It is normal for puppies to be "mouthie". Most chewing behaviour is seen in young puppies due to their strong desire to explore. As dogs mature, this desire decreases and they are less likely to be destructive.
Why does it happen?
- This type of behaviour may start after a change in routine or because of boredom.
- Often, dogs do not know what they can and cannot chew, unless you show or tell them.
- Offering household objects such as old slippers, etc. for the dog to chew, will only confuse him, as he will find it hard to distinguish between what he can and cannot chew.
- Having their own toys will help define suitable chewing items. Some puppies may also play-bite hands and fingers. This action may seem acceptable if they’ve been allowed to do it elsewhere. It is important that the whole family does not encourage the puppy to bite. If the puppy does try to bite, command "no", and distract their attention with a toy.
What you must do:
- Provide chew toys that do not resemble in appearance or texture unacceptable chew items. For example, a plush toy may be similar to a pillow, stuffed animals or chair cushions.
- Prevent access to unacceptable chew items.
- Exercise and play with your dog regularly to alleviate excess energy and provide positive interaction.
- Reward your dog with praise for chewing on appropriate items.
- Put aversive substances (bitter apple, etc.) on unacceptable chew items.
- Consult your vet, if need be.