Oh no! my dog chewed my snuffle mat what should I do

Puppies and dogs chew pretty much anything. They can’t tell the difference between their ‘toys’ and your shoes, cushions, sofa, bra, socks etc..  

Anything that is on the floor or within their reach (and even things that aren’t) are fair game as far as your dog is concerned.

Puppies and dogs also can’t read so they rely on you to teach them what they can and can’t chew. It’s your fault if they don’t understand, not theirs.  This is why when you go to training classes, the classes are as much about training you as the owner, as the dog.


Read the instructions

We supply detailed instructions with every snuffle mat. They are also online on our website and the instructions are updated when necessary to provide you with information on how to use the mat.

Read the instructions. It’s up to you if you follow them or not. They are there for guidance, but are not a guarantee that your dog will understand what the activity is supposed to be.

We have thousands of happy customers who have successfully trained their dog to enjoy snuffle mats, balls and our Challenger Cube. Hopefully you will be one of them too.

 

Supervision - means constant supervision

It doesn’t mean give the snuffle mat to your dog and go and make a cup of tea, or nip to the loo. It means watch them all the time whilst they are using it. And when you’re watching them, the instant they start chewing or shaking the mat (an undesirable behaviour) remove it immediately.

Wait until they are calm, then put it back on the floor and start again.

Don’t let them get the satisfaction of chewing a chunk off or you will have reinforced an undesirable behaviour. Remember, it’s your fault. They think you’ve given them something to do exactly what they want to with so you need to guide them by your actions ( not shouting ‘no’) as to what you want them to do.

 

Here's how to teach your puppy how to use a snuffle mat

You might like to try and teach your puppy how to ‘leave it’ or ‘drop it’. 
If he already has these commands then you can use a combination of controlled use of the mat.
1. Make your puppy sit and wait
2. Put one treat on the mat.
3. Give our puppy the release command ( we use ‘okay’)
4. When they've eaten it, say ‘leave it’ and remove the mat.
5. Repeat 1-4

If your puppy picks up the mat - use your ‘drop it’ command. When your puppy does, take it away for 24 hours and then start again.
If your puppy is  being good and you can get through the steps completely 3 times in a row with no grabbing of the mat, then gradually increase the amount of treats. Add one extra treat at a time for each cycle and stick to the steps above. Any signs of disobedience take that mat away, and go back down a ‘level’ of treats. ie if you were at 2, your puppy only gets 1 at a time tomorrow. If you were at 5, they now get 4.
This way you will teach your puppy that if they eat leave, sit , the reward will repeat.  
You will need to do this for probably at least a week but you can progress at the rate your puppy does.  It’s important that you are consistent as you puppy is learning and watching every move from you. 

There’s no such thing as a ‘chew proof’ snuffle mat

All snufflemats are made from fabric and rubber. Some are made more robust than others, like ours. Neither of these materials are chew proof. So do not leave your dog alone with a snuffle mat or anything made from these materials. Always remove them and put them safely away when your dog has finished retrieving their treats.


Refunds will not be given for chewed up mats 

You are responsible for your dog's behaviour, not us. We have tried to offer as much guidance as possible, but it is your responsibility to supervise your dog and manage their behaviour and well being. After all, that’s what being a good pawrent is all about.


You can see our full return and refund policy here.