What Sharp Teeth You Have!

Teething. It can already be a nightmare for babies, let alone pups with almost knife sharp incisors! Key words here are acceptable items.  Luna tended to get this term confused, and thought it meant she was able to chew on anything her mouth could get a hold of. And add in another puppy just getting into the teething stage? Dun Dun Dun! Destructo Duo! Training, initiated.

Riku and Luna love peanut butter.

Puppies begin teething at the age of 12 weeks old when their teeth begin to grow in. When the new teeth are putting pressure on a puppy’s gums, chewing is a natural reaction. You did it at some point also! We just don’t remember it.  I’ve heard of babies that start gnawing on their crib, leaving forever teeth marks ingrained in the wood. Babies or puppies’, growing in the chompers is a fact of life.

If you don’t provide a chew toy, your puppy will look for something else to chew, including furniture, shoes and other things you value. Luna just loved Eric’s insoles. Maybe our little girl has a foot fetish? Puppies and shoes seem to be a common understanding, leave your shoes out and you’ll find they’ve been torn amuck! We started hiding them behind the couch, and she still found where they were, the smartie! “Daddy can’t hide these gems from me, wahaha!” So we made an investment. Eric and I are both organizational minded individuals, so it was an investment we’ve wanted to make for quite some time anyhow.

We bought a shoe rack. And do you know what Luna still did? She knew exactly which shoes out of the 12 on the rack contained his one pair of insoles, would pluck the shoe right off the rack (and they even faced backwards so the insoles could not be seen!) and take for her capture the insole! All the while leaving the shoe intact. It must have been the texture, the rubber of the Dr. Scholl’s massaged and soothed her tender gums. The lesson here is to take the knowledge that your puppy gives you and use it to find him or her an appropriate toy that parallels the item they go after to teethe.

Riku with his Peanut Butter Hoof.

I subscribe to a couple dog-centered magazines, such as Dogs USA, and have read countless articles on teething both in the magazines I subscribe to as well as in training books and online. (One more hint to do your research before adopting a puppy J ) Many people have the issue that their puppy will chew anything it gets its mouth on. Well, of course! They can’t differentiate what is “ours” and what is a toy. That must be taught. Don’t scold the puppy for doing what they would do instinctually and naturally, rather partake in positive reinforcement methods and get the puppy some chew-acceptable items to gnaw on.

If you own a larger breed puppy, or a wolf dog like Luna, it’s hard to find something that they won’t demolish in a matter of hours. There are toys that claim right on the package, that are designated for “teething,” to “last a month!” Well, this company must have tested it on a Toy Dog Breed, as Luna’s sharp teeth demolish a large, supposedly one-month investment sized bone in a matter of two hours! Why spend over $10.00 on a chew toy that is only going to have a lifespan of a mere couple hours, right? Not to fear! There are numerous inexpensive tricksto help your puppy through the teething stage.

There are five tricks I suggest when it comes to training, and together they will provide your puppy with a new HABIT.

H. Hoof– This is the brightest gem of them all! They LOVE them! Luna’s trainer (and Riku’s mom!) handed us this idea that we use on a weekly basis. They love cow hoofs. Rawhide is a big No-No when it comes to something to chew on. A larger breed puppy or dog can chew it into tiny pieces that splinter and get caught in their intestine, puncturing and rupturing the intestine that is fatal. Since this does happen more than one might think, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. But if not rawhide, is there another cheap option? Hooves are where it’s at! Since Luna loves peanut  butter, (as most dogs do!) we simply put peanut butter in the hoof and freeze it. It will take a while for her to get through the hoof, weeks actually, and will provide a cool, soothing effect for her gums. At $1.00 a hoof, it’s a definite WIN!
You can see the pups in action and can tell how much they love their hoof in my video HERE. 🙂

A. Antler- These are perfect. They can be quite pricey but last forever. Luna still has her large one we bought four months ago! They are safe, and have a texture of their own naturally that puppies love to chew on. What’s even better is that they are yet another 100% way to calm your puppies gums.  As shown in the picture, you can buy ones that are quite large for larger breed puppies. Luna still loves hers to this day, and brings it with her into her crate each and every night to chew on.

B. Bone- To recapitulate, I never suggest using rawhide, Rather there are natural bones with flavoring on them that Luna loves. We buy her the biggest one possible and she’ll have it for about two weeks, and they are only about $8.00 a piece! The coating breaks apart however, so I suggest them for an outside chew toy.

I. Ice- Easiest and cheapest teething remedy you may find! How expensive are ice trays and water? They go crazy for them! Kong just recently put out a toy that is just this, but why pay for what is essentially an ice cube tray and flavorings to freeze? You can simply fill the ice trays with your own flavor, such as chicken or beef broth, and freeze them for a delectable teething treat. The ice helps to numb their gums for the time being, and is crunchy fun to-boot!

T. Teething Toys- Like I said, there are other less expensive options than buying toys geared for teething puppies. But some can be quite fun for the pups! Given the option of all five HABIT’s, Luna will always pick an actual chew toy last, but every so often she does enjoy playing with them, preferably ones with various textures and strings.

There are many ways to help your puppy through their tormenting teething stage, but with these simple tricks I have learned along the way, it doesn’t have to be such a nightmarish experience as described by many, and your shoes can be saved!

“Love is represented by a rose not only because of it’s eternal beauty,
but also because of it’s destructive thorns.”


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coomberism
    Jul 31, 2012 @ 10:03:58

    I’ve not thought of freezing hooves before. I will try that as Tuchena loves them Nd although she is done teething I think she might like that in the summer. As you say, wolf dogs tend to get through their chews quite quickly! It is great to find someone else blogging about life with a wolf dog. If you know of any others please let me know. With the rig handling they can make the most wonderful pets!


    • Annastasia.Lynn
      Aug 01, 2012 @ 01:14:57

      I am also glad that I found someone else who is writing about owning a wolf dog! Most of the articles on owning a wolf dog on the internet come from people who 1. don’t have them and 2. find it a horrible crime to do so.
      Such harsh words are said against them. (I mean she hasn’t stolen and run away with any of my credit cards…yet. :p ) I’m always happy to find others who have one of their own like me and can tell people just how wonderful it can be owning one, and that it isn’t always like what people may describe on other sites.


      • coomberism
        Aug 01, 2012 @ 06:20:57

        For me, the best thing is what she teaches me. They take a lot of patience and understanding and they make you learn to listen to their body language. They are always telling you everything you need to know about them or the situation you have out them in, it’s just up to us to take the time to learn to speak their language. The bond is so much better for it.

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