dog chewing on its owners boot while the owner is learning about how to stop a dog from chewing

How to Stop a Dog from Chewing

Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs that serves various purposes, including teething, exploring their environment, and relieving stress. However, when this behavior becomes destructive or excessive, it can pose challenges for pet owners. Fortunately, there are effective strategies to curb chewing habits and promote healthier alternatives for your furry friend.

Understanding the Behavior of Chewing in Dogs

Dogs chew for a multitude of reasons, and understanding these motivations is essential for addressing the behavior effectively. Whether it’s teething in puppies, boredom, anxiety, or a lack of appropriate outlets for energy, each factor requires a tailored approach to management.

Identifying the Root Causes of Chewing:

Teething in Puppies

Puppies, like human infants, go through a teething phase where they seek relief by chewing on objects. Providing them with suitable teething toys can help alleviate discomfort and prevent them from damaging household items.

Boredom or Lack of Mental Stimulation

Dogs left alone for extended periods may resort to chewing out of boredom. Enriching their environment with interactive toys, puzzle feeders, and regular playtime can keep them mentally engaged and less inclined to chew destructively.

Anxiety and Stress

Some dogs chew as a coping mechanism for anxiety or stress. Identifying the triggers for their anxiety and providing reassurance, along with behavior modification techniques, can help reduce their reliance on chewing as a stress-relief outlet.

Lack of Proper Exercise

Insufficient physical activity can lead to excess energy, which dogs may channel into chewing. Ensuring your dog receives regular exercise through walks, runs, or play sessions can help burn off energy and decrease the likelihood of destructive chewing behavior.

Creating a Safe Environment

Prevention is key when it comes to managing chewing behavior. By creating a safe environment and removing tempting objects, you can minimize the opportunity for your dog to indulge in destructive chewing.

Training and Positive Reinforcement:

Teaching the "Leave It" Command

Training your dog to leave objects on command can be invaluable in redirecting their attention away from items they shouldn’t chew. Consistent practice and positive reinforcement will reinforce this behavior over time.

Redirecting Chewing Behavior to Appropriate Items

Provide your dog with a variety of chew toys that are safe and durable. Encourage them to chew on these items by praising and rewarding them when they choose appropriate outlets for their chewing instincts.

Rewarding Good Behavior with Treats and Praise

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool in modifying behavior. Whenever your dog chooses to chew on their toys instead of household items, lavish them with praise and the occasional treat to reinforce the desired behavior.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation:

Importance of Regular Physical Exercise

A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors such as chewing. Make sure your dog gets sufficient exercise every day to burn off excess energy and keep them mentally and physically satisfied.

Engaging Activities to Stimulate the Dog's Mind

Incorporate mentally stimulating activities into your dog’s daily routine, such as obedience training, scent games, or hide-and-seek. These activities not only provide mental enrichment but also strengthen the bond between you and your pet.

Puzzle Toys and Interactive Games

Invest in puzzle toys and interactive games that challenge your dog’s problem-solving skills and keep them occupied. These toys can provide hours of entertainment while redirecting their chewing behavior onto appropriate outlets.

Seeking Professional Help

If your dog’s chewing behavior persists despite your best efforts, consider seeking guidance from a veterinarian or certified animal behaviorist. They can assess underlying issues contributing to the behavior and recommend specialized interventions or medications if necessary.

Consistency and Patience

Addressing chewing behavior requires patience, consistency, and a willingness to adapt strategies as needed. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is a well-behaved dog. Stay committed to the process, and you’ll eventually see progress.


Chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, but when it becomes destructive, it can be frustrating for pet owners. By understanding the root causes of chewing, creating a safe environment, implementing training and positive reinforcement techniques, providing ample exercise and mental stimulation, and seeking professional help when needed, you can effectively curb your dog’s chewing habits and promote a harmonious relationship between you and your furry companion. If you need help with stopping your dog’s unwanted chewing you can get started with a completely Free Training Session Here!


How long does it take to stop a dog from chewing?

  • The timeline for stopping chewing behavior varies depending on the dog’s age, temperament, and the underlying reasons for the behavior. Consistent training and patience are key factors in achieving success.


Are there any breeds more prone to chewing?

  • While all dogs have the potential to chew, certain breeds, such as retrievers and terriers, are known for their strong chewing instincts. However, with proper training and management, chewing behavior can be effectively addressed in any breed.


Should I punish my dog for chewing?

  • Punishment is not an effective way to address chewing behavior. Instead, focus on redirecting your dog’s attention to appropriate chew toys and rewarding good behavior. Punishment can lead to fear and anxiety, exacerbating the problem.


What should I do if my dog ingests something dangerous while chewing?

  • If you suspect your dog has ingested something harmful, contact your veterinarian immediately. Avoid inducing vomiting unless instructed by a professional, as some substances can cause further damage if brought back up.


Can older dogs develop chewing habits?

  • Yes, older dogs can develop chewing habits for various reasons, such as dental issues, cognitive decline, or boredom. It’s essential to address the underlying cause and provide appropriate outlets for chewing to prevent destructive behavior.