Muzzles: Muzzles are designed to prevent dogs from using their mouths. These dog tools come in a variety of types. They can be made of leather, nylon, or coated plastic or steel. Some muzzles are made to keep dogs' mouths fully closed while others allow the dog to pant, bark, and drink water through smaller holes or a wire basket-style face containment. Veterinarians and those that groom dogs often use the style of muzzle that keeps a dog's mouth closed.
Dog owners that need to control aggression in the home usually choose the basket style that allows their dog to drink and bark. The basket style is used when the muzzle will be on a dog for a number of hours, allowing the dog to pant as a means of sweating. Muzzles are great to help reduce a tough dog's overall attitude, not to mention to prevent destructive behavior when used in conjunction with training.
Taste deterrents: A taste deterrent is simply a solution of sorts that cause the item to taste extremely bad if it is bitten. Let's face it; it is far better for your dog to learn not to chew because things just don't taste that great, as opposed to you screaming at him for biting everything in site.
Taste deterrents originated when sheep ranchers were having coyote problems in the Midwest. The ranchers wanted to shoot the coyotes, but the animal rights people would not permit this to occur. An alternative method was approved. The majority of sheep were removed from the pastures and the remaining sheep were injected with a chemical that made the coyotes extremely nauseated (a taste deterrent). In a matter of days, they were seen chasing rabbits, running right past the sheep. If sheep ranchers can do it, you can do it.
Please do not poison your dog, but understand the concept. If the dog finds your dinner plate unsatisfying when you leave the table to get something in the kitchen, after a while he will stop looking at your dinner as a possibility. A trip down the ethnic food aisle of your favorite grocery store will net you a few items that your dog will not appreciate. Jalapeño peppers might work, wasabi could do it, or perhaps it's horseradish for your dog. Distasteful but nontoxic is the key to success.
Commercial products to deter chewing are available in spray and cream form. They usually work well. Conversely, I have found that the sprays that claim to repel dogs from certain areas do not work very well.
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