Chewing Tips


Everyone knows that young puppies chew – that’s how they discover what the world is all about. Since they don’t have hands, naturally everything goes into the mouth. This is how they relate to their environment. The trick is getting them not to “total” ours! Provide them with things good to chew – pig ears, split beef knuckle bones, marrow bones, rolled pork skins and other toys. Rotate their time with toys.. they can actually get bored with the same toys, so give them a different one every few days and put the ones they’ve been playing with up for a day or so. 

There are other household things that are available and cheap! 

They especially like things with their people’s scent on it - like shoes, socks and your underwear. Of course, shoes and underwear aren’t good. If your puppy is allowed to chew on an old shoe, any shoe is fair game to them – after all, your old sneaker and those $100 Nikes are all the same to them. The best place is to keep your shoes in the closet and the closet door shut while there is a puppy in the house. If you leave them around and they chew up a good pair, then you have only yourself to blame.

I give my young puppies socks – socks are cheap and easy to replace. The “stinky-er” the better, so when you have a worn sock, don’t wash it – give it to puppy to play with. I tie a knot in them, tie several together or stick a tennis ball down into the toe and tie a knot.. ..  now you’ve got a good cheap tug toy that you can toss and use to redirect their attention to an acceptable play. 

Another thing young pups love is paper – recycle the core out of the toilet tissue or paper towels by letting your puppy have it to tear up. Yeah, they do tend to make confetti out of it all over the house, but relax, it’s only paper and easily vacuumed up or swept out. 

A favorite and cheap toy – boxes and plastic milk jugs.  Take a Milk jug with a handle, tie a short rope on to the handle and not only can they sling it around, they love all the noise it makes, too! Boxes are fun to jump on and smash, tear up and climb into – all the things puppies like to do. 

Plastic coke bottles with a few bits of kibble can be quite entertaining to pups as well. They can have loads of fun knocking it about trying to get the kibble out. This is a great rainy day activity for your puppy. 

Hollow long bones can be stuffed with cheese or peanut butter, or simply smear the inside cavity with peanut butter and put it in the freezer for a while. If you have to go out and leave the pup in a crate, give them one of these bones to entertain themselves trying to get the treat out of the bone. If they get treats and fun things to do in the crate, then they aren’t going to resent having to stay in one when you can’t be home. 

So, when do they stop chewing? It all depends on how great a trainer you are and the individual puppy. If you find them focusing on an inappropriate item, redirect their attention to something suitable and go hid that other item. 

Remember, too, that around 7-9 months, the pup will be getting his back molars and this is a critical time to provide the pup with really challenging chews.  The puppy must chew to set the tooth into the bone, so a good raw, beef knuckle bone ( let them chew that outside!) or a split or whole knuckle bone that you can get at the pet store is great. Ridgebacks love to eat and the bone will also aid in cleaning the teeth. 

For protection of the furniture, the best offense is defense! Keep an eye on the puppy and keep a couple of small spray bottles with water in them to use to discourage chewing the coffee table, etc. Just say no, then if they don’t stop or go for it, give them a squirt with the water – then redirect their attention to an appropriate chew toy.