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How To Deal With Chewing Problems

 You're finally back home from an extended vacation or late night at the office. The last thing you want to deal with is seeing your belongings or furniture chewed up by your dog. Did he or she do it on purpose to get back at you for leaving them at home so long? No, it is simply not in their nature.
Dogs do not destroy things because they are angry or spiteful. The chewing is a way for your dog to relieve boredom or anxiety when they've been left alone for long periods of time. If he or she is accustomed to seeing you at a certain time of the day or be back in a reasonable amount of time and you're not, it can be frustrating and stressful for them! Don't punish your pet for being a dog, give them something to keep them occupied or calm and both of you will be happier.
 Chewing may result from your dog's natural instincts, especially if you own a hunting dog. Basset hounds and other hunting breeds enjoy chewing more than most other breeds and need a variety of chew toys to focus their energy on. Try switching out chew toys every few days so your dog has something new and interesting to chew on. Also, jump in and give a chew toy any time you see your dog chewing on furniture, clothing, or other off-limit items. Your dog eventually learns to use the chew toys over personal belongings. Open access to chew toys also helps when dealing with teething puppies that won't stop chewing until their teeth grow in.
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Chewing also results from stress. Any recent changes in the dog's life such as a new work schedule, a move, or kids moving out of the house disrupts your dog's daily routine. This builds anxiety and requires a new routine for your dog to adapt to. Establish regular feeding times and walk times to create security and reduce chewing.
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 A lack of exercise, which leads to boredom, forces your dog to vent energy elsewhere. This usually creates bad habits including chewing since your dog has to expend energy somewhere. Regular walks or general playtime gets your dog to expend energy in a more constructive manner. Further, the time spent with you keeps your dog emotionally stable, a key part of staving off all negative behaviors. An exercise routine especially helps when you have to leave your dog home alone. A tired dog is less likely to get into chewing-related trouble.
Finally, chewing can result from a lack of training. If you never corrected chewing behavior despite the damage it causes, your dog has no incentive to stop. Implement some of the tips listed above such as regular exercise, the implementation of a daily routine, and open access to chew toys. Also give plenty of positive reinforcement when your dog exhibits positive non-chewing behavior.
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