How to satisfy your Golden’s desire to chew
Our Golden Penny loves to chew. Left on her own she’ll demolish a tennis ball in minutes, reduce shoes to scraps, and devour dirty socks and dish towels in a blink. Can you relate?
All retrievers were initially bred to go get things with their mouths, so it shouldn’t be a shock that they like to put things in their mouths. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that you have to let them devour everything you own.
Getting to know your Golden better will make you be a better owner and result in a happier home life for everyone. Here are five common reasons why Goldens tend to chew on things:
Separation anxiety — Goldens are one of the most eager to please breeds out there. This means they love you fiercely and want to be with you constantly. When you’re away they miss you and often chew to help sooth themselves till you get home. Boredom — Goldens are also one of the smartest breeds. As a result they can get bored easily if left alone with nothing to do. Chewing is a way that they occupy themselves when there is nothing for them to do. Pleasure — Goldens were bred to have sensitive mouths and sometimes it just feels good for them to chew. It’s also how their teeth get cleaned. Taste — Golden have an excellent sense of smell. In fact they are among the top 10 breeds with the best sense of smell. This means that your shoes, dirty socks, and used dish towels all smell like irresistible treats to them. Teething — If your Golden is a puppy it is possible that he/she is teething. Chewing helps sooth the pain of all those teeth coming in.
Satisfying your Golden’s need to chew is the smart goal here. It’s important to remember that trying to stop your Golden from chewing actually works against their nature and may result in a frustrated dog (who is more likely to chew). Here are four tips to help you do it:
Give them something good to chew — As an educated Golden Retriever owner you know you dog needs something to chew on. Start by giving them what they need. Click here to see our top 5 picks for chew toys. Yes good chew toys costs some money, but they’re a lot cheaper than your best $100 pair of shoes! Don’t tempt them with things they shouldn’t chew — This one is on us as Golden owners. If I leave my sweaty gym shoes lying around I am asking for an unrealistic amount of self-control from my Golden. Let’s train ourselves to put things away that we don’t want to tempt our Goldens with. Use the old Distract & Redirect trick — Parents and puppy owners alike have been using this trick for centuries. If you catch your Golden chewing something they shouldn’t, distract them and offer them something that’s better for both of you, like their favorite toy. If you haven’t taught your Golden a command like “leave it,” “drop it,” or “give it,” now might be the time to do it. Click here to learn how. Provide plenty of exercise — A well exercised dog is a happy dog and Goldens are no exception. Playing fetch, going on a long leisurely walk (or a short vigorous one), taking them for a swim, and just running around and having fun, are all great ways of getting your Golden the exercise they need and reduce their boredom.
Congratulations, you are now on your way to being a more informed Golden owner and having a happier and healthier Golden.