Chewing is a behavioral issue that is commonly seen across different dog breeds. There are some types of dog that are more inclined to chew and be mouthy than others, but the sensation derived from chewing is seen pretty much across the board. Still, there are many dog owners tearing out their hair because their dog seems to chew absolutely everything it can get its mouth around. Why do some dogs do this?
Remember that dogs explore the world with their mouths, much like babies
We forget that puppies and babies are not all that different in their view of the world and just as a baby will put things in his or her mouth to better understand them, puppies do the same. It is part of their development. Also, there is an important link between chewing and teething. Teething is uncomfortable for dogs too, and chewing helps to soothe them. With the right chew toys, this shouldn’t be a problem.
So why are adult dogs so keen to keep on chewing on everything?
Teething is not the only reason that dogs want to chew. For some, it can be out of boredom. Smart dogs need to be kept amused, so they are taking out their frustration on what is in front of them. Chewing is an easy way of venting, perhaps because of that soothing feeling and link to puppyhood. If they have too much pent up energy then that needs to be let out somehow. This is especially true with dogs that don’t get enough exercise.
Also, do you find that they only chew things while you were out of the house? Separation anxiety and discomfort at being alone can lead to destructive behavior. Separation anxiety is distress at being left alone for long periods in the day, such as when an owner is at work. It helps to provide a comforting space with items of amusement to keep them occupied and give them space to sleep during this time, but remember that a dog’s sense of time is different to ours. Those that are anxious with no comfort or outlets will regress to chewing.
Why are they chewing up everything in sight, or easy reach in the home?
The other side to this issue is not simply the cause of the chewing, but why they are so keen to chew on things they shouldn’t. Why are they chewing your shoes? Because there is no better alternative and you left them in easy reach. Remember that if a puppy is teething, they need to chew something for comfort. The answer here is to put the valuable and shoes out of reach and give them alternatives that are fine to chew when needed. Those that are trained to chew their own Kong toys and hides are less likely to go for shoes, remote controls or anything else.
With the right outlet, both for their energy and their need to chew, the issue of chewing in the household can improve. They probably won’t stop chewing, but at least you can help to reduce the desire and protect household items at the same time.