- Gemma Johnston
Does Your Dog Destroy Your Home?
Updated: Apr 15, 2021
Just like our last blog “Digging Holes”, we again have to understand chewing & destroying things is a natural and normal behaviour for dogs to do. Yes some do it more than others but at the end of the day, it is a dog we have purchased, this is what they do and there is no way to teach them not to chew & destroy things.
Everything comes back to management, prevention and giving them less of a reason to be destructive.
Dogs will be destructive for a few reasons:
Chewing releases dopamine, that feel good chemical in our body
Chewing can relive stress because it releases dopamine
Chewing can relive boredom because its feels good
Chewing is simply fun
Some breeds are designed to use the mouth & teeth more than others. If this instinct isn’t fulfilled in some way, it may present in ways you don’t like, such as chewing
Chewing allows for teeth cleaning
How to give them less of a reason to chew:
Address any anxiety or stress
Address any boredom
Give them things they are allowed to chew on Examples: toys & bones
Rotate these toys so they don’t become boring
Give them enrichment toys such as Kongs, Busy Buddies, DIY enrichment puzzles
Mentally exhaust them so they are too tired to chew (Training = do your obedience training before you leave. If you do not have obedience to work on, teach them a new skill or trick)
Physically exhaust them (I’m not talking just walks, I’m talking much more! Sledding, biking, agility, rally obedience, IGP, swimming, slat mills, spring poles, off leash freedom – if you have a reliable recall. Understand what your dogs breed was designed for and let it act on its impulses in a healthy and constructive way)
Prevention & management
It is a big No No to leave your dog alone and loose in the house. If you decide to do this, expect to have something destroyed. It may go fine for months but if your dog is stressed, anxious or bored one day, you might just come home to the couch in pieces on this occasion.
Pick up and clean up after yourself. If you don’t want it destroyed, don’t leave it laying around
Close doors to rooms you do not want your dog in. if they have access to it, they may decide to chew it
Crate or place train your dog. This way they can physically not destroy things, as they will be in their crate or on place while not supervised
Supervise your dog at all times. If you can't, command place or crate until you can
If you're off to work for the day, house them in an indoor or outdoor kennel run where they physically can not get to anything to destroy it
Acceptance - You have purchased a dog and they will chew, some more than others