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Jumping, Chewing, Playbiting, and Other Destructive Behavior Problems in Puppies, Young Dogs

4 min read



Your veterinarian will discuss the various behavior modifications techniques like rewards and punishment. It is, however, never advisable to strike the pet, shake it by the scruff, thump its nose, role it on its back or squeeze its lips against its teeth to stop mouthing or biting. Such approaches are detrimental to existing behavioral problems and may aggravate the condition due to fear and aggression.


Vigorous exercise can also be extremely helpful for pups with these types of behavioral problems. Involving these puppies in healthy games like fetch/drop, for example, lets the pup know that the human is in control. Certain medications may also be used especially in cases not responding well to behavioral therapy. Other tips your veterinarian may recommend include:


To Discourage Destructive Chewing

  • Experiment with various toys and look for those that interests your pet, especially those than have compartments for food
  • Keep forbidden objects out of reach
  • Close doors to deny access to forbidden areas
  • Interrupt any unacceptable chewing with a sharp “no”



  • Provide plenty of exercise and activity
  • Use toys to distract the pet during the act of playbiting
  • Leash and halter can be used to provide minimal restraint
  • Avoid games that encourage playbiting behavior
  • Put your puppy in puppy classes as early as possible
  • Take control of resources and train your pup to sit before receiving toys, food, attention, and food
  • Ignore any pushy social behavior like barking, whining, or pawing for attention


Jumping on People

  • Teach the pet to sit on command
  • Avoid games and play that may encourage it to jump on people
  • Gain your dog's attention with a loud, sharp noise when it does jump
  • Head halter can also be used to provide minimal restraint


Getting on Counters/Furniture

  • Keep your counters and furniture free of any food or other objects that might get attention of the pup
  • Move dog to a confined area when it does misbehave
  • Provide interesting toys for mental stimulation, and a comfortable living space


Living and Management


It is important you follow-up with your veterinarian to ascertain the effectiveness of the behavioral therapy program. Prognosis in most cases is good; in addition, the frequency and intensity of such behaviors typically decrease with age. 


If the dog is still misbehaving after several weeks, your veterinarian may recommend a trained behavioral therapist for a more intense training program.