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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I recently adopted a 3 month old Labrador Retriever mixed. He is a lovable puppy, but also very stubborn! I know puppies chew a lot, and I got him some chew toys, but when recently he has started chewing on everything he can! My clothes, blankets, pillows, etc. Whenever he does chew on the wrong things, I say "NO!" or "LEAVE IT" in a firm loud voice, and I show him one of his chew toys, but that does not work! When he stops chewing on the wrong thing, I immediately take it away from him, but he seems to follow me, or grab another wrong thing. He chooses to ignore me and continues on chewing what he desires to. Basically, he does not listen to me! It got so bad today that he managed to learn how to jump up on the sofa, and tries to chew there too!
Any other suggestions on how to make a stubborn puppy to stop chewing all the wrong things?
 

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"Labs chew 'til they're two, and shed 'til they're dead", LOL.

You need to control his access to things he's not supposed to chew. Keep him tied to you when you can, and in a playpen when you can't. Keep stuff off the floor, put your shoes in a closed closet, etc. And keep directing him to his own toys. He'll get the idea someday. But mostly it's a management issue.
 

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Yelling at him for chewing won't help. He NEEDS to chew and he doesn't understand what's okay to chew and what's not. Your job is to teach him.

Keep him away from things you don't want him to chew. If you catch him chewing the wrong thing, simply replace it with the right thing. When he chews the right thing, praise him.

I like "drop it" as a command, but you've probably ruined it with yelling, so teach him "not yours" by trading. Offer him something better than what he has, when he releases say "not yours" and give him the better thing, probably a treat.

Remember, dogs aren't stubborn. They're untrained. That's your fault, not his.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
"Labs chew 'til they're two, and shed 'til they're dead", LOL.

You need to control his access to things he's not supposed to chew. Keep him tied to you when you can, and in a playpen when you can't. Keep stuff off the floor, put your shoes in a closed closet, etc. And keep directing him to his own toys. He'll get the idea someday. But mostly it's a management issue.
Thanks for the reply. I can tie him up to me or put in him a play pen, but that's just going to avoid the problem. I want to be able to trust him not to chew anything without tying him up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yelling at him for chewing won't help. He NEEDS to chew and he doesn't understand what's okay to chew and what's not. Your job is to teach him.

Keep him away from things you don't want him to chew. If you catch him chewing the wrong thing, simply replace it with the right thing. When he chews the right thing, praise him.

I like "drop it" as a command, but you've probably ruined it with yelling, so teach him "not yours" by trading. Offer him something better than what he has, when he releases say "not yours" and give him the better thing, probably a treat.

Remember, dogs aren't stubborn. They're untrained. That's your fault, not his.
Thanks for your reply. When I do show him a chew toy, while he's chewing on the wrong thing, he ignores it and continues on. I don't want to replace the wrong thing he is chewing on, with a treat... because I use the treat to praise him, when he does the right thing. Maybe I need to get him more chew toys, and give them to him two at a time, so he doesn't get bored with all of them and has no interest when I try to replace the chew toy with something he is not supposed to chew on. Also, I use a stern loud voice, I don't yell at him, there's a difference ;)
 

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Thanks for the reply. I can tie him up to me or put in him a play pen, but that's just going to avoid the problem. I want to be able to trust him not to chew anything without tying him up.
Evetually, sure. But for a Lab pup, not for a looonnngg time. He's just a toddler. Self-control takes a while to develop.
 

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I have the same issue with my three month old miniature poodle. The older he gets, the worse things he's now chewing, like furniture!

The trainer at PetsMart swears by Bitter Apple, which is a spray that tastes bad. You could try spraying it on things you don't want him to chew. Try a small portion first to make sure it doesn't discolor anything. Unfortunately for me, this doesn't deter Oliver at all. The taste doesn't seem to bother him. But it may work for you.

As for toys, I find that Oliver loves them at first than gets bored with them. So I put some away for awhile so he forgets them, then bring them back as "Yay! New toys!!" I also took the advice in another thread. He has a toy box and he goes over and pulls thngs out of it to play with. He seems to enjoy that.
 

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Our 9 month old BC mix is a champion chewer, there is NOTHING she won't chew. She has certain times she's most likely to get into stuff...after meals or when everyone is busy and not paying attention to her... I keep things that I REALLY care about out of her reach and, if she's really in a mood and I'm too busy to supervise closely, I put my 9 year old in charge of policing her or put her in her crate with a bone. The periods of "chew obsession" are slowly getting fewer as she gets older, it used to be ALL THE TIME, now it's kind of predictable. She goes to bed (with my son) quietly now, I used to have to give her a marrow bone at bed time, or she wouldn't settle down and would be going through his room, finding things to chew on until she got so tired she fell asleep. Marrow bones are magic when I'm desperate, if she has a new one, she doesn't care about chewing anything else.
 

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Labs chew. Put in in a playpen... and he'll chew the playpen :) When you switch something he wants to chew (which is everything!) for something that you want him to chew, the new thing has to be more desirable. Try getting a Kong and filling it with peanut butter and Kibble. Also, read the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here and that method may help you train and communicate better. He is possibly just starting to lose his baby teeth and starting to teethe, so chewing is soothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Evetually, sure. But for a Lab pup, not for a looonnngg time. He's just a toddler. Self-control takes a while to develop.
You have a point there, it will take time until I can fully trust him around the house! It's only been a week, so I don't need to get ahead of myself. Thank you for your replies!
 

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I have the same issue with my three month old miniature poodle. The older he gets, the worse things he's now chewing, like furniture!

The trainer at PetsMart swears by Bitter Apple, which is a spray that tastes bad. You could try spraying it on things you don't want him to chew. Try a small portion first to make sure it doesn't discolor anything. Unfortunately for me, this doesn't deter Oliver at all. The taste doesn't seem to bother him. But it may work for you.

As for toys, I find that Oliver loves them at first than gets bored with them. So I put some away for awhile so he forgets them, then bring them back as "Yay! New toys!!" I also took the advice in another thread. He has a toy box and he goes over and pulls thngs out of it to play with. He seems to enjoy that.
Hi Jodi, your poodle is so cute. Thank you for your reply. I have heard about this Bitter Apple spray, I will purchase one and see if that will work on him. My uncle who owns two dogs, gave me a bone today for my puppy- it's like a cow bone, and it does wonders!! (for now at least). I hope it lasts a long time lol, because just like your dog, my puppy also gets bored of his toys so quickly! I should use your advice about hiding the toys and letting him forget about them, and then giving them to him one at a time. I'm also going to purchase a Kong and stuff peanut Butter in it. I willl take the bone away from him next week and give him the Kong, and then the week after, take the Kong away and give him a bone.. lets see how this will work out. But get a pack of bones for him, that should do the trick!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Our 9 month old BC mix is a champion chewer, there is NOTHING she won't chew. She has certain times she's most likely to get into stuff...after meals or when everyone is busy and not paying attention to her... I keep things that I REALLY care about out of her reach and, if she's really in a mood and I'm too busy to supervise closely, I put my 9 year old in charge of policing her or put her in her crate with a bone. The periods of "chew obsession" are slowly getting fewer as she gets older, it used to be ALL THE TIME, now it's kind of predictable. She goes to bed (with my son) quietly now, I used to have to give her a marrow bone at bed time, or she wouldn't settle down and would be going through his room, finding things to chew on until she got so tired she fell asleep. Marrow bones are magic when I'm desperate, if she has a new one, she doesn't care about chewing anything else.

I would go insane with him chewing on EVERYTHING in the room! Your nine year old is so sweet to take care of him while you aren't able to attend the dog. Thank you for the advice on the bone. My uncle who owns two dogs, gave me a bone today for my puppy, and it works wonders, and I hope it will continue to work out... lol!

I can't wait until he is grown out of the teething stage! I gave him a bone today, and it worked! I hope he will love that bone for a very long time :)
 

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UPDATE WITH THE CHEWING: My puppy is the most active with chewing at 7am- and that's not very good for owners like me who are not morning people! This morning he grabbed my mom's pants before she went to work, and wouldn't let go, there were tiny holes in her pants!! I almost went insane with his chewing, but today a miracle happened- he was given a cow type bone by my uncle! Whenever he starts to grab the clothes I'm wearing or starts grabbing on and chewing on things that he isn't supposed to, I show him the bone and he immediately takes it! His chewing has reduced down and he has been enjoying that bone. I hope he will continue to love that bone for a very very long time. lol. I will also purchase a Kong and fill it with peanut butter, and alternate the bone and the kong, to avoid him getting bored with either! Also, planning to purchase one of those bitter apple sprays to see if it will work for us. If anything else goes on, will let you guys know!!
 

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Labs chew. Put in in a playpen... and he'll chew the playpen :) When you switch something he wants to chew (which is everything!) for something that you want him to chew, the new thing has to be more desirable. Try getting a Kong and filling it with peanut butter and Kibble. Also, read the Sticky: The Bite Stops Here and that method may help you train and communicate better. He is possibly just starting to lose his baby teeth and starting to teethe, so chewing is soothing.
Hi Hanksimon, thank you for your reply. A few days back, even before he started to chew, I did look over the sticky about biting, and I did try some of the techniques, like leaving the room, but he didn't seem to care. They also talked about pretending that it hurts by Yelping or saying "ooouuuuch" that didn't work either, because he ignored me. Also, I tried leaving the room, and he looked confused and continued on. Also, I'm too scared to let him nibble on my hand or let him bite me to teach him how hard he should bite, is that bad on my part? He was given a bone today, and that has done wonders!! He has put all his attention and chewing into that bone. I hope it continues to work for a very long time :)
 

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Thanks for the reply. I can tie him up to me or put in him a play pen, but that's just going to avoid the problem. I want to be able to trust him not to chew anything without tying him up.
Actually, it's not "avoiding the problem". It's just taking away the temtpation until he's old enough to make better choices and is over the crazy puppy chewing stage.

Right now, at his age, chewing is natural and necessary. If he sees a shoe on the floor and one of his toys he doesn't think "AH! Let's see, a toy, and a human shoe....hmmm, which one is appropriate for me to play with." He justs thinks "Cool! This looks fun!" So, he picks the shoe. Not to be bad or naughty, but because you left it out.

Think of it as if he was a human baby. People baby proof their homes to keep their baby safe and out of trouble. However, they don't plan to keep the baby locks on all the cabinets forever, just until the baby is old enough to make better choices.

As for offering a treat, you're not offering the treat as a reward for playing with the inappropriate thing, you're offering a treat for him performing the "drop it" or "not yours" or whatever words you chose. Big difference.
 

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Good with the Kong... if he eats it too quickly, you can freeze it to slow him down.

If he's ignoring you, then Yelping to stop his chewing, at this point won't work. Chewing is self-rewarding, and he doesn't need the attention when he's chewing.

I agree, don't let him bite you... to teach him not to chew. However, if he starts nipping you (in about 4 - 5 weeks), then let us know and start with The Bite Stops Here.... it was almost made for Labs...
 

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I've tried the bitter apple but it just makes my puppy angry. She starts jumping around barking and lunging at me. She too chews on whatever she wants! And its kinda hard to keep them away from things like my bed frame.the couch, the corners of walls, tile on the bathroom floor, and yes folks she even tries to bite and chew any little bump that she sees on the walls! Oh and don't forget the window sills and the concrete porch!! They don't happen to make that bitter apple stuff in 5 gallon buckets do they?
 

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I've tried the bitter apple but it just makes my puppy angry. She starts jumping around barking and lunging at me. She too chews on whatever she wants! And its kinda hard to keep them away from things like my bed frame.the couch, the corners of walls, tile on the bathroom floor, and yes folks she even tries to bite and chew any little bump that she sees on the walls! Oh and don't forget the window sills and the concrete porch!! They don't happen to make that bitter apple stuff in 5 gallon buckets do they?
It shouldn't be THAT hard to keep her away from things like your bed frame, couch, walls, etc, if you are keeping your eyes on her 100% of the time. Just follow her around like she's a toddler. You want to make sure she's not getting into trouble. You don't have to do it forever, just until she's out of the crazy puppy biting, and teething stages. If you interrupt her from doing these things, she won't even think of them as options, after awhile.
 

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We are going through a terrible chewing phase with Sasha, too. Try Bitter Apple spray. When that didn't work for us, we used very hot chili powder (Indian). We rubbed a wet bar of soap on walls, cupboards, furniture, etc. and then pressed the pepper into the soap. At first Sasha actually licked the spice and I thought it wasn't working, but she is avoiding those things now so I wonder if she finally decided if the pepper really is hot or if it maybe upset her tummy a bit. She has an assortment of chew toys, but bully sticks are the only thing she prefers over furniture.

When Sasha is loose in the house with us, we keep a leash on her. An umbilical leash is very handy so you always know where your puppy is.
 
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