DESTRUCTIVE CHEWING: German Shepherd Puppies

Hello German Shepherd puppies owners:

So your German shepherd is mouthy and driving you nuts. Join the crowd. German shepherd puppies are especially mouthy during the teething stage. They are cutting teething and chewing is like rubbing something that hurts until it gets numb. Some people find relief for their pups by getting a teething toy with water which can be put in the freezer. The cold toy appears to give some relief to these burning canines.

But how do you get them to stop chewing on the things you don’t want them to (your new Florsheim shoes) and to chew on what you want them to (click on toy list for some recommendations and advisements)? Redirection. Redirection. Redirection. If you catch them in the act, firmly say “Phooey”. I use this word rather than “no” due to the fact that I do not want to use no which is used often in conversation. Remember, one strong correction is worth 1000 weak ones. If you correct weakly, you will end up having to increase the intensity.  Now, after you say “phooey” then hand them their toy.

An important final step is when they start chewing on their toy, you should praise them lavishly. Please remember, as with a correction which must be strong enough to get their attention, a praise must be lavish.  Make them feel as though they just did the best thing in the world. This will allow the dog to easily differentiate between bad and good behavior.  You might think of it this way if you are squeemish about a firm corretion.  It is unfair and cruel to not let a dog know clearly what is right and wrong. Also, you don’t want to have to correct them over and over again.  That is even worse for them.

So, destructive chewing behavior in German shepherd puppies should be corrected using “redirection” of the behavior to an acceptable object. With older dogs, you can use a leash correct along with the verbal correction for unwanted chewing, and then redirect the behavior to the appropriate object.


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