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Yorkie Chewing

Different Forms of Chewing

You will encounter problems with Yorkie chewing for 1 of 3 main reasons:

1) Teething
2) Boredom
3) Anxiety

Your response and behavioral modification training will differ, depending on why your Yorkie is chewing enough for it to be an issue.

Let's First Look at Teething

A Yorkshire Terrier will begin to lose teeth at the age of 4 months and this phase is usually complete by the age of 8 months.

During this time, your Yorkie may chew on anything that he or she can get their mouth on. They will be experiencing extreme itching and discomfort...without other options, they will stop at nothing to chew on something...anything... that offers relief.

However, it is important to remember that your dog can:
  • Only chew items that you allow into reach
  • Will chew on appropriate items if you offer them
Those who say, "My dog just tore apart my shoes!" would not need to say this if the shoes were put out of reach during the ages of 4 months to 8 months. 

Every single object that can be moved out of place should be. Find new homes for shoes, pocket books, clothes, magazine racks, keys, briefcases, gym bags, and anything else that you may have on the floor or placed where a puppy can reach the object.

Also, tuck away all cords and wires. This includes all extension cords and phone chargers.

By simply doing this, you have eliminated 80% of what a puppy may chew that he should not be mouthing.

For any objects that cannot be moved (tables, chairs, sofas, etc.) if the puppy tends to want to chew on the bottom of these, you can spritz some apple-bitter spray onto these.  These are products that will put a temporary bitter taste in the puppy's mouth that will discourage him from chewing on that item again.

You can also help your Yorkie with teething by supplying a wonderful assortment of toys specially designed to help puppy teething woes.  These should have various textures of varying sizes, so that a puppy with an urge to chew can experiment to find out which part of which toy feels best in his mouth.

Some canine teething toys will be created to be put into your freezer. A cold toy will do wonders. 

Many owners find that offering an ice cube is a great way for a puppy to have the cool feeling that soothes their gums and offers lots of entertainment, as they chase the cube all over the floor.

To summarize chewing due to teething, it is important to:
chewing Yorkie with paper in mouth
Photo courtesy of Sally Papin
  • Keep your home free of dangers - any objects which could cause harm by chewing
  • Remove all objects that can reasonably be placed elsewhere
  • Offer stimulating toys that your Yorkie will look forward to chewing on
  • Apply a safe, non-toxic chew-deterrent agent to larger objects that cannot be moved
Let's Look at Boredom or Anxiety Based Chewing (which often goes hand in hand)

When a Yorkie is bored or anxious (which is often caused by the stress of being alone), the dog may often resort to chewing to self sooth.
Yorkie chewing on plastic toy
A Yorkie usually is not happy just laying around the home. This is an energetic, active dog...especially when young. This breed generally needs stimulation throughout the day. Offering a schedule of daily activities will help.

This should include:
  • A morning walk
  • Grooming (brushings)
  • Grooming (baths),
  • Grooming (nail care)
  • Grooming (dental care)
  • Meal times (of healthy food that provides them with proper nutrients),
  • Playing times (both with humans and other animal play dates)
  • Command training or trick training (which builds self confidence and of course, results in a well-trained dog), 
  • Relaxation times with the family,
  • A second bout of exercise, usually a walk after dinnertime
  • Bed time
Added to this should be bringing your Yorke to parks, to say hello to neighbors (and their dogs), to run errands with you (when possible), visits to friends/family (when possible) and exploring new places (outdoor markets, the beach, 'easy trail' hikes, flea markets, etc.)
Of course, dogs will and should have time when they relax around the home... but when you try and make a dog's life be fulfilling and interesting with activities, he will be much more prone to behave better when at home. When you've satisfied his need to explore and follow his curiosity...and you've made his day be one where he actually did things... he will be happy to relax and entertain himself with chew toys when he's at home relaxing. 

Another element to keep  in mind is that dogs can quickly become bored with toys. It is suggested to keep 2 separate supplies of toys. Alternate these each week, so that your Yorkie has something 'new' every week or so. Have a good collection that is carefully chosen to be sturdy to withstand sharp little teeth and constant chewing. Offer variation as well... Some squeak, some offer treats, some draw in focus with color, some are soft, others are hard, etc.

Whenever your Yorkie chews on something that is not appropriate, give the command word of "No", take away the object and replace it with one of their toys. When your dog does chew on an approved toy, offer a great amount of praise. Let your Yorkie know that you are proud... this breed loves approval and to please his owners. 
***The right toy or the right chew can make all of the difference in the world. Take a look at "Toys - Chewing/Teething" section in the Yorkie Specialty Shoppe
More Information
  • Destructive Chewing due to Separation Anxiety.. with Detailed Training
  • Aggression toward other dogs, other pets
  • Aggression only when you are leaving
  • Odd Eating Habits
  • 24 Yorkie Behavior Issues... All of this and much more is in the YorkieInfoCenter Book. Now in Print & eBook
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