Home Alone

When you leave home for the day, don't make it into a big deal for the dog. By showing lots of emotion of any sort (threats or cheerfulness, it doesn't matter) you build up emotional stress. This is often vented in destructive chewing. Your last three or four minutes at home should be spent calmly reading or sitting. Then get up and leave, ignoring your puppy completely--don't even say goodbye. Arrive home the same way. Ignore your puppy at first and avoid the area where things are most likely to have been chewed.

mess If things are a mess when you get home, don't let puppy know you care. Behave calmly. Clean up later when your puppy can't watch. Do not build up more stress by scolding--that just makes things worse. Again, work on teaching simple obedience and building the teacher-learner relationship. Puppies need a calm, dependable master.

Chew Treats, Bones and Toys

Don't give your puppy anything small enough to swallow that can't be digested, or things that can be chewed into large indigestible chunks and swallowed. Chicken bones, rib bones, and pork bones are the most likely to cause trouble. Old gooey rawhide chews or bones from the butcher that have been around for a few days get rotten and stinky and cause diarrhea. If you give things like this (not really a good idea), use good sense. Bones should be too large to swallow and solid enough that they won't be broken up into smaller chunks. Hooves, pig's ears, and miscellaneous semi-digestible treats probably aren't a good idea either, but if you use them be sure they are too large to be swallowed whole, or small enough to go all the way through. Instead, we suggest using flavored Nylabone or Nylafloss chew toys. If your puppy first learns to prefer bones and rawhide, he probably won't think chew toys are all that great, so use them from the beginning. Nylafloss looks like a big thick chunk of nylon rope. Puppies like it because they can really sink their teeth into the rope, and it helps keep the teeth clean.