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Why Is Your Dog Destructive?

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by Andrew Garcia
Jul 26, 2022
3 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • What Is Destructive Behavior in Dogs?
  • Why Do Dogs Get Destructive?
  • How to Stop Your Dogs from Destructive Chewing?
  • Final Words
Most dog owners are not used to their dogs being destructive. You would be surprised to see a well-arranged home transformed into the ruins of your battlefield by your furry pal. But this is not strange –it is your dog’s way of showing emotions. Dogs cannot speak when angry, so they demonstrate this by getting destructive. A destructive dog spares almost nothing – shoes, cables, sofa, waste bins, and carpets.

What Is Destructive Behavior in Dogs?

Every dog chew – this is normal and rational. What is unusual is a dog chewing and scratching your properties. This destructive behavior can be attributed to the absence of training or exercise. At other times, it may indicate a psychological issue.
Dogs without exercise or with confinement or those that are constantly anxious may get destructive. Nevertheless, the behavior is unhealthy for the dog and the household. A destructive dog can chew itself or chew household items and structures that deface your space permanently.

Why Do Dogs Get Destructive?

Young puppies and young adult dogs are expected to chew at some point because that is how they familiarize themselves with their new environments. In the case of young puppies, they relieve the teething pain caused by the development of adult teeth by chewing. Conversely, adult dogs chew to strengthen their jaws and clean their teeth.
The only way to solve the problem of a destructive dog is to understand the reason behind this behavior.

Young Puppies When Teething

Young teething puppies will most likely chew excessively. The fix here is to provide them with safe objects to chew on. They are expected to stop chewing once they develop new teeth. Otherwise, there may be other reasons aside from teething for their destructive behavior. Take your pup to the vet for professional suggestions.
a dog playing on grass

Dogs Seeking Attention

Destructive chewing may be an attention-seeking behavior in some new puppies. If you are not giving your young dogs enough attention, they may look to get it at all costs by getting destructive. It would help if you condemned this behavior as an owner. But the most effective solution is spending more time with your canine friend.

Dogs Experiencing Separation Anxiety

A dog experiencing separation anxiety will probably get destructive, especially when he senses you are about to leave him alone. The signs range from barking to howling all day to getting destructive. The solution here is to crate train your dogs to feel safe in your absence. Your vet may also prescribe the proper anxiety medication for your four-legged friend.
Click to learn more about Helping Your Dogs with Anxiety.

Dogs That Are Stressed

Dogs are also prone to stress, and this forces them to become destructive sometimes. Ensure you eliminate stress in your dogs by providing them with plenty of fun toys and engaging them in enjoyable activities while you are not around. It would help if you also spend more time with them when available. You should also consider anti-stress medications as prescribed by your vet.

Dogs That Are Feeling Unwell

If your dog is dealing with some health problems, destructive behavior may set in. That is their way of telling you something is not right with them. In most cases, such dogs bite or nip at their paws or sides. They also tend to eat less or overeat while drinking water consistently. Consult your vet if you notice any of these signs.
a dog chewing a ball

Dogs with Phobia

Phobia may be another reason your dog is destructive. However, only your vet can ascertain this. After ascertaining phobia in your dog, your vet may prescribe a combination of change in environment, behavioral modification, or training. You will encourage your dogs to be calmer in stressful situations. If your dog is dealing with mild fear, you may encourage them to attribute noises that trigger anxiety with fun and playtime instead. In the case of severe phobia, you can provide some comfort by keeping them in a covered crate and playing loud but calming sounds.

How to Stop Your Dogs from Destructive Chewing?

Here are some practical tips to help keep your dog safe, as well as your property:
  • Meet your dog’s primary needs, especially in exercising and attention.
  • Engage in obedience training, co-playing with other pets, and other behavioral training.
  • Buy your dogs safe and fun chew toys that keep them occupied in your absence.
  • Design and stick to a predictable routine that makes your dog comfortable.
  • Reward your furry pals with their favorite treat for showing good behaviors.
If you ever meet your dog while chewing destructively, try to shift their attention to safe chewing items. Ensure you do this calmly and never punish the dog for this behavior. You can take your pup outside and play with him.
a puppy with a badminton in his mouth

"Dog-Proof" Your House

Start by keeping all valuable objects away from the reach of your pets. This ensures your dogs can only chew the appropriate items whenever they want to. Your clothing and shoes should be in a closed closet. Keep your books on shelves and your dirty laundry in an enclosed hamper.
You should also monitor your furry pal to see when he will likely chew. When it is time, offer him a puzzle toy containing a delicious treat, such as their daily ration or other tasty snacks.

Final Words

Dogs, irrespective of their ages, will most likely chew. It is usual for both domestic and wild dogs to spend many hours chewing on bones. It only gets destructive when other external factors set in. You can avoid this by keeping your furry pal engaged while you are away. They can only chew what they can reach, so keep your valuables away. Also, it takes time for new dogs to get used to a new environment, so be patient with them.
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