Probably every dog owner once had an unpleasant experience, when they came home and found a real mess. In the less extreme version – a few shoes or a living room table were „a little“ chewed. But why is this happening? How you can solve this problem? Are Australian Shepherds Chewers?
Let‘s come back to puppy age, when you just got your Australian Shepherd. When your dog was small, careless puppy, biting and chewing was his way of exploring a new, exciting world. While chewing he checks what is suitable to eat, sometimes it can be pillows, shoes or even stones from the yard. Yes, once i saw my Aussie eating stones! At the same time they are learning social skills with other animals or humans. From young days, they start playing with their brothers and sisters and in most games chewing each other was the biggest part of it. But the fun was over when they bite each other too much, so puppies learn very quickly what jaw pressure was appropriate while playing.
In addition, puppies of about 4-6 months of age have difficulty replacing deciduous teeth, and chewing not only relieves itchy and sore gums, but also causes more serotin, which is responsible for improving mood and relieving pain. This process is very similar to human baby teeth growing.
What Are The Causes Of Chewing?
1. Your Australian Shepherd don‘t have toys (or they have too much of them!)
Lack or excess of toys causes boredom. That is why most dog‘s trainers recommends to change toys frequently. Everytime when you leave your Australian Shepherd alone, leave him about 2-4 toys and hide the others. After several days or a week, replace the toys with others and hide the previous ones. This will keep your Aussie interested and him a lot of joy.
You should choose the toys according to your dog age, needs and temperament. It is good to use bones from beef tendons, which you will find at any animal store, or large hooves, tails. Usually, in any supermarket you can find these natural products of various sizes and thicknesses. It is also good to use toys made of hard rubber, which are currently plentiful in stores. If the dog still doesn‘t pay attention to the suggested furniture alternative (or any other thing that they should not eat), try rubbing the toys with cheese, olive oil, tuna, chicken or lard. This will be an additional incentive to take the toy.
Soft rubber or push toys are not suitable. The dog can swallow parts of them, in which case you would have to see a surgeon.
2. Lack of chewing toys and delicacies, that meet the need for chewing
Biting is a natural and healthy need for your dog. So it is worth to buy these kind of toys, which at the same time improves your dog dental health. Various studies showed that chewing can help clean your dog‘s teeth and gums, as well as breathing improves. Thus, it is not only a pleasure, but also a benefit!
Dogs needs a lot of attention and movement, and especially Aussies! This breed simply stands out for its energy. So, if your activities recently were reduced, you may find out that he has found a new source of entertainment – chewing things, which he should not chew. We probably wouldn‘t want it to be the new handbag we‘ve been looking for so long?
4. Complex problems
More complex problems could be separation anxiety, stress or fear for something. If your dog is very restless, it is better to give toys that have the smell of food. And as we mentioned, dog could be restless for many reasons. For example, if you got an adult dog from somewhere – he could be in depression that he can‘t see its owner anymore. Of course, chewing may occur even for smaller problem, in example if your dog is not used to be alone and now you started leaving him alone for whole day. In this situation, would be better to consult a veterinarian or behavioral specialist, how to get used your dog to a new lifestyle.
5. Too soon separation from mother, brothers and sisters
Small puppies learn social connections from their family, so if your Aussie has been separated too quickly from his mother and siblings – he or she may not have time to learn proper social skills. In this situation, puppy don‘t know how to keep a good relationship with other dogs, or even other pets in the household. That is why owners should start training dogs from early days, what they can and what they cannot.
Sometimes a Good Helper In This Situation Is a Dog Cage
There are probably people who can‘t leave the house because the dog will chew everything that is in his sight. In this case, it would be logical to use a cage. After all, there is a basic rule – you are the owner, and dog should follow your rules.
Your return home to the dog should be extremely enjoyable. If you notice that the dog has managed to bite or chew something, you need to control yourself and solve this without emotions. Just clean it quietly and plan how to teach him to get rid of this behavior.
You can try to lubricate the furniture with special bitter oil or sprayer before going out, but if the dog continues to chew – the advice of all specialists is to use a dog cage. It‘s not as scary as it seems at first glance, but it will help to keep your home in order. And most importantly – a good relationship with you and the dog.
If your Australian Shepherd suddenly started chewing things and you have never noticed that behavior before – it is definitely a sign. Sign, that they want to tell us something. Try to follow above mentioned possible chewing causes, and if you can‘t find the reason – it is worth to consult with your veterinarian. And remember that consistency when training your dog is a must! Dog‘s won‘t understand why one day he can chew things without any problems, and the other day they are scolded. Develop good habits from the very first day you got the dog, be patient and you‘ll be fine!