Most of the time we’re trying to get our dogs to stop chewing, but what happens when they won’t chew what we want them to chew? While most dogs are eager to chew their favorite Nylabone, some can be a little more finicky at times. Sometimes the off-limits items are just more tempting than the right chew toy that’s handed to them—similar to how one dog will want another dog’s toy even though he has his own. (Pet parents with more than one fur kid know what that’s like!) Chewing is a natural instinct for dogs, so for a happy household it’s important to establish healthy chewing habits. Here are a few ways to get your dog to love his Nylabone.
Find the Right Flavor
It’s important to remember that dogs have individual tastes just like people—each of them may respond differently to different flavors. Your dog may not like one flavor as much as he likes another, so try giving him a few different options until he finds a favorite. Nylabone’s diverse Flavor Frenzy chew toys are a great test-run option for this method, with tastebud-tempting (but zero-calorie) flavors such as Philly Cheesesteak, Meat Supreme Pizza, Corn on the Cob, or Vanilla Milkshake. Or perhaps your pampered pooch’s tastes run more to the wild side, in which case he might enjoy one of Nylabone’s Wild Animal Part Alternative chew toys like a venison-flavored Antler, bison-flavored Buffalo Horn, or a generous chunk of Yak Cheese, all without the mess, mold, and splintering that can make the “real thing” an undesirable option. Or, of course, you can try Nylabone’s more traditional chicken-, bacon-, or beef-flavored chew toys in different shapes and textures, and your persnickety pup is sure to find a flavor and texture combination he can’t resist.
Speaking of textures, chew toys that have more ridges will cause more chewing stimulation than smoother toys. Irregularly shaped toys with various patterns of ridges and nubs will massage your dog’s gums more and make his chewing sessions more interesting. The perfect test-run option for this method are Nylabone’s Dental Dinos. The fun dinosaur shape plus all the raised nubs may pique your dog’s interest more than a classic bone shape.
Absence Makes the Dog Grow Fonder
Sometimes handing your dog a new Nylabone right out of the package just won’t cut it—you need to make it seem like a really special object first. You can start by acting like he’s getting a special reward so he gets excited about it. Then, give it to him for a short period of time and take it away. If you leave any toy out for your dog 24 hours a day, he’s not going to be as interested compared to a new and different toy. Try storing his Nylabones in the same area as his treats, and keep a few different ones in rotation—it will seem like a new treat to him each time!
Pretend You Love His Nylabone
Many dogs are interested in whatever their owner is eating; use this to your advantage! Make him believe that you love the Nylabone. Carry it around the house with you, keep it on the dining room table near your dinner plate, or put it in your purse. Doing so will make it seem like the chew toy is yours and make it appear more “forbidden” to him, especially if he associates it with the food you keep on the kitchen counter.
Last but certainly not least, always praise your dog any time he shows interest in his Nylabone. Positive reinforcement is the best way to get your dog to perform any desired behavior, and getting him to chew the right objects is no exception. It’s easy to get frustrated when your dog won’t do something you want him to, but keeping a calm, positive attitude is the best way to communicate with him effectively.