Your Questions: How can I get my Lakeland terrier puppy to stop chewing everything?
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Saturday 16 January 2010
Q. My Lakeland terrier puppy is into everything. Whatever he sees he chews and I can't seem to stop him! When I was getting something out of his mouth, I noticed that he had two canines on each side. Are puppies supposed to have two sets and how can I stop him from chewing everything in sight, including me? John, London
A. Chewing may seem like cheeky behaviour, but it is an important habit for a puppy as it is through their mouths that dogs learn. It's true that terriers can be particularly mischievous! But what you are going through with your Lakeland is absolutely normal. We just need to think of ways to stop him chewing things you don't want him to chew – including yourself! If he does bite you, make a high-pitched noise and walk away from him. After a few repetitions of this, he will realise that he gets no attention for this kind of biting. With chewing things in the house that he shouldn't, one option – if feasible – is to put him in a fairly sparse room which doesn't have lots of cables and furniture to entice him. Or you could get a large puppy pen for those times when you cannot supervise him. If you do this, make sure that there are lots of toys for him to chew.
The root of this problem is teething. It can be very uncomfortable and painful when puppies go through this process. Usually it takes from three to seven months for the dog's adult teeth to come through. In your puppy's case, it sounds like some of the baby teeth have been retained which means the adult teeth haven't managed to push them out. Seek veterinary advice because it can lead to dental problems in the future. If the baby teeth don't fall out of their own accord, your vet may have to do an operation to extract them. This is often done at the same time as neutering or spaying. To relieve some of his pain, I would freeze a rope toy (make it wet first); frozen carrots are also great, as they are both healthy and help soothe the pain.
Remember that if an animal shows signs of distress or discomfort an early visit to the vet is always recommended
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