Doggone It! How to Cope With a Destructive Dog

You love your dog, but you probably dislike the way they behave sometimes. Sure, dogs can be, well, dogs. They eat poop, roll around in garbage, and conduct themselves with zero nods to human decency, but none of this means they aren’t super smart or capable of being trained. 

Without a doubt, dogs can be taught not to do various things like dig, chew, go to the bathroom inside and so much more. With time, patience, dedication and lots of extra love, you can curb the errant ways of a destructive dog. 

Help Me Help Myself!

Why do dogs chew on your shoes? Why do they dig up your garden beds or destroy your furniture? Why do they upend the kitchen trash can and rifle through rotten food?

It isn’t because they’re a “bad dog!

More likely, destructive dog behaviors stem from boredom, loneliness, or separation anxiety. If they are quite young, chewing can be explained by teething or even hunger.

Set the Stage for Success

Many dog owners find relief from destructive dog behaviors by supplying them with proper chew toys, brain games, food puzzles, or just extra opportunities for exercise and/or mental stimulation. Furthermore, dog-proofing the house and crate training typically yield positive results.

Training Your Destructive Dog

It’s not uncommon for destructive dog behaviors to occur in the absence of a pup’s owners. However, if you ever see your dog mouthing certain objects, like shoes, or chewing on your belongings, it’s important to take the time to train them. 

Gently remove the item or object from their mouth. Firmly say “no”, and replace it with an appropriate item, like a Kong. Praise them when they start chewing on their own dog toy. You can also reward them with a high value snack and lots of affection. 

Get Out There

A tired dog is a happy one, right? Think about it. If you take your dog out for a rigorous hike or run, they are less likely to have extra energy to start tearing up the house and yard. 

For pet owners that work away from home, it might be worth hiring a dog walker or pet sitter to come by every 3 hours or so to give your dog a chance to get out, burn off the “ya-ya’s” and come home to relax.

Frayed Nerves

Many dogs simply cannot handle being alone. Stressed or anxiety-filled dogs tend to pace, vocalize excessively, scratch the door their owner left through, and even chew at the woodwork. It looks like they’re trying to stage an escape, but really they’re frantically looking for their people. 

Destructive dog behaviors connected to a frightened, anxious pup can include indoor soiling, and broken teeth or nails, and ruined personal property.

Love Your Destructive Dog

Luckily, there are solutions to pet separation anxiety. Vests that offer gentle compression, desensitization, less confinement, more freedom, and less alone time can go a long way toward supporting a stressed dog’s mental state.

It’ll Be Okay

If we can assist you further with destructive dog behaviors, please let us know. Our veterinarians and staff members are always here for you and your pup at Beverly Hills Veterinary Associates