It’s a familiar experience for many dog owners. As a puppy, our Cavalier would, without fail, chew the mail if we didn’t get to it before we did. As adults, our Great Danes still find new and exciting ways to destroy things around the house.
Dogs are known for being cute, playful and loving. But they can also be destructive and mischievous. If you, like me, are tired of your house looking like a tornado went through it, then this article is for you.
There are many ways to stop your dog from destroying the house. But why do they tear the place up to begin with? And what can you do about it? Luckily, we have some proven strategies that have worked well for other dog owners.
Why Do Dogs Destroy Things?
Have you ever wondered why your dog destroys things in your home? Do dogs destroy homes because they don’t feel loved, or does it have something to do with their breed and personality type? What’s going on in that doggy brain of theirs, anyway?
- Dogs destroy things because they like to chew or play with objects that stimulate them. They also love the taste of certain materials such as leather or the stuffing from a sofa.
- Dogs can become destructive when they need an outlet for their energy.
- The breed may play a role in why they are destroying your things. For example, terriers were bred to hunt small animals such as rodents or rabbits. The destroyed cushion could be an instinct (it makes sense to them, anyway).
- Dogs also have natural instincts that drive them to want to bury bones from food or chew on sticks and rocks. These are behaviours that resemble the activities they would do in their natural habitat, so they can’t stop themselves from doing these things.
- The dog may be acting out because of separation anxiety or boredom. If you find yourself unable to provide enough time, exercise, or stimulation for your dog, then you might consider giving them more attention to make up for it. Separation anxiety can also be a big problem if you leave your dog alone – even for short periods.
- Dogs can also be destructive just because they like the sound or feel of something breaking. Some people say that this could be a sign of dominance, but many experts believe that it is genetic and uncontrollable by the dog.
- Finally, Dogs may also be destructive because they are in pain. If the dog is acting as if it wants to bite or chew on something but stops when you reach for it, then there might be a health problem that needs attention from your vet.
How Do You Stop Your Dog From Destroying Everything?
Okay, we’ve established why they may be destroying everything they see – but what exactly can you do about it? Here are a few tried and tested suggestions.
Keep your dog active. Puppies and young dogs seem to have boundless energy and need plenty of play opportunities, outdoor exercise walks or running around in the backyard with a ball or toy.
Spending time finding new games that help wear them out physically can go a long way toward curbing destructive behaviour indoors. For older dogs, try playing an interactive game like hide-and-seek so they get more mental stimulation and physical activity.
Consider having your pet spend some time either at doggy daycare during the weekdays when both you are working full days outside of the home; this is also great if you’re going on vacation! Your pup will be excited about spending their days off “at the office” with new doggy friends, where they will enjoy the socialisation and play opportunities.
Implement a regimen of exercise using toys like Kongs stuffed with peanut butter or cheese to keep them occupied for an extended period.
For example, fill a Kong toy up with treats, so your pup has to work at getting all the goodies out; this can be a great way to occupy their attention while you’re trying to clean up inside! You can also use food puzzles designed specifically for dogs (think: Nina Ottosson’s games), which provide mental stimulation and physical activity. These are easy and inexpensive ways to help curb destructive behaviour indoors.
If there is one thing that most pet owners would agree on, it’s that a tired dog is a happy dog. So make sure your pup has plenty of exercise throughout the day to tire them out before they settle in for nighttime snuggles with you!
You can also be proactive and train your dog ahead of time so they know what behaviours are appropriate indoors and outdoors. That way, dogs who have been trained won’t feel inclined to chew up items inside or outside because these behaviours are not rewarded when done at home. This type of training takes patience but will pay off big in the long run by preventing future problems from ever arising!
Use obedience commands like sit and stay whenever possible rather than yelling “NO!” since this reinforces negative behaviour.
If you’re struggling with a problem, like your dog chewing on furniture or shoes, then consider hiring a professional trainer to help. Most trainers offer strategies tailored to the specific needs of each pet and their families for an affordable rate!
Using these tips will make life easier and happier when interacting with your dog because they’ll stay active without destroying everything in sight.
Quick Tips To Stop Your Dog Destroying Your Home
- Make sure to establish a routine for your dog – this includes feeding, walking, and playing
- Provide plenty of toys and bones for them to chew on instead of household objects
- Invest in an indoor pet fence so they can’t get into the house when you’re not home
- Put up baby gates to block off rooms that contain expensive items or things they shouldn’t have access to
- If the problem persists, consult with a vet about getting medication for anxiety or depression
- Keep your dog’s nails trimmed as often as possible, so they don’t scratch up anything inside the house
Whether it’s your puppy or an adult dog, dealing with destructive behaviours in the home can be a frustrating experience many owners face at some stage.
It’s important to identify why your dog may be acting out and look for ways to combat the behaviour. Remember to be patient; there can be a lot and trial and error with these things.
If you have more stories or suggestions on dealing with a destructive pup, let us know in the comment section below.