Managing a destructive dog
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Managing a destructive dog

Chewing nonfood objects and digging holes are signs of destructive behaviour.


It's normal for dogs to explore with their mouth and have the desire to chew. However, destructive behaviour by way of chewing on furniture, shoes, carpet etc can be a sign of anxiety or boredom.


Common signs of destructive behaviour:

  • Chewing or eating nonfood objects
  • Digging holes
  • Destroying bedding or furniture when owners are not around


Common causes of destructive behaviour:

  • Boredom
  • Separation anxiety
  • Fear
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Puppy teething


Tips to help reduce destructive behaviour:

  • Appropriate amount of exercise for the breed and life stage
  • Early, intensive puppy training
  • Early socialisation
  • Play music or keep the TV on when the pet is at home alone
  • Provide chew toys for when pet is at home alone
  • Avoid making a big fuss when you leave or return
  • Leave pet-approved pet toys such as the KONG
  • Freeze food overnight in KONG toys
  • Hire a professional pet walker
  • Doggy daycare
  • Take your pet to spend a day with a friend's pet (supervised)
  • Create a pet play area in the backyard
  • Hide small amounts of treats in the yard
  • Exercise the pet first thing in the morning or straight after work

If the destructive behaviour becomes excessive, seek veterinary attention.

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