Those were my favorite shoes!! … Like all dogs, Border Collies chew things for a number of reasons, but many people who own dogs that chew will say their dog is just bored – hence the mauling of your favorite footwear or sofa legs! Some breeds are more prone to chewing than others, but Border Collies can certainly hold their own in this department.
How to stop a Border Collie from chewing? Leaving your Border Collie with activities that give a treat when completed can provide positive reinforcement, eliminate boredom and ease separation anxiety that can stop bad habits like unwanted chewing. Chewing is natural healthy canine behavior; however, Border collies need constant stimulation, which means they require regular exercise and mental challenges and this will keep them happy and reduce chewing.
In this article, we cover why Collies chew and explore five ways to reduce or stop unwanted chewing, as well as some of the health considerations that you should be aware of. All the time we have to bear in mind that all dogs do have the instinct to chew and that – if done with a safe and appropriate object – chewing can be healthy and necessary.
Why Do Border Collies Chew Things?
Dogs chew things for many reasons. One of the most common is teething pain. Border Collie puppies, like humans, need to chew on something when they are teething as when they lose their deciduous baby teeth their gums can become irritated and sore whilst their adult, permanent teeth grow.
Chewing also helps them exercise their jaw muscles which improves dental health by reducing tartar buildup and preventing tooth decay. It’s important to note that dogs should not be chewing on anything that isn’t meant for them (like furniture) and could be a choking hazard as this could lead to potential injuries or even death!
Border Collies also chew things because they are bored. This breed in particular needs mental stimulation to keep their brains healthy and happy. Destructive chewing, especially when they are alone in the house, can be a sign of separation anxiety.
Important Note: Dogs can sometimes chew when they’re in pain or uncomfortable in some way, so if your veterinarian says your is healthy and you’ve ruled out medical issues, it may be time to find ways to keep them entertained!
How Do I Get My Border Collie To Stop Chewing? (6 Ways That Work!)
Dogs need mental stimulation to keep their brains healthy and happy, just as they need physical exercise for their bodies. If your collie is getting the exercise he or she needs and a healthy diet, yet is still chewing excessively then you can try some of the below tried and tested methods.
How do I get my Border Collie to stop chewing? Five proven ways that work include: 1) Let them chew safely both indoors and outdoors; 2) Buy them a chewable rubber food toy; 3) Purchase an interactive dog toy for mental stimulation; 4) Use a variety of dog puzzles; 5) Hide their treats around the house and 6) Music or talk radio
Here we expand and explain these five ways that you can stimulate your Border Collies brain whilst they are at home (including when left alone) to help prevent unwanted chewing:
- Let Them Chew! – OK, this may sound obvious… but the first is also the most effective! Let them get all their chewing out of their system, in a safe environment. Be it indoors with a fake bone or safe rubber toy and/or outdoors chewing sticks, balls and frisbees! You will be amazed at how allowing and even encouraging this controlled outlet will help reduce their problem chewing.
- A Chewable Fillable Food Toy – this is a rubber toy that you can buy from many pet stores, it has little compartments filled with treats throughout the surface area. You simply put your dog’s food into these compartments and your dog needs to roll the ball around until all of the services are out. Examples of this include the Kong and the Scuba Ball however there are many other brands available on Amazon which offer similar products.
- Interactive Dog Toy – These toys come in various different shapes and sizes but they all do essentially the same thing. You simply insert a treat into certain parts of the toy and then release them when your Border Collie plays with it (I like to use peanut butter as a lubricant). The idea behind these toys is that your dog will use its brain to work out how to get the treat out of the toy, whilst maintaining physical exercise without having too much mental strain.
- Dog Puzzles – There are various different types of puzzle toys on the market but these can be expensive because they can be made from real wood (which obviously costs a lot more money). The idea behind these puzzles is that you place your dog’s favorite treats inside of them and then they have to roll or slide pieces around until they find the hole where the treat falls out.
- Hide Treats – Rather than filling up toys or buying other things I recommend just putting treats under certain objects in your home. For example, why not put food under the couch so that your dog has to sniff out all of the crevices in order to reach it? You can place treats in different areas which will make your dog think about their surrounding rather than just lying on the floor waiting for something to happen.
- Music Or Talk Radio – This is one of our favorite tips and it doesn’t require too much effort on your part, simply put some music on or turn the radio onto a talk station (talk stations tend to be very boring for dogs which is excellent!). You can leave music playing all of the time or switch it off after a certain amount of time if you want to make them work for their treats. This isn’t quite mental stimulation but I find that it works well in conjunction with any other activity mentioned here.
If you follow one or many of these tips you will most likely reduce the number of times that your Border Collie chews objects inside your home. Chewing is natural dog behavior and they do it because they are bored, so by reducing this boredom we can reduce this destructive chewing habit. Try these fun games to play to get this out of their system!
Are Border Collies Aggressive Chewers?
It’s important to note that not all dogs are aggressive chewers, but Border Collies certainly seem to be! It’s possible that this behavior stems from their herding instincts, or it could simply be because they’re highly intelligent dogs with short attention spans.
Whatever the case, you can expect your Border Collie to chew anything they set their eyes on; including (but not limited to!) shoes, furniture, clothing, and even electrical cords! (Beware with health hazards for them and for your family!).
Are Border Collies aggressive chewers? It is true that Border Collies are aggressive chewers, likely influenced by their herding instincts including nipping sheep, high intelligence and therefore propensity to get bored. If you’re planning to bring a Border Collie into your home, it is important that you provide them with plenty of toys, including those designed to chew, and mental challenges in order to keep them happy and occupied!
And if you don’t? Well…let’s just say your couch could be in trouble…
Remember to always consult a veterinarian if your dog suddenly changes their normal behavior and starts compulsive chewing foreign objects.
There are many reasons for this type of behavior in dogs. Sometimes it can be triggered by stress or anxiety, but other times there could be an underlying health issue. Here are some common conditions associated with compulsive chewing:
Allergies – Some dogs may develop allergies over time and one common allergy is to fleas. Once the flea season starts, you might notice your dog scratching excessively or biting at his skin until he bleeds. This could cause him to become obsessive about licking his paws which could lead to them chewing their paws.
Heavy Metal Toxicity – It’s possible that your dog might lick the floor because they are being exposed to heavy metals in their environment, such as lead or cadmium which can cause depression and anxiety.
Pica – A behavior where a dog will eat non-food items like rocks, dirt and other things could be related to nutritional deficiencies. If this is occurring, it’s best to take them into see your veterinarian for an exam and test for nutrient deficiencies.
Hyperactivity – Dogs that suffer from hyperkinesis tend to bite at random objects around them including furniture because of their inability to control the muscles around their mouth. This condition can also cause dogs to bark excessively and become stressed easily if there is any like of unfamiliarity or change in their environment.
Chronic pain – Dogs that suffer from arthritis will often chew on their front limbs which tend to be more affected by this condition. They may also be in pain due to other health conditions such as pancreatitis, hepatitis, kidney disease and many others.
Exercise and Chewing
Border Collies tend to be highly intelligent, obedient, and able to learn commands very quickly. They also have high energy levels and are often lively. This breed is known to be very trainable, which is why they are often used in a variety of different jobs. Border collies are also extremely energetic and will demand lots of physical exercise every single day!
Adult dogs of this energetic breed require at least 2 hours of physical exercise a day. This can be in the form of walking, agility training, or playing games in the park with their human family. In addition to this they need to be mentally challenged! These dogs thrive on learning new skills whether that be exploring a new area, meeting new people and dogs or playing with toys in the home these activities all provide mental exercise.
Remember Border Collies are classic “chewers,” and they need lots of toys to help them get rid of all that excess mental energy, prevent boredom, help ease separation anxiety and limit any unwanted behavior like chewing the furniture.