How to Handle Dog Destructive
Some dogs prefer to chew for pleasure while others do not have this urge except when driven by boredom. Your dog has powerful jaws endowed with sharp pointed teeth; hence when these are used to chew on items other than its food and toys, such as items that belong to you and your household products, the result may be very destructive, hence the term “destructive chewing.”
Your dog may chew for several reasons
– Chewing is enjoyable to your dog; it is natural to want to chew for a dog. It is a way for it to while away the time. It is also rewarding and self-reinforcing, especially when what is being chewed on tastes good to your dog.
-it provides a means for your dog to release its emotions of anxiety, boredom, and loneliness. Repeated chewing calms your dog; it is like eating comfort foods.
– it is also a means for your pet to make up for being under-exercised, to keep itself occupied in a way that gives it comfort and pleasure.
Can you teach your dog to stop destructive chewing?
This is entirely possible, with some initiative.
Dog-proof your home
Make sure to keep your belongings out of sight. Or if needed, place items where it is beyond the dog’s reach no matter what it is capable of doing -its ability to jump, climb, and reach out for any desired objects. You can take control of the situation and avoid testing or tempting your dog or putting it in a situation where it will go after your belongings, to explore and learn about the items with its mouth.
Identify what these common targets are. They may include items such as papers, books, magazines, eyeglasses, clothings, footwear, cell phones, remote controls, as well as food items. Foods must be put away securely in containers with secure lids, and not in the open on counter tops and low tables easily reachable by your pets. Be aware of how acrobatic your dog can be, and thus how accessible these items are to your dog. Do not leave food scraps lying around. Be sure to rinse your dirty dishes off these food scraps before leaving them by the sink.
You may need to confine your dog in a dog-proofed location till it learns your house rule. Stop your dog from chewing household items (chair-leg, a pillow, shoes, blankets, flowers) early so it will not target those items in the future. This helps your dog understand what it has to avoid chewing in your home.
Make your chewing rules clear
Set your dog up for success as to what she is allowed to chew and what she is not. Make these boundaries clear for your dog so it knows what it is allowed to chew and what it is not. For example your dog needs to know which items are specifically its own that it can play with and chew on, and which ones are clearly yours, and for it to avoid touching.
Give your dog a variety of options to chew on
Most pet dogs need to chew. As such you need to provide your dog with a variety of great options for your dog to chew on. Without such options, your dog is bound to target your possessions. Be alert to the needs of your dog. An adolescent dog under the age of 3 years, and a young puppy under one year of age will make their chewing needs evident. As such, it is important to provide it with a selection of delicious items to chew on. For example take your dog shopping for two or more chewable toys that it can play with at the same time. Providing your dog with such items once every few days will keep her entertained in the right way.
Make time to be with your dog
You chose to get a dog instead of a pet that does not need much attention such as a goldfish for example. The responsible and fun thing to do is to engage with it as much as you can. Give it your loving attention, and supervise it actively. Your dog looks for your involvement, and is ever ready to engage and have fun with you. It will be boring for it to be left alone unattended for hours in its crate or in the garden. Give your dog the opportunity to discover the boundaries of your expectations of it It needs to learn what is acceptable to you and what is not acceptable to you for it to do.
How to help your dog learn what is acceptable to chew on and what is not?
Clearly indicate to your dog when it is chewing an unacceptable item. You can do this by disrupting it. You could make a loud noise by clapping your hands or by saying outloud a disapproving “Ah-ah-aah!” sound. Immediately give it an appropriate alternative to chew on such as its chewy toy. As soon as it grabs onto the toy with its jaw, show your appreciation by praising it and acting in a way that indicates your great approval. This is one example of a clear sign to show your dog what is the right thing to do.
Be understanding and accepting
Understand that your dog may once in a while damage an item you care about, but know that your dog is not perfect and neither are you. Main a reasonable expectation, especially during the early stages of your relationship. Your dog is learning what is acceptable and what is not acceptable to do. Give it time to learn and understand. Know that if it is left by itself for a long time, it may choose to chew on your belongings over its own. As such, do make sure it is given ample quality time with you to learn the rules more quickly. Help your dog from destructive chewing by keeping valuable items out of reach until it is fully versed with your chewing rules.
For more details on canine training methods and just how to take care of dog behavior issues (like chewing), check out Secrets to Dog Training. It’s the full manual for dog ownership and also is created to fast-track your dog’s learning.
You can visit the Secrets to Dog Training website by clicking HERE.