Some dogs chew to relieve stress and excess energy. Puppies have one more reason to chew – they’re teething. If you catch your puppy chewing on something he shouldn’t, say “no” or “eh” in a low voice. It’s a sound similar to a mother’s growl, which your puppy will take as a sign of disapproval.
You can control your puppy’s chewing habits in a number of ways:
• Provide him with safe chewing toys appropriate for puppies. Never give him toys with parts that might come loose and choke him. Praise him while he’s chewing on his special toys. That way, he’ll learn to associate chewing on them with your positive reaction. Reinforce that impression by offering praise any time you discover him chewing on them.
• Don’t make toys out of household or personal items like old socks or shoes. He won’t know the difference between old, unwanted items and new ones that are off-limits.
• If he continues to chew on things he shouldn’t, there are safe but bad-tasting products available at pet stores that you can treat those items with.
• The more time you spend playing with and exercising your puppy, the less energy he’ll have for chewing.
• Avoid rough play like tug-of-war. It encourages aggressiveness.
• Your puppy needs to learn how to greet people calmly. If your puppy jumps up on people, he needs to learn the commands “off ” and “sit”. Keeping your puppy on a leash when meeting people at home or away can help in teaching him proper greeting etiquette.
• As your puppy begins to jump up onto someone, pull his leash in a downward movement as you say “off” in a low tone and move toward him in a somewhat threatening manner (like his mother would). As your puppy backs away, give him the command “sit” while helping him into this position. Once he is sitting, praise him calmly. This teaches him that the way to get attention is not to jump, but to sit calmly.
Crying and Whining
• Your puppy loves your companionship, so it shouldn’t surprise you to hear him whimper when you leave him home alone. He cries because he isn’t sure when – or if – you’ll return.
• Learning to be comfortable on his own is a natural process that your puppy will get used to over time. Meanwhile, there are ways for you to moderate his fears. Provide toys to distract him from loneliness, or leave a radio on for familiar background noise.
• Let your puppy sit in his crate for short periods of time while you’re at home. This will help reinforce acceptance of his crate. When you leave the house, try to do so quietly. Making a big production will only cause your puppy more anxiety. In time he will realize that even when you leave, you’ll always return.