It can be awfully frustrating when your pup acts out on your furniture, especially when you don’t know why or how to stop it. While actions such as digging and chewing are normal, when they turn destructive, it is often a result of an unresolved issue that your dog is experiencing. Learning how to identify and solve problems of destruction will help you and your pup live destruction-free.
Reasons Your Pet Has Destructive Behaviour and How to Stop
1. Separation anxiety
If you often find yourself coming home to a wrecked house, it might be an indication that your dog is suffering from separation anxiety. This is often seen in dogs with strong attachment to their owner. Some signs are constant tailing of the owner at home and frenetic greetings when the owner returns.
Another common cause of destruction is boredom. Dogs who don’t get enough stimulation and exercise tend to become destructive as a way to occupy themselves, or even to get attention. If you think your dog is suffering from boredom while you’re out at work, check out this article for suggestions on how to entertain your dog while you are out.
Sometimes, a dog confined in a small area such as a crate, playpen or small room may become anxious and try to claw its way out. To deal with claustrophobia, use positive reinforcement so that your dog associates small spaces with good things. Reward your pup with treats every time it enters the crate by itself. Once in, close the door and wait a few seconds before rewarding your pup with another treat if it behaves calmly. Repeat this a few times and slowly extend confinement time.
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4. Other Fears And Phobias
There are many other types of fear and phobia that dogs suffer from, particularly previously abused or abandoned canines. Examples of such are generalised anxiety, fear of thunder, and fear of loud noises. Find out if your dog is experiencing any of the above and consult a vet or animal behaviourist for advice. Some ways that might help are:
-Using anxiety aids such as a thunder shirt or calming collar
-Trying crate training
-Spraying calming spray around the house