Training a puppy not to chew is impossible. Just like a baby that is teething wanting to put everything into their mouths, puppies will chew anything they can get their teeth into. Training a puppy to chew only their own toys and not your favourite….. (fill in the blank) is something altogether different. To achieve this, we mainly have to use common sense. If the puppy is left unattended, don’t leave anything within reach that you don’t want to be chewed on, because I can guarantee you, it will be unrecognisable when you get back. Scolding the puppy after the fact will only confuse the puppy because they will not understand why they are being scolded – they cannot discern wrongdoings of the past, and we cannot communicate that concept to them.
At the same time, leave enough chewable items around that are their own and may be destroyed – remember, they will chew. We start training a puppy not to chew our things from the first day. When the puppy is in your presence and picks up anything they are not allowed to chew, immediately scold them with a firm NO, taking the item away from them if required, and if possible, immediately give them one of their own toys. Praise them when they then do chew their own toys. Remember, we can’t tech them not to chew, the idea is to teach them want they may chew and what is off limits.
The same principle applies when they bite, even in playing. Puppy teeth are very sharp and can inflict a fair amount of damage. Also think about what a grown dog’s bite will do. Indecently, the principle of leaving puppies enough toys to play with whilst unattended also applies to grown dogs. I have noticed that if my grown Rottweilers have destroyed their own toys (as they invariably do) and I have not replaced them, anything in the garden and around the home becomes fair game. Leaving them enough of their own toys however results in virtually no damage to my own belongings.
Other articles on this site that might be of interest include: Training a puppy
Eddie has been involved in dog and puppy training of different breeds for more than 20 years. http://trainpuppyfun.com/puppy_training/