How To Deal With Destructive Dog Behavior And More

When we live with a four-legged fur baby, we want life to be perfect, to be honest though it is not always easy or simple, as much as you love them and want to have a happy home sometimes, we have to deal with destructive dog behavior.

There are a lot of opinions out there about dogs and destructive behavior. Some say it is genetics and others the breed of the dog. However don’t lose hope every dog can be helped. I am here to set the record straight on this and to help you understand how to deal with destructive dog behavior.

Understanding WHAT Destructive Behavior Is

But first, let’s talk about a destructive behavior is, as there are a lot more than people realize. A destructive behavior is anything that can hurt your dog, your home, or your family. There are many
different kinds of destructive behaviors some examples are,

  • Chewing or licking themselves
  • Tearing up the new toy you just bought them
  • Chewing, biting, or tearing up floors, carpets, doors and door frames
  • Chewing, biting, or tearing up your furniture (such as your couch, tables legs, and chair legs}
  • Scratching at doors, walls, and door frames until they are destroyed
  • Eating drapes or articles of clothing
  • Barking or howling constantly when left alone
  • Digging holes in the yard
  • Eating items that are not food (such as rocks and dirt)
  • Soiling inside the house when trained to go outside (Unless the dog has a medical condition that will not allow him to hold it)

These are just a few of the behaviors there are so many more that can hurt your dog or family and cause discord in your home.

Let’s Break It Down Farther, Primary and Secondary Behaviors

As you can see not all destructive behaviors are equal. Some will cause more harm than others. Did you know that there are actually two different kinds of destructive behaviors that dogs do?

First there is the Primary Destructive Behavior. This is when your dog chews on something that is not food, tears up things that are not theirs, digs holes in your yard in places they are not supposed to, and so many more. However, they are not showing any kind of medical symptoms when behavior is accruing.

Second there is a Secondary Destructive Behavior. With this behavior your dog will still do all the things listed above, however you will notice problems and symptoms of fear, separation anxiety, or aggression, when they are doing the destructive behavior. There are many reasons and causes for your dog to have these problems and symptoms. If you notice these, it is best to talk to your dogs veterinarian.

It’s Time To Go See The Vet.

The second thing you should do before you try to deal with the destructive on your own, and get gray hairs trying, is to find that right technique, practice or medication that will help your dog. You know all dogs are different, just like people, not everything will help each dog the same as another. The very best place to start is with making an appointment with your dog’s Veterinarian to discuss your dog’s destructive behavior. You may find that the destructive behavior could actually be a medical issue. At the Vet’s office they will run tests so they can detect if there is a medical issue that needs to be resolved. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 0fa29e11b8c8549a6de83d3006e19e6e1656670074_cropped.jpg

For example, your dog’s thyroid levels could be high or low and this could be what is causing the destructive behavior. This would be considered as a Secondary Destructive Behavior. Your Vet would advise you of the best treatment for your dog’s thyroid and the training that would be needed to help your dog.

If your veterinarian determines that there is no medical condition causing the behavior issues, your Vet should recommend and explain what training would be needed to help with the destructive behavior.

Be Prepared For That Visit

When you go to your appointment with your dog’s Vet you want to be prepared with as much information, as you can, about your dog’s behavior issues. The best way to do this is to make a list or note of things you observe your dog doing. Also, your Vet may have other questions and it is always good to have the answers right there. I have compiled a list of some questions your Vet may have.

  • A description or report of your dog’s daily activities
  • Where your dog resides (inside, outside, or a mixture of both)
  • Your dog’s relationship with you and other family members (Is he a lap dog, does he growl or snap at you or others etc.)
  • What training have you given your dog
  • If you had him professionally trained and what he learned from that training
  • What destructive behavior is your dog doing?
  • When it started and how long it has been going on
  • Did you notice if something made it worse or better?
  • If it happens when your dog is left alone or was someone there instead of you
  • If it is during a thunderstorm or when fireworks were being shot off

It is extremely important to answer as many of these questions that you can. It helps your dog’s vet determine what is going on and what has triggered this behavior. Remember you are your dog’s voice. Only you can tell the Vet what is happening, and your dog is relying on you to help him.

After The Visit To The Vet…… What Happens At Home?

After you are home from visiting the Vet, it is always best to follow all recommendations and instructions the Vet gave you. Your Vet may have recommended training and medication. Make sure to administer the medication as prescribed and follow the recommendations for the specific training.

Remember patience will be needed when training your dog, especially if your dog has an underlying medical condition. Also, it is always easier to train your dog at a very early age. If you are starting when your dog is older, it may take a little longer and it could be a little harder to train your dog. Stick with it though and you should see improvement,

Your Vet will most likely want to do a follow-up visit to see how your dog is responding to the new routines. Remember to keep notes about your dog’s improvements or setbacks. This again will help your Vet determine if changes need to be made.

Now that we understand more about what a destructive behavior is and how other factors may complicate it.  And you have professional recommendations that are specific to your dog. Things will get better.

If you have any questions about this please comment below, as I do have experience with this and have been in the place you are now. Also, if you have any experience with this with your dog and would like to share your story below. I would love to hear your success stories.

And always remember a happy dog means a happy home!

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