Dogs chew their dog beds for many different reasons.
Boredom, Anxiety, Loneliness, Discomfort, Insufficient exercise, Insufficient mental stimulation, Habit, Copycat behaviour, To relieve itchy sore gums as puppies when teething.
There are several ways you can relieve boredom and anxiety, sooth sore gums, overcome habitual chewing and prevent copycat behaviour while protecting your home and the dog beds that you would like to have for many years.
The following suggestions apply whatever the cause of the chewing/destruction may be and whatever the age of the dog or puppy.
1) Confirm with your vet that your dog is physically fit and well. An underlying ailment can lead to inappropriate behaviour.
2) Ensure your dog’s freedom is restricted to an area (preferably a house cage or kennel) where he/she has sufficient chew toys that are safe for his or her size. In the beginning of the training, your dog should have nothing else in there while you are not near. Not even a dog bed, EXCEPT if you have one of our guaranteed chewproof dog beds, The Really Tough Tuffie.
3) Make sure your dog has sufficient exercise before being left for any period of time.
4) Make sure that the exercise you give your dog is interactive with you, mentally stimulating and rewarding.
5) Leave a radio playing softly.
PLEASE DO NOT PUNISH!
Do not punish your dog for chewing his dog bed. Such behaviour happens within the first 30 minutes of being left so when you return 2 or 3 hours later, although your dog may look guilty he/she has no idea why they are being punished. They do know, however, that their owner’s homecoming his not a pleasant experience and as a result the dog’s anxiety increases and probably so will the chewing and destruction. Remember your dog is a pack animal and it is up to you to teach your dog to enjoy being left alone.
Does your dog have plenty of toys and chew toys? If they are left with your dog constantly they become virtually valueless simply because they are there all the time. If your dog has 10 toys, remove all but 2 of them and CHANGE THEM OUT ON A DAILY BASIS. That way, they retain their value to your dog. Make sure play toys are safe to be left with your dog, such as Nylar bones, hard rubber rings etc. Squeaky toys are too easily “de-squeaked” and cuddly toys too easily lose button eyes etc.This is also the reason why you should not leave a chewing dog with dog beds, except guaranteed chewproof dog beds as this can be dangerous for the dog (ie life danger or large vet bills).
Edible chew toys are great and should be: Bones (knuckle or shin, raw or roasted. Sterilised bones (stuffed) or Kongs (stuffed with frozen mince or any other stuffing that is hard to get out).
Remember, that in time, when your dog becomes accustomed to being home alone, relaxed, he will be able to have his dog beds back and it is then a great idea to have waterproof dog beds that are easy to clean as they will get rather greasy and dirty with chew toys and food.
UPON YOUR RETURN
When you come home and greet your dog and take him out etc, then remove the toys and chew toys and food toys. Wiggle out those really tasty bits at the bottom that he maybe could not get out (and you will be considered a hero).
Allow your dog to have his dog bed back as you are now around to supervise and distract your dog in case he has a go at the bed. A good long walk with interaction and fun on your return is a great way to make the transition from being home alone and home with you and on to a comfortable dog bed.
If your dog is still trying to chew his dog beds, even in your presence, you can spray bitter aloes on the bed in order to dissuade the chewing. You have to ensure that the spray is totally dry before your dog gets back on his dog bed as the substance can otherwise go on his coat, where he will find it unpleasant if he licks his coat. Your local pet shop or vet may stock this. But this is NOT a guaranteed solution.
Tuffies stock one large Really Tough Tuffie and one small. Both money back guaranteed chew proof dog beds.