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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
Cuba & Isabel's Mom
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Help! Cuba chews on EVERYTHING

Cuba is just shy of four months old and he chews on EVERYTHING! Is this normal? I've never had a pet before so I am a bit in the dark. He chews on fingers, toes, the carpet, the couch and anything else he can get in his mouth. When I catch him, I tell him no and he stops for about five seconds and then goes back to chewing on it. I have already removed everything I can and now I am looking for help. I spray bitter apple on things that I can, and it helps, but I can't spray it on the entire couch. When I catch him, I usually hold him or put him in his room by himself with all his toys. Any advice?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 06:10 PM
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Has Cuba been hanging out with other dogs? The more he gets to play with others - that is where he will learn to control his biting. As for chewing everything - for inanimate objects, you need to replace the wrong things with the right things. When you catch him chewing the sofa, pull him away and put another approved item in his mouth. Chew toys of all textures, flavours, are needed. When he is 6 mos he can start to chew on greenies and other long lasting chewable items like bully sticks and flossies. Now you can get him small kongs, and stuff them with yummy things like peanut butter, yogurt, cream cheese, treats. Freeze them for even longer lasting joy. It is about directing him to the right things.

Others have tried putting vaseline and hot pepper on their sofa legs, if the bitter apple doesn't work.

What you will find is that they need full time - 100% - monitoring attention while they are puppies. Unless they are in the expen or crate, so you can take a shower!

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 06:28 PM
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Yes, it's normal you have to teach him what is okay to chew and what isn't. When he chews on your fingers/toes, yelp or whine like it hurt and then stop playing with him. He will catch on eventually. As for inanimate objects, you need to make sure to have LOTS of chew toys available to him. Whenever I would catch Kubrick chewing on this chest I have (the only thing he ever chewed), I would say No, pick up a toy and give it to him and praise him for biting on it. Eventually he figured out that chewing on his toys was good, chewing on my furniture was NOT good. And keep using the bitter apple, it does help!

Good luck!

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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 06:30 PM
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Right on, Anne! Max also chewed on everything. In fact, he still does; but because I was watchful and persistant with removing unacceptable items (especially fingers and toes) and replacing them with acceptable items, now he mostly chews on his toys.

Good luck and enjoy the puppy stage. It doesn't last long!



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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I am not as concerned about the chewing on the toes and the fingers because he is getting better at NOT doing that. However, whenever he seems tired, he seems to forget that he shouldn't chew on my fingers and I have to correct him. As for the chew toys, I have been giving them to him when I catch him chewing other things. However, I haven't praised him for chewing on his chew toy afterward so I will try that. He is definitely a cutie and he knows he is doing something he shouldn't be doing. I will definitely be more consistent in the chew toy praise.

I tried praising him after giving him the chew toy, but he won't let me touch him. He thinks I want to play keep away and runs all over the living room. My problem is not just that Cuba is a chewer, he is also a "puller and yanker". For instance, he takes great pleasure in biting the skirt of my couch or chair and pulling as hard as he can. I know it is just a matter of time before he tears it. Currently I have him in his crate with his toys in the living room next to me and he seems to be chewing on his toys happily enough. I feel bad keeping him in his crate and I would like for him to be able to chose where on the carpet his wants to lay and chew on his toys. Maybe I was moving too fast and he needs to spend time in his crate while I am with him in the living room. I would put him on the couch with me, but he would soon jump off.


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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 10:30 PM
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Hope, make sure he has plenty of acceptable things for chewing right now--he's teething! You can offer bully sticks and flossies, soft toys, kongs stuffed with treats and those hard plastic puppy teethers with different textures for chewing. Try wetting a washrag, then twist and freeze for a soothing chew toy.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 11:01 PM
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it varies from Puppy to puppy . Asta was a really big chewer and it went on for a long time .. cosmo was not as bad and I started on bite inhibition and acceptable chewing much earlier with him ..
i do not know if you are planning on taking him to puppy class when it is safe to do so but exposure to other litttle puppies who bite does help . They learn from one another sort of like children some things are taught more effectively by their peers ..
also be consistent .. Pick a term - No No bite whatever works and use it when it is necessary ..
i think they are a lot of old threads on biting that have some good information on biting that you might want to refer to as well ..
Good luck .. Remember they are babies and they do teeth ..
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-25-2008, 11:23 PM
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mini kong

A mini kong filled with treats is something he CAN chew on. Also a sterilized bone with peanut butter or liver inside.

I am fortunate, I have two havanese that don't chew on anything. Except one time, my $600 mouth guard I wear at night to prevent grinding. My friend's havanese chewed up her sunglasses.

Mine like to chew toilet paper rolls...they still have their puppy toys that they throw. Might be teething.

When mine did "mouth" my finger, I yelped ouch in a high pitched voice like they do with one another when they play. They always stop immediately.

Teaching "leave it" is a good thing too.

Good luck. Puppy time is like having a toddler with the same desire to get what they want when they want it. I kept mine on a long leash always with me until he was six months to prevent potty accidents. I'm glad I did.

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 06:55 AM
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From what I can recall about Henry being a puppy, and what I learned was that you have to kind of startle them when they do something like the chewing the couch skirt , etc.

Like using a different tone or even taking a que from "The Exorcist" movie where you change your voice or tone into something scary or odd for them to take notice.
The key here is for the puppy to think "Wow, she's serious, I DO NOT EVEN WANT TO KNOW WHAT SHE"D DO NEXT-TIME?"

And when I mean scare I mean "take notice seriously".
Remember Cuba is still exploring his world but like his doggie mommy before you, someone has to help him along the way.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-26-2008, 09:35 AM
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You can fill a can or small metal box, I use an Altoids tin, with pennies and shake it once or twice quickly when they misbehave. It will startle them and usually they'll forget what they were after. It works with Scooter, except for barking. We're struggling with how to stop that but it did work for biting. Our trainer said it's all about distracting and redirecting so make sure you have something he can bite that you can give as soon as he's distracted. Good luck! I have a few flip flops that have bite marks in them but that's really all he got into before he was caught!

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