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How to Keep Your Maltipoo from Chewing on Things?

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How to Keep Your Maltipoo from Chewing on Things
By LITTLE PUPPY PAWS | January 31, 2024
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Maltipoos are adorable and affectionate little dogs known for their playful nature. However, like all dogs,they have a natural instinct to chew. If not managed properly, this chewing behavior can lead to damaged furniture, shoes, and even potential health risks for your Maltipoo. 

To prevent your Maltipoo from chewing on things, provide appropriate chew toys, supervise them, teach the “Leave It” command, and use deterrent sprays. Consistency and positive reinforcement are key in redirecting their chewing behavior.

 

Why Does the Maltipoo Chew?

Before diving into prevention strategies, it’s essential to understand why Maltipoos chew. There are several reasons behind this behavior:

  • Teething: Puppies, including Maltipoos, chew primarily during the teething phase, which typically occurs between three and six months of age. Chewing helps alleviate the discomfort caused by the eruption of new teeth.
  • Boredom and Anxiety: Like many small dog breeds, Maltipoos can become restless and anxious when left alone for extended periods. Chewing provides an outlet for their pent-up energy and anxiety.
  • Curiosity: Maltipoos are curious by nature and may chew on objects to explore their surroundings. This behavior is especially common in puppies.
  • Dental Health: Chewing on appropriate items, such as dental chews or toys, can help maintain your Maltipoo’s dental health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Attention-Seeking: Maltipoos are social dogs and may chew on objects to get your attention, even if it’s negative attention.

Do Maltipoo Puppies Outgrow Chewing?

Maltipoo puppies, like most dog breeds, go through various developmental stages, including teething, that significantly influence their chewing behavior. It’s important to understand that Maltipoo puppies will naturally outgrow excessive chewing as they mature, but the process may vary from one dog to another. Here’s a more detailed explanation of this phenomenon:

  • Teething Phase: Maltipoo puppies, like all puppies, go through a teething phase that typically occurs between three and six months of age. During this time, puppies experience discomfort and itching in their gums as their baby teeth fall out and adult teeth come in. Chewing helps alleviate this discomfort. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal for a Maltipoo puppy to chew more during this stage.
  • Development and Maturity: As Maltipoos grow and their adult teeth fully emerge, the urge to chew subsides. Their jaws become stronger, and they become less inclined to chew on everything they encounter. This natural progression is an important factor in a puppy outgrowing excessive chewing.
  • Training and Socialization: Proper training and socialization play a crucial role in helping Maltipoo puppies develop good chewing habits. Teaching them commands like “Leave it” and providing appropriate chew toys can redirect their chewing behavior toward acceptable items. Consistent reinforcement of these commands helps puppies understand boundaries.
  • Supervision and Management: While puppies are still in the chewing phase, it’s essential to supervise them closely and manage their environment. Puppy-proofing your home and removing or securing items that could be tempting targets for chewing can help prevent destructive behavior.
  • Boredom and Exercise: Maltipoos, like all dogs, need mental and physical stimulation. Providing regular exercise and engaging activities can help prevent boredom-related chewing. A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive chewing out of restlessness.
  • Consistency: Consistency in training and managing your puppy’s behavior is key. Reinforce positive behavior with praise and rewards, and avoid inadvertently encouraging bad chewing habits.

Maltipoo puppies do tend to outgrow excessive chewing behavior as they mature and their teething phase comes to an end. However, it’s crucial for puppy owners to be proactive in their training and supervision during this phase to ensure that their Maltipoo develops appropriate chewing habits. With proper guidance and consistent training, you can help your Maltipoo transition from a chewing puppy to a well-behaved adult dog.

What are the Risks of Excessive Chewing?

While chewing is a natural behavior for dogs, excessive or destructive chewing can have negative consequences for both your Maltipoo and your home. Here are some of the risks associated with excessive chewing:

  • Dental Problems: Excessive chewing on hard objects can lead to dental issues, including broken teeth and damaged gums.
  • Choking Hazards: Small or sharp objects can pose choking hazards if your Maltipoo swallows them accidentally.
  • Digestive Issues: Ingesting non-food items can lead to digestive problems, including blockages, vomiting, and diarrhea.
  • Destruction of Personal Belongings: Excessive chewing can result in the destruction of furniture, shoes, and other valuable possessions.
  • Behavioral Problems: If left unaddressed, excessive chewing can become a habit, leading to long-term behavioral issues.

Now that we understand why Maltipoos chew and the risks involved, let’s explore effective strategies to prevent this behavior.

How to Prevent Excessive Chewing?

Preventing excessive chewing in your Maltipoo requires a combination of training, supervision, and providing appropriate alternatives. Here are some proven strategies:

  • Puppy-Proof Your Home: Before bringing a Maltipoo puppy home, puppy-proof your living space. Remove or secure items that your puppy might chew on, such as electrical cords, shoes, and small objects. Consider using baby gates to restrict access to certain areas.
  • Provide Appropriate Chew Toys: Offer a variety of safe and durable chew toys specifically designed for dogs. Toys made of rubber or nylon are excellent choices. Interactive puzzle toys can also keep your Maltipoo mentally stimulated.
  • Rotate Toys: To keep your Maltipoo engaged, rotate their toys regularly. This prevents boredom and ensures that your dog doesn’t lose interest in their toys.
  • Teach the “Leave It” Command: Training your Maltipoo to “leave it” can be a lifesaver. Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward them when they obey this command. This command can be handy in preventing them from chewing on forbidden objects.
  • Use Bitter Apple Spray: Bitter apple spray is a non-toxic, safe deterrent that can be applied to objects your Maltipoo is prone to chewing. The bitter taste discourages them from continuing to chew.
  • Supervise Your Maltipoo: When your Maltipoo is out and about in your home, keep a close eye on them. This way, you can intervene if they start chewing on something they shouldn’t.
  • Crate Training: Crate training can be an effective way to prevent chewing when you can’t supervise your Maltipoo. Ensure the crate is comfortable and that your dog sees it as a safe space.
  • Regular Exercise: A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive chewing. Ensure your Maltipoo gets enough exercise and mental stimulation through walks, playtime, and interactive toys.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Reward your Maltipoo with treats and praise when they chew on their toys instead of household items. Positive reinforcement helps them understand what is acceptable behavior.
  • Seek Professional Help: If your Maltipoo’s chewing behavior persists despite your best efforts, consider consulting a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide personalized guidance and address any underlying issues contributing to the behavior.

Chewing is a natural behavior for Maltipoos and many other dog breeds. However, excessive or destructive chewing can lead to various risks and inconveniences. By understanding why Maltipoos chew and implementing effective prevention strategies, you can help your furry friend develop good chewing habits and keep your home safe from unwanted destruction. Remember that patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement are key when it comes to training your Maltipoo to avoid chewing on things they shouldn’t. With the right approach, you can enjoy a happy and harmonious life with your beloved Maltipoo without the stress of constant chewing issues.