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Common Behavior Problems

Destructive Behavior

Probably nothing is more frustrating than when your dog tears up, chews up, or in some way damages your belongings. Having lost anything from irreplaceable old family pictures to hundreds of dollars of new plants, we appreciate your frustration. But having a dog means that you will inevitably lose an item you care about to your dog’s teeth or paws. And although on any given day, any dog can turn anything into a chew toy, your dog shouldn’t be routinely destructive.

First off, take a deep breath and try not to be mad at your dog. Never, ever try to discipline your dog after the fact by showing him what he did. Your dog won’t understand punishment after the fact and this will damage your relationship.

Your dog isn’t doing this because he’s mad at you, to teach you a lesson, or to show you who’s boss. There are many reasons for destructive behavior but spite and revenge aren’t included.

Separation anxiety is a common, but not the only, cause of destructive behavior that occurs only when your dog is home alone. Your dog may also be bored, or may be being frightened by noises or other events.

Puppies and young dogs need to chew because they are teething, and to explore and learn about their world.

Our Raising a Behaviorally Healthy Puppy also covers destructive behavior. Purchase our video Crate Training The Right Way to find out whether a crate is a good choice for managing your dog’s destructive behavior.

Because destructive behavior can be a complex problem to analyze, you can schedule a consultation so we can help you sort out the problem one on one.

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