Search and Destroy: Training Tips for Destructive Dog Owners

Dogs are considered to be man’s best friend yet they don’t always engage in cordial behavior.  Some dogs combine lovable  moments with destructive behavior, and it’s up to the owner to observe, address, and correct the situation before it gets worse or becomes a regular habit.  Consider the following tips so you can search and destroy your dog’s destructive tendencies.

Search and Destroy: Training Tips for Destructive Dog Owners
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Be Understanding

Of course, you shouldn’t take a dog’s destructive behavior personal.  As with people, the psychology of a dog is complex.  Just as some people may engage in destructive behavior for attention, a dog may do the same.  Moreover, a new dog may do things just to get a sense of boundaries and to see how their owner will react.  To start, attempt to understand the ‘why’ of the destructive behavior.  For example, if your dog is destructive when you’re away at work, they may be lonely and require company throughout or at least part of the workday.

Recognize Hyperactivity Versus Under-Activity

Ask yourself whether your dog is getting enough exercise.  It may depend on the breed, size, and age of your dog including the provided space in your home and within the yard.  A destructive dog may be wishing for an opportunity to expel energy.  For example, if you’re not letting your dog out enough, it may seem hyperactive when you’re at home.  Rather than the dog’s behavior being the problem, your routine in taking care of the dog is the root of the issue.

Direct Attention Appropriately

As with children, dogs may act out because they want your attention.  However, if you only give children or a dog attention when they do something inappropriate, they will learn to commit to such behaviors to get what they want.  Therefore, rather than overreact when a dog engages in destructive behavior, give them attention separate from a destructive incident.  If it’s attention they want, teach them that they’ll get it when they are acting appropriately.

Be Mindful of Your Surroundings

A dog’s ears are sensitive.  A dog may react to loud sounds by scratching at walls, biting your hand, and tearing into furniture.  If you live in a city environment or construction is being performed in your immediate area, your dog may be reacting to sound rather than engaging in bad behavior as part of their personality.

Entertain Your Dog

Search and Destroy: Training Tips for Destructive Dog Owners
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People get dogs for protection, companionship, etc, but you need to ensure you’re giving as well as receiving.  A dog needs to be entertained and it may act out simply because it’s bored.  Aside from ensuring the dog is getting enough exercise, reserve time to play with your dog and buy it a number of toys.  Dogs are filled with energy and need outlets.  If you’re at work all day, be sure to spend some quality time with your best friend in the evenings.  Take your dog to the park if you don’t have enough room in your yard.  Don’t worry about getting hair on your seats; find solutions at Shear Comfort.

Keep the Peace

If you suddenly move into an apartment or house with other people, or you have a lot of company over for the holidays, your dog may react in a destructive way.  If the dog feels at peace and is used to a routine that is suddenly interrupted, it will react.  This is especially true with introducing new dogs to people.  At times, a new dog must be kept in a separate room when company comes over until it gets used to being around people other than its owner.

Get Help

Of course, why a dog is destructive can make a lot of sense in retrospect, yet diagnosing the reason or properly training your dog may require the assistance of a professional.  Rather than grow frustrated or accidentally enforcing your dog’s destructive behaviors, seek counseling and solutions from those with experience.  Ask your vet for the contact information of a good trainer.

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