Is your Rottweiler prone to chewing? Does he tend to chew everything he comes across? An understanding of the cause of underlying destructive chewing in Rottweilers is essential to preventing it from developing into a habit.
Rottweilers love to explore their surroundings, and this instinct often leads them to chew objects. Puppies find chewing random things a way to relieve their discomfort of teething. Your Rottie also does so to fight social anxiety, stress, and boredom. To help your dog get rid of such a habit, you must understand triggers responsible for the habit of destructive chewing in Rottweilers. Here are a few tips to help you find out a solution to such behavior.
Puppy Teething and Destructive Chewing in Rottweilers
The discomfort associated with teething is the main reason for the chewing behavior of your Rottweiler puppy. He may also be driven by his inquisitive nature to explore and know things around. The behavior usually peaks between three and six months before it subsides.
You may contain destructive chewing in Rottweilers before they turn six months of age by giving them dog toys, wet clothes, or ice cubes to chew. With guidance and training, you can easily limit their chewing to allowed objects and prevent them from destroying your valuables.
Adult Rottweiler and Destructive Chewing Behavior
Chewing is a natural trait in dogs. Rotties tend to chew bones, sticks, or toys to maintain strong jaws. It is also a natural way for the dog to keep his teeth clean. However, chewing often becomes a habit, and the pet may start to chew other items that he should not.
A few other triggers also contribute to destructive chewing in Rottweilers.
- Lack of physical or mental stimulation causes boredom in dogs. This could be a reason prompting your Rottie to chew on things to entertain himself. You can help your dog overcome such destructive behavior by providing him plenty of activities to keep his mind and body stimulated. Take him on daily walks and outings or to dog shows. Play tug and fetch games or take him to training classes.
- Dogs chew when they experience persistent stress and frustration. A nervous Rottweiler is more likely to chew on things. So, you should try to avoid any situation that may cause the dog to feel stressed. Limit his exposure to kids and keep him engaged in his favorite activities.
- Excitement may also lead to chewing behavior. However, this is temporary and can be easily tackled by proper command training.
- Social anxiety is a major cause of destructive chewing in Rottweilers. These dogs are fiercely loyal and feel frustrated if forced to stay away from the family. They start chewing random things at home due to anxiety. So, make sure the dog has nothing to chew when he is alone.
- An improperly trained dog is unable to differentiate between what he should touch and what he should avoid. As a result, he chews anything within his reach. Training can correct such behavior.
- Sometimes, Rotties may chew things to attract your attention. Your inadequate attention to the pet may be the reason.
- Your Rottweiler may resort to chewing when he is put on a calorie-restricted diet. Hunger may cause him to search for food and chew things that he may come across in frustration. You may provide him with smaller meals at every few hours when the dog is on a diet to control destructive chewing.
Medical Conditions May Cause Chewing in Dogs
Nutritional deficiencies in Rottweilers may aggravate their chewing behavior. Due to the lack of proper nutrition, they develop pica, an eating disorder that prompts chewing of non-food items. Gastrointestinal disorders may also force the dog to chew objects to help himself vomit and feel better.
How To Stop Destructive Chewing in Rottweilers
- The best way to contain your dog’s chewing behavior is to dog-proof your house. Ensure that no valuables, shoes, clothing, books, or household items are within the reach of the Rottweiler. With no objects available, the dog’s chewing instinct remains restricted to his toys, and he sticks to them.
- Let your dog know what is appropriate for him to chew and what is not. This will make him aware of household rules and restrict his chewing behavior to toys or bones. You may reinforce the habit by bringing in new toys, edible chews, or bones every few days. However, make sure these don’t pose any choking hazard. Never offer old shoes or anything similar to those items that are already forbidden.
- Keep a tab on your dog to see what he chews. If you find him chewing a restricted item, take it away from him. Replace it with his toy. Give him his toy to chew. If he accepts it gladly, verbally praise him. However, be careful that a Rottweiler may turn aggressive when you attempt to remove something from his mouth. Stay calm and leave him alone, so he understands you are not too happy with his activity.
- Find out if there is any specific time your Rottie is more predisposed to chewing. Keep him confined away from the living room to articulate your disapproval of his behavior. When he is alone at home, confine him to a specific
- Make sure your dog has proper exercise and mental stimulation every day. A good play session helps avert boredom or excessive stress buildup and inhibits his chewing habit.
- Try to divert the attention of your Rottweiler if you find him chewing any of your valuable items. Take him for a walk or play with him. You may give him a toy or even a treat.
- When the dog is chewing your shoe or any household item, reclaim it from him. Your words and body language must indicate that the object belongs to you, not the dog.
Destructive Chewing in Rottweilers: Things To Avoid
Always stay calm and avoid hitting or yelling at your dog. If the Rottweiler develops fear, it may only worsen his chewing behavior. When removing an object from your dog’s mouth, avoid confrontation with him. Be gentle in your approach and cajole him through affection to give up the object.
Also, be careful when choosing sprays meant to dissuade dogs from chewing an object, as this may result in allergy. Even restraints, such as a muzzle, have no benefit in the long run.
Never punish your dog, as most animals fail to link punishment with their action. However, make him understand your displeasure over his action and make sure chewing becomes an unpleasant experience for him.