Is Your Dog an Aggressive Chewer or a Dainty Nibbler?

Brittany Randolph

Getting to know your pet is as important for bonding as it is for safety. For example, you can keep your dog (and others) happier and safer if you know whether your pup is tail sensitive, food motivated, cat aggressive, or prone to separation anxiety.

You can even customize treats and toys for your dog, depending upon their chew strength, to minimize choking risk and maximize joy. And lucky for you, that’s what our Bow Wow Buddies are all about!

Dog with Chew toy

Jaw Strength, Bite Force & Chew Strength, Defined

To make a safer, healthier chew toy or treat decision for your dog, it’s helpful to know the difference between jaw strength, bite force and chew strength:

  • Jaw strength is factored by your dog’s physical and biological makeup and breed.
  • Bite force is the pressure imposed from a single bite and varies depending upon the situation
  • Chew strength is an indication of your dog’s habit or inclination to persist in biting, nibbling and pulling on toys (like squeakers) and treats (like bully sticks).

Chew strength is unique because it’s not determined by size or breed. So, while larger dogs can have stronger jaws, it doesn’t necessarily make them aggressive chewers. In fact, two dogs of the same breed and size could have vastly different chew strengths. Similarly, there are plenty of little fluff balls with low bite force who can destroy toys in seconds flat!

Black Lab

Know Your Dog’s Chew Strength

At Bow Wow Labs, we are experts at treating dogs with the right sized Bow Wow Buddy and bully sticks for their chew strength. With a little investigating, you can become an expert too.

Ask yourself: does your dog destroy indestructible toys? Does she calmly savor even the yummiest treat for hours? Does he tenderly nibble and nuzzle his toys and treats? All of these elements can help you determine if your dog is an aggressive chewer, an average chomper or a dainty nibbler. Once you know, you can select the right sized Bow Wow Buddy and bully sticks for your dog.

Gentle Nibblers take their time, chewing slowly and lightly. They probably won’t finish a bully stick in one sitting, so it’s best to allow these pups to chew for 30 - 45 minutes at a time. To store your bully stick in between chew sessions try out our Sealable Stay Fresh Jar, or put the bully stick in the freezer to prevent bacteria from growing on the chewed end of the stick!

Average Chompers love a good chew session, but aren’t going to destroy things in a matter of minutes. It could take them a couple of hours to finish a bully stick but certainly not a whole day. These chewers might love to nuzzle and tote around soft toys, not chewing them at all, but when it comes to hard treats like bully sticks, they get pretty excited.

Aggressive Chewers can also be lovingly described as destructive chewers. There is no chew toy or treat that they do not immediately shred to bits. They can finish a 6-inch medium bully stick in a matter of minutes (if they don’t fully swallow it first) and definitely need a jumbo or monster sized stick to slow them down. When picking a Bow Wow Buddy or bully stick for these pups, it’s usually best to size up for safety!

Still not sure? Use this handy guide to determine your dog’s chew strength:

Chew Guide

Size ‘em Right for Safer Snacking

So is all this fuss about chew strength really that important? YES!

When you give your dog the right sized Bow Wow Buddy and bully sticks for her size and chew strength, you keep your dog happier and safer by lowering her risk of choking or obstructing her digestive system. Plus, you get peace of mind knowing that the treats and toys you’re offering your dog are good for you, and for them.

Related Resources

Why Dogs Love to Chew + How to Encourage Good Chewing Behavior
Can Bully Sticks Make My Dog Sick? Understanding the Health Benefits and Risks of Bully Sticks
What to Do If Your Dog is Choking - How to Recognize the Signs and Perform the Heimlich Maneuver



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