Some Free Tips to Stop Dog Chewing Problems

By: David Codr

Published Date: July 12, 2022

stop dog chewing

For this in-home Omaha dog training session we worked with two Goldendoodles; Joy and Mocha, sharing tips to stop dog chewing behaviors and tips to treat anxiety.

Mocha the older Goldendoodle was not very confident around new people, a behavior issue even more pronounced in her puppy roommate Joy. Both dogs liked to bark when strangers arrive.

It’s important to remember that all dog behavior is trying to achieve something. In these dog’s case they were barking to communicate that they wanted to be left alone or for the strangers to leave. Our training apprentice Nolan and I tossed treats around the ground and avoided eye contact or any big sudden movements to give the dogs the opportunity to settle down on their own.

After a couple of minutes, Mocha was able to relax a bit but Joy remained very anxious; barking while standing behind her guardians. I eventually gave both dogs some bully sticks to chew on. Licking and chewing release endorphins which can make dogs feel good. Additionally these activities give the dogs an opportunity to release some of their frustration and energy in a more productive manner.

Because of how uncomfortable the dogs were, we spent most of the session talking with the guardians, trying to earn the dog’s trust. Because the family has some special children and the dogs like to chew things up, there were baby gates set up throughout the house. This may actually be contributing to the unwanted chewing behavior.

Tips to Stop Dog Chewing


I recommended the guardians pick up some elevated dog beds as one of their goals was to stop the dogs from getting on the furniture due to a resource guarding problem. Since they had chewed dog beds up in the past, I recommended elevated dog beds which gives the dogs a little bit of status and is not easy or fun to chew on.

I recommended that the guardians purchase a number of items to help the dogs; bully sticks, kneecaps, tracheas, lick matts or other ingestible chew items that they can give to the dogs when visitors arrive. I recommended that visitors should only be in the house for 30 minutes or less whenever possible. At the 45 minute mark of our session, Joy had had enough and started to bark in protest even though we were giving her bully sticks.

You really want dogs to refrain from any unwanted behaviors through management whether it’s providing more exercise or a distraction like a bully stick.

I spent a good portion of the session going over alternative forms of exercise and mental stimulation. dogs who are physically satisfied or mentally drained are usually more relaxed and have less energy to protest. They also dont chew inappropriate things as much as they feel physically and mentally satisfied. Exercise is one of the secrets sto stopping dog chewing problems.

I promised the guardians I would include a video that I filmed with a client in Malibu that goes over a number of physical exercise tips and mental stimulation exercises such as cookie in the corner. While exercise on its own won’t stop dogs from chewing the wrong things (anxiety is a big part of these dog’s fundamental issue), it can help a lot.

I also suggested that they pick up a couple of lick mats and snuffle mats to feed the dogs out of. These activities can drain energy and are great ways to keep the dogs preoccupied. They may also want to pick up a few food and treat puzzles that the dogs can be fed out of as well. These are great ways to mentally stimulate the dogs and reduce dog chewing behaviors.

I also asked them to look up scent games on the Internet and find three or four games that they can practice with the dogs inside. The guardians are extremely well intentioned and warm hearted individuals but just like the rest of us, there are only so many hours in the day. Coming up with some creative ways to exercise or stimulate the dogs inside can be beneficial to both human and canine.

I recommended the guardians start an exercise journal for a week or two. They should have a column for each dog and note the time along with a description of whatever happened. This should include meal times, physical exercise, mental stimulation, any outbursts or anything else that is noteworthy. At the end of the day they should assign each dog a letter grade.

This will give the Guardians the ability to identify any particular patterns such as the dogs becoming reactive or engaging and unwanted behaviors after a certain length of time between exercise or mental stimulation.

The guardians will likely need to oscillate between various numbers of repetitions or length of time for the mental stimulation or physical exercises. Making sure the dogs physical and mental needs are met is an important part of the canine rehabilitation process.

I also recommended that the guardians be on the lookout for times where the dogs may need a break from the children or each other. Often we neglect to give the dogs the downtime that they may need.

I also recommended that they are cautious and how high of an energy level they allow the dogs to play together. Making sure that the play is done an appropriate level consistently can help the dogs learn proper moderation.

I would love to see the guardians walking the dogs as this is a wonderful way to release energy and provide a calming leadership presence for the dogs. The guardians mentioned that the dogs had chewed through a previous harness so I recommend that they pick up a couple of EZY dog harnesses which are harder to escape out of and should help the dogs feel a little bit more comfortable than a traditional deck collar.

I also recommended the guardians look for some high density chew items such as antlers, water buffalo horns, bones and other durable chew items. These dogs are quite anxious and it was a safe bet that they had cortisol in their blood.

Making sure that there are appropriate chew items in every room the dogs hang out in is an important factor when you want to stop dog chewing. You always want to give a dog the opportunity to release tension on its own and if these items are not available, it’s more likely the dogs will engage in chewing behavior of unwanted items.

We will be back next week to build on today’s progress and get a update on how the dogs are progressing with the changes introduced in this initial session. But overall, this was a successful in home dog behavior modification session.

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This post was written by: David Codr