Some dogs chew to relieve stress and excess energy. Puppies have one more reason to chew - they're teething. If you catch your puppy chewing on something he shouldn't, say "no" or "eh" in a low voice. (It's a sound similar to a mother's growl, which your puppy will take as a sign of disapproval.)
You can control your puppy's chewing habits in a number of ways:
- Provide him with safe chewing toys appropriate for puppies. (Never give him toys with parts that might come loose and choke him.) Praise him while he's chewing on his special toys. That way, he'll learn to associate chewing on them with your positive reaction. Reinforce that impression by offering praise any time you discover him chewing on them.
- Don't make toys out of household or personal items like old socks or shoes. He can't know the difference between old, unwanted items and new ones that are off-limits.
- If he continues to chew on things he shouldn't, there are safe but bad-tasting products available at pet stores that you can treat those items with.
- The more time you spend playing with your puppy and exercising him, the less energy he'll have for chewing.
- Avoid rough play like tug-of-war. That encourages aggressiveness.