Q&A: How Do I Stop My Puppy From Chewing On The Crate Bars

Can I just say thank you – your site is so useful! I do, however, want to know about chewing on the crate bars (when inside). Our 8 week old puppy does this when he’s looking for something to nibble on (even with his favourite toy and stuff Kong with him), and also at night when he’s indicating it is time to eliminate. Should I ignore this during the day? Perhaps treat it, as you said about crying in the crate, with a quick rap on the lid and say “quiet”?

how to stop a puppy/dog nipping and biting


Also, when drying paws on re-entry from the garden, how can I avoid him chewing gum towel? We’ve tried distractions with toys (totally unsuccessful), saying “no” and removing it, and ignoring it. We’re unsure which is best. Thanks in advance! I now have a nylon lead on him and our issues of distraction and stone/mud chewing outside are gone!

Laura Jacks


Dear Laura

It sounds like you are having a few issues with chewing. I firstly want to point out that these behaviors are very normal for a young puppy, and it will continue through the teething period, and possibly beyond! Chewing on the crate bars is not very good for his teeth, so this is certainly something you want to discourage. There are several methods you can try to stop this; you can try to rap on the front of the crate and say a firm ‘No’ (do not say ‘quiet’, as that is another word association for vocalization).

You could also try to put an ‘anti chewing’ spray directly on the bars. These can be found in most pet shops. Another option is to give your puppy something that is really meant for chewing; a nylabone, a raw hide/pressed bone, a pigs ear, etc. These will allow him to really work at something that is hard to chew on, other then metal bars.

Your second issue of chewing on the towel is also very common, and this often seems like a fun game to a puppy. Saying ‘No’, removing it from his mouth, and replacing it with his toy is typically the best method. If you put his collar on, it will give you more control as you can hold his head in place whilst using the towel. Stay calm, go slowly, and be verbally firm. Never get into a struggle with him. If you are struggling with this method, another option is to put him into what we call the ‘Cradle’ position. You sit on the floor, flip him over on his back, and put him in between your legs. If he struggles gently squeeze your legs together so he is unable to move. When he relaxes, release all tension whilst still keeping him in position. When he is calm, dry his feet, and then calmly ‘release’ him with ‘ok’.

You can practice this everyday, even when you don’t need to dry his feet. With any of these options, make sure you offer calm praise when he is allowing you to do it, so he understands this is what you want. Practice and patience will help you overcome this issue!

Good Luck!

Beth Jeffrey
Professional Dog Trainer and Animal Behaviorist

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Beth Jeffery

Beth Jeffery is a Dog Trainer and Behaviorist with over 15 years experience in the field. She spent years in the Service Dog field, training both Guide Dogs for the Blind and Assistance Dogs for the Disabled, as well as many years working with pet dogs. Beth current runs her Dog Training business in San Diego, working with dogs of all breeds, all ages, and with all issues, from puppy training through to aggressive dogs.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • My 6 month old red heeler won’t stop chewing on her crate, is it she needs a distraction or more exercise?

  • *I know this is late but there are many people who are still looking for solutions so this is for anyone looking for an answer that hasn’t already gotten one*

    Dogs chew on any and everything they can get they’re paws on, especially when you’re not looking. How much and how hard they chew depends on the breed. My dog is a pit/mastiff mix so he chews everything and aims to destroy. We are having trouble with him chewing on the kennel floor and edges when he’s in there. Even after we play with him and tale him for a 45 minuet walk 10 minutes later his teeth are on the crate no matter how many times we tell hime no. We also can’t put any toys in with him, because they will be destroyed and he will ingest parts of it (yes even the extreme kong). He’s always energetic, even when tired. So we found a slight solution. He HATES peppermint, especially the oil. The non-bite spray everyone always tells us to get doesn’t work, he just licks it up, but no peppermint oil. So what we do is when we know we’ll be away fpr a while or we’re doing something important and can’t leave him out of the kennel, we dilute about 5-10 drops of peppermint oil with about half a cup of water and rub down the areas that he’s already chewed or the ones we know he’ll get to and he’ll just lay on the opposite side and go to sleep. The scent is gone by the end of the day so we reapply when he’s in there for lengthy periods (not at night though). He’s learning but he still tries to do it when he thinks no one is there. Sometimes before doing it I leave the room to see if I can hear him, and he does -_-. I hope this helps someone.

    P.S. don’t comment saying I should hire a dog walker in the middle of the day. Did that once and got robbed…will not happen again.

    • I just rescued a 1 year old Siberian Husky Mix. She has been with me for a week and has effectively escaped the crate once now. I used zip ties to secure the connecting panels so she cannot bounce them apart. However, today when I came home she had chewed the metal bars and gotten her nose all the way through…hopped the entire crate across the kitchen floor to the back door and chewed on the blinds. All while in this crate. I am wondering if peppermint would be a viable solution and how to apply it to the bars of crate where she has chewed…any advice would be great as we do not want to return her to the shelter but cannot have her destroying the house when we leave:(

      • My dog keeps biting the cage and trying to get out tearing up the curtains trying to get out the window

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