Toys and Chewing

For both my 7 month-old baby and my 9 month-old puppy, chewing is big. With baby Sadie, I just need to make sure the things she puts in her mouth are safe, age-appropriate, and clean. My puppy Wally, on the other hand, needs a little more supervision since he has the ability to get around and find new things to chew.

 

A new house with lots of baby toys can be confusing for a puppy because most baby toys are very similar to dog toys. The first week or so Wally was with us, I spent a lot of time supervising him as he checked out our apartment, specifically Sadie’s toys, to make sure he knew what was ok to play with and what wasn’t. When he’d try to play with Sadie’s toys, I’d firmly tell him no and he’d have some crate time. This quickly helped him learn her toys were off limits. In addition, now whenever Sadie plays on the floor in our living room I point Wally to one of his toys if he needs help finding something good to do.

 

Wally also found a few other items to chew that either weren’t his or that shouldn’t have been chewed to pieces. The big no-no was my husband’s shoes. This incident happened during a thunderstorm so we think it was done out of nervousness. However, we now keep the closet door closed just in case so it’s easier for him to avoid making the mistake again. Wally also chewed his brand new bed and toy basket. Although he correctly identified them as his, they were not meant to be chew toys. For now, I have put them away so he doesn’t have the temptation to chew them again, but after a little time away I plan to bring them back out with some bitter apple spray (just in case he still needs to be discouraged).

 

If you are consistent on what is off limits and in how you punish a chewing offense, you should be able to deter undesirable chewing. A firm “no” and crate time have worked very well for Wally, along with removing chewing temptations / keeping all of Sadie’s toys in one area. If your dog does make the mistake of taking your baby’s toys, after correcting the behavior, be sure to wash the toy before returning it to your baby’s play time.
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