Few canine habits are as frustrating to deal with as destructive chewing. When you cannot be certain that your possessions will be safe inside your household because your dog or puppy has a tendency to chew destructively, you can find yourself stressed out constantly.
Addressing the behavior properly is crucial. Before you can do that, you must first understand what prompts that behavior in the first place.
Continue below so you can learn more about the possible explanations for your dog’s destructive chewing habit.
Pup Is Experiencing Separation Anxiety
The destructive chewing your dog engages in maybe a byproduct of their separation anxiety. According to the ASPCA, separation anxiety in dogs may have something to do with joining a new family, changes to the old family structure, moving to a new home, or even a shift in their established schedule.
Hiring a dog walker who can take your dog out at regular times may be an ideal solution if you think their anxiety is linked to their changing schedule. Similar solutions that address the underlying issue are most likely to be effective.
For more information on this topic, read our Separation Anxiety-Signs and Solutions, co-written by Lise Lausiva owner of Paws Afoot and a Separation Anxiety Specialist.
Dog Wants Attention
How do you respond when you see your dog chewing something? Do you (like many people) scold, complain at, or just speak to your dog in frustration?
Your pet may not be able to discern that they are receiving negative attention. To them, the only thing that matters is that you are paying more attention after they chewed something. In order to get your attention in the future, they may look for other objects to sink their teeth into.
Pup Is Looking for Food
After seeing that your dog has put on a bit of weight, you decided to reduce their portions. Not long after making that change, your dog has started to chew more items inside your home. Getting into and eating garbage is a common example of this.
Are those two things related? There’s a good chance they are.
Dogs will pick up and chew things hoping to find something edible. If something’s on the ground and they’re hungry, they may give it a taste just to be sure they’re not missing anything.
Puppy Is Teething
Destructive chewing is a type of behavior that both adult dogs and puppies may engage in. However, the aforementioned reasons may not explain why your puppy is engaging in destructive chewing. Instead, that particular manifestation of destructive chewing could be related to teething.
Chewing soothes the pain that comes with teething. You’re more likely to see teething-related destructive chewing in puppies near three months of age. This behavior may also persist for the next few months if you don’t do something about it.
So we know that dogs will chew and destroy things for a variety of reasons. To address that behavior properly, you need to know exactly what’s causing it. Take note of your pet’s behavior and check if the reasons listed here could potentially explain the emergence of their troublesome habit.
Do you need help with destructive chewing? We are here to help! Schedule a dog walker, take part in our free Ask A Trainer zoom call or learn more about hiring a dog trainer on on our dog training service page.