Dealing With a Dog That Chews

As the owner of a overly curious and very hyper Jack Russell, I have learned how to deal with a obsessive chewer. My dog, Abby, was six weeks old when we got her. I wanted her to be an inside dog, so she pretty much had the run of the house. When we would leave the house and even when we went to bed, we would leave her out.


After she got past the regular puppy stage, we noticed she still had an obsession with getting into stuff and chewing. After work, we would come home to pillows on the floor and sometimes chewed up and things scattered everywhere. One time, she found a tiny hole in the couch and ripped it open. Shoes, socks, checkbooks, pretty much anything she could get her paws on.

Now I know you think she's probably a little terror, but she is actually a sweet and very affectionate dog. All she needed was some boundaries. We bought her a pet taxi, but it just wasn't big enough for her to stay comfortably in for long periods of time. Finally, we bought her a big, fold up kennel. You can find them at Walmart and they are not that expensive. It was big enough for her to move around in and she had food, water, and toys to entertain her while she was in there. After she got used to the kennel, things got so much better. No more tearing up and getting into things, she learned then she had her limits on what she could or could not do. Now she knows when we get ready to leave, that's where she supposed to go, and she heads towards it. She has turned out to be the best dog and a wonderful part of the household. I know not everyone has a dog that's like this, but for the ones who do this is the best solution I found.

By Heather from Stanton, KY

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May 14, 2007

Here is my tip for today. If your dog or puppy is chewing your home or your shoes for that matter anything, up, try some all natural clove oil.

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Catherine Forman
April 16, 2006

This may have happened to you: you come home from a long day at work or a short trip to the store to find that your precious dog has demolished your favorite new shoes! I can still remember the day it happened to me. I had just gotten the cutest pair of flip-flops with a bamboo foot bed.

puppy chewing on shoe

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30 Questions

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April 11, 2011

I have a Pit Bull that chews everything she gets her mouth around. She will chew wood toys, rugs, beds, and drywall. What kind of toys can Pits have? She chews every kind of toy I get. How can I stop her from chewing the house up?

By john


April 12, 20110 found this helpful

Check out the Kongs. My dog is an aggressive chewer. The extreme Kongs have been great for my dog. He can destroy just about anything. The nylabones are also great. One of those lasts my dog about a month before I have to replace it because he's chewed it apart.

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March 22, 2011

We have a Red Nose Pit Bull and we just started to notice him chewing up a lot of stuff around the house outside. We have toys and bones for him to chew on and we give him a lot of love. We are wondering if a muzzle will work for the chewing part.

By Petertink from Tehachapi, CA


March 23, 20110 found this helpful

We have a Yorkie who is now 18 mos. she is an avid chewer. just when we think it is over, she starts in again. the only advice we can offer is bitter apple sprayed on whatever she enjoys chewing. She hates it; I have tried others but she rather liked them. If someone else out there can offer advice I too, am willing to listen. She does go to the Nylabone when I catch her chewing and recommend the bone; but that doesn't always work either. I guess it is live and bear it.

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March 23, 20110 found this helpful

Does he get regular exercise? Sometimes boredom causes chewing. He should have a good long walk every day.

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February 12, 2015

How do I break my 6 year dog, that I just adopted 5 months ago, from tearing holes in comforters. I have tried time out, making her wear the blanket around her neck because the hole fit over her head for 20 minutes, and not allowing her on the bed. Help me this is getting expensive.

By Linda

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September 8, 2005

We have two puppies that love to chew on everything from the dining table legs, chair legs, plastic garbage bags, weights and have even destroyed the blue padding that covers the springs on a trampoline! I've tried scolding verbally, they ignore me. I tried showing them the fly swatter and smacking my hand with it, also to no avail. What can I do to stop these two from chewing everything we own up? I have thought about tabasco, but have heard that destroys their taste buds and they'll be finicky (sp) eaters after. I'm one step away from begging for help here!



By (Guest Post)
September 8, 20050 found this helpful

Have you tried crating your pups when you cannot supervise them? Trust me, it works. Then when you can supervise them, offer them special chew toys.
Another thing, try a spray called bitter apple. It works on those things the puppies just won't leave alone. But I'd try crating or confining in an area until they're a bit older and can be supervised by you. Good luck.

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By Me (Guest Post)
September 8, 20050 found this helpful

I agree. They sound like normal pups to me. I've been through it twice. I lost so much stuff. But now i can't remember what I lost because they have brought so much joy into my life that it's no longer important. Hide treats around the house for them to find, like frozen pb in kongs. Also food in the toys that dispense it when they work for it. I don't leave food available when we're not home because I am concerned they will choke on it. I only leave water. So it's your call. I've never crated my dogs but as long as the crate is used in a positive/den way then it can be helpful. If they view it as a "home" then it's good.

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By Linda (Guest Post)
September 8, 20050 found this helpful

They do get past the chewing stage eventually, just like a teething baby. The above suggestions are great. Just FYI-my Shelties chewed up the vinyl flooring in my kitchen. I then replaced it with ceramic tile!

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September 8, 20050 found this helpful

I agree w/everything already suggested. Additionally, when you are home the best way to teach them is to have them attached to a leash and the leash around your waist. When you sit, they sit. When you move, they heel. When you need to correct a behavior, a gentle, or firm if necessary, quick "yank" on the leash - not to pull them but to startle them, works wonders! Good luck!

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By ROSA (Guest Post)
September 8, 20050 found this helpful

They puppies are probably teething, and their mouths hurt, get a pop or beer can, put some pebbles or pennies in it and tape the top shut . when they do something bad, shake the can . They do not like this at all. We have a dog , just turned 5 , he still moves when he just sees the can.

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September 8, 20050 found this helpful

Our dog just got out of the puppy stage of chewing on things. It took about 1 year. But, she does get mad when left home alone. That is the only time we have a problem now. Our solution was to put her in a cage when we are not home with her. We put a blanket and some toys in there for her and she likes it. She will often go in there on her own just to lay down. While she was chewing on things, we kept plenty of chew toys around for her. The $ stores have them and Wal-mart has many for .88 We have also bought her stuffed animals and frisbees from garage sales. When we get home and let her out of her cage, she gets lots of love and attention and a treat for behaving.

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By Sue (Guest Post)
September 9, 20050 found this helpful

Puppies chew,,,some for years. They do not know a good chair leg from a stick,,it is the chew thing. , or a good pair of shoes from a bad pair, eliminate as much as you can from their space,,put up shoes, books anything they can reach. Of course, the furniture will have to stay, but supply them with chewie things just for just for dogs.They will demolish everything in their space, because they are PUPPIES. My Puppie will be five in October, he has destroyed love seats, two mattresses, and box springs, clothing, books, anything he could reach. More bedspreads and comforters that possible. I have had to put him in the pen when I am not in the home. I don't think he will ever grow out of it,..but he is better,,,thankfully. It has taken a great deal of patience and $$ to keep him,,but he is one of the family.

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November 17, 2012

Why do outside dogs on a leash chew up on anything that it gets to and how can I stop it?

By L.H.

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February 21, 2012

My Pit is basically a year old. Today I decided to give her a test and not crate her; I was only gone for an hour and she chewed the window sill. I have two other full-grown dogs here as well, they are 5 and 7 year old Labs. Why is she still chewing and how do I correct this issue of my dog?

By Bobby

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July 18, 2011

I have a year and a half old Dachshund and she is very spiteful. She is excellent for weeks alone in the bedroom when I leave and then she randomly chews something out of the blue when she has bones and toys all over the room to chew. What do I do? Please help me I need advice I am at my wits end.

By ron2011

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April 8, 2011

Does anyone have an idea for a dog bed pad for a dog that really likes to chew? I've been using an old quilt that I have to sew back up almost every day. I've also used old packing blankets that he just chews to shreds.

By leese from OR

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March 16, 2011

I have a Dachshund that chews holes in all the blankets he can get his teeth into! Nothing else, just blankets. Is there anything I can spray on my blankets or any other ideas to prevent his blanket chewing? All my blankets are full of little holes!


By sue from VA

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July 8, 2005

My 10-month-old female Dachshund loves to chew on shoes (other things, too, but mostly shoes). We have changed our habits by ensuring that our shoes are out of reach, but it's difficult to communicate this importance to guests who visit for extended periods.

I think something that would go a long way toward training her would be to limit her "approved" chew toys list. Personally, I would like to have one (maybe two) unique toys that she knows are OK to chew on. My husband, however, seems to think she needs "stimulation," so just about every week, he brings in one or two new squeaky, bouncy, chewy things for her to play with - to the point that now we have about 15 or 20 toys (that haven't already been destroyed) to choose from.

I think this is confusing to her, giving her too many options. Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? (Note: We do have a 14-month-old male companion Doxie, too. He's been "shoe-chew-free" for about 10 months now.)



By Julie (Guest Post)
July 9, 20050 found this helpful

I agree with you. I used to work for a veterinarian and we always told people that their puppies should have only a few toys and if you give them too many it gets confusing and they think they can chew on everything. And definitely don't give them any old shoes to chew on!

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July 9, 20050 found this helpful

We have a one year old JackRussell very GOOD girl..then we have 6 month old Yorkie (PITB/Pain in the Butt) who we LOVE and Yorkie ate my hubbys
shoes one night...OOPS...we got LOTS of toys and chew strips, chew bones and now Yorkie looks in his
little toy basket for stuff to chew and play with, he is
learning that toys OK shoes NO-NO...and no recent
incidents...I pick up toys each night with Grabber and put them in his basket and each morning he
finds a new one to use....
Patience will be your friend... :)

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By Claudia (Guest Post)
July 11, 20050 found this helpful

My two longhaired dachshunds, Molly and Doodad, will chew for hours on those chew hooves (icky and stinky, but oh well!) and rope 'bones' with two large knots. They can destroy other toys in two minutes flat. Maybe you could try these and keep them occupied and away from the shoes. Worth a try.

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October 21, 2011

My dog has everything a dog can have, even more; she lives better than many Americans in this hard economic situation. My dog needs attention and love I guess every second because if not she destroys things. Every time she is left home alone when I go to pick up my son from school (just for 30 minutes), she destroys my son's bed, sheets, and pillows.

I'm scared she can hurt my two kids. I have a 13 month old baby that my dog does not like too much. Please help, I'm thinking seriously of taking her to a shelter. BTW my dog has a bed inside our home, she eats, drinks, and stays inside, because if not she gets upset, we also walk her.

By Cio R.

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December 27, 2010

Why is my dog chewing up everything when left home?

By Djsam from Azusa, CA

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