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Teething & Chewing

Poodle Teething & Chewing

Overview

While puppies are usually most infamous for destroying shoes, books and just about anything that they can get their mouths on, adult Poodles can have chewing issues also!

Puppies will chew to explore their world & ease the intense feelings of teething. 

Adult Poodles will chew to help cope with Separation Anxiety and ease boredom.

Don't worry; No matter how old your Poodle is , or whether your have a Toy, Miniature or Standard, help is here!
Puppies

One of the reasons that Poodle puppy will chew, even before teething has begun, is to explore the world. A puppy will use their mouth (as opposed to a hand) to figure out….”What is this?” “What is this made of” “Will this cause pleasure to gnaw on?” “Will this make noise if I bite down” … and most importantly if you step in to supervise, another question that will be answered is: “Am I allowed to be chewing on this?”

One must understand that it is in the nature of a Poodle puppy (or any other dog breed, for that matter) to chew and explore with their mouths. And there are ways that you can limit what is chewed on…and answer that biggest question of all “Am I allowed to be chewing on this?”

Since a puppy will put anything in his mouth, it is extremely important to puppy proof your home. While this is most vital during the first year, since a dog of any age may mouth an object it is recommended to periodically performed checks of all accessible areas and remove anything that could be a potential chocking hazard. Floors are an “everything is up for grabs” zone to a puppy and must be kept clear.

One of the most common complaints of puppy owners is “My puppy chewed my shoes!” The answer is to simply put your shoes in an area that your puppy cannot reach.  While you don’t want to have to rearrange your entire home, a loving owner must make certain changes for the sake of their new canine family member and this includes finding new areas, out of reach, for things such as shoes, pocketbooks, wallets, wires / electrical cords (should be wrapped and held out of reach with twist ties), remote controls and cell phones. 

In this way, you can be 1 step ahead, but not even allowing the temptation to chew on these things to manifest.
Teething

Poodles will experience teething from about 4 months until 8 months. 

• 4 Months old - the incisors begin to grow in
• 5 months old - the canine teeth begin to grow in
• 6 months old - the molars begin to grow in
 • By 8 months old, a puppy should have all teeth ascended and stop teething. Do keep in mind that some Poodles are late bloomers and teething may last a bit longer.

How the Right Toys can Help

A puppy must be allowed to chew as much as he wishes, when he is teething. This is a very difficult time for a Poodle puppy, as the urge to relive discomfort is quite overwhelming. It will be your job to supply the correct items.  Take care when you are choosing toys for your pup's collection. Some toys are cheaply put together, the manufacturers splash on some color, give it a cute name and people scoop them up. However, those are the toys that most dogs do not find interesting and you inevitably waste your money and your dog is not being helped.

Toys should have 1 or more of the qualities:
  • Is Interactive – Moves or makes noise when chewed.
  • Motivates a puppy - When a puppy receives a reward (such as treat release chew toys), he will be more apt to go to it in the future for chewing urges.
  • Has several different types of surfaces – for example rubber knobs on one end to put between teeth when the gums are sore and rope for a different feel that can be manipulated into just the right spot.
  • Can be put into the freezer - There are many dog toys that can be frozen and this can be a great way to help a teething puppy. Alternatively, putting a damp, soft wash cloth into the freezer and offering that, once cold, can offer cooling relief.
Tips to Encourage Approved Chewing

Once you have cleared the house of low level items the best that you and you have a good selection of quality toys, your Poodle may still need a bit of encouragement to chew on them. Here are some tips:

1) Puppies love new objects. Therefore, one trick that works well is to have 2 groups of toys…always keeping 1 available and 1 hidden. Every week, you can switch out the toys and most puppies will be very happy to have “new” toys to play with.  Do keep in mind that any toy that your pup has seemed to become very fond of, should not be put away and should always be available. 

2) If your Poodle is reluctant to play with toys, you can encourage him by making up games such as “Find”. This is a simple game that engages a pup to “Find” a toy that you clearly allow him to let you see tucking it away under a cushion or behind a door. You then give the “Find” command and pat the floor to help lead the way. Offer great praise when he “finds” the toy. Cluing in on their owner’s tone and actions, a pup will believe that he has truly found something special. Chew toys should always bring a positive association. 

3) There are, of course, some objects that must be on ground level and this is where one of the most important command words comes into play: “No”. However, for chewing issues, this should be followed by a trade. What does this mean? When you see that your puppy is chewing on something inappropriate, say “No” in a firm voice and then offer a toy to your Poodle. When he accepts the toy, give great praise to teach your pup that chewing on the toy is what makes you proud of him. 

Sometimes, a puppy can be stubborn, and this is where you must not be shy. If you say “No” in a firm voice and he or she just keeps on chewing away on the corner of your new couch… give the command in a quick, loud manner. Many times this may startle a puppy – this is acceptable. This means that you have captured his attention and can now offer the trade and give him the chew toy.

4) If a Poodle has a strong attachment to chewing on something like the leg of a chair that cannot be removed  and trades do not work, you can spray some apple-bitter spray or other chew-deterrent on the object. 
Separation Anxiety Chewing

If your Poodle destroys things or chews on objects while you are away, they are most likely expressing their nervousness and anxiety while waiting for you to return.  

There are a few things you can do to help:

1) Eliminate as many temptations for non-toy items as possible via gating and/or apple-bitter spray.

2) As discussed above, be sure your Poodle has a good supply of various toys.

3) Combat separation anxiety to decrease the stress that your dog is feeling.
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