What to do with a dog destroyer
The destroyers dogs are a big problem for many people and often to themselves. These dogs that are dedicated to bite furniture, shoes, plants and everything they find, usually end up abandoned or in a shelter waiting for a family that wants to adopt. Dogs that destroy the garden by digging holes are also often lucky.
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Unfortunately, destructive behaviors are very common in dogs, and there are very few owners who have the patience and consideration to understand them, as well as the right techniques to correct them. Biting things and digging are natural behaviors in dogs, as natural as breathing, feeding, or doing their thing. Therefore, some races have more need to express these behaviors than others. Terriers, for example, generally like to dig and in many cases it is impossible to prevent them from doing so. The behavior of biting things is more common in all dogs, but race dogs and other breeds that are bred for hard work tend to have this behavior more pronounced.
To learn to understand the behavior of your furry companion and to know how to help him, in this article of ExpertAnimal we will explain what to do with a dog destroyer .
Correct dog’s destructive behavior
Although biting things and digging in the garden are inappropriate behaviors for humans, they are very natural behaviors for dogs and so it is not convenient to do away with them. The best you can do to prevent and solve problems of destruction is to redirect destructive behaviors to tough objects or appropriate places. That is, in addition to canine training, you have to carry out an environmental enrichment program for your dog.
Old-guard coaches often solve the dog problem with the punishment. They simply punish the dogs each time they start some of the destructive behaviors. The problem with this is that it often causes more problems than solutions. Most dogs develop other inappropriate behaviors in response to these “treatments,” and may even increase the intensity and frequency of destructive behaviors. Therefore, in this article you will find solutions through the redirection of destructive behaviors and not through punishment . That is, instead of teaching your dog not to bite and not to dig, you should teach him to just bite his toys and dig into a certain place built specifically for it.
The strategy of redirecting inappropriate behavior is tantamount to environmental enrichment in modern zoos. It serves not only to solve the problem in question, but also serves to maintain the psychological and emotional health of animals (and often improve physical health through exercise).
Because dogs destroy things
The dogs and humans evolve together, achieving a very good coexistence between both species. However, the pets we have today (dogs or other animals) do not enjoy real freedom. They have many benefits but are captive animals. Pet dogs do not have the freedom to walk where they want when they want. In addition, they must remain alone at home for many hours, having nothing to do or having some way to control their environment. So there are behaviors that are natural to them and they are not bad, but we consider behavior problems because they have negative effects on our assets.
It is not surprising, therefore, that dogs destroy things when they are alone and without an activity to perform in an environment that, although familiar to them, is artificial. Not all dogs are known to destroy things, but the five most common causes are as follows:
Some dogs are simply more destructive than others. Although genetics can not be blamed completely, heredity undoubtedly has an impact on the frequency and intensity of dog’s destructive behaviors.
For example, terriers are usually dogs they like and dig in the garden in search of stuffed animals. On the contrary, the Pekingese or the Bulldog are less likely to dig and like to bite into something else until everything is broken.
Dogs usually destroy things when their owners are not home. Since they have nothing else to do and need to entertain themselves, many dogs look for some activity that keeps them entertained. Since they can not play with the console or watch tv, they bite the furniture, dig in the garden or bark (the latter does not have to do with the destruction but can be very annoying to the neighbors).
Of course, any animal left alone for many hours every day will get bored and look for a way to overcome that annoyance. Although it happens especially in dogs of races developed for the hunting or to the work (protection dogs), the truth is that it is a state of humor that occurs frequently in all the breeds of dogs.
Dogs are sociable animals that need contact with other beings. Biting and digging are activities that help them reduce the anxiety they feel when they are alone.
This anxiety is normal and should not be confused with the separation anxiety that occurs in some dogs. Separation anxiety is a serious problem that, although it has some symptoms identical to those of the normal destroying dog , causes extreme behaviors because the dogs panic when they are alone.
When a dog is locked alone at home, he has no control over his environment. You can not get anything you want, you can not investigate the strange noises you hear outside, you can not open the doors to go play, etc. This inability to control the environment creates much frustration in any animal, which can be reduced or eliminated with certain activities that may be fun or not but keep the animal active.
Have you ever seen a lion or a circus tiger in those small cages to carry them? Or maybe a big cat in an “old” zoo enclosed in such small cages in which the animal has nothing to do? These animals often develop stereotypical behaviors, such as pacing around and around. These behaviors serve for the animal to relax and reduce frustration.
In this way, biting things and digging are two behaviors that can become stereotypical for dogs that are left alone for many hours day after day. Biting and digging for dogs have a relaxing effect that helps them pass the time. It’s something like busting the plastic balls that come in the packs to protect the fragile products. Have you ever broken these balls? It’s addictive, though it does not make any sense. Time goes by and we do not realize it.
Someone is likely to say, “If the dog destroys things, it’s because he’s a bad man!” But I’m not just referring to the fact of destroying things, but rather because it does. Many dogs are trained to destroy things, this is true.
When they are puppies, we tend to be content and congratulate the puppies almost for anything they do, although many of these things are inappropriate. For example, a three-month-old dog takes a shoe bigger than him (or any other object that looks funny in his mouth) to his bed, and family members laugh at his behavior and pet him instead of correcting behavior.
After identical situations occur repeatedly, it is not surprising that the dog learns to destroy things because its behavior is reinforced socially with the approval of the family group. Although approval does not come in dog language, dogs are very observant and their evolution with humans leads them to understand many of the attitudes and body language of our species, so that their behavior can be reinforced socially by our own.
Three years later, the family that encouraged the dog to be destroyed will be wondering why your dog is so bad and rude, and will start to seek the help of a trainer.
Preventing and resolving the dog’s destructive behavior
The best way to prevent and resolve the destructive behavior of dogs is to teach them to just bite their toys and dig in only appropriate places. In this way, depending on the cause that causes your dog to destroy things or dig holes in the garden, you should follow one strategy or another. If, for example, you do it out of boredom or anxiety, one of the most effective solutions is to use a kong adapted to your size and offer it before you leave home. Do not miss our article where we explain how to use kong .
Thus, as we have seen before, all our reactions to the different behaviors of our dog have influence. So funny that it seems to your 3-month-old Chihuahua to be able to carry an object that weighs more than he should correct this behavior by removing the object in question, saying “No”, offering him one of his toys and caressing him to interpret that he can use this object and bite it. Remember that positive reinforcement is always the best way to educate an animal.
On the contrary, if your dog destroys things just by walking because he is a 30-pound pit bull and you live in a small apartment full of decorative objects, perhaps the best solution is to move to a larger house or remove any decorative objects block the passage of your dog.
On the other hand, if the reason for your dog’s destructive behavior is because you spend many hours a day alone at home, and therefore the kong can not entertain you during this whole period of time, you should try to adapt your schedules to devote one little more time to his furry companion. Bear in mind that dogs are animals that need time and dedication , do not get feed them, give them a bath once a month, take them to the vet when they need to take vaccines and take them for a walk for 10 minutes to do their needs. You should take time to play with him, take longer walks so that you can release all the energy accumulated and relax with it.
For more information on how to correct your dog’s destructive behavior , do not miss our article with advice to prevent the dog from biting the furniture .
If you want to read more articles similar to What to do with a destructive dog , we recommend you to join our section behavior problems .