Often enough I have friends asking me how I was able to stop my dog from chewing on shoes? How did I get my husky to not tare up the house when we are gone? Why don’t your dogs bark all the time like mine do? How did you get them to stop chewing on electrical chords?
The answer, they never have done those things, to be honest. Here is my question, what would you say if I told you that you could prevent destructive behavior in dogs before it ever becomes an issue?
Take it from me it is VERY POSSIBLE to PREVENT DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR IN DOGS before it becomes destructive behavior that you struggle to stop your dog from doing consistently.
We have two big, active, and energetic fur babies, our Husky Sheba now 5 years old and FattyBoy who is a 4-year-old Siberian Retriever also known as Labsky or Husky Lab mix, the Siberian Husky coming from his mom Sheba the retriever from his dad who is a Labrador Retriever.
Both breeds have been known to destroy furniture and homes when left to roam about the house alone while their families leave without being kenneled.
It’s not that we got lucky with both of them or that they are just naturally well behaved. There is ONE reason our fur babies are so well behaved, I took the necessary steps to PREVENT DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR in our dogs.
Understanding Destructive Behavior In Dogs
Destructive behavior in dogs can be a number of different behaviors your pooch takes part in that destroys things in your home, yard, or even car. Dogs, unlike humans, do not take part in destructive behavior out of spite or revenge.
The most common reason for your dog’s destructive behavioral issues is that they have anxiety or built up energy that needs to be released.
Humans deal with things like anxiety and excess energy by chewing their nails, smoking, drinking, leg shaking, and exercise while dogs release by chewing, digging, barking, and howling in excess.
When your dog is digging in the wrong places, excessively barking for no apparent reason,or is chewing on all the wrong things without any other apparent symptoms you are likely experiencing Destructive Behavior From Your Dog.
Can We Prevent Destructive Behavior In Dogs
Yes, I believe it is possible to Prevent Destructive Behavior in Dogs. First, it is important to remember that chewing, digging, and barking is all actually quite normal activities for dogs.
Doing those things in excess to the point that things are constantly being damaged, is what makes the behavior destructive. Below is a list of things that you can do to PREVENT DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR IN DOGS.
- EXERCISE: One of the biggest causes if not the BIGGEST reason for destructive behavior in dogs is not getting the exercise he/she needs daily. That doesn’t mean just letting them outside it means actively playing with them, playing fetch, or running them for at least one hour, ideally, two hours is best. Puppies and dogs that are tired don’t have the energy to destroy things by digging or chewing. Exercise also produces endorphins that actually have a calming effect for your pooch, chewing will produce the same endorphins so if your pooch isn’t getting exercise to produce them logically they will resort to chewing to stimulate the same endorphins. An exercised dog won’t normally bark in excess pointlessly either.
- PUPPY/DOG-PROOF YOUR HOME: Manage his/her environment by puppy-proofing your home. It is always a good idea to puppy proof your home and yard before your new puppy or dog moves in. You can check out our puppy proofing checklist to double-check you have it all covered.
- CRATE- Crate train your puppy, when you cant keep your eye on the puppy or if you have to leave him home alone put him/her in their crate. When you take the time to crate train your dog and it’s dome right dogs will actually like their crate. Our Dolly loves her crate it’s like her own bedroom, her own space
- REDIRECT CHEWING- Make sure you have a variety of chew toys with different textures and when you catch your puppy chewing on something he shouldn’t be, don’t make a big deal out of it just stop him tell him no gently replace with a toy that resembles the texture of what they were chewing on and then tell them, good boy or girl.
- STAY CALM- Please never punish your fur baby out of anger. Remember your puppy is experiencing everything for the first time ever and is simply just exploring his new world, he has to be taught what he should and shouldn’t do. Yelling and striking your puppy will only strike fear in them and that is a big cause of destructive behavior in dogs.
- REPELLANT- Using a spray repellant on furniture and wood can help prevent chewing on them. As strange as this may seem, we took a woodblock and wrapped it in a soft material. It works we have never come home to destroyed furniture.
- SITTER- If we have to leave our fur babies for more than four hours, we pay a friend to come to our home and dog sit for us. If getting a dog sitter isn’t an option doggy daycare has become quite popular.
- SEPARATION ANXIETY- Sometimes destructive behavior comes from a deeper issue like separation anxiety which is a much much more serious problem. If you suspect that this could be your fur baby’s problem a visit to the family vet is needed and you should schedule an appointment with your vet for the soonest available time.
The tips and advice given is from over 40 years of hands-on experience spending time with man’s best friend. If you follow the advice above on how to prevent destructive behavior in dogs you will get great results and it will in return make life with your new fur baby an enjoyable experience from the start.
These are the things that have given us the best results if you have used different methods and had good results please share your methods with us in the comments below.. We welcome any tips you may have that will help make life more enjoyable for puppy and you.