WRITTEN BY STACY | EVERYTHINGSHIHTZU.COM
You may love your dog, but that bad habit of chewing on everything from the leg of the sofa to your favorite pair of slippers…Not so much!
Your furniture and slippers may never be the same unless you nip your puppy’s chewing habit in the bud as soon as possible.
You might think it’s simply a stage your new furry pal is going through, or that chewing is “just something all puppies do,” but unfortunately, she’s not going to just stop on her own.
The good news is you can get your pup to stop chewing on everything or at the very least get it under control.
To get your Shih Tzu puppy to stop chewing on everything in sight, it takes a combination of training, patience, consistency, and a few helpful items. Products like bitter apple spray and a collection of chew toys and teething toys can help discourage your pup from gnawing on the things that she shouldn’t while giving her appropriate substitutions.
Using these items in addition to adequate behavior training can help curb your dog’s chewing habit.
If you plan to get a Shih Tzu puppy, you need to be prepared for all of the things that come along with it, including some undesirable behaviors.
Arm yourself with the proper knowledge and any necessary items ahead of time so that you don’t have to miss a beat when it comes to working with your pup to make her a well-mannered, pleasant pal.
Here’s what you need to know when it comes to tackling classic puppy chewing!
Dogs chew for a number of reasons
A dog is also inclined to chew on anything that she likes the smell or taste of, especially if it reminds her of her owner; which is why a dog always seems to love to chew on her owner’s shoes (and even underwear--yep).
If you don’t provide your puppy with adequate (and appropriate) items to chew on, then your cute pooch will choose something for herself, usually your sofa, clothes, and even your baseboards.
Young puppies are also very curious by nature, and much like babies, they investigate things by sniffing, licking, and chewing.
If your dog only seems to engage in destructive chewing behavior when she is alone, then separation anxiety could be to blame.
If you suspect this may be the case, there are several techniques that you can try to help ease your pup’s anxiety when you are away.
You can also always discuss options with your vet if you are unsure of what your next step should be.
First, it’s essential to keep in mind that you aren’t trying to stop your dog from chewing. Your dog needs to chew.
No matter how old she is; chewing is helpful for many reasons, including to help keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy.
However, that doesn’t give her a free pass to chew on anything she pleases.
There are a few practices you can put into play to help stop your Shih Tzu from chewing on all of your stuff and point her in the appropriate direction in terms of what she can chew.
First, make sure you have a varied collection of chew toys on hand so that when your pup has the urge to gnaw she can do so safely.
If your pup starts to chew on something that she is not supposed to, tell her "no" in a firm voice and immediately give her a teething toy or a chew toy.
As soon as she takes the appropriate item from you, reward her with lots of praise and happy pats.
This process helps your pup start to associate positive responses with the approved chewing items, and it also lets her know what things are off-limits.
Stay consistent with this technique and make sure to follow through so your Shih Tzu continues to receive the correct message.
In addition to this training practice, you can use a product known as bitter apple spray on any items that your pup seems inclined to chew but that you want her to avoid.
The spray is designed in a way that makes it very repugnant to dogs.
Basically, dogs can't stand the taste or odor of the spray, although it is (thankfully) undetectable to humans.
When your puppy goes to chew on something and gets a whiff, she will be discouraged from chewing on it; so go ahead and give your slippers and anything else you want to keep in one piece, a good spritz!
It's also important to ensure your Shih Tzu puppy has ample opportunities for exercise throughout the day.
You can do this by implementing regular play and activity sessions into her puppy schedule, as well as providing her with interactive toys that can engage her and offer mental stimulation.
Keeping your pup’s environment calm is also helpful, in case stress is a cause for some of her chewing behavior.
Aside from the fact that you might not be very pleased with your pup if she chews up your favorite pair of slippers, if your puppy has a bad chewing habit it could get her into some trouble.
A puppy does not know what is safe to chew and what isn't unless of course you teach her.
This means that a puppy will just as soon chew on an electrical cord as she will a dog bone.
While you are teaching your pup appropriate chewing behaviors, make sure to keep all potentially dangerous items out of her reach.
Use cable ties or cord keepers to safely secure electrical wires, make sure to store any containers that hold hazardous or toxic materials on a high shelf or locked in a cabinet, and be wary of leaving small items laying about (they can turn into choking hazards).
You really need to prepare your home for your puppy very much in the same way new parents need to babyproof their house.
Puppies like to chew, it’s just a fact of dog life.
Even though your puppy's excessive chewing might be annoying or frustrating to you, as long as you are patient and work with your Shih Tzu, the behavior can be corrected.
The critical thing to remember is to stop your dog's bad habits as soon as possible, both for your puppy's safety and for your sanity.