Destructive dog behavior is a dog behavior issue often stemming from a chewing problem. Here are the four possible causes and what you can do to help your dog.
Okay, now that I’ve got your attention, the reason your canine commits destructive dog behavior is likely a combination of all four reasons. Maybe even all four!
I’m not here to judge you. Heaven knows I’ve had dogs that ate beds, couches, chairs, carpets, blankets and a good share of my clothes and shoes. While this is a heck of a lot of stuff to get chewed to shreds, this is over the course of many years and several dogs.
Finally, I get it - so I’m here to pass it along to you.
Some of my dogs just grew out of it. After all, puppies do go through teething. But, when they eat our stuff instead of theirs, it’s a dog chewing problem that we are also responsible for because of the above mentioned reasons.
I’ll list in order of importance, what we can do for our dogs to stop their destructive dog behavior :
So master the walk, as Cesar says. Be the leader instead of the follower. Play games with your dog. Fetch (him, not you!); clap your hands to make him run around the yard; hide treats or toys and let him find them. All these things can only bring you closer.
You don’t have time? If you’re too busy or too tired when you get home from work, you need these things as much as the dog. Exercise will calm you too! Learn to relax and enjoy life with your dog. (Don’t stick your tongue out at me. You know I’m right.)
He doesn’t have to herd the sheep or keep watch over the hens in the chicken house to chase off predators. Those days are gone for practically all of us, but believe it or not, there is one simple thing that makes a dog earn his food. It’s called “The Wait”. Believe it or not it challenges your dog to be still and wait - so don’t just slap the bowl down and leave the room! Show your leadership and authority like this.
Have your canine sit or lay where he normally eats. Stay calm in case you have to work on this for several minutes. (If you’re upset, it upsets Fido and it becomes useless) Make her stay while you prepare her food. Set in front of her and make her wait a very long 30 seconds.
Of course 30 seconds isn’t long at all... unless you are counting it.
Now, at the risk of you thinking I am mean, increase the wait time. Sometimes I make my dogs wait 5 minutes. They don’t get to eat until I give them the word.
Important Note: Varying the wait time is important. Our pups get used to a certain amount of time and will clock you and dig in without you telling them. It’s a mental game that is good.
For more on the subject, read Dog Food Aggression
These simple steps help your dog control himself!
For lots more on dog behavior training, check out this link.
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To sum it all up, you need to know your dog is not chewing up your stuff because he's mad at you. Chewing helps relieve tension and chewing things with his favorite person's smell on it can be pretty pleasing to a dog.
Understanding dog behavior isn't hard as long as we see our canine kids as dogs instead of people. They are not human and that's really what we love so much about them.
These methods not only help alleviate destructive dog behavior but will also help with problem barking. For more information on that, please visit How to Stop Dog Barking. Amazingly, almost all dog behavior problems stem from similar circumstances and we have the option, with a little work, to help our dogs become calm, happy members of our household.