed). She has a full set of adult teeth -- no needles in her mouth! I suspect the hormones are pushing her to rip and tear where she didn't before. Of course, she could also be remembering the rabbit she caught, killed, and had for dinner!


      Great, thanks, does Kara ENJOY playing with it? As much as with a tug rope?
      The quality is great, no doubt, it's from Westpaw. But Westpaw should integrate a tangible marker, that the dog knows how far biting is allowed (the knot on a rope).

      Poor rabbit though! ;-)


    I have a year old male german shepherd and he is constantly tearing up the fence. He has other dogs to play with but no matter what we do he continues to tear up the wooden fences. HELP!


      Michelle, please check the above and note that there is a massive difference between seeing sth, reading and understanding it, and finally, applying it. Which point are you at?


    I have a 6 month old German Shepard/husky mix. I'm too the point of getting rid of him cause he chewing my door trimtrimand my porch! It's something about wood that he likes. I'll tried buying new toys, spraying hot sauce and I also got some of the spray that is supposed to keep them away. Nothing is working. Please help!! He is very smart. Potty trained, plays fetch, can shake, and sit. I love him, but don't love his chewing.


      Follow the advice above, training is far more helpful than toys or gimmicks, Renee.
      Also note that this is the last month of possible teething.
      Chewing is never a reason to give up on a dog. You don't give up on your child if she continues to draw graffiti on your walls...


      I used the bitter apple spray with my German Shepard / husky mix and it has works really good for us. Also make sure he has a bone to chew on and toys at all times.


    I adopted a full grown silver and black German Shepard. I have no idea what training,if any, she had before coming to my home. She is very destructive, but mostly at night, and of course when we're not home. It's to the point where i now have to throw out a whole couch because of her chewing. Any advice on how to start training so late in the previrbial game ?

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