Dog nibbles on everything - normal or not?
Dogs have a natural chewing instinct that wants to be satisfied again and again. It is therefore perfectly natural for our best friends to nibble and chew - to a certain extent.
However, if the supposed chewing instinct becomes excessive, caution is advised! Potential warning signs could be: your dog nibbles on furniture, bites into "forbidden" objects or even gnaws its own paws. Because these undesired behaviours can often be traced back to specific causes and can be brought under control through targeted countermeasures.
Excessive chewing instinct in puppies and young dogs
Even the youngest dogs nibble on all sorts of things with joy, after all, this is how they explore the world. Not to be forgotten is the change of teeth, which usually occurs between the third and seventh month of life. During this time it is particularly common for puppies to have an increased urge to chew. Incoming teeth cause itchy gums and chewing helps relieve itchiness by massaging the gums.
While chewing is important at this time, you should still show your animal friend limits. After all, they have to learn what can and can't be nibbled on. If you catch your dog chewing something, they aren’t supposed to, it is best to give the command "Off" and take the prohibited item away. Be sure to offer an alternative, such as a toy or chew. Coffee Wood chews in particular will help keep your dog busy for a long time.
The same applies to pubescent dogs, since they like to test their limits at this age, patience and targeted educational measures are required. Stay consistent and don't forget: puberty will pass!
Undertrained and bored
Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of uncontrollable chewing and nibbling is underestimated by many dog owners, BOREDEM. Although most fur noses enjoy affection and caresses, they need a lot more than that. Because they want to be adequately utilized - both mentally and physically. To make sure that your four-legged friend is kept busy and entertained, you should integrate work tasks into everyday life. For example, you can incorporate species-appropriate play tasks into the daily exercise area. Search games and nose work like scavenger hunts are particularly suitable, because these activities put the four-legged friends to use in a species-appropriate way.
Dogs are extremely sensitive animals and are often very sensitive to changes. Mental stress is particularly troubling for them and can manifest itself in the form of anger and fear, among other things. Stressed animals usually display abnormal and / or pathological behaviour, such as manic licking or nibbling on their paws. The causes for this are as diverse as they are numerous, which is why they must first be determined.
Does your dog nibbles on furniture when left alone? Then they may suffer from separation anxiety and still have to learn to be alone. If the destructive rage shows up after a training session, it may have been too intense and demanding. However, dogs can also be emotionally stressed due to deep-seated grief, such as after the death of a companion. The same applies to bullying among dogs or unclear relationships within the family. In this case, it is advisable to see a dog trainer or an animal psychologist. Because with professional help, not only can the undesired behaviour be trained off, but the cause can also be worked on. If in doubt, it is also advisable to consult a veterinarian. Because a change in personality can also occur due to an organic disease.