Dogs live a life revolving around their stomachs and mouths. They love to eat and they love chewing, biting or licking. It’s no surprise that many dogs develop problem behaviors associated with the mouth, namely chewing and biting. Allowing a dog to continue chewing and biting beyond her puppy years is inviting disaster. Someone could get hurt.

Dog Chewing

Like babies, many dogs explore the world by tasting or chewing all that they find. The best way to deal with this problem is to be diligent and remove from their reach anything harmful or things they may consider an exciting proposition. This should include wiring, cleaning supplies and small objects.

Secure your cupboard doors with childproof fasteners so you don’t come home to find Grandma’s antique china dish in little pieces across the dining room floor.

Another good deterrent is to buy a few soft and specially designed dog toys whose sole purpose is for your dog to chew to his heart’s content. If you’re at home and see your dog contemplating his next feast, be quick to offer one of the toys as an alternative.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs No dog likes to be left alone, and unless your dog is left alone on a regular basis and is used to a set pattern of departure and arrival, he may develop separation anxiety. Your dog may find an outlet for separation anxiety in many different forms:

  • chewing
  • barking
  • urinating
  • defecating
  • vomiting
  • escape behavior (such as chewing through walls, scratching through doors, bursting out of cages or digging under fences).

To prevent this type of behavior, make sure that your dog has lots of his favorite toys scattered around the house so that no matter where he looks for you, he’ll always find a distraction. If you usually listen to music or have the television on while you’re at home, leave the TV or radio on to provide familiar background sounds.

For extreme cases, discuss some of the newer pharmacological interventions with your veterinarian. These drugs can truly be life saving for some dogs.

Puppy Mouthing or Biting

Like chewing, biting is a natural behavior for dogs, especially young puppies. However, unlike chewing, biting should be deterred as soon as possible.

If a puppy bites you, yelp pitifully to show that he hurt you. Then give him one of his toys. With an older dog, use a raised voice (be firm, but not scary) and say something along the lines of, “No biting!”

If this behavior persists, stop playing with him and walk away. With an older dog, call a time-out and put him in a separate room until he’s calmed down. Continue these exercises until your dog realizes that this behavior is not acceptable. Although a puppy’s bite may seem harmless, the results of a biting dog can be severe.