How to Keep Your Lab Puppy From Chewing Everything, and the One Move That Can Undermine Your Efforts

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Keep Your Lab Puppy From Chewing Everything, and the One Move That Can Undermine Your Efforts

Like most puppies, young Labrador Retrievers chew because they are bored, teething, or just plain curious. But you can train your Lab puppies desire to chew on only appropriate objects, like chew toys, and leave furniture, plants, electrical cords, and clothing alone. 

The one thing that can ruin all your training efforts, however, is giving your Lab puppy an old shoe or sock to chew on. The dog will not understand the difference between an old, allowable item and a new, forbidden item.  The result will be confusion and frustration for the puppy, not to mention the waste of your time. 

Here are a few guidelines from to keep Lab puppies from chewing on the wrong things:  

1. Confine your Lab puppy in a crate or safe area when you are away. Remove all items the dog can chew on from the area, including socks, shoes, electrical cords, furniture, and plants, 

2. Give your puppy appropriate chew toys that will keep him or her occupied and content for hours. Some chew toys are made especially for teething puppies. Knotted rawhide and durable rubber teething toys are good examples. 

3. Supervise uncrated or unrestricted Lab puppies and correct them when he or she starts chewing on the wrong things. If you catch the puppy in the act, tell him or her “No!” firmly, remove the object, and replace it with an acceptable chew toy.  

4. If, and hopefully when, your Lab puppy starts chewing on the acceptable toy, give him or her lots of praise. Again, appropriate chew toys should not resemble items the puppy is not allowed to chew, like shoes. 

5. Keep the acceptable chew toys in one location so that your Lab puppy can go get one by him-or-herself and doesn’t have to wait for you to get it. 

6. Finally, make sure your Lab puppy gets enough exercise to relieve boredom and burn off excess energy, which are two primary reasons puppies chew anything and everything.

Image by Flickr user Pete Markham.