It is quite common for your Chihuahua to want to chew on things but giving him the appropriate and acceptable items is the key. One of my three little Chihuahuas has a way of chewing his toys to destruction! However, we are very careful about leaving things laying around. You don’t want personal belongings to be destroyed. On the other hand, there are many things that are indeed harmful to your dog and should be strictly out of his reach. Be aware of the harmful things that your dog should not chew.
One of the first steps is to be sure to put away all personal belongings, shoes, slippers, anything of personal significance with your scent on it that your pet may be looking for to nibble on. In your absence, this is a way for a pet to feel your presence. For safety sake it is best to crate your little Chihuahuas in your absence. Never give your dog any type of human item to chew on such as old shoes, slippers or socks. He needs to clearly know what is acceptable and how does he know the difference between an old shoe and a good one.
It is important that you protect your dog from chewing dangers both inside and out, keeping those items out of reach. Some of the items that can cause teeth grinding is rocks, wires, recreational people balls and anything that does not bend. Dangerous items that can cause splinters are wooden sticks and toys plus cook or uncooked bones. There is also a list of items to keep away or just be aware of per chance your dog chews it whole, which can be swallowed, blocking the intestinal tract. Such items may be Clothing, socks, gloves, washcloths, string and ribbon, rubber bands, children’s toys (Lego, dolls, etc.), toys meant for other pets such as cats, hamsters, etc., toys that are too small or inappropriate for the dog’s size. Be aware of toxic items such as plastic cheap toys. Watch out for items that may have small pieces that can come off which they can swallow, such as shoes with laces, slippers, handbags, toys with sewn on parts. This is still just a short list of the many things you should not allow around your dog. There are so many things they can get into, including allowed items such as food and dog treats. Speaking from experience, keep those items locked up as well since the dog does not know when to stop if he is full. All of the sudden you will have a dog who has overeaten, getting extremely sick or possibly developing bloat.
Besides their natural instinct to chew, there can be many other reasons your dog chews such as boredom, stress or anxiety as he worries about his human companion who is away at work or wherever. When leaving, don’t make a big deal about it as it instills further in him, “I am leaving”. If you can get into a regular routine of daily exercise before you leave your dog alone, it can release some his energies. A regular routine of walking, playing ball, fetch, whatever your dog will love can provide some type of outlet for your dog until you return home. He will be less likely to be bored as he will look forward to your time together when you return.
One thing that many people do not understand is that you cannot scold your dog for doing something without catching him in the act. He will not understand why he is being scolded and causes fear in him without knowing what exactly he did unacceptable to you. You must catch him in the act of chewing something that is not allowed, tell him no with a very stern voice while handing him an acceptable toy. Then praise him when he is chewing that toy, bone, etc. Keep plenty of toys and chew bones on hand, alternating his favorites when you are gone so that he does not get bored with the same thing all the time (unless that appears to be a favorite he never tires of.)
If your own efforts of training your dog has failed, especially if you also have a larger dog that may not be suitable for confining when you are away, I would call and look into a proper dog training course in your local area to get a better handle on this destructive behavior. I am sure you love your dog and want to provide a safe environment for him. And we all know the unconditional love they give us in return.
For help in bringing out the smarts in your special canine in your area, try these: Tails A Waggin Dog Training, 3412 Minnesota Drive, Rockford, IL 61108-5928, (815) 226-9317 http://www.forestcitydog.com, http://www.jpsdogtraining.com/. There are more choices in the Rockford area for the benefit of your favorite pooch.
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