What To Do When Your Dog is Destructive! Ways to Help Stop It

Getting a puppy is a fun life experience! They’re so cute and fluffy!

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They trip over themselves! Bark at fuzzy things blowing by! Chase their tails! And you just love them to death!

Getting a puppy, or any dog, is a major responsibility! You become a parent to a child with a lot of fur. They need food, have fresh water,  healthy snack,  exercise, social outings, boundaries (training), potty trained, punishment, praising, medical care, and shots; just like a child.

I’m sure you’ve seen these amazing pictures all over the internet!

#DogShaming!

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This is my absolute favorite one!

I’ve even done it!

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The first month Big Mac was home

But what happens when it turns big….

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Yup, that’s my dog. Yup that’s the new apartment we moved into. The #DogShame sign says “We moved in 3 days ago…”

So, what are our furry babies trying to say?! Certainly they’re trying to say something. I mean look at the destruction!

Dogs who destroy could be telling you this:

– Hey mom/dad, I’m bored. I have so much pent up energy and nowhere to go! No where to run! So I have to do something and your couch looks like fun!!

– Hey mom/dad, I’m nervous and scared when you leave. It’s like you’re gone forever and I’m all alone. Who will care for me?! Who will calm me down?! You were just here a minute ago, and now you’re gone. I don’t know what to do! There’s so many strange noises. I’m freaking out!!!

– Hey mom/dad, I’m a baby. There’s this big world around me and I need to explore every single bit of it! I could be teething to! I’m turning into the big dog you’ve always wanted.

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As fur parents, you kinda need to look a little deeper. If punishing them isn’t working, that means there’s a bigger issue at hand.

If you’re unsure where to start, have no fear! Becca is here! I rescued Big Mac at 5 months old. He was just a baby living in a shelter!

I brought him home, to a nice big fenced-in back yard. Abundance of toys! Treats for days! Love for the rest of his life! I planned on getting him trained, but I had no idea what this pup was capable of.

I’m not a kennel person, I wanted Mac to be a free roam dog. He seemed to be doing fine! Until I started seeing trash everywhere. Well, I could understand that… A puppy + trash with food = he’s going to be curious.

Then it turned into counter clearing…8a0271c5-184b-4941-990f-e4afddf693c1.jpg

Until, one day…

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Yup that’s the couch. Yup that’s his doggy puzzle that he clearly said “no thank you” to

Well shit.

He’s obviously saying something. Doggy punishing him wasn’t working. So what is he saying?!

When destruction hits. We need to become detectives.

– Is he bored?

– Is he sick/in pain?

– Is he anxious? Strange noises bothersome?

I thought Mac was bored. So when summer school was done, we walked 5 miles EVERY morning, and play throughout the day.

I would go out with family; come home to counters cleared, closed doors wide open, and trash ripped.

I know he’s not sick. He’s eating fine, drinking, fine, pooping fine. He’s not in pain; not constantly licking paws or skin.

Can he be anxious? How can I tell? Should I kennel train him?

So that’s what I tried, a kennel….I hate kennels….

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He was once in that kennel

and then this…

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Bottom half of the curtain ripped off. How he got out? No one will know.

 

So with my experience, I’ve learned a lot about dog destruction and want to share some knowledge!

When Dogs Are Bored:

– Try playing with them! Wrestle! Play tug of war!

Try out different toys. Do they like balls? Squeaky toys? Bigger toys? Littler toys? Toys just to rip apart?

My life saver was a Laser Pointer! Yes, something so simple helped my dog so much! I still use it now. Go to your local pet store and pick one up! It’s entertaining for both you and your pup!

I also stocked on cheap and clearance plush toys. That way, they can rip something apart, other than the furniture.

– Get interactive toys or doggy puzzles. But you’re going in 50/50. You don’t know if your dog will like it or not. So be ready for your $20+ to go toward nothing.

Your local pet store will have TONS. Go see which one your dog will like.

I stand by busy buddy toys. These interactive toys have made a huge difference for Mac. Although, some aren’t built tough and we’ve gone through many of the same. I’ll always give him something that works! The website I’ve attached, will send you to the store that has the cheapest options!

– Go on an outdoor adventure with him! Maybe your dog needs to stretch his legs and run! Go swimming and retrieve! Dogs are natural athletes. Don’t surpress their need to run, for your laziness!

Go read my affordable weekend activities blog! There’s even a list for dogs! If you’re going to a dog park, read my Dog Park Do’s & Don’t, it’s a must read!

Train your pup!

What breed did you get? Did you do your research? If you got a shepherd, husky, mountain dog, collies, pits, etc. They’re working dogs (High Energy)! They need a job! That could be a HUGE reason for the destruction.

Big Mac is a Chocolate Lab/Staffordshire PitBull Mix. He’s classified as a working dog, or high energy dog. He has to be trained. His brain has to be working. If it’s not, it’s destroying things.

Maintain their training! Just like us, they can loose skills to!

Create a Routine

Dogs THRIVE on routine. They like knowing what’s happening at all times. They like the predictable, it keeps them comfortable.

When I adopted Mac. He came in during a rough patch in my life. I was in a downward spiraling relationship — tension everyday –me crying all the time. Not good for a dog who feeds on energy. When I left, he destroyed once, then never ever again. With help from his trainer, we got him on a routine. We practiced it for hours! I’ll explain his “Goodbye Routine” at the end.

Get your pup on a steady routine. If the morning is bothering him, do the same thing every morning. Wake up, shower, get yourself ready, get the dog outside, food, leave. Every morning.

Watch for trigger signs. Does he get anxious when you have your shoes on? Holding your purse? Putting on your coat? Grabbing your keys? Saying goodbye to your pup? These could trigger his anxiety and destroy.

While You’re getting ready for work, wear your shoes. Eat breakfast with your coat on. Carry your purse with you throughout the house. Stop saying anything to him/her when you leave.

Doggy DayCare

If you work long hours and struggle with getting all your dogs energy out after, look into doggy day care! Or find a dog walker! Day care gives your dog all day play! You’ll love coming home from a long day at work, and having a tired pup. I know I do!

Medication

Unfortunately, just like humans, dogs can have a chemical imbalance in their brain. If nothing is helping your dog, a trip to the vet might be needed.

Mac started eating picture frames, and the glass as well. That’s when we went to the vet. Nothing was working until going on an ALL NATURAL anxiety med. He was on it for 6 months and that was it!

Talk to your vet to see what your options are!

Destructive separation anxiety can be stressful! It might seem like an endless battle but it can get better!

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Big Mac’s Goodbye Routine:

  • I wake up and take a shower, get ready for work. (I live in an apartment, so I have to walk Mac outside. That usually waits till I’m fully ready and Mac is use to it). If Mac needs to go out earlier, he lets me know and we go.
  • Once we come back inside, we the kittens.
  • I make my lunch, prepare his breakfast. I also prepare his kong or bone.
  • Turn on the TV for background noise
  • My shoes are on and I walk around getting the last minute things together. I have keys in hand.
  • I grab my purse and anything else I need. I give him his food, show him his bone or kong and leave.

No “have a good day!”. No “I’ll see you soon. I love you!”

The beginning process,  his breakfast was put in a toy that made him work to get it out. I also threw treats around so he searched for them. That way he was concentrating on finding the treats, than me leaving.

Click here, to see the toys I used

Click here, to see the toys I used

Click here, to see the toys I used

Click here, to see the toys I used

Does your dog have destructive issues? How did you overcome it? Leave a comment!

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LADIES! If you’re wanting to have BOOST OF CONFIDENCE and FEEL BEAUTIFUL EVERYDAY! Take a look at my Lips By Becca Page!

Ask me questions! Give it a try! I promise, it’ll help you feel beautiful even sitting in your sweats! Stay tuned for Promotions! Sales! Give Aways!

8 thoughts on “What To Do When Your Dog is Destructive! Ways to Help Stop It

Add yours

  1. There’s so much truth to this post. I know my dog gets bored sometimes when I’m busy in the house and he’ll dig up holes in the yard. He also can’t be left alone to roam the house when I’m gone for work either because he’ll destroy everything! I try to exercise him and stimulate his mind as much as I can though, so he doesn’t have a reason to do those things anymore.
    It’s a good thing he’s cute lol 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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