Train the dog so it doesn't bite your stuff


The dogs need to bite, but there are tips and even bitter-tasting repellent products that prevent furniture from being destroyed

  • Author: By EVA SAN MARTÍN
  • Publication date: October 3, 2017

Puppies and adult dogs need to nibble to discover the world and release stress. But what happens when the dog still does not know what he can bite and what not and prefers shoes or the sofa, instead of his biting toys, to exercise his jaw? This article explains why do dogs bite, how to protect the house so that they do not bite what they should not and how to use toys, puzzles and repellent products, which promise to curb the bites on furniture.

Dogs need to nibble, it's fun and releases stress!

Puppies and adult dogs need to nibble. The mouth is one of the main tools they have for discover the world and release stress. Nibbling is also a way of relieve teething pain in puppies, when the first definitive teeth begin to appear.

But its importance does not end in the puppy stage. Adult dogs need to use their teeth to keep your jaws in shape and also clean your teeth. And there is still more. Biting helps dogs release stress, fight boredom and even frustration.

So when can the nibbling of the dog stop being a healthy behavior to be a compulsive behavior What can hide an anxiety problem? And what can be done when you choose to bite the sofa, the legs of the chair and even the cushions that are within your reach, when you stay home alone?

The first thing is detect the source of the problem: Does the dog suffer separation anxiety when left alone? Do you nibble on furniture because you are hungry? Choose to shatter the couch out of boredom? Discovering the origin of the problem, and tackling it properly, is essential. A trusted canine educator, who works positively, can lend a hand in this task.

What to do so that the dog does not bite the furniture or shoes?

The first step to ensure that the dog does not bite objects that it should not, and that can also be dangerous for him (mobiles, electronic cables, etc.), is protect housing. You must put your nibbling objects out of reach and tightly closed inside cabinets. This is the best secret, and the simplest, for the dog to stop nibbling at the shoes!

His toys and healthy bones of "indestructible" nibbling (specially designed for canine nibbling) are also essential. Another way to reduce nibbling? Keep the canine mind occupied with fun dog food puzzles, as these puzzles stimulate their intelligence while driving away the neglect and its destructive consequences!

How canine anti-bite repellents work?

And what to do when these measures by themselves are not just effective? The products with repellent flavors for dogs They promise to make things easier. They are made with flavors identified by dogs as bad, especially with bitter and even somewhat spicy tastes.

"Dogs, like humans, differentiate four different types of flavors: sweet, salty, sour and bitter," explains Stanley Coren, an expert in canine behavior at the University of Vancouver (Canada). And most of these animals reject bitter tastes. "Precisely because many dogs recognize the bitter taste as unpleasant, these anti-bite repellent products use it to prevent them from biting the surfaces we don't want, "says Coren.

However, these products they don't always work or, at least, they are not as effective in some dogs as in others. Part of the problem is that most of the bitter taste receptor cells are located at the end of the tongue. "This means that with a quick lick or when the dog bites and swallows something quickly, the recipient cells will not be able to detect the bitter taste in time and the dog will not perceive its taste," adds the expert.

This explains why Only a longer contact with the repellent flavor product will be effective, if you want to teach the dog not to bite certain surfaces, objects or furniture. So how do you use these anti-bite flavor repellents properly?

How to use anti-bite products?

Anti-bite flavored products, which come in a spray or gel format, are designed to prevent dogs from biting objects. "How to use these anti-bite repellents is to apply a small amount on a piece of cotton fabric or cloth and then, carefully and delicately, bring it close to the dog's mouth so it can smell and taste it, "describe the canine ethologists of the Association Against Cruelty Towards Animals .

Once the dog has been able to taste the product, which is not toxic, Shake your head if you find it unpleasant. "You will have learned that the product tastes bad: the next time you smell, already on the desired surface, you will know how to remember its unpleasant taste, so it is normal that you do not come to bite," these ethologists add.

Now only missing apply the spray on the sofa or surface I don't want the dog to bite. Try to be constant and repeat the application for at least two weeks, until you are sure that the furniture has ceased to be an object of desire to nibble on the dog.

But, very important: Repellents do not work by themselves, so you have to double the fun toys, offer safe toys and bones that you can bite without problems, avoid boredom and give puzzles so that the friend is happy and stimulated.

Train the dog so it doesn't bite your stuff

There are several reasons why our dog bites our most precious objects, anxiety, boredom, gum pain or hyperactivity are the most frequent.

If we have a puppy between three and six months we can understand this behavior as normal, since the safest thing is that their gums hurt because their teeth are coming out. To avoid getting used to biting our things it is recommended that we buy toys that can bite, bones, balls ... Before giving them any object we must make sure that it is not toxic or harmful to their health and that it has an adequate size to avoid drowning. Whistling toys are usually your favorites, but they can drive us crazy. Never we must give him old shoes or our things, since our dog will not differentiate an old shoe from a new one. If we choose the natural bones for our dog to let off steam, we must take into account that they are not chicken, since they can splinter. Ham bones are the most recommended as long as they have an adequate size.

If, in spite of his toys, our dog prefers the objects of our house, we must watch him at all times to be able to reprimand him at the moment that he tries to nibble on something. If we find our dog biting, for example the leg of a sofa, we must be firm and forceful, a strong DO NOT He will tell you that what he does is not right, then we will take him away from that place and give him his toy to bite him. This should be enough so that our dog does not bite him again, but you have to be constant, most will not learn at first. We must not lose heart or reprimand him with physical punishment. Rolled newspapers are not a good learning method.

Normally, we find that our dog has bitten many things when we were not at home, if we see that he has bitten something but we have not caught him infraganti, it is useless and absurd to scold him or punish him for it. In spite of the disasters that they can cause, the expensive furniture that can break or the precious objects that can destroy, we must not lose our nerves, the only physical punishments they get is to turn our friend into a scary animal.
The most effective way to prevent our puppy from biting everything when we are not here, is to leave it in an empty room or with things that it cannot bite and destroy, this is the best method, but before enclosing our friend, it is preferable that we give him a Great walk or do some exercise, so that during the time you are in that room do not take it as a punishment, but as a rest.

When we are at home, we must let him play and examine every corner, but always under our supervision, an oversight can be the perfect time for a dog to break everything within its reach. We must anticipate and when you are simply smelling the leg of the table or a shoe, warn you with a strong NO that that can not do it.

In the event that our dog is more than one year old, the behavior of biting everything in sight is a problem. We can attribute this behavior to lack of exercise, boredom and anxiety. If we leave our dog too long, it is only possible that due to boredom, it will start biting everything in its power. When a dog is bored he is capable of everything. In this case, all we can do is exercise it before leaving it for several hours only.

A five-minute walk to meet your needs is not enough to waste the leftover energy of a dog. If we want to avoid using that energy destroying our house, we must tire it and walk half an hour minimum before we go Changing a dog's routine is not easy, it requires a lot of time and dedication, but it is not impossible. For these cases, even if our dog is an adult, we can leave toys or bones for him to entertain.

If our dog, despite taking long and tiring walks, continues to destroy the house we should consider the option of suffering anxiety or some other more serious problem. Older dogs may suffer from a disorder called Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, is a disease similar to Alzheimer's in humans. This disease affects among many other things the dog's ability to learn and his memory. To treat these diseases it is advisable to go to the trusted veterinarian.

Why do you bite things?

Before looking for a solution, you have to know why it behaves that way. There are several reasons why a dog can bite things, such as: boredom, anxiety, has an already nervous or restless character, the final teeth are coming out ...

How to prevent me from biting my stuff

Depending on the reason, one solution or another must be sought:

  • Boredom: If the dog spends a lot of time, he will only get bored and do whatever it takes to discharge that energy that has accumulated. In this case, you have to do a lot of exercise (long walks and games) to spend the rest of the time calm.
  • Anxiety: If you are anxious, you must know the origin of your discomfort. To do this, I recommend consulting with an ethologist or dog trainer who works positively.
  • He is nervous or restless: In this case, you have to make him play several times a day for 10 minutes, either with a ball, with a teether, or with another type of dog toy. It is also necessary to always leave a toy or two at your fingertips.
  • The final teeth come out: If your dog is a puppy less than six months old, it will most likely bite because his adult teeth are coming out. So, give some teether to entertain and, incidentally, notice some relief in his mouth.

If you see that he is taking something he shouldn't, say a firm NO (but without shouting), and when you release it, give it a treat for dogs to reward you. Never use physical violence or shouting, otherwise you would end up living with a dog that will be afraid of you and, therefore, will not be happy.

Remember that patience is essential when working with dogs. Only with her will you get your friend to behave correctly.

Many dogs suffer separation anxiety and destroy everything they find at hand. There are solutions to avoid it

Bruce , the dog, is the master and lord of the house of Oscar, the human. They love each other a lot, things as they are, but the truth is that it came to what a few months ago was a balanced home and turned everything upside down, literally. He is a nine-month-old farmer with the spirit of Springsteen who has nothing good about being alone, something that happens quite often when his owners have to leave him a few hours to go to work. Nothing that does not exceed normal, although he seems not to understand it that way. What happens to this dog is quite common, it is diagnosed and it is called separation anxiety. And what he does at home when he has himself as the only company also has an opinion: it sounds Rock And Roll and devastate the hurricane Bruce .

He has been taught with the sofa to get two beautiful and huge holes, he has eaten some cables, two television controls - and destroyed his batteries -, a pair of mobile chargers, he has removed - and chewed - the wheels of the radiators , he has taught himself with the cushions, he has read a few books that are now unreadable and unrecognizable and it is not very well known how he managed to extract the Plus card from television and hid it so much that he never heard of it again. The plants, pluck your stuffed animals or load the automatic garden watering is normal, but when your family comes home and finds the consequences of the hurricane, he only wants to cry. Instead, Oscar contacted Almudena Escobar, an assistance and therapy dog ​​trainer - for people with Alzheimer's disease or children with autism, for example - who also helps in particular cases. How do I prevent my dog ​​from destroying my house? Are there tricks to keep you calm while alone?

“There are two things that the dog does not know how to do: go tied and be left alone. But he is a gregarious and collaborative animal, so you have to train your mind to teach him to be calm. Some stay home without doing anything but others feel separation anxiety and tear you apart. What must be clear is that they do not do it to annoy you, it is only the way they have to release their anxiety, ”explains Almudena, who is convinced that with time and dedication the dog can adapt perfectly to everything you ask. To start, you have to be clear about your needs and then you have to teach him that there is something positive about enjoying those moments of loneliness. Almudena got down to work with Bruce and proposed to Oscar and his family several guidelines to ensure that his home remained an entire home when they arrived from work.

1. Rich walks. It is clear that they must go out every so often. But apart from making sure that their physiological needs are met, it is important that the owner does not release the dog in a park and start fiddling with his cell phone. The dog loves to learn things and the walk is ideal for that. “You can go with some food and teach him tricks, hide things for him to find, run, find you. Not only you have to tire your body, also your mind. Then, when they get home, they want to sleep and rest. But they need to feel active, ”explains the coach of Bruce.

2. If you don't have time, get a support walker. There are times that the rhythm of our life prevents us from dedicating the time we should walk to our dog. It's not that we don't want to do it or that we don't want to, we just can't stretch the hours of the day anymore. In that case, more and more people are dedicated to walking dogs for a small fee (five euros an hour in the center of Madrid, although sometimes it depends on the size and whether it can be accompanied by other dogs or not). That way you avoid being alone at home too many hours without going outside. There are also canine nurseries to leave them there for several hours, although obviously they are usually somewhat more expensive and are not always necessary. With an extra ride many times your need to go out to do your needs and feel active is solved.

3. The famous Kong, a wonder. The kong is that plastic toy of different sizes (and colors) that serves to introduce food inside and that they entertain by taking it out when you are not there. “It is important that it is not a toy anymore, they should associate it with when they are left alone. And it is also important to fill it with something that they do not usually eat often, that is, if you put it in, I think it is of no use, it has to be something that they love and that is special for them, ”Almudena explains. And it is not necessary to fill it with those pastas that they sell for dogs that are very expensive. “What I do is crush some canned sardines in olive oil until they are a paste, fill in the kong and then put it in the freezer. And when you leave home, even five minutes, you give it to him. When you come back you take it off and put it back in the freezer. And so all the time, regardless of the time you're out. In the end, for them that you leave home will be associated with that moment in which they have something they love, that is, it will be something positive. ”

4. Hide some prizes for the house. They can be goodies for them or those bones that they sell with those that are thrown away hours and hours give it to you that I hit you. If you hide it, it is a game for them, they activate their mind and instead of sleeping or getting bored, the dog entertains himself by exercising his sense of smell and ingenuity. When they find it, instead of being angry with the sofa, they dedicate their body and soul to their prey.

5. Vicks Vaporub serves more than just breathing well. Most dogs hate with all their strength this substance that humans use when we have colds. “For them it is not toxic, so if you smear a little in those areas most punished by them it can be a perfect solution. On the sofa, on the furniture, on the wall ... it doesn't matter, as soon as they approach the Vicks Vaporub they get terrified. It is also worth being tiger balm, it has the same effect. And if they eat it, because it is also true that some crazy person likes it, all that can happen to them is to start breathing better. ”

6. The lemon pieces, for food thieves. If you have a dog that takes everything you find from the kitchen countertop or table, the best thing you can do is put traps. They do not support the citrus and if you leave within reach of some segments of lemon you will get the desire to continue stealing food that is not allowed.

7. The intelligence games. The case is to keep your mind busy. Some time ago, dogs had to find life to survive, but since they live in our homes they are given everything done: food, bed, walks ... “So there is nothing better than cognitive games to activate your mind . They basically consist of encouraging your ingenuity to get prizes using smell, legs and / or snout. They have different levels and, of course, the ideal is to start with the lowest, no matter how smart we think our dog is, so they don't get frustrated, ”says the coach. At first you should play with them, to make sure they have understood what they have to do. They usually have small prizes hidden inside the game and they will have to slide some pieces to reach them. They are quite resistant and not toxic at all. And, in addition to keeping them entertained for a while, they manage to reduce the level of separation anxiety. "And if there is someone who does not want to spend the money to buy one of these games, then you can appeal to your own ingenuity and build it ... for example with a tupper resistant that can be pierced and introduce small pieces of sausage. It is important that it costs you to get them but that is not impossible. ”

Bruce He came to Oscar's life when he was three months old, and after several hurricanes and Almudena's help his family has managed to reduce the stress he suffers when he stays alone. In the end, it is best to apply common sense and, as usual, have a lot of patience with puppies. They no longer leave the controls of the television at hand, they hide the cables or everything that is susceptible to indiscriminate attacks and stays with several things to entertain a good time, such as stuffed and frozen kong and some hidden prizes all over the house. Almudena provided some tricks to make him more calm. Almost everyone served him, but in the end, it is best that everyone knows the needs of his dog and invent solutions to reign harmony. Yes, Bruce Maintains the spirit of Springsteen. The Rock And Roll it comes standard: an activity above normal you oblige To move your hips frantically, run, play, bite, get tired. but without hurricane damage in the middle.

Why does my dog ​​bite the furniture?

Many of us have asked ourselves this question when we brought a new pet home, especially when they are still puppies. One of the reasons why the dog bites everything, including furniture, is because through chewing the dogs get a huge pleasure.

Shoes, socks, toys, cables, chairs, tables ... they destroy everything! There are several reasons why a dog drives its teeth into every object around it.

For example, when he is little, he feels pain when his fangs grow and he finds relief through the bites, then, when it is a little more grown, you want to sharpen the incisors.

It may also be because he is doing ‘recognition’ of the house during the first days of arriving at his new home, that he is bored or wants to get our attention. Of course, There are cases of hyperactivity, anxiety or stress in dogs that do not go out, do not play or stay many hours alone.

Lack of exercise makes a dent in animals in a way you can't even imagine. If the dog is all day locked in an apartment where the maximum he walks are 10 steps to eat or sleep, all the accumulated energy must "go out" somewhere. What does he do then? Bite everything you find!

Did you know that it is not good to punish him when you find him chewing the furniture Or do you realize that the leg of the bed has marked teeth? The dog will not understand that this is wrong, since it is a reaction to an internal problem.

Therefore, you will waste your time yelling at him or getting mad at him. You should better understand and analyze why you are acting that way and help you change.

Can you prevent the dog from biting things?

The answer to that question is short and blunt: do not. Chewing things is natural and necessary for dogs. This behavior is more common during tooth change, around four months, but it is normal at any age.

As it is a behavior geared in the genes of the canine species, it is impossible to eliminate without causing collateral damage. Many traditional trainers use punishment to try to eliminate this behavior, but they are generally unsuccessful. And when they succeed, dogs develop other behaviors that can be even more problematic, such as phobias of different objects or environments, aggression, submission urination and others.

Therefore, it is not recommended that you try to stop your dog from chewing things, since you will only encounter new problems. The best, both to solve the problem and to help the dog to express their natural behaviors, is redirect behavior Towards sturdy toys that your dog can chew without causing problems.

Keep in mind that your dog may not have chewed anything in his entire life, and start doing so at any time. In all cases it is advisable to teach dogs to chew on allowed toys and not other things.

1. Understand why you do it

Pay close attention to the signals that the animal gives you and analyze what could be causing its reaction. If you are leaving it too long alone, if you do not take it out for a walk, if you need more space, if you feel problems at home ... all this will have an impact on your behavior.

«One of the reasons why the dog bites everything, including furniture, is because through chewing the dogs get a huge pleasure»

2. Buy her gum toys

Puppies suffer, just like babies, when their teeth are coming out. For that reason, they need a special toy to relieve their pain.

There are teethers for dogs with or without noise, with lights, of different sizes and shapes. The idea is to get their attention and not want to continue biting your furniture.

It is not necessary to be a special toy for that stage of life, but it can be any of those sold in dog stores. The important thing is that it serves as a replacement for mania to bite what you should not.

3. Take it for a walk

It is an activity that has benefits for both. You will exercise, he also, in addition, you will clear yourself of the routine and he will not bite your things. It seems an excellent plan, with which everyone wins.

Don't forget that the animal needs to burn energies in some way, With a daily 10-minute walk it may be enough. Of course you can add other activities, such as playing in the park, throwing the ball or interacting with other dogs.

4. Make the house ‘dog proof’

If your pet bites his house, there are materials that cannot be "eaten" so easily. Do not leave the door open to your room when you go to work, so avoid the temptation to enter and do damage.

Some people put vinegar on all their furniture using a sprayer so that the dog does not get close. There are even specific sprays to prevent animals wanting to put something in their mouths.

Definitely, Beyond the preventive measures you can take, the main thing is to solve that problem that affects your pet. Share time with him, analyze his behavior and have fun together to make him forget this mania so harmful to your home.

Prevent the puppy from becoming destructive

One of the first things you should teach a new puppy or an adult dog that you have just acquired is not to chew furniture, plants, your shoes and other things that are not dog toys.

To teach him not to chew anything, the best thing you can do is teach the puppy to chew only your toys and not offer other things to play. Many people offer their puppies socks or old shoes to play and then complain when dogs chew on new shoes or socks. Dogs do not distinguish between old and new shoes, so keep your puppy from playing with anything or you will be training him to chew everything he finds.

To teach a dog to chew only his toys, the best toys are interactive toys that can be refilled or intelligence toys. Simply fill the toys with appetizing food for your dog and voila, the training is done automatically. Your dog will start chewing his toy to get the food inside. After several sessions, you will have a greater chance of chewing your toys than chewing other things, because chewing your toys is reinforced with food.

Obviously, toys for this training must be tough and durable, because otherwise they can fragment and put your dog's life at risk. The best toys for this are hard rubber and the most recommended brands are: Kong®, Goodie Ships® and Buster cube®. There are also some edible bones that last a long time, but they must be replaced when they are finished.

When you have decided what toys your dog will have, you can use them so that your pet is left alone without destroying anything. Before leaving home you leave two or three toys stuffed with food for your puppy to be entertained and ready, he will have something to do during your absence. Of course, while your puppy still does not chew his toys frequently, it is better to leave him in a place where he cannot chew other things.

However, if your dog still doesn't know how interactive toys are used, you should teach him to do it, as follows:

  • Fill a toy with bits of nice food and show it to your dog. Then, stimulate your puppy to play with that toy, moving it from side to side or throwing it. Do this before the puppy's meal schedule. When your dog takes out the food from the toy, it will be positively reinforcing the behavior of chewing his toy and nothing else.
  • Once your dog knows how to get food from its interactive toy, start leaving two or three of these hidden in places where it is relatively easy to find them, and one in a very visible place, every time you leave it alone. Then, your dog will start looking for his toys as well as chewing them. This is a strategy similar to that used in zoos to enrich the environment of captive animals, thus helping to preserve their emotional state and stimulating their mind.

Be sure to reduce the amount of daily food you give your dog daily based on how much food you put in the toys, to avoid getting excessively fat. You can consult with the veterinarian to advise you how much food to reduce in the daily ration according to the size, age and breed of your dog.

The food you put inside interactive toys also varies. Sometimes put solid food into small pieces, other times put spreadable food (wet food, chunks, dog pate, etc.). This way you will do more entertaining the time your dog spends alone.

Keep in mind that the food you put in toys should not come out at once. Your dog should spend a lot of time taking out the food, so that it entertains and to reinforce the behavior of chewing the toy. Por eso es necesario que la comida que pones en esos juguetes esté cortada en trocitos o sea untable, así tu perro sacará los trocitos poco a poco o pasará mucho tiempo lamiendo el juguete. Consulta con el veterinario qué comida recomienda para que tu perro se entretenga con estos juguetes (ten en cuenta que esta estrategia puede alterar de alguna manera la nutrición y los horarios de comida de tu perro, por lo que es bueno hablarlo con el veterinario).

A medida que tu cachorro muestre una mayor predisposición a masticar solamente sus juguetes, puedes empezar a darle más libertad dentro de la casa cuando se quede solo, aumentando gradualmente los cuartos en los que le permites estar sin supervisión.

En la imagen podéis observar un kong:

¿Qué hacer si tu perro mastica algo indeb >

Si tu perro mastica algo que no debe cuando tú no estás, es porque le permitiste estar con cosas valiosas cuando todavía no está entrenado para masticar solamente sus juguetes. Castigar al perro cuando vuelves no servirá de nada porque él no relacionará el castigo con lo que hizo. So no lo castigues.

En ese caso, asegúrate de no dejar cosas valiosas (cosas que tu perro no debe masticar) al alcance de tu mascota cuando sales. Continúa con el procedimiento explicado en el subtítulo anterior, pero asegúrate de no dejar nada "prohibido" al alcance de tu perro cuando él está solo. Si lo haces, la culpa de los destrozos es completamente tuya ya que estarás entrenando a tu perro para masticar cualquier cosa.

On the other hand, si encuentras a tu perro masticando algo que no debe, quítaselo de inmediato. You must reemplazarlo de forma veloz con algún juguete.

Por supuesto, si tu perro conoce la orden "Suelta", también puedes usarla. Sólo ten en cuenta que cualquiera de estas alternativas para quitarle a tu perro lo que está masticando no deben ser la norma sino la excepción. No debes dejar las cosas "prohibidas" al alcance de tu perro mientras no está perfectamente condicionado a masticar solamente sus juguetes.

Otro aspecto importante cuando encuentres a tu perro masticando algo es que no lo persigas. Si lo persigues para quitarle lo que tiene en la boca sólo estarás empezando un juego en el que tú persigues y tu perro escapa con lo que tiene en la boca. En ese caso estarás reforzando la conducta de masticar cualquier cosa. Lo mejor es atraer al perro de alguna manera.

Redirigir la conducta del perro destructor

Si tu perro ya adquirió hábitos destructores, el adiestramiento puede tomar mucho tiempo. Un perro que se acostumbró a masticar las plantas del jardín por unos cuantos meses ya tiene miles de repeticiones de esa conducta que han sido reforzadas positivamente. Lo mismo ocurre con el perro de un año que mastica los zapatos o el perro de tres años que destroza los muebles. Entonces el hábito está muy arraigado y es difícil de erradicar.

Ten en cuenta, sin embargo, que lo más importante es evitar que tu perro quede a solas con las cosas "prohibidas" y que tenga a su disposición juguetes interactivos. Muchos perros se acostumbran a los sprays amargos y a otros aversivos, y continúan destrozando las cosas a pesar de ellos. No son recomendables.

También ten en cuenta que el uso de castigos severos como collares o cercas eléctricas pueden causar más daño que beneficio, pudiendo llegar a generar agresión. Por tanto, no busques alternativas basadas en castigos.

Lo ideal es trabajar con él utilizando el refuerzo positivo, con paciencia y cariño. También pueden ser muy beneficiosos los juegos de inteligencia, practicare ejercicio activo y obediencia.

If you want to read more articles similar to Evitar que mi perro muerda cosas, we recommend that you enter our Behavior Problems section.