Four Big Reasons for Dog Chewing Problems

Has this ever happened to you?  You come home to find that your dog has been chewing on your favorite shoes–again!  If dog chewing problems are a headache for you, read on to discover the four big reasons for destructive chewing.   

A Bored Dog Is A Dog That Will Engage In Destructive Dog Behavior

Dogs tend to play rough.  They chew on things and pick them up in their mouths to shake them, thereby “killing” them.  Tearing their toys to shreds is all part of the game.  This is natural dog behavior.  The problem starts when it’s your things the dog is playing with, not his own.

A bored dog that’s left by himself too much with nothing to do will usually find something to do.  Unfortunately, his idea of fun often involves destroying things, especially if he’s a puppy or adolescent, and he doesn’t have anything else to do to use up all his energy. 

What’s the solution?  Get your dog plenty of exercise.  Play fetch with him.  Go for long walks, and give your dog plenty of time to sniff at interesting things.  Walks are great training opportunities, too.  They’re much more than just bathroom breaks for your dog.

Make sure your dog has plenty of toys.  Rotate them so he always has something new to interest him.  Toys that can be stuffed with food will keep your dog happily occupied for a long time.

Separation Anxiety In Dogs

This problem often shows up with dogs who are too attached to their owners.  Your dog has a panic attack whenever you leave him by himself.  Dogs with separation anxiety often chew on things to comfort and soothe themselves when they’re alone.  It makes him feel better.

The important thing to remember is that your dog isn’t chewing on your belongings to get back at you for leaving him alone.  He’s doing it because he’s scared; punishing him will add to the problem.

Separation anxiety in dogs is a tough problem to solve, but with lots of time and patience, you can desensitize your dog so he doesn’t react so strongly to your leaving.

Your Dog Wants Your Attention…

And he will do anything to get it, even if the attention is bad.  A dog who doesn’t get much attention unless he misbehaves is a dog who’s being trained to misbehave. 

It’s a hard thing to understand, but dogs are reward-based.  The best way to get a dog to stop doing something is to ignore him when he does it.  If he gets your attention, whether it’s good or bad, he’s been rewarded for what he’s been doing.

Give your dog lots of positive attention.  Play with him, take him for walks, just spend time with him.  If your dog is getting lots of good attention from you when he behaves well, he won’t resort to destructive chewing to get your attention.

Fearful Dogs

Anxiety in dog is often a problem with canines who are scared of loud noises like thunder or fireworks.  He’ll attack doors, door frames, window coverings, screens, and walls, because he’s trying to escape from whatever is frightening him. 

Don’t comfort your dog when he reacts fearfully to things.  You’re rewarding his behavior with your attention, which will only serve to reinforce it.  Play with him and reward him when he responds to you, instead of whatever is scaring him. 

Provide a place where your dog feels safe during a scary situation.  This way he can retreat there when you’re absent.

To sum up, it’s important that you find and correct the reason for dog chewing problems.  A good dog training course is essential so that you can learn how to end destructive dog behavior without making the situation worse.

Darlene Norris has worked at a vet clinic and an animal shelter, and has had lots of experience with dogs. If you’re dealing with dog chewing problems, visit No More Bad Dogs at to learn more about a dog training course that will help to solve your problem.

heading south out of Zearing in the Jefferson Hwy US 65…Lily riding in the middle and displaying her fear of highway travel…
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