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That wasn’t supposed to happen

September 29, 2020
dog on sofa

Oops, there goes another settee!

Been out for a while? Got home to half the world’s chicken feather supply on your living room floor? Fizzy Fido looking at you over the sofa top like butter wouldn’t melt?

Yep that’s the one…. we have all been there in one way or another.

Walked in the door after a long day at work desperate to sit down with a brew only to find your going to be spending the next 45 minutes re-stuffing your bespoke cushions!

Argggghhhh …and breath!

Fizz over there can sense your tension. The icy stare as he sulks off into the corner, feeling deflated.

“I knew it,” you screech! Yes, Fizz totally did it on purpose.

But he didn’t really. What really happened was that he got lonely, or bored, or scared by the dustbin truck that goes by every Thursday afternoon, right after the dog walker drops him home.

And so, he entertained himself, or needed to chew to sooth himself and the cushions smelled great and looked just the job to hide under once he had done.

He sculked off because your face wasn’t one of joy this time when you got home, it’s not what he usually remembers. It wasn’t the warm friendly greeting of loves and fuss that he normally gets.

It was like the face the last time when he chewed your best heels that you left in the kitchen after your night out with your friends. You didn’t give him kisses that day either and he felt worried and confused.

There could well be a possibility Fizz is learning that chewing gets attention. Even if it’s not the attention he would prefer, some is better than none and if this is the way to get it, then so be it.

So how to fix this destructive behaviour?

Managing the environment is one beneficial way of helping stop this problem happening. Training your dog to settle and feel safe in a crate can help them feel secure. It helps minimize damage and smaller areas limit what they can see which can be a factor in being unsettled for some dogs.

Providing outlets for mental stimulation, such as chewing, licking, sniffing and puzzle toys are all also great tools which can help this problem. All of these help release hormones and relive stress and boredom, which is something that will lower the chances of your pooch ripping things apart.

The reason for this is that they promote a relaxed state and comfort for a dog, and who doesn’t want that?

Of course, contact a dog trainer or behaviourist for further advice if this is a persistent problem.

Thanks for reading

Sam

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