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Chewing and the Redirect

Important Points:

Puppies like babies love to chew. However, you need to make it very clear what your puppy can and can’t chew. Puppies don’t chew to upset you or get you angry however if you over react by chasing them shouting and making a real fuss then they may think it is a good game! Even a puppy can see the funny side of winding you up a little!

Be gentle with very young puppies

With everything here, it is important to realize that an 8-week old puppy should be treated with more tolerance that a 7-month-old! With an 8 week old you should really focus on setting your puppy up to win by removing the object it is chewing or placing your puppy in a safe enclosed space where it is surrounded by toys!

So many people struggle in this area yet it is actually very straight forward.

The solution in practice

  1. When your puppy starts to chew something it shouldn’t simply move her away using her collar. Do not say a word.
  2. If the puppy has the item in its mouth then take it out calmly and confidently without a word.
  3. As you move her away, redirect her onto something that she can chew like a toy.
  4. If she leaves her toy and goes back to chewing that which you don’t want her to then move her away again.
  5. Repeat a few times and then isolate your puppy if she refuses to stop chewing.
  6. Puppies learn from consequences of their actions….Your puppy will soon learn what to chew and what not to.

Important concepts

  • You must stay calm. Do not speak, touch or look at your puppy. When you do this any attention is going to reinforce the behavior
  • Stay very calm and use low energy so move slowly
  • Prevention is far better than cure. So avoid leaving the items around on the floor that your puppy loves to chew. It is a very practical way of avoiding the problem
  • Show your puppy what she can chew by giving her all her toys either by hand into her mouth with the words “This is for Susie” or by putting them in her cage
  • Think of it like this…..You are not trying to stop the chewing – just redirect it!

The most common mistakes

  1. Forgetting to redirect the puppy and give it something else to chew
  2. Shouting at the puppy because it is easier in the short-term
  3. Speaking and telling her off and therefore giving her lots of attention

Additional information

  • Rotate your puppies toys so that they do not get bored with them
  • Try to give your puppy very soft toys that it can get her teeth into – not just hard plastic ones
  • Often a wet T-towel can be just as much fun as an expensive toy
  • Having a safe playpen area for really young puppies is great – it becomes their world where they can chew whatever they like!


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