Dog chewing everything in sight? Trainer reveals the one thing you can do to decrease frustration

Puppy chewing rug
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Coming home to find your favorite pair of jeans have been nibbled on or your couch has been covered in chew marks is one of those challenging pet parent moments that almost all dog owners can relate to.

While giving your canine companion one of the longest lasting dog chews can certainly help keep them occupied, dogs (and particularly puppies) love nothing more than exploring the world with their mouths - which often means that it's not long before they turn their attention back to some of your favorite items.

Thankfully, Julianna DeWillems, owner and head trainer at JW Dog Training & Behavior says that while people often find chewing behaviors difficult to deal with, the solution to navigating this phase might be easier than you think.

In a video shared on Instagram, DeWillems talks through how to handle chewing in puppies, but her advice is useful no matter the age of your dog. You can check out the video below or keep reading as we fill you in on everything you need to know...

"The one thing about puppyhood that we see frustrates puppy parents the most is unrealistic expectations," DeWillems says. "In a well-intentioned effort to start teaching puppies from the very beginning, it can be tempting to put adult expectations on a young puppy. This will cause frustration for you and your puppy."

According to DeWillems it's completely normal for puppies to chew on everything and anything - if we expect this behavior, we can manage the environment so both our puppy and our belongings stay safe.

"The best way to get a puppy to stop chewing on your stuff is to keep anything and everything you don't want to be chewed out of your puppy's reach," advises DeWillems. "It's up to us humans to protect our stuff."

DeWillems says that if your dog is a puppy, she doesn't believe it's worth trying to train this behavior out of them. 

"These are all very normal species-specific age-related behaviors. Trying to get a puppy to stop them will at best be frustrating, or at worse could break down the relationship between puppy and guardian. Most puppies grow out of these behaviors, so instead, we recommend managing the environment *and* giving lots of appropriate outlets."

If you find you've been providing your dog with lots of chew toys and keeping important items out of reach, yet you still don't see an improvement in chewing behaviors, we recommend reaching out to a professional trainer for support. 

For more great canine content, be sure to check out our guides to how to stop a puppy chewing and how to stop your dog chewing their bed.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.