The destruction of a puppy is never pleasant; it is expensive, and it is not pleasant to find your home ransacked after a hard day's work. It can also be dangerous for your puppy, who can injure himself or ingest objects or even medicines. Correcting destructive behavior in your puppy is first and foremost about understanding him...
Why Does My Puppy Destroy?
First, it is normal for a puppy to chew a bit on everything he finds. Like the child who puts everything in his mouth, the puppy explores his environment with his mouth. To meet the puppy's need to chew, toys or a chew bone that fits his size should be provided. However, if this exploration becomes more extensive and is accompanied by destruction, two main causes can be blamed:
· The puppy is bored. And to cheat his boredom, he chews and destroys what falls under his teeth.
· The puppy is anxious. And to calm his anxiety, he chews and destroys his owner's personal belongings more frequently.
Differentiating between boredom and anxiety is not always easy. An anxious puppy will tend to be potty-trained when you're around and destroy when you're away. The destruction of the stressed puppy is often accompanied by vocalizations (crying, barking). Stress can also manifest itself through diarrhea or urine scattered around the house, but it is not always easy to differentiate these stress forms from normal uncleanliness in a young puppy.
In any case, it is not advisable to shout at the animal when its destruction is discovered. He doesn't relate your dissatisfaction to what he did several hours before, and this may stress him even more. However, if you catch him chewing on a table leg, you can of course scold him and redirect him to his chew toys.
How Do I Keep My Destructive Puppy Busy?
Boredom being a major cause of destruction in puppies, you can remedy it in two ways:
· Give him exercise to tire him out (longer walks, games). This way, he should sleep when you are away.
· Provide him with many solid and attractive toys: Kong, deer antlers, tennis ball...
And then, tidy up! Opportunity makes a thief! Avoid leaving attractive objects such as your tennis shoes or a full garbage bag lying around! If your puppy attacks a particular place (bottom of a door, foot of a piece of furniture), you can try to coat it with mustard, pepper, or vinegar to disgust it.
Please note that if this destructive behavior persists and is accompanied by the ingestion of objects (or pica), it is advisable to consult a behavioral veterinarian.
It's also obvious that you don't leave a puppy alone from 8 o'clock in the morning to 7 o'clock in the evening! Before adopting a dog, this is a parameter that should not be neglected. A puppy needs the presence of his master, even more, when he is young.
How Do I Care for My Anxious Puppy?
An anxious puppy finds it difficult to stay alone. You must therefore teach him solitude gradually. Start by leaving him alone for a few minutes and then increase the duration. It is important to “trivialize” the departures and returns. A few minutes before leaving, ignore him, don't say goodbye, don't explain that you will be back soon, this will only increase your puppy's stress. Similarly, on the return trip, do not respond to his demonstrations of joy, wait until he is calm to pet him.
To help your stressed puppy, you can use :
· Pheromones in the form of a necklace or diffuser
· Essential oil cocktails in spray or diffuser form
· Mild natural anxiolytic based on a soothing molecule found in breast milk.
The effects of stress, especially diarrhea, can be countered by adding probiotics to the ration. Probiotics are dietary supplements that bring “good” bacteria into the intestines.
How About a Crate for My Destructive Puppy?
You've tried everything, nothing works? Why not isolate your little demon in a cage, if you choose to do so, You must opt for a spacious and resistant one, make it comfortable by placing its basket, its water bowl, and all its toys in it. Don't force your puppy to enter it, but rather encourage him by placing treats inside. Little by little, his crate will become his refuge and will allow you to put an end to your puppy's destruction.