1) Puppy-proof your home. Instead of constantly reprimanding a young puppy for getting into things, puppy-proof any areas of the house to which your puppy will be given access, in much the same way one would child-proof an area for a baby:
- Temporarily take up any throw rugs.
- Place all plants, poisonous substances,
household cleaners, trash receptacles, paper products (such as tissue and
toilet paper), shoes, and any small chewable objects out of reach.
- Remove, cover or tape down all accessible
- Remove or secure heavy objects which could fall or be pulled down and cause injury to the puppy.
2) Limit the number of toys. While all dogs should have toys to play with, the problem with providing your dog with too many toys is that it makes it more difficult for the dog to differentiate what’s his from what’s yours. Do not provide a destructive puppy with more than a few toys at a time. Rotating your dog’s toys will keep the toys new and exciting to your dog, so he would go looking for new toys.
If your dog is chewing on soft items such as sofa cushions or pillows, do not give your dog any plush toys. Plush dog toys with squeakers, often increase your dog’s prey drive, making them want to destroy and get the squeaker out. Once the dog has destroyed his toys he will go looking for something else to “kill”.
3) Safely confine your puppy. Use a suitably sized crate or wire-reinforced puppy gate whenever you’re unable to safely supervise him. When introduced properly and used correctly, crate training is a safe, preventive, effective and humane housetraining tool, which provides the puppy with a secure, protective den, while offering his owner peace of mind. Please note: Introduce your dog to his new crate using positive association and never use his crate as a punishment.
4) Offer him lots of outdoor exercise. Dogs that are destructive indoors need one to two hours of active outdoor exercise daily, provided they are fully immunized. Teaching your dog to retrieve a ball, toy, or Frisbee will help cure his chronic chewing problem.