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Will my Lab chew forever?
Labrador retrievers have developed several reputations, as they are one of the most popular breeds in America. Most of these stories about Labs are positive – they are friendly, eager to please and love retrieving. Others, like chewing, are not so attractive. Many owners will complain that their Lab is destructive, loving to sink its teeth into anything from its toys to the trash.
VetStreet.com reports that veterinarians have a saying about Labs – "Chew till they're two, shed till they're dead." Obviously, it is normal for a Lab (and many other dogs) to shed for their entire lives, and it is also normal for dogs of all breeds to chew. Retrievers in particular are known for their love of chewing through adolescence, even after they have developed all of their adult teeth and should no longer be teething. You must remember that Labs were bred to have things in their mouths, as they are designed to retrieve game for their owners.
If your dog is chewing too much, or its chewing is destructive, there are several steps to take, the news outlet reports. The first thing is to limit its access to items it may want to chew. This may mean putting up pet products like Mission Aztec Freestanding Pet Gate to block access to all the shoes in your closet, or locking your garbage away in a cupboard.
You should also get your young pooch plenty of toys that will satisfy its natural urge to chew. Rubbery textures like those of the Gumby Dog Toy, Durable 10-Inch Football Dog Toy or even Greenies for dogs might be good options. If your canine likes fabric toys but only destroys them, leaving the fuzz all over your living room, try the Unstuffed Light Weight Loofa Dog Toy.
The third most important thing owners need to do to prevent this behavior from becoming a problem is to make sure their Lab is getting plenty of exercise. Because Labs are active, retrieving breeds, they need at least a half-hour of heart pumping activity every day to tire them out. Another saying rings true among vets and dog trainers alike – "a tired dog is a good dog." Keeping your dog well-exercised and with plenty of options for acceptable chewing, you should find that this behavior is not an issue.