Pet owners know this scene all too well: you walk into a room and find your beloved pet eating your television cord, your phone charging cord, or some other important electronic cord which should not be gnawed. If this sounds familiar, worry not: here are three steps I've taken to train two dogs and two cats to leave cords alone:
1. Always correct the behavior when you catch them in the act. If you find your dog chewing on a cord, use your disciplinary word of choice. (No, hey, and stop are all behavior words we use with our pets.) Then, next time your pet is near cords and he or she doesn't chew them, reward that behavior. This is basic training, but disciplining when caught in the act is the most effective way to change habits.
2. Avoid toys that have pieces that resemble the plastic on common electrical cables and cords. In addition, when you catch your pet chewing on a cord, be sure to offer up appropriate toys after offering discipline.
3. Cats can be a bit trickier to train, so if your cat isn't responding positively to number one or two, simply wrap trouble cords in tin foil. Most cats will hate the texture and sound and will alter their behavior, and after a month or so of your kitty leaving the cords alone, you can remove the tin foil.
(Image credits: Elizabeth Giorgi)