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Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: May 23, 2017
Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs

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Do you have a destructive dog that chews on everything or digs up your garden? Well, in this AnimalWised article we will give you 8 tips for destructive dogs that are useful or perhaps essential to help your dog reduce their anxiety. An anxious dog can often turn into a destructive one.
If your dog has this behavioral problem you may also be interested in the topic of how to deal with a jealous dog, why my dog is possessive with toys? or why do dogs eat grass?.

You may also be interested in: Tips to Deal with a Destructive Schnauzer

1. Do not put on a show when you greet your dog

Many people, when they leave their homes, say goodbye to their dogs as if they will never see them again. They overreact to the departure and this makes their dog anxious. In the same way, once they return, they greet them as if they have been kidnapped for years!

All this increases anxiety when dogs are left alone. Either because they are overstimulated before being left alone or because they eagerly await the return of their owners.

How do you greet your family when you leave your house or when you return to it? Surely you not spend several minutes greeting them aloud. It is therefore advisable that you greet your dog the same way you do your family.

Do not make much fuss, say hello or goodbye and give your dog a pat. More is not necessary.

Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs - 1. Do not put on a show when you greet your dog

2. Teach your dog obedience

Although not directly concerned with the destruction caused by dogs, training in canine obedience teaches dogs to control their impulses. It is more likely that a dog will stay calm when alone if they have been trained in basic canine obedience.

Although dog training alone does not guarantee that your dog will stay quiet, it increases the likelihood of this happening. Especially if the training has been done with positive methods.

Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs - 2. Teach your dog obedience

3. Teach your dog to use a box

Teaching your dog to use a box without dirtying your house does not solve the problems of destruction, but as with obedience training it teaches dogs to have self-control.

Therefore, it increases the likelihood that the dog can be left alone without causing problems. Moreover, it is absolutely necessary if your dog is left alone in the house.

Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs - 3. Teach your dog to use a box

4. Teach your dog what objects to chew to pass the time

If you teach your dog that they can chew toys made of resistant rubber, and reinforce that behavior positively, it is unlikely that your dog will vandalize things in your house or dig up the garden.

You need not have many toys available. Just find a few that it likes and leave them easily in reach.

Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs - 4. Teach your dog what objects to chew to pass the time

5. Accustom your dog to using a travel cage

Although this also does not provide a direct solution to the problem of destruction, dogs who are comfortable in a travel cage are usually dogs that are more confident, calm and relaxed. In addition, the travel cage becomes a safe place for these dogs and they will seek that security when they are alone. So instead of destroying things in your home, they can take a nap in the cage. They can voluntarily enter this though the open door, because they feel safe there. It is good to accustom your dog to use the travel cage.

Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs - 5. Accustom your dog to using a travel cage

6. Decide how much freedom your dog can have when left alone

If you notice your dog destroys things more often in a particular area, something may be encouraging destructive behavior. Either because your dog gets anxious or because it triggers impulses of prey or territoriality.

For example, some dogs are very quiet whilst staying in rooms whose windows do not face the street. However, they may destroy everything when they stay in rooms with windows facing the street. This can occur because the outside stimuli triggers territorial or predatory responses in dogs, or causes them anxiety.

Similar things can happen in different areas of the house, either within it or in the garden. If you notice these differences in behavior depending on where you leave your dog when you leave them alone then restricts their access to places that triggers destructive behavior.

Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs - 6. Decide how much freedom your dog can have when left alone

7. Give your dog more exercise

The holy grail of good behavior for dogs: physical and mental exercise. Although exercise by itself does not solve the problems of destructive behavior, it can help a lot. All trainers and dog breeders know that a tired dog is a good dog.

Exercise will not eliminate the cause of why your dog destroys things, but, it will help reduce destructive behavior. Simply because your dog will be tired and would rather sleep instead of chewing the furniture or exploring the garden.

Note that the exercise your dog needs depends on its breed and is not only physical but also mental. Some breeds of dogs, such as the Border Collie or Belgian shepherds, need more exercise than others. For some breeds, like the beagle, mental exercise may be more related to odorous stimuli. While for greyhounds, visual stimuli are often more important.

Socialization and obedience training offer a lot of mental exercise and moderate physical exercise. Interactive toys for dogs offer a lot of mental exercise when used correctly. Long walks and games offer plenty of exercise and mental exercise.

Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs - 7. Give your dog more exercise

8. Consider using dog walkers and care services

If you do not have time to care for your dog as they deserve, you can consider dog walking services or dog care facilities. Unfortunately these services are not available in all cities but can be found in the larger ones.

Using a dog walker or dog care centre will allow your dog to socialize, exercise and spend time in friendly company. Particularly away from home, where they will not be able to destroy any of it.
If you are going to hire the services of a dog walker or a dog care centre, first check how they handle their clients. Some people and businesses do not have the slightest consideration for dogs and just do the work because they do not need a professional degree for it. Others do it because they love dogs, but do not take security measures seriously and end up losing the dogs or worse still, end up with injured or dead dogs.

Before hiring these services make sure that the dogs are treated properly, without abuse. And ensure that those responsible have made appropriate security measures so that dogs cannot escape, and they will prevent fights and accidents as much as possible. Small dogs should go with small dogs. There should not be too many dogs left to the charge of just one person (those people who walk 10 to 15 dogs at a time do not do this correctly).

Moreover, if there are no dog walkers or dog care centres in your city, maybe you can hire a trainer to work with the dog and not with you. In that case, the trainer would be more of a walker than a trainer, but it would come with the extra that he or she would teach your dog obedience, even though later on your dog will not listen to you and only listen to the trainer.

Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs - 8. Consider using dog walkers and care services

If you want to read similar articles to Tips on Dealing with Destructive Dogs, we recommend you visit our Behavioral problems category.

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