Why Does My Great Dane Chew Everything?

Chewing is a natural dog instinct that is common in both adult Great Dane and puppies. It is a destructive behavior that results in your dog chewing on items in the home.

Your Great Dane does not intentionally do this but the behavior needs to be controlled. 

Without control, it leads to a behavioral problem that leads to the destruction of items in your home which can be very frustrating.

It is important to understand why chewing occurs so that you can implement the right method to train your Great Dane against this behavior. 

So, why does your Great Dane chew everything?

In this article, we will look at the reasons why Great Danes chew everything and what to do about it.

A Great Dane chews everything because of stress, puppy teething, separation anxiety, fear, boredom, attention-seeking, or inadequate training. Chewing is a natural instinctive habit that is common in all dogs but if not controlled can lead to a behavioral problem that is destructive. 

great dane chew everything

Common Reasons Why Great Danes Chew Everything

Stress and frustration

Sometimes a Great Dane will chew when they are experiencing a stressful situation. They chew on anything in sight as a coping mechanism. 

Stress and anxiety can come from moving to a new home, a change of routine, being in a crate, or the introduction of a new pet in the home. 

Puppy teething

A Great Dane puppy that is teething will chew everything in sight. This is normal because chewing helps to ease the irritation, pain, and discomfort due to the growth of adult teeth. 

Puppy teething starts at 3 to 4 months up to 8 months. Therefore a Great Dane puppy will chew on everything to feel better as the process continues.

This can be a very frustrating stage because your puppy will constantly search for items in your house to chew on.

By being aware of this stage of development, you can put in place appropriate measures to help your puppy get through it without damage to your house.

Related: Great Dane throwing up: Causes and how to help

Separation anxiety

Great Danes are very attached to their human companions and are highly susceptible to separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety means that a Great Dane becomes extremely anxious when left alone and separated from its owners.

This occurs in dogs that are very dependent on their owners or very attached.

A Great Dane with separation anxiety shows distressing behaviors such as restlessness, withdrawal and being quiet, scratching on doors, barking excessively, shivering, shaking, pacing, refusing to eat, and chewing on items to try to cope with the anxiety. 

Further reading: How to stop separation anxiety in Great Danes

Fear

Fear is a normal response in animals. Great Danes can be frightened by a variety of things from situations, objects, or people which present a real or perceived danger to them.

This can be from traumatic experiences, loud noises, or other perceived dangers.

Fear and anxiety can be caused by poor socialization, dementia due to aging, an individual Great Dane’s temperament, and illnesses that contribute to phobia and fears

A fearful and anxious Great Dane will show behaviors that indicate they are distressed such as pacing, trembling, crying, drooling, excessive barking, growling, snapping, incontinence, excessive grooming, and chewing on objects.  

Boredom

Great Danes get bored when they’re not physically or mentally engaged. When bored, they direct their energy and attention to activities that can be destructive such as chewing on everything.

The Great Dane is not a high-energy dog but requires activities and exercises for enrichment and to be healthy.

If they are not provided with activities to physically and mentally engage themselves and outlets for pent-up energy, they get bored and chew for fun.

So, why does your Great Dane chew everything? Boredom could be the problem.

Recommended reading: Why is my Great Dane acting weird?

Seeking attention

A Great Dane chewing everything can also be a call for attention to have you focus on them. Great Danes love and thrive on human company and your dog may just want to spend more time with you.

To do this and to get your attention, they can communicate by engaging in destructive behavior because they know you will focus on them.

Related: Why is my Great Dane so clingy?

Inadequate training

Great Danes are naturally compelled to chew on things for exploration, during teething, or for fun therefore it is in their nature to do it.

If not controlled this natural habit can become destructive and everything in your home will be a target for destruction.

A Great Dane without adequate training to avoid chewing on items in the home will continue to chew anything that they can get.

Therefore inadequate training contributes to a Great Dane chewing everything.

How to Stop Your Great Dane from Chewing Everything

Properly manage puppy teething stage

During the puppy teething stage, a Great Dane puppy will chew on everything to relieve its discomfort as the adult teeth come in.  

To manage this and to help them during this stage, provide alternatives for them for pain and discomfort relief.

You can do this by providing ice cubes or toys and washcloths designed for teething puppies which can be frozen and chewed on to relieve gum discomfort.

Training

Training is required to teach your Great Dane desired behaviors that you want them to have such as not chewing everything in your home.

This can be done by training them on what they can chew on such as their toys and what items are off-limits. 

Continuously use positive reinforcement to train them by rewarding good behavior with treats or praise, so that they understand and show what is required of them.

Command words are also important to stop your Great Dane from engaging in chewing when they start or are tempted to chew an item they are not supposed to chew.

Training is also helpful in teaching your Great Dane how to cope with separation anxiety or fear-related anxieties.

You can also seek the help of a certified professional veterinary behaviorist to help you with the training process against destructive behavior. 

Related: Why is my Great Dane becoming aggressive?

Exercise and activities

Exercises and activities help to reduce boredom and help to redirect a Great Dane’s energy to beneficial tasks. This reduces destructive chewing. 

Also, spend time with your Great Dane by playing with them regularly so that they can utilize their energy and bond with you.

When you do not have time to be with your Great Dane, you can also enroll them in a dog daycare where there will be activities to engage in.

Further reading: What do Great Danes like to do?

Enrichment Toys

Provide toys to your Great Dane which will engage them and what they can chew on. This includes chewing toys for large dogs.

This minimizes destructive chewing in your home. Toys distract your dog as the main focus and also help puppies during teething to ease discomfort, and also reduce stress or frustration in your dog.

Toys can also be used in training sessions to teach your Great Dane about items that are ok to chew on and what household items are off-limits. 

Utilize chew deterrents

Another way to prevent your Great Dane from chewing on everything is to use chew deterrents which are safe bitter solutions that are sprayed on the items in the home to discourage your dog from chewing on them.

Grannick’s bitter apple spray for dogs on Amazon is a great chew deterrent. You can also DIY a simple deterrent mixture consisting of apple cider vinegar with water and spray it on pillows, furniture, or other items. 

When your Great Dane starts to chew on the sprayed items, they will taste the bitter solution which will discourage them from continuing their chewing mission.

Supervise your Great Dane

Supervise your Great Dane when in the house to keep an eye on what they may be up to.

Keeping watch allows you to be aware of inappropriate behavior and give you the opportunity to correct it.

Dog proof the home

Keep valuable items in your home out of reach to avoid damage from your Great Dane. 

For example, put magazines, newspapers, and books on drawers or shelves, use indoor dog gates or prevent access to some rooms.

Conclusion

Chewing is a destructive behavior when not controlled therefore it is important to train a Great Dane not to do it on certain items in the home.

The first thing to do is to know the reason behind why your Great Dane chews everything, then secondly implement the appropriate action to control the habit. 

So, why does your Great Dane chew everything? The simple answer is it is a behavioral problem.

Always be patient with your Great Dane and do not punish them by yelling or hitting them which will negatively influence them and increase their anxiety. 

Even well-trained Great Danes slip up and chew on everything because chewing is a normal instinctive dog habit, therefore be calm and patient with them when it occurs.

I hope this article helped you know the reasons why Great Dane chew everything and also how to manage the habit.

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Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams

Patricia Williams is a writer, mum, and animal lover with extensive experience with dogs. She loves talking about animal advocacy and care. She lives with 4 German Shepherds and 1 cat.