My Puppy Is Teething and It's Tearing All My Belongings. HELP????

Puppies may be just as much work as human babies - maybe more so because puppies can't wear diapers and they have very sharp teeth! It's definitely true that, similar to infants and toddlers, puppies explore their world by putting things in their mouths. In addition, puppies are teething until they're about six months old, which usually creates some discomfort. Chewing not only facilitates teething, but also makes sore gums feel better. Although it's perfectly normal for a puppy to chew on furniture, shoes, shrubbery and such, these behaviors can be a problem for you. A puppy won't magically "outgrow" these behaviors as he matures. Instead, you must shape your puppy's behaviors and teach him which ones are acceptable and which aren't.

Discouraging Unacceptable Behavior

It's virtually inevitable that your puppy will, at some point, chew up something you value. This is part of raising a puppy! You can, however, prevent most problems by taking the following precautions:

Minimize chewing problems by puppy-proofing your house. Put the trash out of reach, inside a cabinet or outside on a porch, or buy containers with locking lids. Encourage children to pick up their toys and don't leave socks, shoes, eyeglasses, briefcases or TV remote controls lying around within your puppy's reach.

If, and only if, you catch your puppy chewing on something he shouldn't, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise, then offer him an acceptable chew toy instead and praise him lavishly when he takes the toy in his mouth.

Make unacceptable chew items unpleasant to your puppy. Furniture and other items can be coated with "Bitter Apple" to make them unappealing (see our handout: "Aversives for Dogs").

Don't give your puppy objects to play with such as old socks, old shoes or old children's toys that closely resemble items that are off-limits. Puppies can't tell the difference!

Closely supervise your puppy. Don't give him the chance to go off by himself and get into trouble. Use baby gates, close doors or tether him to you with a six-foot leash so you can keep an eye on him.

When you must be gone from the house, confine your puppy to a small, safe area such as a laundry room. You may also begin to crate train your puppy (see our handout Crate Training Your Dog). Puppies under five months of age shouldn't be crated for longer than four hours at a time, as they may not be able to control their bladder and bowels longer than that.

Make sure your puppy is getting adequate physical activity. Puppies left alone in a yard don't play by themselves. Take your puppy for walks and/or play a game of fetch with him as often as possible.

Give your puppy plenty of "people time." He can only learn the rules of your house when he's with you.

• Related Questions

Have you ever had to get rid of your dog? We need your opinion if we should.?

I have little doubt that there ARE plenty of people, who are bored or sick of their dog, and use having a baby as a feeble excuse to get rid of it, thereby "excusing themselves of guilt". Not acceptable!! Ever! But people dumping their dogs in shelters for pathetic reasons, or laziness is nothing new. I could never imagine dumping any animal I own in a shelter. HOWEVER.

.. We cant always see into the future, can we? I think many people seemed to have missed one important point, that you wisely mentioned in your second sentence: "Obviously if a dog is aggressive nobody would want it near their child" Correct. I think that very sentence, implys there is a grey area in your question. Its not just a straight forward case of a yes or no answer. I doubt that any new parent who brought home their baby and found that this was a major problem, would choose to keep the dog, despite the risk to the child. I mean really, would you? This is an ENTIRELY different situation, then the one I mentioned in my opening paragraph. If it came down to the safety of my baby, or my dog.

.. I cant imagine I would have chosen my dog over my child. A horrible decision! And fortunately one I never had to make. I would think that there ARE people who have had to make this awful decision, and I would imagine it was not made quickly or easily, in many circumstances. We all know the terrible damage that pets can inflict on a child. It happens every day. To all those that said they would never re-home a pet because of a child, I ask you your opinion on this scenario? You dog shows UNCHARACTERISTIC and dangerous behaviour when you bring home your new baby. You try everything you can think of (training, time, attention, more exercise etc). It doesnt help. You are stressed and at your wits end. One day there is a near miss, when someone accidentally leaves a door open and the dog comes inside... Your child is still a baby, the dog still had 9-10 plus years life ahead of him. Would you rehome that dog, that you loved and owned before you ever even considered starting a family.

..??? Or make the conscience decision to risk your childs health and possibly life over the next 10 years, because you dont want to rehome the dog??? I would be surprised, if anyone can say, that keeping the dog in that scenario would be an option for them. Yet so many jumped in both feet saying they would NEVER rehome their dog when they had a baby. My answer (IF I were still young enough to still have kids)? I would desperately hope not to have to rehome any pet of mine. I could not even IMAGINE rehoming one. I love them all, more than I can possibly explain to anyone who does not know me. They are my life. Would I choose my babys safety, over my pet?? In a heartbeat. My heart goes out to those who agonised over that terrible decision. Note: Everyone should have another careful read of one trick ponys answer. This time thinking a little more deeply into this thought provoking question


Any Bullmastiff owners who can help with my question about them?

Hello... I do not have a bullmastif, but some habits can follow all breeds. I just read that every single dog breed is 99% wolf<< a pug to a bernise , that is wild. anyway about your pup and choices in his nibbles. I have the same problem. mine will grab the fly away lint from the dryer while i am trying to remove it or will find a piece of twine chewing and chewing as i remove and pull this 8" piece from his mouth and throat. every chew toy , raw hide, treats known to man I have. My vet and all trainers have agreed with one thing either dogs do this or they don't there is NO TRAINING to un-do this scary habit. A friend of mine saves great danes and sadly she thought she made a safe place in her basement, but came home to find he had gotten into the furnace filter and ate it..:o( just awful he didn't have a chance with the fiberglass in the filter. For dogs like this we have to get into baby/toddler thinking and baby proof every single thing. anything that not only can fit in mouth but that can become a chew toy. Bitter apple spray didn't work for my shoes ( my 10 month pup loves vinager<< odd but true) buttons on clothing he eats shoe laces, lint, toilet paper on the roll or off the roll orange peel,comb , brush, cords to the tv , liting, it is endless. legs on my antique furniture ( i have a metal bed frame now) bored is next to impossiable un-less he is ADHD << and haa i think so.

. lucky for me he fears steps and i have not tried to teach him ( it is a safe comfort knowing this for now) I keep him on harness next to me while on computer and i am non stop rewarding him for his choice when he gets a raw hide or chew toy from his basket. he does LOVE the KONG <<< if you have not tried the KONG please do. Also mine loves the Dingos raw hides they have a hidden strip of meat flavor in it that makes him work for it<< will do this for a long time.

.You are lucky that your pup could be saved, sadly it is a huge wake up call as to just how cautious we must be. as for the legs mine will jump and jump and i am told that this is something i may want to try and re-direct him in this habit. extra weight can really pull and weight down on any dogs body, but if he is favoring a walk or leg maybe it is his nails. I was told and taught on the right way to clip and maintain the shorter nail because this can cause a strain on their legs. I use a flash lite under the nail as to not clip too short. Now i just keep up on the trim as to not let the wick out grow. Also remember a dog has a straight track from mouth to stomach and out as humans it goes through the endless maze to digest. I am sure all of that plays on the spine as would any extra weight. The old saying a tired dog is a good dog bullmastifs are not jumpy hyper type of dogs, they do love their walks and their cuddles. They are more of a observer in the dog world from what i have seen. A border collie they are not , so he may be a laid back dog and when bord likes to nibble on stuff. I love this breed they are just beautiful. The gentle giant. with a wet mouth.

.:o)I hope i helped a bit. Also keep a list of many questions and when you go to the vet ask them. Often we ask so many people stuff, but when it comes to Vets and our own Dr. we fall silent. Haaa I am guilty. So keep a index card with the many thoughts and questions that you may have and if they can wait until the visit ask them, if not you also can call the office . Good luck.

. Peace to you, D.


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