As you enter your bedroom, your springer spaniel is zipping through the doorway. On the floor, you find what seems to be a million pieces of fuzzy lambswool and rubber. This pile is what’s left of one of your bedroom slippers.
Uh oh! Do springer spaniels chew? Yes, spaniels can and sometimes do chew.
Are springer Spaniels destructive? Again, yes, they can be destructive, but the fact is that all dogs can be chewers and cause a mess. There are, however, reasons for this.
In the following, I will tell you about a springer spaniel’s tendency for bad chewing habits and give you some helpful tips to nip it in the bud.
Do Springer Spaniels Chew, and Are They Destructive?
Chewing does come naturally to most dogs, and springer spaniels are no exception. Chewing is not desirable behavior, especially when it concerns table legs or your favorite bedroom slippers.
Springer spaniels and dogs alike can become very destructive if chewing is not stopped in its tracks. We all know material things can be replaced, but that isn’t the point. Your springer should be taught that many personal objects around the house are off-limits and forbidden.
Chewing can also be a health risk for your pup if they chew and swallow small objects. These can become lodged in their throat or intestinal tract, causing serious injury, requiring costly veterinary treatment or surgery, and even result in death.
Spaniels may even begin chewing on their own skin and fur, either due to allergies or behavioral issues. This, in turn, may cause a skin infection.
A springer spaniel may even break a tooth or injure its gums by chewing on something hard and inappropriate for a dog.
Suppose your springer spaniel begins chewing on items around your house. In that case, this undesirable activity needs to be remedied quickly before it gets out of hand and becomes a constant bad habit that is difficult to break.
Why Do Springer Spaniels Chew
Chewing is, again, natural and instinctual behavior for most dogs. There are other reasons to cause your springer spaniel to chew, and some may lead to destructive behavior. Some of those causes are listed below.
- PUPPY BEHAVIOR: When springer spaniels are teething puppies, they will chew on everything and anything. This calms and soothes teeth and gums and provides relief for the teething pain.
- Puppies are also curious and quite the explorers, chewing can be fun.
- Sometimes puppies may also suck and chew on rugs, pillows, clothing, etc. if weaning has occurred when the puppy is too young.
- HUNGER: If your pup is hungry, they may try to chew and even eat anything with a food odor, perhaps even tipping over a garbage can. Make sure your pup is getting nutritious, healthy, and filling food that keeps them satisfied.
- ENJOYMENT: Some springers chew for sheer enjoyment. They like it, and unfortunately, dogs would rather chew on a stinky tennis shoe than a plastic toy. Dogs are all about smells and taste. They especially love things that smell badly—chewing on something of yours also gives comfort because it smells like you.
- If your spaniel chews on sticks in the woods, they may enjoy chewing on a table leg because they may not be able to distinguish the difference. They are both wood.
- Chewing comes naturally. Your springer may chew to keep their jaws strong and gums and teeth healthy; plus, it feels so darn good!
- BOREDOM: If springer spaniels are left to their own devices too often or don’t get enough exercise, they may resort to chewing on off-limits things. They may chew pillows, rugs, etc. In a sense, it’s a little like a child acting out, but for them, this is how they relieve boredom, and it calms them down.
- SEPARATION ANXIETY: Because springer spaniels are such a friendly breed and very affectionate with their family, they sometimes suffer from separation anxiety.
- They love to be with you, their family, and if they are left at home for extended periods, they may become anxious and fearful by themselves. This is when destructive behavior can occur.
- To deal with these feelings. They will chew on anything they can find, often tearing things to shreds. They may dig into carpets or scratch doorways and doors, sometimes in an attempt to escape because they are panicked. This can become dangerous, as they can harm themselves in the process.
HOW TO PREVENT OR STOP SPRINGER SPANIELS FROM CHEWING
- PUPPY PROOF: If you have a springer puppy, chewing is expected, especially in the teething period. To ensure puppy’s safety, remove any items that can be hazardous if chewed, hide electrical cords, and also anything sentimental or valuable until pup knows their boundaries and is a little older.
- Provide teething toys for your springer that can be placed in the freezer for comforting, cooling relief for the puppy’s gums.
- TOYS: For adult dogs, provide toys specially made for chewing. Sometimes rope toys are good, especially for a good game of tug of war. Also, dogs chew on items that are unacceptable because they like the smell. Most toys are man-made and may have an unpleasant odor, but there are toys on the market to place treats inside. This provides the real food smell while keeping your pup busy trying to extract the treat. Smearing a little peanut butter on toys also works to give it a yummy smell.
- Real bones are another choice if you choose to give these to your springer. Just make sure the bones cannot splinter apart, causing your pup to choke or an injury.
- There are also rawhide chews available for dogs, but these are not the best idea. Pieces generally soften and break off and sometimes dogs will swallow a big piece and choke.
- Exercise and play: Your springer spaniel needs plenty of exercise for all of that high energy they possess. Daily long walks, jogging, and hiking are all excellent activities. Don’t forget games of catch, retrieving, some hide and seek and tug of war. All of this exercise will be healthy, as well as tuckering them out. They won’t become bored and, therefore, won’t chew.
- Correction: Your spaniel must be corrected if they are caught in the act of chewing. After the fact does not work, as they won’t understand what it was, they did wrong. Be firm and give them something suitable to chew. Reward good behavior with plenty of praise.
- Deterrents: Many pet stores and on-line shops offer sprays that are deterrents to chewing. They are safe for dogs, and if sprayed on table legs, etc., they don’t like the taste or smell.
- Obedience training: Training is an excellent idea for an all-around well-mannered, obedient springer spaniel. Showing from the beginning that you are the pack leader is essential. Things will go smoother, and you will be able to stop bad habits before your pup becomes a handful. Obedience training is wonderful for your spaniel, and it will guide you in the right direction as well.
Many bad habits, chewing, and behavioral issues can be stopped before getting out of control with proper training.
Separation anxiety should not be a problem if you begin by leaving your pup alone for only short periods of time and by keeping them in a safe and secure area of your home. If you do have separation anxiety issues, speak with your veterinarian, and they can point you in the right direction.
Springer spaniels do chew and can be destructive, but it doesn’t have to go that way. Set rules, be firm, and make sure your pup gets plenty of exercise and play every day. Provide stimulating toys as well.