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How to control your puppy's teething

How to control your puppy's teething

Q: My four-month-old Collie-Jack Russell terrier cross keeps digging up the lawn and biting at wood in a particular place. I realise he may be teething. Is there any way we stop this?

A: Puppies will chew and many may continue to do so until they are more than a year old as their new teeth 'settle in'. Never tell your puppy off if he is chewing something he shouldn't. Call him to you enthusiastically and give him a chew toy - and praise him for chewing that instead. Puppies can also be given cardboard boxes to 'destroy'. These are quick and easy to replace and cost nothing - but check that there are no staples or sticky tape that your puppy might swallow. As he is a terrier cross, it's natural for him to dig - that's what terriers do! Providing a sandpit where you can hide toys and chews will redirect that natural behaviour into a specific area. But be sure to cover the sandpit overnight, otherwise neighbourhood cats may use it as a litter tray.

Inga MacKellar, animal behaviourist

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