Out of the many dog behavioral issues, a dog that leaves a trail of destruction in the house is one of the most common problems that confuse dog owners. A handful of people think that these dogs have some form of brewing anger towards their owners (perhaps for being left on its own) and are now trying to be vindictive.
Some of us wonder if it’s actually their normal character and if we have been unlucky to house a destructive dog.
The good news is most dogs are not destroying your home because of anger, nor it is typical of a dog’s behavior to cause damage to furniture, belongings, and other household items. There are many reasons why dogs exhibit an exasperating behavior when left all alone. You also have to remember that dogs may react differently when you’re not at home.
Some are capable of playing on their own or going about their business without causing a mayhem, but others will chew on household objects, urinate on the carpet, bark or howl excessively, and a lot more. The most common reason behind destructive dogs is separation anxiety, which means alleviating this problem minimizes or eradicates your dog’s destructive behavior.
Signs and Symptoms of Separation Anxiety in Dogs
- Pacing, barking, and howling
- Chewing and digging
- Urinating and Defecating
- Eating his poop
To help ease your dog’s anxiety, you must first rule out other probable causes of his behavior. Boredom does exist in a dog’s world, so bored dogs can become destructive—not necessarily because of anxiety.
Destructive chewing is also common in juvenile dogs, especially during teething. When you rule out medical problems and other external factors that are probably causing your dog’s behavior, you can start training your dog to be confident and well behaved when you’re not at home.
What you can do?
Stress and anxiety is common to dogs as it is to humans. Leaving them bones and chew toys are not always enough to keep them busy. The first step you should take is creating a calm and predictable environment in your home.
Since dogs can easily pick up cues from their owners, you should also maintain a calm and collected behavior when you’re around them. In stressful situations, try not to raise your voice or move too swiftly as this can agitate your dogs.
A recent study in the University of Vienna showed that dogs may mirror the anxiety and negative expectations of their owners. So, when you’re always stressed out and agitated, expect your dog to exhibit the same behavior.
Every dog owner should improve their ability to interpret their dog’s behavior and train them to act confidently even under stressful circumstances. Being the pack leader in your home, it is your duty to protect your dog’s welfare and alleviate their anxiety to prevent them from adopting a destructive behavior.
There are helpful video series and lectures that will teach you how to become the pack leader in your dog’s eyes. If you want to stop worrying every time you leave the house, watch and learn from these videos.