Puppies are inquisitive and playful by nature. They can be heaps of fun, but it is important to take the right steps to protect your home and protect them from themselves, as having a big heap of energy bulldozing through your home can end in a disaster.
Destructive chewing, playful chewing, jumping on people and getting on the furniture are common behavioural patterns in puppies, but are these preventable?
Chewing and biting
To begin with, puppies may chew and damage furniture in front of you, and it is important to be consistently assertive and to tell them no. But punishing your puppy doesn’t always solve the problem, some cheeky canines continue to chew and destroy your furniture when you’re not around. Simple ways of stopping this from happening are investing in puppy fences that divide up the room into puppy “safe zones”.
Also trying out different behavioural correction techniques can be effective, each puppy will respond differently to the things you try, so don’t give up and stay consistent. Non-aggressive techniques like spraying your puppy with water and saying “no” assertively can be effective. It is important to be consistent with your training, but remember never to be aggressive with your puppy. The end game is to stop them from misbehaving, not to scare them. An unusual but effective remedy is to invest in bitter apple spray to spray on wires and your furniture, this will soon stop your pups from chewing.
Why do puppies chew and bite furniture?
A lot of dog owners believe that chewing furniture is a phase or a mild behavioural problem, such as separation anxiety. Not many people know that chewing could actually be an indication of poor nutrition or not enough food provisions. To prevent chewing from continuing to happen, make sure that you are feeding your puppy the right amount of food every day, and also that you are buying food specifically designed for puppies that have the right kind of nutrients, vitamins and protein. If you are unsure of which food to buy, then it is always useful to consult with your vet,
Puppies have heaps of energy, they jump up at people, can run for hours and always want to play. In order to protect your home, always remember to move breakable ornaments and objects out of the pathway or reach of your puppy, especially if they could fall and result in an injury. Protecting your puppy is equally as important as protecting your home. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure you vet fits them with a pet microchip. If they are ever lost (or worse, stolen) they will be more likely to be reunited with you.
Caring for a puppy can be challenging, it is important to remember to remain consistent and to think of them like another member of the family. If there are small objects that are a choking hazard on the floor, then the chances are that they will end up in your puppy’s mouth. And if there are breakable objects in reach of your puppy, then chances are that they will get broken. And finally, if you catch them chewing or destroying your furniture, chances are that they will try again until they know better. All of these things are preventable, and the older your puppy gets the less likely they will be to destroy your home.
Cathy is a new author and has experience pet sitting and with pets in general. Three years as a pet sitter in college and extensive experience volunteering in a shelter environment, fostering, training, a year as a vet assistant, etc.