We know that dogs are man’s best friends, because they are willing to unconditionally surrender their love, loyalty and protection for their owners. However, sometimes, having a dog at home can be a difficult task. Unfortunately there are dogs that take destructive behaviors and chew everything in their path, or start digging the beautiful gardens of their owners. So these animals are usually abandoned, or in a shelter; waiting for another family to decide to adopt them. If your case is this and you’re wondering, why does my dog destroy things? And how do I fix it? Please continue reading, here we will clear those doubts.
Why Dogs Smash Things
We know that, for thousands of years, man has used dogs in various activities, such as hunting, combat, searching and protection. This has caused a very close relationship between these two species. But something we must take into account is that, currently, our pets are captive animals. They have many benefits, compared to their predecessors, but they do not enjoy real freedom.
They can’t move where they want, when they want. Even many of them are left alone at home for long hours, having nothing to do or be distracted. For these reasons, many times, the dog presents behaviors that are natural for him, such as chewing things or digging. But we see these behaviors as a problem because they affect our belongings.
We can’t know all the reasons why dogs destroy things. But the most common causes are:
Some breeds of dogs, by nature, are more destructive than others. In other words, genetics play an important role in making a dog more likely to exhibit destructive behavior. For example, terriers are usually dogs that enjoy digging in the garden, in search of burrowing animals. Unlike the Pekingese or bulldogs, who have less tendency to dig and usually enjoy chewing something more until it is torn to pieces.
Dogs often destroy things when owners are not at home. Many dogs get bored when they are left alone for many hours. Since they can’t turn on the TV to watch a movie, or start reading a book, the way they can entertain themselves is by chewing objects or digging in the garden.
This behavior occurs especially in dogs of breeds developed for hunting or work (protection dogs). However, it is a condition that comes to occur in all breeds of dogs.
Dogs are social animals that need contact with other beings. Chewing and digging are activities that help them reduce the anxiety they feel when left alone. This anxiety is normal and should not be confused with separation anxiety that occurs in some dogs.
Separation anxiety is a serious problem that, although it has some symptoms similar to those of the normal destructive dog, produces extreme behaviors because dogs panic when left alone.
When a dog is left locked alone in the house, it has no control over its environment. He can’t get anything he wants, he can’t go to investigate the strange noises he hears outside, he can’t open the doors to go play, etc. This inability to manipulate the environment creates a lot of frustration in any animal. Therefore, chewing and digging have for dogs a relaxing effect that helps them hang out.
Another factor that causes a dog to destroy things is because of a bad manners. It’s common for people to rejoice when a puppy does something funny or funny, even if it’s inappropriate behavior, and instead of correcting that behavior, they compliment him. After similar situations occur repeatedly, it is not surprising that the puppy learns to destroy things because his behavior is socially reinforced with the approval of the family group.
Three years later, the family that encouraged the puppy to be a destroyer will be wondering why their dog is so bad and rude, and they will start seeking the help of a trainer.
How to prevent and solve a dog from destroying things?
Old-school trainers tend to punish dogs whenever they start any of the destructive behaviors. The problem with that approach is that it often causes more problems than providing solutions. Most dogs develop other inappropriate behaviors in response to those “treatments” and may even increase the intensity and frequency of destructive behaviors.
For that reason, there are more and more trainers who decide to abandon these unpleasant practices and advise dog owners, instead of applying a punishment, teach their pet to chew only their toys and dig only in a certain place.
Get toys for your dog
Another strategy to help your dog feel less anxious or bored when left alone; it’s getting a food vending toy. This toy will keep you entertained for a long time, trying to get the food that is inside it. There is a wide variety of food vending toys in the market, you should look for the one that best suits your pet.
Spend more time
Another suggestion is that you try to adjust your schedules so that you can spend more time with your beloved pet. You should play more with your dog, take long walks, do some physical activity with him, and so on.
A good education.
Likewise, all our reactions to the different behaviors of our dog influence. For that reason, if your dog does funny but inappropriate behavior, you should correct immediately and not congratulate him. For example, if your puppy decides to take one of your shoes, you should remove the object immediately, and say the word “NO”; Offer one of your toys in return and pet your pet to interpret that object can take it.
Take into account the availability of space.
Similarly, if you decide to adopt a dog, you must take into account the size of your house. There are certain breeds of dogs that are too large or have too much energy, for example, a St. Bernard, a Great Dane or a Border Collie. Therefore, they need ample space for the dog to run and play with total freedom. And if you live in a small apartment, your dog is likely to feel stressed and start destroying things. Therefore, you should think of a smaller or quieter breed, for example, a poodle or a Pomeranian, which are small dogs and more easily adapt to small spaces.
With the above information, we consider that we have managed to clear the doubts about why does my dog destroy things? and how do I fix it? And much depends on us, their owners, to prevent these behaviors from affecting our belongings.
Something you should never forget is that your dog doesn’t destroy things in order to hurt you. That’s the last thing he wants because he loves you. If your dog is naughty, don’t abandon him, because you’ll break his heart, and he really doesn’t deserve it. Better help him to learn to behave and not continue to ruin your things.