I was leaving a comment on another blog I recently found and realized that my response was pretty detailed… So I thought I would post it here.. after all, it took me a while to type it out!
Here is a snippet of the post from the Tao of Puppy:
I looked down last night to find Holly ripping up the linoleum and trying to eat it! What is with all the strange things she tries to eat? It seems all of a sudden everything is welcome in my puppy’s mouth! Bugs, plastic, grass, yarn, lace, paper, refuse, dirt, and anything else you can come up with. . .Including, but not limited to, old linoleum flooring! I know it’s a stage, with kids and cats. I assume it’s a stage of life with puppies as well but there must be a way to discourage the behavior. I mean, I can only watch her so many hours in a day and she’s eating all sorts of things. Someone suggested ‘sour apple’ spray and someone else suggested a mix of vinegar, tabasco, and garlic. I’m not sure. We tried another spray that was suppose to discourage chewing and Holly just seems to love it!
And my comment:
Puppies experience the world through their mouths… She’s not eating so much as experiencing and probably also trying to ease some teething pain.
By putting nasty flavors on things, you may be teaching her that the world is not to be experienced.
Do you have a crate? They really can be wonderful. Puppy will consider it her room (crates should NEVER be used as punishment) A crate is someplace that she can hang out, chew on her favorite toys, have snacks etc when you can’t watch her.
Unfortunatly, puppies need to be monitored all the time. When she starts chewing on something that you dont’ want her to gnaw on, distract her with something (of high value) that she CAN chew on and put it under her nose.. a “not that honey” along with it will also be helpful.
Give her a “drop it” command..
When she has something in her mouth that she is not supposed to, tell her to “drop it” in a nice voice (you want this to be a pleasant experience) You can use “drop it”, “leave it”, “let go”.. whatever.. as long as you pick one and be consistent. Do not use “No” as it is too general. You are teaching her a “trick” so you need a specific word.
While you say “drop it”, have a cookie in one hand (Keep cookies in your pocket ALL the time.) and gently remove the offending object from her mouth. Then feed the cookie.. with enough practice (and it won’t take long) she will “drop it” without you taking it from her.
Be patient.. reward her when she does what you ask.
If you get stuck, feel free to post to my forum under the “tips and tricks” section. Good Luck!