Just about everything to a puppy is a toy.  That is why either very careful watching or puppy proofing a yard and house is very important to keep a new puppy safe.  Accidents can happen easily, so by minimizing either what our pups are exposed to either by confinement of some kind, or the puppy proofing their allowed area, can reduce the occurrence of such accidents.  Most of us don't want our dogs to be poisoned.  But, all sorts of household products can easily poison dogs.  On the other hand, puppies have no experience with life, and can chomp on an electrical cord in several seconds, with detrimental effects.  And what a lousy toy that cord is.  Even dog toys can be dangerous, and should be carefully thought over about what toys to leave and not leave with your dog when he is left alone.  Never leave a old and destroyed toy alone with a dog, pieces can eaten and lodged inside them.

When Chris came into our lives, I scoured through the house and the property, picking up all sorts of little pieces of stuff that she could be attracted to and want to ingest.  And as she got more mobile as she aged, the "cleaning" increased as her interest increased.  All sorts of things that my older girls ignored, was fair game as a new toy for Chris.  Water bottle caps, stuffing from toys, rocks, which I can not pick all of them up-so had to be dealt with differently, little pieces of plastic, were all removed from these new chompers.  She looked at the rocks around the property, and I had a friend whose dog was obsessed with them, so she got "bit" on her rib cage, and told NO when she even looked at them.  Fortunately for me, she gave it up right away.  

The electrical cord on one of my fans was attractive to her.  That correction and resulting behavior of now leaving it alone took several days to instill in her.  Typical to cats, this little one thought the cord was a wonderful and attractive toy.  Determined not to have a fried puppy, I was somewhat harsh, but not overly, in the corrections for not to bite on it.  

Many years ago, I used to be really hard on my dogs when they did something wrong.  Now, as I have aged, I have mellowed some, but I have also developed myself as a true pack leader, I have confidence in my position, and the respect of the dogs due to that position.  Now, frequently, I can glance at one of my dogs who might be doing something that they know is wrong, like sneaking into the kitchen when I am fixing their dinner, just my stare sends them back to the living room, to then patiently wait until I am finished and call them to their food.

If we watch our puppies a lot, our houses might not get destroyed.  Just a couple of days ago, I was in the living room with the girls and Chris was behind one chair.  I heard some unusual noises, and ignored it at first.  I thought she was back there maybe chewing on one of the deer antlers that I gave her.  After several minutes, I decided to check and see what was going on back there.  Well, she was chewing on the corner of the chair!  And until she was told that the chair was not a chew toy, she didn't know.  Chris, the chair is not for you!

I do give Christian a lot of small rawhide twists.  She really loves them, and it helps satisfy her chewing desire, and like I referred to before, she chews on deer antlers.  It really surprised me when I first got her and she was attracted to the antlers.  I had no idea that little puppies would like them and actually spend time chewing them.  Chris does.

I give this little one a lot of "safe" toys to play with.  I encourage her to play with these "safe" toys, and leave forbidden items alone.  But when and if the toys start to come apart, if I don't fix them, then I toss them.  Replacing a worn dog toy is much cheaper that keeping torn ones around.  As Tam, my three year old will tell you, impaction surgery is not so fun, and as I will tell you, not so cheap.

Christian Chewing on a Deer Antler

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