Dealing with Puppy Chewing

Kelly Roper
Puppy Chewing and Destroying a Couch

Puppy Chewing is Out of Control

Visitor Question

  • I've recently gotten a Jack Russell puppy. She's been a pretty good girl about potty training, with the occasional accident every now and then, but we can't keep our eyes off of her for a second without her trying to chew or eat something. Is there anything thing I can do to stop this behavior?

~~Travis

Expert Reply

Hi Travis,

Congratulations on your new puppy! Puppyhood is full of challenges for dog lovers and chewing is close to the top of the list. First of all, it's quite normal behavior for a couple of reasons.

  1. Puppies are driven to gnaw to help them teethe, whether it's to break through those first milk teeth or to help loosen puppy teeth as the adult teeth come in.
  2. Puppies have an insatiable curiosity for the world around them and they use their mouths the way a human toddler would use its hands to touch and explore.

That being said, here are a few recommendations:

  • Puppy proof your home. This means picking up all loose items puppy shouldn't have, including shoes, toys, throw rugs, etc. You need to reduce the amount of temptations as much as can be reasonably done.
  • Provide your pup with one or two chew toys that she can claim for her own. I usually recommend Kong dog toys because they are virtually indestructible and safe for your pet.
  • Try spraying a product called Bitter Apple on furniture legs, wires, and any other favorite chewing spots your pup may have.
  • Crate train your pup if you haven't already done so. This will give you a safe place to keep her when you can't watch her directly.

I think you will find all these suggestions useful, and remember, puppyhood doesn't last forever. The chewing will lessen in time as long as you don't allow it to go unchecked. Be patient and proactive, and then you and your pup will get through this.

Thanks for your question.~~ Kelly

Dealing with Puppy Chewing