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Hi Cesar,

We have a beautiful four-month-old white German shepherd puppy. His name is Auggie Moon, and he is as good as he is bad.

Our puppy constantly wants to chew on me and I don’t know how to stop the puppy from chewing on me. I am trying to work with him with puppy treats and rewards.

I want him to be healthy and a good puppy, but he is so strong, weighs 35 pounds and his teeth are so sharp that it’s hard for me to stop the puppy from chewing. My husband and I are older and probably bought too much dog, but I wanted a high energy dog, so I could get outdoors with him. We have a large fenced property with a big swimming pool, so he can tear around. Right now it’s icy out back, but he does a good job entertaining himself. (He runs the perimeter of the property like a whirling dervish.) His job will be squirrel patrol!

Anyway, I need advice on how to stop puppy chewing.

Thanks,

Pam D.
Davenport, IA

Dear Pam,

A pack leader is not a chew toy, so what the puppy chewing problem tells me is that you are not the puppy’s pack leader; you are a friend. You need to adopt the concept, “body, mind, and then heart.” Right now, it appears you are embracing “heart, body, and then mind.” If you are willing to make that switch, your puppy will stop seeing you as a chew toy.

I’d like for you to pay attention to the energy you are sharing with your puppy. A lot of people start off the day with affection first. When dogs get excited, they can get mouthy. When you get up in the morning, are you greeting Mother Nature with excited energy or are you establishing your leadership by sharing calm-assertive energy?  You should only share affection after dog exercise and discipline.

Is your husband experiencing the same puppy chewing problems? If not, perhaps he has already established himself as the puppy’s pack leader. Often, a husband and wife do not get along with the dog in the same way. Sometimes it is necessary to have a third person come in and suggest a strategy that will work for both of you.

Add some structure – rules, boundaries, limitations – and that will make you the authority figure in the puppy’s life. Once you become pack leader, you will no longer have the puppy chewing problem.

Stay calm and assertive,

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