Help! My [new] dog is destroying the house / yard / everything!

Destructive behaviour can be common but the reasons for it can be quite varied…

Age: It could just ‘normal’ puppy stuff while they’re teething, learning and exploring the world around them. Provide appropriate outlets in the form of toys and adequate socialisation.

Change: It could be a way of coping with change, learning & exploring new environs & rules. Set your boundaries early and again provide appropriate toys and games during the settling period.

Reaction to outside stimuli: Could they be seeing a cat through the window & scratching at the pane in an attempt to chase it? Could they be hearing another dog outside and redirecting some frustration onto the furniture? If you can block the dog from these stimuli it will be helpful. As long as the cause is not separation anxiety (see below), it may be appropriate to properly crate train & confine doggy to prevent injury.

Boredom / lack of exercise: It could be simply they are not stimulated enough and have a fun destroying spree to vent pent up energy. Again provide adequate exercise, training for mental stimulation, and appropriate toys (such as food dispensing puzzle toys) to keep doggy amused.

Separation anxiety: A genuine medical mental anxiety response that they have been left alone and cannot be logically traced to any of the above. Sometimes tools like Thundershirt or Anxiety Wrap, and Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) can be helpful. Please seek professional assistance if you suspect this, at least from your vet. Extreme cases may require medication. See also useful links below.

Rest assured, it most definitely isn’t spite, revenge, or because your doggy hates you! Call me, I can help.


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