Has your dog destroyed your favourite shoes again?

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

Looks like you've got a destructive dog! You've tried putting things out of their reach or shutting them in a different room but they started scratching the doors and biting the skirting boards. You're getting frustrated with them and telling them off but have you ever thought of it from your dogs point of view?

There are many factors that can make your dog destructive. Is your dog getting enough exercise? Do they have chew toys and bones? Are you mentally challenging your dog enough? The most common reason a dog is destructive is usually because they are bored. They get fed the same thing every day, they get the same walk around the block all the time, they have had the same toys for a while now. Would you get bored if you had the same routine as your dog everyday? You could try to switch things up try challenging your dog, they are much smarter than you may think.

Try feeding them in Kongs and puzzle feeders. This will keep them occupied for a while and make them think, rather than just having their dinner handed straight to them. Kongs are a brilliant way to keep your dog from unwanted chewing. When a dog chews it releases endorphins to their brain relieving stress and making them feel happier. Kongs are specially designed to help release these endorphins. Start off packing the Kong easy, loosely pack it with some high value food like some cooked chicken. As they get better at getting all the food out make it harder, even try putting the tasty treat in the freezer.

Has your dog always got access to something they CAN chew like a teething bone (not just for puppies my 7 year old dog still has one), chew sticks you can get from a pet store, and bones (you can ask for off cuts from the butchers). Usually if a dog has got something tasty to chew they would rather that than a dry, splintery door frame. Remember to switch it up from time to time don't let them get bored of what they have. Try swapping out toys every couple of days.

Is your dog getting enough exercise? A quick lap around the block with a border collie is no where near enough. Your dog will get bored of doing the same walk all the time they need new smells and things to see. Someone once told me letting your dog sniff while out on a walk is like them reading the daily newspaper. A more active dog should get at least 2 walks a day lasting at least 30 minutes to 1 hour each.

Ok so you think you are giving your dog enough exercise and they have toys and chews already but they are still destroying things, now what? Is your dog being mentally challenged? Daily training has proven to help stimulate a dogs brain and tire them out just as fast as the same amount of physical exercise. Even just basics like sit and stay, springing them onto your dog when they are not expecting it breaks up that routine. If you have got all the basics down to a tee them why not advance to something else. Try doing scent work with your dog or agility. Every dog can be taught something new no matter the breed or the age. Do some research into the breed to see what they were bred for, for example if you have a Labrador try teaching it to retrieve things, if you have a Corgi try teaching it some herding techniques. These activities will definitely get their clogs turning and help to over come the destructive behaviour.

Hopefully after using all these techniques your dog should be pretty worn out and not even consider running off with your shoes again. If you would like any more advice don't hesitate to contact me (contact details can be found at the bottom of each page).

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