How many times has your alpine mastiff chewed up your favorite pair of shoes or made a hole in a couch or sofa? This type of destructive behavior does not always go away as your dog ages. In fact, the way that you interact with your dog could be encouraging this behavior. Luckily, there is a way to stop your dog from chewing on everything they can get their teeth on.
Here are a few simple tips for learning how to stop dogs from destructive chewing.
Make Sure Your Dog is Receiving Proper Nutrition and Exercise
When an alpine mastiff does not receive enough nutrition or exercise, they are more likely to chew on objects. Pay attention to how much food your dog eats on a daily basis. Talk with your veterinarian to determine the daily nutritional recommendations for your dog. This will be based on size and age.
Along with nutrition, your dog needs regular exercise. Smaller dogs may receive enough exercise by playing several games of fetch throughout the day. Larger dogs may require regular walks around the neighborhood.
The bottom line is that if your alpine mastiff is hungry or bored, they may compensate by taking a bite out of your furniture or any other objects they can get a hold of.
Use Negative Reinforcement to Address the Problem
If your alpine mastiff continues to chew on objects, you can use negative reinforcement to attempt and correct the problem. Learning how to train a dog will require patience. You will need to use the following steps every time you notice your dog chewing on something that they are not supposed to.
There are two main steps to this process. You need to train your dog that chewing on their own toys is good behavior and chewing on other objects is bad behavior. When you notice your alpine mastiff chewing on an object other than a toy, take the object away immediately and use a firm command, such as “no” or “leave it”.
Replace the object with a dog toy. If they do not release the object, you can take it away while repeating your command. Never hit or severely scold your dog. You do not want to frighten them. You just want to shift their focus.
If your alpine mastiff runs away without releasing the object, you should never run after them. They will think that you are playing a game with them. Stand firm and call your dog back to you. Do not give in. Continue calling them over then command them to “drop” or “release” the object.
If they are found chewing on a piece of furniture, use a command, such as “no” or “leave it” and then give them an appropriate toy to chew on.
Encourage Positive Behavior with a Reward
While you should use negative reinforcement to teach your alpine mastiff to avoid chewing on certain objects, you should reward positive behavior. Use enthusiastic tones while rewarding your dog when they chew on their toys. Praise your dog for their good behavior or give them a dog treat.
Using Sprays as a Deterrent
Positive and negative reinforcement will work with most dogs. Though, this is not always the case. If the tips provided did not work, even after weeks of repetition, then you can attempt to use sprays as a deterrent. This includes specially designed sprays that contain unpleasant odors or tastes, such as bitter apple or cayenne pepper.
Only use deterrent sprays that use natural ingredients. The spray is applied directly to the objects that your dog frequently chews on. In addition to the spray, you should continue to use positive and negative reinforcement.
When learning how to train a dog, positive and negative reinforcement can be applied to almost any situation. Continue using this system of reward and correction to prevent negative behavior and encourage positive actions.
See you soon.