How to Solve Destructive Behavior in Your Puppy
Is your puppy destroying everything in sight? Destructive behavior is a common problem that many new dog owners face. Puppies are naturally curious and often want to put everything in their mouth. Unfortunately, this kind of behavior can escalate and become a serious problem.
In this article, we'll discuss how to solve destructive behavior in your puppy. We’ll help you understand the potential causes of your dog’s behavior and what steps you can take to stop it.
☺ Understanding the Cause of Your Dog’s Behavior
While chewing is a natural behavior for puppies, it can be frustrating and become a significant issue in your home. A few nibbles here and there can quickly turn into substantial destruction and a serious behavioral concern. To stop this behavior, your will need to understand the reason for the destruction and what caused the escalation. Below are some of the most common causes of destructive behavior in puppies.
Just like human babies, puppies experience an uncomfortable teething process. Many puppies experience pain and discomfort while their teeth come in and look for ways to soothe themselves. Chewing can provide some temporary relief. Luckily, this behavior usually subsides once their permanent teeth are in.
Curiosity And Play
Puppies are naturally curious creatures. When exploring a new object, they may exhibit destructive behaviors such as chewing, shaking, or shredding. This kind of destructive behavior typically starts as a form of play, and the dog may not realize what they are doing is wrong. If your dog doesn’t have an appropriate outlet for their excitement or energy, they may continue to destroy objects they find in their path.
Boredom And Anxiety
Boredom and anxiety are the most common causes of severe destructive behavior in puppies. Puppies with separation anxiety may destroy doors or other objects in an attempt to be reunited with their owner. Additionally, if your dog is bored or stressed, they may take it out on the items in your home.
While it may take some time to figure out the cause of your puppy’s destructive behavior, it’s a critical part of the problem-solving process. The better you understand your pup, the easier it will be to correct and prevent this undesired behavior.
☺ Create a Dog-Safe Space
One of the easiest ways to help prevent destructive behavior is to create a dog-safe space. Start by removing any items that may attract your dog’s attention and can be easily destroyed. This includes any clothing, shoes, or other personal items. You will also want to ensure any electrical cords, plants, or decorative objects are out of your pet’s reach. The key is to limit your pet’s access to any items they could destroy.
If your puppy is destroying furniture or other items that you can’t remove, you will need to find different ways to limit your pet’s access. A great way to do this is to crate train your dog. Crates provide a safe space for your pet to relax and limit their access to items when you are not around to supervise.
☺ Make Time for Exercise
Another key factor in solving destructive behavior in your pup is making sure your dog is getting enough exercise. Increasing your dog’s activity can be a great way to burn off excess energy and reduce your dog’s stress.
If you notice your puppy is more destructive during certain parts of the day, consider changing their exercise routine. Go for a walk or schedule some extra playtime before your dog gets restless. A tired pup is less likely to go looking for trouble.
If you're in need of a harness to train your dog to walk on a leash, we at Voyager Harness offer a variety of mesh harnesses and step-in harnesses.
☺ Provide Mental Stimulation
In addition to providing physical exercise, it’s also important to exercise your dog’s brain. For many puppies, destruction is a form of entertainment. Chewing on your belongings gives them something to do when they’re bored. However, there are better ways to keep your pet entertained and help them pass the time.
If you suspect your puppy is chewing out of boredom, provide them with additional mental stimulation. Consider offering your dog a food puzzle that requires extra focus or a long-lasting treat that keeps them occupied.
☺ The Importance of Positive Reinforcement
While your dog’s destructive habits can be frustrating, it’s critical to address the behavior appropriately. Your dog may not understand that what they are doing is wrong, and punishing them after the fact can be confusing.
Instead, consider using positive reinforcement techniques to correct your dog’s behavior.
Reward your dog for playing with an appropriate chew toy or leaving a specific item alone. You can also teach commands such as “leave it” to help your dog understand what items are off-limits.
At Voyager Harness, we understand how frustrating destructive behavior can be. Puppies can exhibit destructive behavior for various reasons and understanding your dog’s motivation is critical for solving the problem.
We hope these tips will help you better understand your pup and provide some guidance for correcting their undesired behavior.