First and foremost, as human beings we must remember that we are living with an entirely different species. Dogs and especially puppies have a desire to chew, bite, and use their mouth. We can either choose to use this to our advantage and help fulfill them, or we can fight against their natural instinct and desire. If we hope to have success when it comes to chewing, or any behavior for that matter, we better choose the former.
There are a couple of different areas we can focus on when it comes to our dogs/puppies chewing up items they are not suppose to. The first is limiting their access to items that we do not want them to chew on and destroy. If that seems overly simple, its because it is. For some reason, humans tend to put dogs on a pedestal and expect that they inherently know how to behave, or how to “listen” to us when we talk to them. Think about a toddler for a moment. This toddler is beginning to crawl around and is in the teething stage. If items are left on the ground, the toddler is going to put things in his/her mouth that we don’t want them to. We know that we cannot just say “NO!” and expect the baby to respond and stop putting things in his/her mouth. Because we know this, it is the best course of action to keep things off of the ground the toddler may get into. This is what we call “baby-proofing”. Why should dogs/puppies be any different? We understand that our own species cannot comprehend the concept of only chewing on certain things (teether, pacifier, etc), So why would dogs/ puppies be able to comprehend that concept. It is instinctual for them to put things into their mouth. We will have the best success if we eliminate access to items that we do not want them chewing on. This is best accomplished by keeping everything put up and also by using a crate when the puppy/dog cannot be supervised. BY THE WAY, if the puppy has a habit of biting/chewing the hands. The same concept applies, limit access to the hands.
The second area we need to focus on, is actually giving the puppy/dog an appropriate outlet for the desire to chew, use their mouth. This can be accomplished by playing fetch, tug with your dog puppy. Interactive play between dog and person is extremely beneficial because it stimulates and works the brain as well as the body. A lot of times after a nice play session the puppy likely wont have the desire to chew anything up because that desire has been fulfilled mentally and physically. Along with this the puppy should be given certain periods where it is allowed to chew on dog bones, toys, etc. The selected item/s for chewing should be the ONLY items/s available. After repetitions and consistency the puppy/dog will learn and start to look forward to selected “chewing” time with the items that you provide. These bones, etc should also only be available during the selected times for chewing. If they are constantly left out or allowed constant access to them, the puppy/dog is just choosing when they feel like it and will likely get bored with the items quickly.
If you do just these 2 things, your dogs habit of chewing up everything should improve! Message me for specific questions!