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#dogdestruction #centralvalleydogtrainingBarbara Gazley is a dog trainer with Bark Busters Central Valley speaking about dog destruction:

No one likes to come home to find the stuffing from their pillows all over the floor. Or the contents of their garbage can spilled about.

There’s no doubt that puppies and even some older dogs love to chew on objects. At first, we write it off as just being a puppy but when their behavior becomes destructive, it’s time to take action. It is so common that destructive behaviors are the #1 mis-behavior reported by pet parents.

Pet parents need to understand that your dog is not doing it to make you mad. He/she actually wants to please you – they just don’t know how.

Usually dogs are destructive when they are aggressive, bored, not trained correctly to make good choices, scared, or anxious. Just as many of us chew on our nails or have a glass of wine to chill out, dogs lick, chew, dog and toilet in the house when they are nervous.

Why Dogs Engage in Destructive Behaviors

First, rule out any medical problems that your dog may be experiencing, Once your vet has given your dog a clean bill of health, see if your dog may be have any of the following reasons for being destructive.

  • Investigating. To a puppy it’s a whole new world of sights and sounds. It is part of their exploratory nature to chew and dig. It’s important to establish boundaries for your dog so he knows what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. DO NOT let him chew your shoes, because he will not be able to differentiate between the shoes you will let him chew versus the ones you don’t want him to.
  • Boredom. The old saying that ‘tired dogs are good dogs’ is true. Dogs need to be exercised regularly to help them with all their pent-up energy – running, walking, and swimming are great activities. With more than 85% of dogs being overweight,  It is important to walk or play with your dog. Dogs often wake up raring to go, so before you start your day, play fetch or go for a long walk.
  • Separation anxiety. Your dog may follow you from room to room or become anxious as you are leaving. The most common time of the day that your dog is likely to be destructive is when you’re away at work or out doing things away from the house. Your dog can feel lonely, isolated, or unloved. Try leaving the TV or radio on so he has some noise to stimulate him. Think about some interactive toys that will keep him mentally challenged as well.
  • Attention-seeking. Without realizing it, many dog owners pay the most attention to their dogs when they are in trouble by correcting them. Dogs love attention even if it is ‘negative attention.’ Make sure you give your dog praise and kudos and a lot of reinforcement for good behaviors.
  • Noise phobias. Many dogs are afraid of thunderstorms, fireworks, or loud noises. Sometimes dogs will scratch at doors or tear through dry wall in an effort to get out. Create a safe place for your dog to stay during thunderstorms. A crate or kennel may be comforting. Try to distract your dog with activities like play or brushing.

Bark Busters does not recommend punishment as a way to combat your dog’s destructive behaviors. In fact, this can make him worse! And timing is everything. If you discover an item your dog has chewed even a few minutes after the fact, it’s too late to correct him. He/she does not associate his action with your correction. You know that guilty look you think you are getting? It is really just your dog reacting to your angry tone or facial expressions.

To truly eliminate destructive behaviors, call Barbara Gazley — your Central Valley Bark Busters dog trainer. Or email me. I will teach you how to issue commands to counteract destructive behaviors!


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