A destructive dog is not easy to live with. He chews your shoes, destroys your books, tears your clothes, scratches your furniture, trashes your vegetable garden, makes holes in the garden, and to top it all off, he does his business everywhere! In short, it’s a real mess every night when you come home.
You find it unbearable? You are not alone. Because this destructive behavior is the main cause of dog abandonment in the USA. But instead of envisaging such a radical solution, how about trying to understand this dear canine friend? Find out why your dog destroys everything and how to help him to control himself.
Destructive dog: why does he do this?
First of all, you need to know one thing: destructive behavior is almost always a sign of a serious psychological disorder. Rest assured, your dog is not doing it for fun. Nor does he do it to get back at you.
To fully understand the suffering, he is suffering as a result and you need to remember exactly when he started acting the way he does. The cause of the disorder is certainly associated with something that happened at that time.
A destructive puppy? Look at his teeth
If your puppy starts chewing everywhere, take a look at his teeth. He may feel the need to chew and scratch his gums as he is teething. If this is the case, the behavior is completely normal. And you can remedy this by buying him a teething ring or a toy that he can chew on instead of your shoes or furniture.
A destructive dog? What if it’s stress? What if it’s scared?
It can happen, and in most cases, destructive behavior is a response to a negative feeling or emotion that he can’t handle. When he is afraid, when he is stressed or when he is anxious, he starts destroying objects.
This is especially true for dogs that have been separated from their mother at a young age. To compensate, they will create an emotional dependence on you. And when you are away, he will panic, hence the destructive attitude.
A destructive dog, a bored dog
Boredom can also explain a dog’s destructive behavior. When he lacks activity, when he doesn’t have the opportunity to spend his energy, it is by throwing himself on objects that he will channel it. In this kind of case, the objects he destroys are more considered as toys, a distraction.
The dog’s hyperactivity
The dog can also suffer from hyperactivity. Again, puppies that were abandoned too early are the most affected by this condition. In addition to the destructive behavior, it usually manifests itself by great turbulence, barking for no reason, incessant barking…
How to behave in front of a destructive dog?
To control a dog that destroys everything, you must deal with the problem at the source. In other words, you must first determine the reason for the behavior. How do you do this? In any case, consulting a veterinarian at the first sign of the problem is the best thing to do.
How to manage stress?
If the destructive behavior is due to stress, the best solution -in the long term- is to get your dog used to loneliness, i.e. your absence. But in the short term, you can get anti-stress dog accessories. Pet stores are full of them: collar, diffuser, or spray. You can also adapt his diet to his condition. Today, you can find many supplements dedicated to managing dog stress.
How to manage boredom?
If your dog is destructive because he is bored, the best solution is to find entertainment for him. Starting with walks outside so that he can spend his overflow of energy. But you can also plan specific sports activities, which would allow him to let off steam.
You can also provide toys indoors so that -if he starts to get bored- he will fall back on his last ones rather than on your shoes.
What to do in case of hyperactivity of the destructive dog?
If the veterinarian diagnoses hyperactivity, he will be able to suggest the appropriate solution himself. However, you don’t have to worry. Dog hyperactivity is not a rare disorder, and it is possible today to have the animal follow a medicinal and/or behavioral treatment according to the prescriptions of the veterinarian.
Destructive dog: what you must absolutely avoid!
Of course, there is nothing pleasant about turning your house or garden upside down. And in your nervousness, you will naturally be tempted to scold your dog or even punish him. But that’s exactly what you should not do. To control his destructive behavior, you must assume that he hasn’t done anything wrong; and that he has done this “nonsense” in spite of himself. Putting him in a cage, or worse, abandoning him will certainly not help him.