Extinguishing Inappropriate Chewing Behavior (Abstract)

Optimally, to best modify your dog’s inappropriate chewing behavior, we need to consider the preceding causal factors as the primary behavioral problem while concurrently addressing the inappropriate chewing behavior as a secondary symptom. In addition, until the behavior is modified, we need to prevent the continuation of the behavior by establishing management procedures that may include supervision and/or confinement. We may also need to develop a system of active, semi-active, and/or passive punishment that consistently and immediately disciplines inappropriate chewing if the preceding management system is not sufficient in preventing recurrence of the behavior. Lastly, using positive reinforcement we need to prompt the adoption of acceptable replacement behaviors, which in simple terms means chewing intended chew and play toys, rather than the windowsill, furniture, or TV remote control. By taking a properly designed four-pronged approach (origins, prevention, punishment, and encouraging replacement chewing activity), we should effectively modify the behavior.

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