Destructive Puppy and Dog Behavior
Dogs have powerful jaws designed for chewing, shredding and tearing so it’s natural for them to use them for eating or just to entertain themselves when they are bored. This article will explain what causes destructive puppy and dog behavior and how to stop it.
At The Dog Squad we have seen everything, dogs who have destroyed complete rooms, eaten couches, torn up floors, chewed up oriental rugs, swallowed socks and underwear, destroyed landscaped yards tearing up lawns, plants and sprinkling systems. You name it; we have seen it destroyed by a dog. Not only is the destruction of property expensive but the cost of emergency veterinarian bills can even be more costly and worst of all may be fatal to the dog.
Destructive Puppy and Dog behavior can be an extremely frustrating to fix once it starts. The problem might take a variety of approaches and just when you think it is fixed it can crop up again. The best approach is to stop it before it becomes a problem. Prevention is the key to having a dog who does not chew you out of house and home.
Anyone who has raised a puppy knows that you are bound to loose a shoe, a piece of clothing, a remote, a pair of sun glasses, a book, a pillow, a table leg and so on. The chewing phase of a puppy will inevitably cost you something but look at this phase as an opportunity to educate your puppy and set the rules for your future well behaved dog.
An untrained puppy should never have free unsupervised run in the house or yard. He should not have free access to anything he can get his teeth on. Prevention is the best way to helping your puppy develop into a trustworthy dog that respects your things and does not destroy your things or your house.
Preventing Destructive Puppy and Dog Behavior
A sound prevention program includes using a crate when no one is watching the puppy, obedience training done on a daily basis, a good supply of chew toys and clear and fair corrections when the puppy strays.
What do you do if you have an older dog and these problems are already set or keep repeating themselves? There are two basic approaches to dealing with destructive behavior. One is not allowing the dog to be unsupervised around the object they are obsessed with and negative attention or correction. If your dog is chewing on your favorite Chinese rug you cannot let you dog have free access to it and when you see him chewing on it he needs to know that it is not acceptable behavior. The kind or level of correction depends on your dog and how he responds to you. A firm “No” and removal from the area might be enough. Other techniques might be a squirt bottle, a clap of the hands, a leash correction or even the use of bitter apple. The correction needs to fit both the act and the dog’s temperament.
If your dog is digging in the yard then you might have to try a variety of methods to stop it. The key here is to be able to catch the dog in the act of digging and finding the appropriate correction, one that the dog really cares about. Some dogs will react to a correction when the owner is in sight but when left alone they may go right back to their criminal behavior. This is why you cannot leave a dog unsupervised when they are repeat offenders.
Destructive behavior can be difficult to stop and there are no corrections that work for all dogs. You need to be creative and understand the reasoning behind the correction, not just the process. Don’t be afraid to try new things if something is not working.