Puppies chew when their teeth are coming in and their gums hurt.Teenage puppies (8 to 14 months of age) chew because their adult teeth are coming in and because, well, they are teenagers. And for many dogs, if they're feeling bored or stressed, their release is to chew. Unfortunately, chewing can cause a great deal of damage. A large dog can strip a sofa of fabric and filling and a small dog can ruin a pair of shoes. Plus, dogs who chew can break teeth and eat items that can cause tremendous harm. So let's take a look at destructive chewing and what you can do to protect both your dog and your belongings.
Puppies ChewYoung puppies begin losing their baby teeth at about three and a half months of age. Up until then, their teeth are small, fragile, and very sharp. Although puppies don't have the jaw strength that teenage and adult dogs they can still do some damage because their teeth are so sharp. Puppies also explore the world with their mouth; just like with human babies, everything goes in the mouth. The goal with puppies is to practice prevention so that they don't hurt themselves. At the same time, by not allowing the puppy to chew on things you'd prefer he ignore, you can also make sure he doesn't develop bad habits. If, for example, he never chews on your shoes, he won't look to your shoes as potential fun. Restrict your puppy's freedom in the house so he can't sneak off to the back bedroom and grab something he shouldn't. At the same time, make sure the portions of the house where he's allowed are safe: tuck away cords, pick up the remote, and make sure the kids' toys are put away.
Pre-Teens and TeenagersAs your puppy grows, he's going to continue to chew. From four to eight months of age he'll be considered a pre-teen and from eight to fourteen (or for some dogs, sixteen months) he is a teenager. His teeth will come in from four to five months of age but sometimes the big molars come in up to about eight months of age. During and after teething, a teenage puppy needs to chew. His gums hurt, his jaws hurt, he will be driven to chew. Keep toys, chews, and treats in front of him that he can chew. During these stages of development, continue the practices begun during early puppyhood. Restrict his access to areas of the house where he can get into trouble and continue to keep things out of his reach. Don't be fooled into allowing him more freedom when he's acting more grown-up; even canine teenagers are still mentally immature.