FAQ– Why does my dog chew everything?
Generally, chewing is a result of absolute boredom and happens more often when the dog is left unattended or ignored, however depending on the age there could be developmental reasons behind it as well. More often than not, chewing isn’t addressed until it becomes a bigger issue, when the dog starts to become destructive. Early action and prevention is key. By setting boundaries and providing appetizing and palatable toys during the puppy stage, you can teach your dog to love their toys so they won’t be interested in your personal items. Historically, wild canines survived off of scavenging just as much as hunting, and foraging for old bones and scraps for extra nutrition. Domesticated dogs therefore have a predisposition to do the same, seeking out and consuming treats hidden inside of toys.
As our dogs go through different stages in life, they will also go through different stages of chewing. Before the age of six months puppies chew for the sake of teething as well as exercising their jaws. When they are this small we can teach them proper chewing habits by starting them off with food puzzles and food toys. Some of the popular ones we recommend are mini Kongs, Busy Buddies, Nylabones or any hollowed out toy that can be stuffed with appropriate treats. After they’ve lost their baby teeth, they have to exercise and strengthen their newly grown permanent adult teeth. White bones are very durable and are perfect for this stage of post-puppy chewing, but ONLY after their adult teeth have grown in nice and strong. If they do not develop good chewing habits when they are young, there are no limits on what they can and can’t chew.
Dogs use their mouths similar to how we use our hands, and outside of eating, drinking and communicating, dogs’ mouths are their primary tools to explore their surroundings. This is why they are often attracted to things that we touch on a daily basis, i.e shoes, remotes, purses, underwear, these are all things that we touch on a daily basis and they end up collecting our scent. Another common thing that leads to incessant chewing is the ‘competitive play mode’. This is when a dog is persistently wanting to play but there is no toy or other object to play with and release this energy. This results in the dog chewing on anything and everything they can find i.e couch, rugs, and baseboards. Without boundaries or confinement, our dog’s natural curiosity will lead them to believe that whatever is good for us humans must be good enough for them too.
DOG OF THE MONTH – Nibbler
Meet Nibbler! He is a very smart, active, and alert, one year old Australian Cattle Dog rescued from Bakersfield, California. Thanks to the Dawg Squad, Nibbler gets to work, train, play and socialize, while he patiently waits for his forever home. He loves to snuggle, play fetch, work on training drills and is very food motivated. This handsome man gets along well with other dogs and would absolutely love a family to go on hikes and play games with. If you or someone you know is interested in adopting or meeting Nibbler click the link below.
RELATIONSHIP BUILDER TIPS –
How to use food to improve your relationship
As dog owners it’s safe to say that we all love our dogs, and what most of them have in common is that they not only love us, but they also love food! We know that giving our pups treats and extra servings is a guaranteed way to make them happy but just like anything good in life, too much of it can be a very bad thing. One of my clients who is a cat specialist asked me, “ What kind of cats do you like?”. Call it bias but my automatic answer was “Cats who think they are dogs”. My client then explained that the easiest way to make a cat act like a dog, is simply to feed them breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Overfeeding your dog, or even too much access to food can not only lead to obesity and other health issues, but it can also lessen your dog’s food drive, which is defined as the dogs willingness to offer a behavior in exchange for food. By portioning out their meals you increase their cooperation and their drive to learn. When dogs are free fed, like most cats are, they don’t work as hard to please you. Dogs that are underweight are often anxious and are sometimes too nervous to eat, so there is no food drive to begin with. This is common with over indulged dogs as well. The first basic needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy are physiological and safety and while we may support them in all of their physical needs (i.e providing them with food , water, shelter etc.) we often drop the ball when it comes to providing structure and supporting their safety needs. When we don’t set limits and boundaries in our dog’s life they often feel the need to take control of the situation, which leaves you in the passenger seat.
TRAINING CERTAIN BREEDS – German Shepherds
You don’t have to be a dog expert to be able to recognize a German Shepherd when you see one. German Shepherds are smart, loyal, courageous and confident working breed. Most people recognize them from the international movie superstar Rin Tin Tin or “Rinty”, a German Shepherd who was rescued off the battlefields during World World I. His image and charisma created a popular demand for the breed throughout the United States in the 1920s and ‘30s. They were first bred in the 1890s, on account of the demand for a noble looking working breed for herding sheep. Their high intelligence and obedience continue to make them excellent working dogs in various lines of work including police force, farming, military, and disability assistance. They are adaptable to various lifestyles and can reach their full potential with positive reinforcement.
Post Written By: Greer E. Darden