Does your dog think chewing everything is his job and he is a workaholic?

Excessive Chewing can push even the most devoted dog parent to the breaking point, but here’s how I advise clearing up this misunderstanding…

The “3 Dog Days” system works wonders when first bringing dogs home, and can be used to rehabilitate dogs already part of your family. Starting over with an existing dog and working the system actually helps the dog feel better and works to “reset” a dog’s mind. Future videos addressing very specific unwanted behaviors are in the works! In the meantime, the companionship and control section can be a big help with chewing issues when worked along with this training tip:

I like to provide dogs with only 3 prey items at first (or during your rehab time,) meaning one squeaky toy, one ball, one chew bone. If you are extinguishing unwanted chewing behavior from a dog you already have, you will know what types of toys and chew items are his favorite already. Meet his desires with 3 items ONLY. I find chewing problems develop because the dog has access to a giant box of toys from the beginning and he then mistakenly thinks every item in the house is up for grabs, and that’s too confusing for dogs.

So, you will start with the companionship/control section of the “3 Dog Days” video and get your dog his favorite 3 play/prey items. He will be controlled so he can’t run through the house and chew things when you are distracted or the house is busy with other people. During this 3 day period, keep praising and encouraging the play and chewing of these 3 items. In your mind, you have determined that all other items are off limits. You will devote your energy and time during this 3 days toward letting your dog know these 3 items are “yes” and all other items are “no.” Clean up all socks, shoes, towels, stuffed animals or any other items he mistakenly has been chewing in the past. Now, after 3 days and after his mind “resets” from the control and efforts your have given to this chewing issue, you will allow him to run free in a controlled area; for example just the kitchen and living room (within reason and when you can observe.)

Deliberately, put one sock or one shoe in the floor or somewhere accessible to him. Remember, you already cleaned up the other stuff so your focus will be to watch him and be ready to disagree when he gets the sock. When, he gets the sock say “no” and provide the respectful structure and guidance you learned when watching “3 Dog Days” You should back him away or stand on the sock or shoe and the dog must back away from the sock. Don’t say any other words and don’t say “no” more than once! Make it happen with your mind, your will and your body. He will understand. Now, when he gives up the sock, just take it and walk away (don’t say “good boy” when he backs away. That will confuse him. Don’t say anything!) and get one of his allowed toy/prey items. Bring it to him and say, in an excited voice, “this is for Ollie! Get this Ollie! Good Boy” See the pattern? No this – but then you must provide the Yes this.

Once he is practiced and understands he is only allowed to chew/play with his 3 prey items, you can slowly introduce, one at a time, all the things he is NOT allowed to chew just like you did with the sock and you can disagree when he gets them. He will start understanding quickly.

When time passes and he only chews his 3 items and you have shown him other things are off limits, you can introduce one new toy at a time. Each time you bring a new toy home you say “This is for Ollie…..Get it Ollie!” Make Sense? I still wouldn’t go over 5 – 6 allowed toy items at a time. Remember, when the parent decides, really decides, to change something and makes a plan; the dog will follow. Good luck and I hope you find this tip helpful! Enjoy your dogs