We get a lot of calls about destructive dogs so I decided to write briefly on the subject to let people know why a dog may destroy something.
There are a few different reasons why a dog may become destructive.
1) your dog is bored
2) your puppy is teething
3) it’s a natural drive
Lets look as the most common reason for your dog to become destructive, boredom. You may be great at taking your dog for their daily walk, playing fetch, and giving them love and affection but if they are destroying things around the house chances are they are bored, physically and/or mentally. Depending on your dog’s breed and individual needs they may require more strenuous activity. Bike rides can be great options. Sometimes even taking your dog on a different path during your daily walk giving them new smells, more excitement, and hopefully more mental stimulation. There are infinite solutions to this issue.
There is some good news and bad news with the second reason for destructive behaviors. The good news is a puppy will typically grow out of the chewing stages derived from teething but the bad news this may take up to 10 months. Having a plethora of chew toys is important to get through this time. Try not to fall for just cutesy toys but toys that appease your dog’s need. Different textured toys are important. Textures from rubber, rope, plush, squeaker, and the list goes on will give your puppy options for what feels best to their teeth and gums.
The third reason for destructive behavior goes a long with reason number two. Dogs will be dogs and part of being a dog is chewing things. They get a sense of their surroundings impart by taste as well. At times dogs will taste something that seems like a good thing to chew on. Using taste diversions will help as long as they are used prior to the dog developing a habit. We see the corner of baseboards and coffee tables really fall victim to this. Certain breeds chew more than others and certain individuals within a breed will chew more than others. The trick here is directing them on the proper items to chew and making the improper items unpleasant or unattainable to chew.
The fourth reason for destructive behavior is related to the number one reason of destructive behavior. Anxiety can develop for many reasons. To be honest the reason your dog developed anxiety is not as important once they are diagnosed. Anxiety can date back to the time while your dog was in their mother womb and the stress and nutrition the mother experienced and can be due to a recent traumatic event. Traumatic being relative to the dog’s own life experiences. Too many people focus on why. It’s irrelevant at this point you must move forward. It can be very complex to correct but two things that will certainly help is exercise and teaching impulse control. This will release extra pent up energy while teaching your dog self control.
I could dive much deeper into this topic but this is the just of the common calls we see with destructive behaviors.
If you have more questions reach out to us. We’re here to help.