Demolishing Dogs

‘WDogChewinghen dogs are destructive, it is not because they are naughty or disobedient, they are exercising a symptom of an underlying cause’

 What do you do if you have a Destructive Dog?

Finding the motivation for your dog’s destructive behaviour will help tailor the solution to your problem.

The possible reasons and/or motivations why your dog is ‘destructive’ are:

• Health issues
• Anxiety
• Boredom
• Having FUN
• Attention Seeking
• Lack of Training

All dogs require ongoing training from puppyhood and continuing through adulthood. Ensure your dog understands what is required from them.

What to do:

Training: A typical obedience class gives you the basic foundations of training. There are also many other fun interactive training classes for you and your pooch to enjoy, such as Trieibball, Trick Training, Agility, and many more.

Encourage and reward your dog when they interact or take interest in objects/items they are allowed.
Restrict your dog’s unsupervised access to items you do not want them playing with.

Health Issues
If your dog suffers from fleas, allergies, dental disease, matted fur, poor hygiene etc. this could be the cause of the destructive behaviours. Dogs will often display destructive behaviours when their health is not 100%.

Boredom
Do you leave your dog home alone with nothing fun to do? Do you have time to exercise your dog regularly? Boredom is a result of insufficient mental or physical stimulation. If your home, your dog’s environment, does not provide sufficient and variety of stimulation, then they will begin entertain themselves.

What is environmental enrichment?
Environmental enrichment is providing all pets a stimulating environment to allow them to exercise, choose their preferred environment and to enhance their well being.
Providing environmental enrichment is just as important as providing your dog appropriate nutrition and veterinary medicine. Enrichment can be provided in many ways:

Olfactory

Introduce other animal scents into your dog’s environment. This can be achieved by taking a rag to a dog owning friend to rub their dog’s scent onto it and leave the rag randomly in the backyard for your pooch to seek out.

Auditory

Playing the radio or soothing music in the background can stimulate your dog. Try natural sounds and animal soundtracks.

Food related

Who said you had to feed your dog in a bowl?
Present your dog’s feed in a variety of ways such as a simple puzzle feeder, hidden throughout the back yard, scattered around the back yard, or buried in an appropriate and approved location. To get the food, your dog must use their natural foraging behaviours and/or mentally solve the puzzle.

Various items placed in your backyard allowing your dog to investigate and explore naturally.

Anxiety
Destructive behaviours can occur when your dog is anxious and upset when separated from you. This can be a frustrating problem and it is best to seek help form a professional dog behavioural trainer or your trusted veterinarian.
For you to effectively manage this type of situation, you will need to work out HOW and WHY your dog developed this issue so you can implement the appropriate management tools and training aids to help.

Dogs will do what dogs do!
A destructive dog can be very frustrating to live with. Applying the correct and appropriate management and enrichment tools will generally help. Ensure your dog is receiving adequate training, has plenty of physical and mental stimulation and is clear on what is theirs and what is yours.

Do you need Help?

Contact Christine on 0409 636 117 or info@pantingpaws.com.au for a private in-home training session or join one of our effective group dog training classes.

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