What Kind Of Furniture To Buy With Animals In House How to Prevent Your Dog From Destroying Your Home

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How to Prevent Your Dog From Destroying Your Home

Besides overt aggression, probably the thing that aggravates people most about their dog is when the dog goes on a destructive streak in the home. Even a small dog can do quite a bit of damage if given the opportunity. Owners have returned home to find the furniture torn apart, the draperies pulled down, pillows ripped open, garbage strewn all over the floor, and windows broken. Dogs that go on a destructive rampage will usually defecate and urinate wherever they please too.

Not only does this create a horrendous cleanup project, but it is also dangerous for the dog. Dogs on a tear will often eat anything including broken glass, clothing (a vet I know actually had to perform surgery to remove a pair of men’s underwear from a dog’s stomach), decaying food, stuffing from upholstered furniture – literally anything they can get their teeth on. A destructive spree like this can also result in veterinary bills as well as furniture replacement.

It’s obvious that a dog that is this destructive does not have any humans around to prevent the episode, and this is what lies at the heart of the problem; the dog is lonely and is suffering from acute separation anxiety. Unfortunately, a dog has no other way to express this fear and anxiety that it is feeling than by howling, barking, and making a mess. It’s no comfort, of course, to realize that your dog has wrecked your home because he or she misses you, but there are ways to help prevent this from happening in the future.

Crate training can help to keep your dog and home safe while you are out. However, don’t expect to provide a crate, lock the dog up inside it, and expect it to be happy – this will not happen.

Get a crate that is large enough for the dog to turn around in at the very least and accustom the dog to the crate gradually. Put soft bedding inside it, toys, and some treats and encourage your dog to go inside. Leave the crate door open and let the dog stay in for as long as it likes. Praise the dog lavishly for staying in the crate.

After the dog has gotten used to the crate, close the door, but only for a very short period of time. You can combine leaving the dog in the crate with leaving the house for a few minutes to begin with. If you hear the dog whining or barking, wait until it stops, then go in and give the dog attention. You will be rewarding the dog for being quiet.

Although crate training will permit you to leave your dog in the house safely, no dog should be left confined in a crate for more than 3 or 4 hours. If you are going to be away all day, arrange for a pet sitter or a friend to take the dog for a walk partway through the day. Would you want to be in a small space for 8 or 9 hours? And don’t expect your dog to ‘hold it’ for a full day, either.

Dogs will also exhibit destructive behavior if they are bored. This will be most apparent in working breeds – dogs that have been developed over the centuries to do a job of some kind. Dogs such as German Shepherds, Border Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, and German Short-Haired Pointers are all active dogs that thrive on work of some kind. Many retired people purchased Jack Russell Terriers when they first became popular since they are a small dog and are cute puppies. However, Jack Russells are electrified balls of energy and need an enormous amount of exercise to stay happy, so the match with older individuals generally did not work.

People who have a sedentary lifestyle will often find that trying to maintain a high energy, working dog is impossible unless they make an extra effort to keep the dog happy. A live wire dog can literally rip a room apart in a matter of minutes, so keeping these dogs busy and exercised is essential to preventing destructive behavior. Play can provide the equivalent of work as long as you do it for an extended period of time.

Combining an exercise program for yourself and including your dog can keep you both trimmer and fitter, and help prevent doggy doldrums. Take the dog along while you jog, and if you ride a bicycle, there are attachments that will allow you to hook your dog’s leash up to the bike.

Give the dog some work – get a wagon and harness and let the dog help you with yard work. A large dog can be used to help bring firewood back to the house. Make sure the harness is padded to prevent irritation.

Don’t give up on your home wrecker, he or she just needs a bit of help adjusting to your absences during the day, or needs more exercise. If you don’t want to use a crate, dog proof one room and leave the dog in there when you’re going out.

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