Welcome to How to Love Your Dog!

Behavior Problems
Helping Your Dog Behave
Who's the Boss?
No More Digging
Stop the Chewing
Jumping Up
Does your puppy chew slippers?

No More Chewing!

Here's a quiz. Your adorable puppy has a brand new slipper in his mouth. What should you do? Choose the right answer below. Only one answer is correct.

A. Scream, "No! Give me back my slipper!"
B. Yell, "Bad dog!" and put your dog in your bedroom.
C. Chase your dog until you catch him and take the slipper.
D. Take the slipper and put your dog outside.
E. Go get your dog's favorite toy, then give him the toy as you take the slipper and say, "Thank you!".


It's natural for dogs to put things in their mouths. It feels good. They eat with their mouths. They drink with their mouths. They even play using their mouths.

The problem is that they want everything in their mouths. Your job is to teach your dog which things are okay to chew on.

Are you up to it?

Dogs use their mouths to play.
You should know that your dog is not trying to make you mad. He is just doing what comes naturally. You have to help him learn new ways to entertain himself.


Dogs don't have much to do during the day. Dogs can't do what people do to keep busy. They can't read their favorite book. They can't watch TV. Try to think of activities for your dog. If he is busy playing with things, he is less likely to go looking for your favorite shoe.


Do these things first to stop the chewing:

1. Pretend you are your dog by getting down on your knees and looking around your house. What do you see? Are there things on the floor that would be interesting and fun if you were a dog? How about shoes, pencils, paper clips, clothing, slippers, etc.?
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Pick up all objects from the floor and put them where they belong, or put them in a closet and shut the door.

2. Look around your house. Do you see a door that is open? What's on the other side of that door? Is it a closet with lots of cool things on the floor? Or is it a bedroom with sweet-smelling socks that are easy to reach?
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Close all doors that lead to trouble. The best thing to do is close all doors except for the room you are in. If your dog is having behavior problems, he should be supervised at all times.


3. Look at the furniture in your house. Do you have furniture that is appealing to a chew-happy dog? Most furniture is. Are the legs made out of tasty wood? Does the sofa have an inviting, tempting upholstery (the cloth or leather that covers your couch)?

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Decide with all of your family that you will not leave your puppy alone in the house until he is grown up (maybe 2 years old!) and knows his manners.

You will not leave him alone even for an hour. If you leave the house, you will put your dog into a crate, a pen, a bathroom or utility room, or leave him outside.

Give your dog things to play with.
Puppies need toys.


Remember, the 3 steps to stop chewing are:

Pick everything up off the floor.
Close all doors and cupboards that lead to trouble.
Do not leave your dog alone until he is a trustworthy adult.


Now that you've taken away the things you don't want your dog to chew,
here are some good things you can give him to chew:
Dogs need toys to play with that satisfy their chewing needs.
Dogs need toys to play with that satisfy their chewing needs. Go to the store and find the type of toy your dog likes. It may be bones, plastic or vinyl toys, or fluffy sheepskin toys.


Toys that give your dog something to do are well worth the money that they cost. Learn all about dog toys here.


Here are some good choices:

There are many different kinds of dog bones.
Large bones that are real, made of plastic, and are unbreakable can smell and feel good to your dog.
Click for more.

Most dogs love toys!
Some dogs like to chew on these toys.
Stuff your Kong with treats.
A Kong can be filled with food and your dog will have fun trying to get it out.

for Teething Puppies and Young Dogs

puppy chewing on washcloth

You can make your own chew toy for your puppy. Take a clean washcloth and soak it with water. Then twist it real tight. Put it in the freezer. Later, after it's frozen, give it to your puppy to chew on. It will numb his sore gums and he will feel better. Always supervise your dog - do not allow him to shred and eat the cloth.


Not all things are good for your dog to chew:

Sick Puppy

Cow hooves are unsafe because they have sharp edges.

 Rawhide can be safe if you sit with your dog while he chews it. Sometimes the pieces get soft and bend and they can get stuck in the dog's throat. If you supervise your dog when he chews rawhide, this shouldn't happen.


Chicken or steak bones leftover from dinner can choke your dog or break and cause damage to the inside of her body. Visit your favorite pet store to find special bones that are safe for your dog to chew. 



So, your puppy has a slipper in his mouth. How do you handle it?
A puppy chewing slippers

The best way is to remember that it is natural for dogs to chew. Don't chase your dog. Just trade the slipper for a toy he likes and as you trade, say, "Thank you, puppy!"

Your dog may make a game of it and start bringing you things. No worries. Just play the game and it is unlikely your dog will chew the things he is bringing to you.


Got dog behavior questions?
Try our new Behavior FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)!

Just Click on the Mischievous Puppy!

Cartoon Puppy


Here are our favorite training books written for kids:

Puppy Training
Puppy Training for Kids, by Sarah Whitehead, Barrons Juveniles 2001
This book has easy-to-understand instructions for children on puppy training and care. With an emphasis on fun. Learn what to feed puppies and how much to give them, and how to play games that are safe and enjoyable. They also learn basics of puppy handling, grooming, giving commands, teaching obedience, tricks, and much more. There are great full-color photos throughout the book. For ages 9-12, or 4-8 with parents' guidance.

Your Puppy, Your Dog, by Pat Storer, Storey Publishing; 1997
From the Back Cover
What a dog needs most is love -- and loving a dog means providing everything it needs to be happy and healthy. With easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of illustrations, this book tells you just how to care for and understand your dog.
Includes: How to select the puppy or dog that is best for you, What and how to feed your dog, How to train and exercise your dog, How to play with your dog or puppy, How to keep your dog in the best of health, Where and how to show your dog, ... Ages 9 and up

Kids Training Puppies in Five Minutes, by JoAnn Dahan, Cork Hill Press; (February 5, 2004)
From an Amazon.com reader: My name is Christi, I am 7 years old. I just got a new lab puppy from my Mom and Dad her name is Ginny. Before I could have Ginny I had to promised I would care for her and train her. This book is so great, it is very easy to read and the pictures of the lab puppies and kids are so cute. I taught Ginny to sit and lie down really fast. I think every kid with a puppy should have this book. Ages 5-8

Dog Training For Kids, by Carol Lea Benjamin, Howell Book House Inc. 1988
This is a great book for kids written by one of the best. It explains all of the basic training that a child will need to get a good start with a dog. Also covers common behavior problems. Ages 9-12



Behavior Problems
Helping Your Dog Behave
Who's the Boss?
No More Digging
Stop the Chewing
Jumping Up

Cody's Tour
Kelly's Tour
Trouper's Tour
Your New Dog
Well-Behaved Dog
Special Topics
A New Dog
Your Best Friend
Too Many Dogs
I'll Love You Forever
Training Basics
Following the Rules
What Dogs Cost
Obedience Lessons
Keeping Safe
What Dogs Need
Behavior Problems
Older Dogs
Puppy Basics
Learning Tricks
Losing Your Dog

Ready for a Dog?
Your Stories
When I Grow Up
Your Dogs
Birthday Page
Book Club
Quiz Yourself
Your Poetry

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