Every owner is going to need to learn how to stop a german shepherd puppy from chewing. There’s not a chance that you’re going to get through their whole puppyhood without them chewing on something!
However, fortunately, if you’re reading this article, you’re going to find out exactly that! And to make sure you’re armed with the knowledge you need, you’ll also learn why puppies chew as well!
Why Do German Shepherd Puppies Chew?
Knowing why german shepherd puppies chew is paramount in getting them to stop. If you don’t know all of the reasons they’re chewing, then you’re not going to be able to find the most effective solution.
Here are the most common reasons your german shepherd puppy may be chewing.
Imagine this, your gums are constantly aching and sore. Your teeth haven’t come through yet, and the ones that are cause massive discomfort to you. The only relief you find is chewing things to help take the pain away.
This is exactly how your puppy feels when they’re teething as well. So if they’re at the age where they’re teething, you can’t blame them for chewing!
It’s How They Explore The World
Your puppy doesn’t have hands to understand how the world works like me and you. In fact, the closest thing to hands they have is their mouths.
When you’re puppy is chewing it could be because they’re exploring the things around them. What tastes good, what doesn’t, and things they should avoid.
So this is another common reason that your german shepherd is going to chew things.
They Could Be Bored
Another extremely common reason that your german shepherd is chewing is boredom. When there’s not enough for them to do they’re going to have to learn to entertain themselves.
While your shoes seem expensive to you, your german shepherd sees something to alleviate their boredom.
This is much more common in German shepherds that don’t get enough exercise or don’t have enough toys.
Not Enough Training
Have you started training your german shepherd yet? And if so, how effective is the training?
It’s important to make sure you’re giving your german shepherd the correct training as early as you can.
The right training won’t just stop chewing, but it will also help prevent lots of other behavioral problems that are likely to spring up at some point
So if you haven’t been giving your german shepherd the training they need, now is the perfect time to consider investing some time into teaching them how to act.
The best training I know of is Brain Training For Dogs.
They’ve Got Separation Anxiety
Your german shepherd may also have separation anxiety which is causing them to chew on things.
One of the easiest ways to figure this is out is to spot the times they are chewing. Are they chewing when you’re around them? If so, then it’s probably NOT separation anxiety.
However, if you notice that every time you come home, something new has been ruined then it might be.
As well as chewing look for other common signs of separation anxiety like barking, whining, and being restless until you come home.
Your german shepherd may also be chewing because they’re hungry. If they feel like they’re not getting enough food and nutrients in their diet they’re going to look for it in multiple sources.
In fact, as well as chewing this can also be the reason some German shepherd puppies try to eat poop.
If you’re not sure you’re feeding your german shepherd enough, it may be worth quickly taking the time to figure out if they’re getting enough or not.
Do German Shepherds Chew To Be Spiteful
A lot of times it seems like your german shepherd is repeatedly chewing things you love. And you may think that they’re doing it to be spiteful or as revenge for you telling them off.
However, this isn’t true. German shepherds (or any dog for that matter) don’t have the capacity to think like that.
If they’re chewing, then it’s because they’re trying to get relief from something.
(Find out what to do if your german shepherd pup is biting and nipping.)
How To Stop A German Shepherd Puppy From Chewing
Okay, the reasons behind chewing are very clear. Now it’s time to learn how to stop a german puppy from chewing.
You don’t just have to use one of the methods listed below. In fact, using multiple ones in tangent is going to be a lot more effective.
And if some don’t work, then move onto others. If you’re willing to put in the time, stopping your puppy from chewing isn’t actually that hard to do.
Here are the main ways to stop them from chewing.
Watch Them As Often As You Can
The simple solutions are often the best solutions. The number one way you’re going to stop your german shepherd from chewing is by watching them.
You should always have a good idea about where your puppy is and what they’re doing.
Because it’s the times when you realize they’ve been quiet for too long that they’re entertaining themselves with something they shouldn’t be.
Sometimes it can even be a good idea to put stair gates up to stop them from getting to places with lots of valuable things that can be chewed on.
Pay Them Lots Of Attention
And as well as paying attention to what they’re doing, pay them attention too! As mentioned earlier, chewing is often caused when your german shepherd is bored.
A great way to make sure your german shepherd isn’t bored is to give them lots of love and affection.
They need it in their lives and if you’re not paying attention to them, they’ll find other ways to entertain themselves.
Give Them Lots Of Toys To Play With
Obviously, you can’t spend every minute of the day giving them attention. But make sure they have something to do when you’re not there.
Giving them the right toys to play with can be a great way to keep their minds entertained. In particular, fun toys that also stimulate their minds are the way to go.
In particular, one of the best toys I’d recommend not just for puppies that chew, but all dogs is a KONG. When you need to leave your german shepherd alone for any amount of time, KONG’s are a GREAT way of keeping them engaged!
But if you don’t fancy dog toys, there are other great alternatives like Nylabones.
When you’re picking a dog toy you do need to beware of a few things.
First of all, make sure the dog toy doesn’t look like a household item. If you buy toys that look similar to things you don’t want your german shepherd to chew, they may become confused.
You’ve already given them a toy shoe to play with, so why shouldn’t they be able to chew any shoe in the house? This is the mindset your german shepherd is going to have.
As well as this, make sure you buy toys that are sturdy.
Believe me, dogs can chew through a lot of things, anything that isn’t sturdy enough is going to get torn to pieces and could become a hazard to your puppy.
So avoid anything with a squeaker, fluff, or toys where parts can fall off. And if you notice their toy starting to fall apart, dispose of it and get them a new one.
Replace What They’re Chewing
Shouting at a german shepherd chewing on something they shouldn’t be isn’t your best option.
Instead, you should replace what they shouldn’t be chewing on with something they should.
Have lots of toys ready in your home and the moment you notice them start chewing, move them, and give them their toy.
This will teach them what can and can’t be chewed on in a positive way.
Keep Them Contained When You’re Not There
When you’re not there oftentimes the best solution is to keep them contained. This can either be a crate or a room, all that matters is it’s somewhere they can’t chew anything.
Just remember, that you shouldn’t leave a puppy alone for too long, even if they’re contained. It’s not good for their mental well being, and they also need to be let out to go potty a lot more often than adult dogs.
But if you’re only going out for a couple of hours, keeping them contained is the best choice for them.
Don’t Make A Big Deal About Leaving Or Returning
If your puppies chewing is caused by separation anxiety, make sure you’re not making a big deal out of returning to them or leaving them.
When you give them a big good-bye or hello, then they’re going to think there’s something wrong every time you leave.
The best thing to do is pay them no attention when you leave, and when you come home, don’t pay them any attention either.
This sounds cruel, but it lets them know that you leaving is such a small deal you don’t feel the need to pay them attention.
If separation anxiety continues, you should seek the advice of a dog behaviorist, even if the chewing stops.
Remove Anything They Can Chew
Another extremely obvious tip, make sure you move anything they chew on out of their reach. Even if they haven’t chewed on it before, MOVE IT!
Similar to containing them, anything that can be chewed on should be moved out of their path for the foreseeable future.
And just because you think it’s out of their reach, doesn’t mean it necessarily is. One time, I put a book on a counter far out of my puppy’s way because I thought there was no way she could get to it.
However, that night when I came home, there was paper all over the floor and I had to buy the book all over again!
Also, make sure you’re not just thinking about things you care about either. Bin liners, chemicals, plastic, anything sharp can all become extremely dangerous if your german shepherd gets a hold of them.
When we removed everything we didn’t want our dog to chew on, we thought we were finally safe. However, we weren’t.
One day I came home to find one of the table legs in my house had been chewed to bits. Of course, I was extremely annoyed at myself and had to find a solution.
That’s when I found out there are plenty of repellents you can use. In a lot of cases, they aren’t going to leave a mark, however, they are going to taste horrible.
Your german shepherd will have one taste of the repellent and decide they don’t want to chew on whatever it’s been put on.
Fortunately, repellants aren’t expensive and you can pick them up pretty cheap from Amazon.
Make Sure They’re Getting Enough Exercise
Getting enough exercise is extremely important for your german shepherd. So if you notice them chewing a lot of things it might be time to up the amount their getting!
While giving them an extra walk or a longer walk is a great choice. It’s not your only one. You can also spend some time playing tug of war with them. And if you really want to treat them, why not buy them a pool they can swim in.
Just make sure that the walls are strong enough that they won’t be damaged by their claws.
Buy A Good Training Program
A good training program can make training your german shepherd effortless and fun. However, the lack of a training program or a bad training program can often result in years of bad behavior, and even longer trying to solve it!
So if you want to find out how to deter your german shepherd from chewing, a good training program like Brain Training For Dogs is probably your best choice!
(Read an in-depth review of Brain Training For Dogs.)
What Should You Avoid Doing?
Make sure that you don’t do any of the following when training your german shepherd. If you do, it could result in the problem becoming worse, and in some cases, it can also cause other problems to spring up.
Never Hit Your Puppy
Hitting your dog or hurting them in any way doesn’t work. All it’s going to do is instill fear in them which will often come out in aggressive behavior.
While you may get the chewing to stop initially, it’s definitely not going to be worth it in the long run.
So remember, any sort of physical harm you’re causing to your pup is incredibly cruel.
Don’t Give Them Imitation Or Normal Household Items To Chew On
If you give your pup imitation items or normal household items to chew on then you’re going to confuse them.
They’re going to have a hard time differentiating what they can chew on and what they can’t chew on.
So make sure when you’re giving your pup chew toys they don’t look like anything that can be mistaken for things they shouldn’t chew on.
Don’t Use Spray/Shock Collars
Some people recommend using spray or shock collars to teach your german shepherd. However, in a lot of cases, they’ve been found not to work. And in some cases, your german shepherd may even begin to establish the shock or spray with a behavior that isn’t bad.
Because of this, it’s better to avoid these collars and stick to positive reinforcement training.
(Check out these 11 ways to calm down a german shepherd puppy!)
At What Age Should Your German Shepherd Puppy Stop Chewing?
If your puppy is chewing due to teething, then this should stop after 6 months. However, if they’re chewing because they haven’t been taught not too, then it could be years before they stop chewing.
Fortunately, in a lot of cases, they’ll stop chewing within the 6-month mark!
There are a number of different ways to stop your german shepherd from chewing, as well as a number of reasons they do it in the first place! And now you should know EXACTLY what to do when your pup starts chewing.
And if you’ve forgotten any of the main points, here’s a quick recap of what you need to remember.
- They may be chewing because they’re teething, exploring the world around them, they’re bored, haven’t been trained, have separation anxiety, or because they’re hungry.
- Your german shepherd is never chewing to be spiteful.
- There are lots of ways you can stop your german shepherd from chewing including watching them as often as you can, paying them lots of attention, giving them toys to play with, keeping them contained, replacing what they’re chewing on, removing anything they can chew, using a chew repellant, making sure they get enough exercise and training them effectively.
- You should never hit your puppy, give them chew toys that are similar to items you don’t want them to chew on, or use shock and spray collars.
If you do all of this your puppies chewing phase will be a breeze! Lastly, if you have any more questions make sure you leave them in the comments below! Otherwise, have a great day!