We love our Greyhounds…except when they make confetti out of our couch cushions! Or, just as bad, chew on a table leg like it is a bone! Dogs love to chew, and we need to give them an outlet that is NOT our furniture. In this picture of Jacki, the sofa is covered with several throws because she chewed a 3” hole in the leather right in front, of course!
In the short term, here are some tactics to redirect that impulse:
Exercise - Make sure they get enough exercise – that means physical AND mental stimulation. Bored dogs tend look for ways to entertain themselves, and chewing is one option. To prevent destructive chewing, be sure to provide plenty of ways for your dog to exercise his mind and body. Great ways to accomplish this include daily walks and outings, off-leash play with other dogs, teaching them something new, nose work, and feeding meals in food puzzle toys.
Supervision - Do your best to supervise your Greyhound during all waking hours until you feel confident that his chewing behavior is under control. If you see him licking or chewing an item he shouldn’t, say “No,” remove the item from your dog’s mouth, and insert something that he CAN chew. Then follow with happy praise.
More than once, Jacki was standing there, waiting for something, and since it was handy, she gave the patio table corner a chomp, (just testing it out) and once the coffee table corner in the family room. (?!?)
Acceptable Chews - If you channel their chewing by giving them something else to chew, they will learn what is accepted and what is not. Pay attention to the types of inedible toys that keep him chewing for long periods of time and continue to offer those. It’s ideal to introduce something new or rotate your dog’s chew toys every couple of days so that he doesn’t get bored with the same old toys.
You can also give your dog edible things to chew, like bully sticks, pig ears, rawhide rolls or other natural chews. Dogs can sometimes choke on edible chews, especially if they bite off and swallow large hunks. Be sure to keep an eye on your dog whenever he’s working on an edible chew so that you can intervene if necessary.
When we leave - Sometimes we do have to leave home and being alone makes some dogs stressed or agitated. That’s when they might entertain themselves with chewing something inappropriate. Chewing combats boredom and can relieve mild anxiety or frustration. A brisk walk or engaging playtime before leaving will help tire them out.
Confinement - When you can’t supervise your dog, you must find a way to prevent him from chewing on inappropriate things in your absence. For example, if you work during the day, you can leave your dog at home in a restricted area. Use a crate or put your dog in an ex-pen or small room with the door or a baby gate closed. Be sure to remove all things that your dog shouldn’t chew from his confinement area, and give him a variety of appropriate toys and chew things to enjoy instead, such as a Kong filled with treats or peanut better. Freezing it will keep them busy a little longer.
Chewing Deterrents - Discourage chewing inappropriate items by spraying them with chewing deterrents. This works for some dogs right away. But other dogs seem to not mind the bitter taste, so it’s going to depend on your own dog.
Before using any deterrent spray, you should always test it on a small area first. Make sure it doesn’t damage the wood or material you want to spray it on. After you know it is safe for your furniture, simply spray it on all the inappropriate items your dogs like to chew. Table legs, wood trim, upholstered furniture… You may need to reapply every few days.
There are several options when it comes to using a deterrent spray. You can buy a commercially made product, like Bitter Apple or Bitter Yuck, or make your own with household products you probably have in your pantry.
DIY Deterrent Spray
- Dogs do not like cayenne pepper, so you could make a spray by mixing one part cayenne pepper and 10 parts water. Put it in a spray bottle and try spraying it on the furniture you are trying to protect.
- Or try equal parts white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Combine in a spray bottle.
Please realize, however, that successful treatment for destructive chewing will require more than just the use of deterrents. Dogs need to learn what they can chew as well as what they can’t chew.
Please share any feedback or comments below. Have you run into this problem with your hound? What did you do – what worked, or didn’t work?
Of note: We are thrilled to be included on Feedspot's list of Top 10 Greyhound Dog Blogs - find them here: https://blog.feedspot.com/greyhound_dog_blogs
Check them out!
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