27 answers

Puppy Wood Chewing Problem

We have a 3 month old Boxer puppy who has chewed through most of our back deck furniture. He has now started chewing on our daughters play set which is only 1 year old and I am afraid our back deck will be next. Our vet told me to put tobasco sauce on the spots where he chews but he likes it and licks it off. This is my first puppy and I have never experience anything like this before. He is an inside and outside dog though he prefers to be outside all day. I have given him several rubber chew toys to keep outside as well as rawhides. Any help is appreciated!!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Bitter apple spray saved my baseboards from my dog. It is available in most pet stores. I used it once, and she stopped chewing. I did apply it to everything in her reach and then gave her a lot of things that she could chew.
Crate training is another consideration. My neighbors have an older dog with bladder issues and wish (way back when...) that they had crate trained their dog. Good luck!!

He is probably trying to lose his puppy teeth. Try marrow bones stuffed peanut butter. or try bitter apple on the wood.

http://www.doctordog.com/drdognewsletter/chew.html

You have a high energy dog. Part of the chewing may be teething, but part of it may be not enough excerise/stimulation.

I'd also call a dog trainer who knows boxers and how to get them to behave. You and the dog will be happier in the long run if you start training early.

More Answers

I agree with the need for more structured play and exercise. I have also had luck with directing the dog to the correct thing to chew on. Dogs get tired of chewing on the same old toys. You need to have several and rotate them out so that he gets new ones. Good luck.
M. C

My family has had boxers for a long time and have lost many pieces of furniture. My SIL has found this stuff called sour apple to spray on furniture and other things and that seems to keep their 1 y/o from chewing.

Hi L.,

Check this web site about puppies chewing.

www.perfectpaws.com/chew.html

Hope this helps.

D.

L.,

I also have a boxer, she is now 5yrs old, but she loved to chew when she was a puppy. We used a product called "Bitter Apple Spray" we got it at PetCo. It worked quite well for us she hated the taste. I think it was made to spray on a dog who was chewing on themselves, but our vet suggested we try it on the furniture and moldings she was chewing. It might be worth a try!

Good Luck,

C. G

Bitter apple spray saved my baseboards from my dog. It is available in most pet stores. I used it once, and she stopped chewing. I did apply it to everything in her reach and then gave her a lot of things that she could chew.
Crate training is another consideration. My neighbors have an older dog with bladder issues and wish (way back when...) that they had crate trained their dog. Good luck!!

Hi L.!
I have a chocolate lab, and the best chewy I think is raw hide just don't buy those little sticks that look like pepperoni (choking hazard). Sometimes you have to wet the end the first couple times until the pup understands what to do with it. I don't know what to tell you about the deck, because some dogs are just dumb (no disrespect to yours) when it comes to hot stuff. We used to but red pepper all around the counter & on the trash can & my dog just licked it all up, but mouse traps worked. I know the "experts" say to keep a leash on them all the time & when they're bad, correct them (I think the experts don't have a life).
But like our kids pups do grow up & learn to listen.
Good luck!

I have an 8 year old boxer and I had a second boxer that I found another home for when he was 2 (long story but he is in a wonderful home with lots of room to run). Boxers need a lot of exercise as they have a lot of energy. Just being in the backard is not the same as getting walks. Do you walk your puppy often? My boxers have both done some major chewing but both responded well to ample exercise/walks/runs and dicipline. Keeping them in a heal during your walk to keep them focused then let them potty at certain spots along the way is key. Honestly, if you can watch the Dog Wisperer he really addresses how to keep your dog in "your pack" and you as the "pack leader". Puppies do chew b/c they are teething so it is good to have rawhides and chew toys. My 8 year old outgrew the chewing when he was about 7 months old. The other one...well, let's just say his nickname was the destroyer. He was very high energy and needed way more exercise than I could give him. Every dog is different but I hope your little guy stops chewing up all of your stuff!

L.,

If you go to Pet Smart they have a product that is called Bitter Apple. It is supposed to keep pets from bitting and chewing on things that he is not supposed to. You could maybe try that.

A.

I agree with the posters that say your dog needs more exercise. Boxers are really high energy dogs and need play time or they will get bored. A bored high energy dog easily turns into a destructive dog! Try to get him out on some long walks a few times a day, or some really intense playing in the backyard. A trainer or obediance class would probably help greatly, and provide some mental stimulation for him as well. Good luck!

Oh, also, my dog (who loves to chew) loves Dingo bones, those are really the only rawhides that keep his attention, although he does eat them very quickly. I find them the cheapest at dog.com.

http://www.doctordog.com/drdognewsletter/chew.html

You have a high energy dog. Part of the chewing may be teething, but part of it may be not enough excerise/stimulation.

I'd also call a dog trainer who knows boxers and how to get them to behave. You and the dog will be happier in the long run if you start training early.

I would try Crate training- we had boxer's several years ago(now we have a 5 yo son- Ha! who needs a puppy!) Seriously, we crate trained our first female and then she sort of took over the "manner's" part of training when we got our male. When it chews the wrong thing, put it's nose in it and say NO, then put it in the crate with the proper chew toy. Boxer's are great companions dog's to have- wouldn't have a different breed at this point if we did get another dog. VERY loyal and GREAT with kid's-very protective in a positive way.
Try going on www.freecycle.org and join the group closest to you area/community- you might be able to pick up a decent crate for FREE. If you can afford it- puppy/obedience classes are not a bad idea either.

We have a lab that is quite a strong chewer as well, although (thankfully) he doesn't chew on our stuff so much! He did chew off the bottom corner of our tv stand (even while I was in the room!!), but that is as bad as it ever got. Our dog goes right through rawhides, I reserved them mainly just for special occasions. We did get out dog one of those huge looking bones they have in pet stores...it looked monstrous! We keep it either in the garage or outside in the yard, and he does have fun chewing on that, and it has lasted a LONG time so far. Just to warn you, if you get one, don't let him have it inside, it get gross! As for kong toys, my dog has chewed through the few that we have had. I did stumbled upon one that was somekind of an ultimate kong, or something....claimed that it was indestructable, couldn't be pierced. My dog has chewed off a bit of it, pierced it most definitely..but it too is seeming to last a lot longer than I expected, and there is still most of it intact. Those are the only 2 things we have found for our dog to gnaw on that hasn't been a waste of money, and that has actually lasted. I would look into those two items, especially the big bone thing for the backyard. We did have a crate for our dog when he was a puppy, and that is where we put him when we couldn't watch him, or when he misbehaved. When he got in trouble for something...I would just say "get in your kennel!" and he would run right in. The phase will pass, he is probably teething. I caught our dog trying to bite and chew on the wall before...weirdest thing ever! It gets better...just keep that in mind!
K.

i have heard of using tabasco also, i hear pepper helps too. if not, you may want to invest in a shock collar.

Hi, L., Our dog was a terrible chewer when he was a puppy, too! Good luck. We tried every product on the market to get him to stop. Look in your Pet Store for commercially available products. Maybe you'll find one he doesn't like. Our dog would lick 'whatever' off and chew, too! We just simply could not take our eyes off him. You may want to try an ultrasonic trainer, and pick a day where you can just watch him. Everytime he chews, you push a botton, and he hears a high-pitched sound, which distracts him from the chewing. If none of this works, you may want to consult a professional trainer. N. B.

We had a puppy that did this and we gave her some small tree wood to chew on.She literally took branches off the trees

In my experience (I worked for several different vet hospitals over many years) I would suggest crate training your puppy. This way he is not left alone with things that he likes to chew on and you can catch him in the act everytime and intervene quickly. The idea is that if you can not be right there with him, he goes in the crate. I know it sounds mean BUT puppies learn to use their crate as a retreat and will learn that it is there safe place, just like your 3 year old has her room, your puppy would have his room (and that is what we call it in our house "Mai Tai go to your room"). If you have any questions about the crate training process, please feel free to message me here and I will get back to you! Good luck with your puppy!

citronella oil. it's not poisonous to the dog and gives all your wood a wonderful coat of shine!

we have puppy pit bulls and they are just as bad as boxers. Try using bitter apple or lime spray, you can get it at Petsmart or Petco. Make sure he knows which toys are his and make sure when you see him chewing on something that isn't his you immediatly take it away and discipline him. You can't wait even a couple of minutes b/c they can't remember why you are mad at them.
Pit Bulls and Boxers are very similar in their thinking. We had a boxer until he got too old went into renal failure. Both breeds are very anxious to please you and want to make you happy. Food and treats will get you everywhere with these kinds of dogs. They love little bits of hot dog ot cheese sticks. Also, only give them a little bite so they will keep working for more.
If you need more advice or want some more tips message me and i would be glad to help.

My dog is a retriever/pit bull mix, and he also likes to chew. He is also extremely strong-willed. Luckily he likes the rawhides, but he will still try to tear up clothes and other things every once in a while. To train him, I borrowed my father's shock training collar. It's not like the barking collars, it has a remote so you can shock him when he ignores a command. I cured him of stealing my clothes when I would shock him once his nose met whatever he was going after. I would call him immediately AFTER. This way he would associate the shock with things he was not supposed to be chewing, then with my voice following, he would know I was aware of what he was doing even if he couldn't see me.

It's not inhumane at all. Having felt the shock myself, it's only slightly above what you would feel with a static shock. Most collars have different levels, dependent upon the size and pain tolerance of the dog. I only ever had to use the first level.

Here's a link to several of them: http://www.thepetstoreonline.com/dog-training-collars.htm...

By the way, never believe that "it will eventually go away" because it won't. Dogs have a very deep instinct to chew, it just must be controlled by teaching him what he can and cannot chew.

A product called Bitter Apple might help. If you are using it outside, I'd try the paste version rather than the spray. Also your little guy (in addition to teething) might be bored. Lots of long walks -at least twice a day might help tire him out so all he wants to do is sleep. If you are not home during the day, a dog walker would be very helpful. Also, there is a wonderful book called, "Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence". Can't remember who wrote it, but it helped me survive two high energy (they don't start calming down until they are 5!) German Shortaired Pointers. Good Luck!

Monitor the puppy when he is outside and when he goes to chew the wood you have to correct. Be consistant and gently correct each time he goes to chew. Place acceptable item in front of him after correcting. If that doesn't work call the Dog Whisperer he can help!

Get some smaller branches (not twigs but 3/4 inch to 3 inch sized branches) and let the dog chew those. Also, take Cayanne pepper powder and sprinkle it on spots the dog has chewed.

Get a squirt gun, and if you catch the dog chewing squirt him in the face! Aim for his nose and try to get it up his nose.

Good luck!

He is probably trying to lose his puppy teeth. Try marrow bones stuffed peanut butter. or try bitter apple on the wood.

Hello L. A.
I have had the same problems in the past with my dog! She was a boxer as well. I tried a ton of things, including tobasco sauce, never worked. Try another method, this worked very well for me! Get him some raw hide bones, or bones with beef in them, then if he starts chewing on something else, direct his attention away with the bone, it usually seems to work. It does take a little bit to get used to it, but he will associate chewing the bone instead of chewing the furniture :). Best of luck to you sweetie!...
K.

Being in the Vet business, you have a tough puppy to train. Start NOW. You need to get a personal trainer to come to the house to tach you & your pup the proper method.
As for toys, try a "KONG" filled with low fat peanut butter and then let it sit overnight in freezer. This will keep him busy. He needs ALOT of excercise and just being in the back yard does not do it. He is not stimulated in the back yard & he is bored. That is why he is chewing on anything he can find. I would really try to curb this now. He can get VERY sick from the wood.
Good luck!!!!

Hi L.,
Eventually your dog will stop. Our springer ate the top of the spa cover and chewed all the steps on the deck. One thing that helped (too late for us) was the thick, heavy wieght kongs filled with peanut butter, kept her busy for hours. Good Luck.

You have one high-energy dog on your hands and need to start the obedience training NOW!

I have a power-chewer in my home, and we use the Galeleio (sp?) chew bones. They are super-hard, and my dogs cannot blast through them. You can find them at Target, PetsMart, etc. We do not use rawhide for our dogs since it makes them very sick. And my power-chewer can go through a 12-inch rawhide roll in less than 1/2 an hour.

I'm also going to second crate training. It's safe and humane, and it provides protection for your pup. A crate creates that "den" feeling for the dog. Go get one TODAY.

Keep in mind your pup is like a small toddler. He will need constant supervision. When you cannot watch him, a crate or kennel comes in handy. It's not just for his safety, but also for your sanity.

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