Archie spoodle teaching us how to rip a cardboard roll
The fact that a dog chews things is not going to surprise many people. However have you thought about why they chew things, and if dogs have different preferences for the chewing object.
Just like different human races have different food preferences, often based on climate and food availability and social history, dogs too form strong preferences for foods and chewing preferences.
This video chews Archie a middle aged cockapoo (spoodle) enjoying a mid morning chew on a cardboard roll.
As a young dog he had a desire to chew everything in sight meant for many frustrating training events. Of course, as puppy dogs are teething and need anything they can to soothe their gums as their teeth push through.
Soon after Archie gained a taste for pigs ears, these are a great chewing challenge for many dogs.
As he matured the reality that retrievers tend to have a soft mouth (particularly cocker spaniels) so they don’t harm the game they have retrieved, means that they are often not a big chewer.
The complete opposite to many hunting and powerful breed dogs that desire to chew hard things all through their life, like large dried bones.
Now Archie enjoys roo tendons (when they are available) but he can’t chew bully sticks (too hard).
Chewing (as the chewing gum ads tell us) helps promote healthy teeth by strengthening the gums and the cleansing action of saliva. Depending on what a dog eats, it will also often help scrape plaque off teeth. Bones give calcium and glucosamine too which are important to a dog’s joint health.
In the field my dog has gone from the joy of unravelling tennis balls to biting through rubber balls and eating the rubber. It is both the texture and smell of natural rubber that is a great attractant for many dogs, but eating the rubber is a major issue as it can cause intestinal blockages.
That is why this video of my dog chewing and not eating cardboard is actually a good thing. It is potentially strengthening his gums, cleaning his teeth, part of a prey drive and relieves boredom. If your dog can do all these things without ripping up anything important then its an ideal situation.