The age-old phrase ‘The dog ate my homework,’ was first recorded in a 1929 Guardian newspaper article. We’ve all used it or heard someone use it, and those of us who own a dog have experienced the disappearance of many socks, slippers, and—if we turn away from the table—that tender steak we were about to bite into!
How Do You Stop A Goldendoodle From Eating Everything?
How do you stop your Goldendoodle from eating everything? The earlier you start, the easier it is to squash any bad habits and reinforce good ones. The quickest and most effective way to deter a dog from chewing a household item is to interrupt them with a loud noise. Once you have their attention, offer them an acceptable toy to play with.
We aim to show you how to patiently and consistently teach your dog right from wrong, with just a few simple steps.
The Best Ways to Stop Your Dog Chewing a Household Item
The Positive Interrupter
Scolding your dog appears to work for a minute or two. However, hearing the word “No” regularly more often results in the tendency to ignore – unless you follow up with a punishment. But a positive interrupter seeks to distract your dog and then reward good behavior.
- Interrupt your dog with a loud noise such as a whistle to gain their attention.
- Follow this up by swapping the unprohibited item for a chew toy
- Positively reinforcing them with praise such as “Good Job!”
Positive reinforcement is a proven technique, as studied by Ivan Pavlov in the Classical Conditioning experiment of ‘Pavlov’s Dog.’ In this study, food acts as a positive reinforcement, rather than verbal praise.
Pavlov taught his dogs to salivate at the sound of a bell, by feeding them right after ringing it. The dogs eventually associated the bell with food and would salivate whenever they heard the noise, even when no food was presented.
In the case of the positive interrupter, the dog would learn that chewing the permitted item would result in praise from their owner. This method builds your dog’s desire to do what is asked of them, rather than just being punished for their actions.
Taste deterrents are bitter sprays that are designed to taste disagreeable to dogs. Spraying them on your furniture, or around items that your dog tends to bite, can help to curb the chewing impulse.
You can find taste deterrents online, in your local pet stores, or you can create your own at home. Most dogs are sensitive to citrus (such as lemon and lime juice), apple cider vinegar, or even a little sprinkle of chili powder or cayenne pepper in water.
Pop one of these in a spray bottle and you’re good to go!
Regular Exercise and Playtime
Most dogs, especially Goldendoodles, will become restless without proper exercise and attention. Make sure to walk your dog at least once a day consistently.
Letting your dog run around the garden isn’t enough to occupy them and keep them mentally stimulated. Visit different environments regularly, such as parks, beaches, woods, and fields.
As well as this, try to play with your dog regularly throughout the day. A five minute game of tug of war or a short game of catch with their favorite toy will keep them entertained.
Chews and Toys
Avert your dog’s attention from your household items and furniture to a dog chew or toy. Edible chews are great for allowing your dog to release all their biting and chewing urges.
These come in many shapes and sizes, just be sure to keep an eye on them when they become a bit too small and easy to swallow whole. You can also find these in the form of toy bones or chews, which are made out of rubber, rawhide, wood, or plastic.
These won’t disintegrate if you’re worried about your dog accidentally swallowing a large part of an edible chew. Activity balls are fantastic for keeping your dog occupied, put some food inside, and watch as they work to get the food back out!
Have Realistic Expectations
Whether you have brought home a puppy or a fully-grown dog, they need time to learn the house rules.
When bringing a dog into a new environment, there can be several factors that contribute to them chewing up everything in your house. It may not always be down to one single issue.
Manage your expectations when getting to know your dog and teach them how to live in sync with your lifestyle. Patience will help ease the transition into your home.
Why Do Dogs Chew Things?
Dogs are instinctual creatures, and chewing is a natural way for them to combat several issues they could be dealing with.
Chewing and biting is nature’s way for dogs to keep their teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Which is why there is such a large range of dental chews on the market today.
Many things could be leading to your dog chewing your furniture, as we explain below.
Owning a dog is a big responsibility, as they can’t be left alone for too long. Goldendoodles and other large dogs need regular mental and physical stimulation to avoid them becoming bored with their surroundings.
When a dog doesn’t receive the attention it needs, it can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing or biting.
Just like boredom, leaving your dog alone for extended periods can also lead to Separation Anxiety.
This is when a dog becomes distressed when parting from their owner, which then can lead to disruptive behavior such as biting and chewing, urinating and defecating, howling, barking, or trying to escape.
These behaviors can be paired with drooling and showing anxiety when their owners are getting ready to leave the house.
In some cases, an unbalanced diet is the root of behavioral issues. Often, dogs can try to compensate for a vitamin deficiency by chewing inedible materials.
It has been found that dogs who are low in specific vitamins will chew metal, plastic, cloth, stone, or even their own feces. For example,
“Dogs eat their own feces because they are missing something in their diets. Vitamin-B deficiency, in particular, has been a prime suspect.”
Source: The American Kennel Club
Pica is a condition where an animal has the urge to consume objects that are not food items.
This can be due to malnutrition; however, it can also be caused by anxiety, depression, diabetes, anemia, and other health issues. If the problem is medical, your veterinarian will treat it accordingly.
Do NOT chase your dog. If your dog is chewing or biting a household item, chasing them around the room will turn it into a game – even if it isn’t for you.
Running around after your dog to retrieve an item teaches them that it’s a great way to get attention from you, and they will continue to do it.
If your dog is still in the puppy stages, they are most likely to be teething. Puppy’s teeth tend to fall out at around three to four months old, making room for their 42 adult teeth.
This can be a painful process for them, just as it is for a teething baby, their gums will be very tender. During this time, you may notice your puppy drooling and biting anything they can get their paws on.
Inevitably, all dogs will chew things – whether it be their toys or your furniture.
We just have to teach them right from wrong. It’s normal for puppies and dogs to chew as a way of exploring their surroundings, relieving pain, keeping their jaws strong and their teeth clean.
Chewing can combat anxiety, give relief for frustration and boredom – it’s natural and instinctive behavior.
Remember to remove all valuable possessions from your dog’s reach and make sure you’re keeping a close eye on them.
Supervise your dog to learn their tendencies, and always correct them if you notice they are about to chew something that isn’t a dog toy or bone.
Make sure to direct their attention to a safer object and make a fuss of them whenever they chew something that is permitted.
With a bit of patience, you and your furry friend should be able to live together in harmony. In the words of Josh Billings: “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”