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How soul destroying it can be to arrive home after work to find your beloved pet has chewed on furniture, carpets or some other part of the house. Expecting his excited welcome to be returned by his loving owner, poor Fido is met with scowls. However, it is not his fault.
Dogs and puppies need company, exercise, and mental stimulus as well as food and shelter. A dog which is taken for a long walk each morning and evening and is kept occupied and supervised during the day will be unlikely to destroy the house. In the real world where we have to go out to work, however, dogs are often left alone for long periods with little to occupy them. This is not natural for a dog. Distress or boredom often leads to chewing as a means of relieving the situation. Puppies also need to chew when they are teething.
There are several ways to minimize the risk of damage within the home. From the first, give your dog or puppy lots of chews and discourage him if you catch him starting to chew things he should not whilst you are at home. The word "NO!" should be used on a regular basis. If he persists, a squirt from a water pistol often proves effective. Do be sure to say "good boy!" even more often, though, when your dog behaves as you wish. Dogs and puppies thrive on praise just as surely as people do. Ensure that the dog is exercised thoroughly in the morning before you leave for work. It will do you good, too! Restrict your dog’s access to the various rooms of your home until you are confident he will spend his days peacefully. Ideally, one warm, well ventilated room with a cosy bed, a bowl of water, and plenty of doggy chews should be set aside for this. If things go wrong, at least the damage can be confined to one room. Leaving a radio on quietly will often act as "company" of a sort, and will mask background street noises which might excite or distress the dog and provoke destructive chewing.
It is wrong and pointless to punish a dog for chewing "after the event." He does not do it to spite you but because of distress and will not associate the punishment with the deed. You can, though, set off for work 10 minutes early and return back quietly to spy through a window and see if destructive chewing has already begun. If you can catch the dog "in the act," then a good scolding is in order. Hitting is not. It may also be possible to leave "booby traps" of things such as water or empty rattling cans to fall on a dog which jumps onto furniture to chew it. Hiding a few tit-bits of dog biscuit for your faithful friend to search out after you have gone, or putting them inside a toy such as a Kong, can ease the initial distress at separation. Leaving for work quietly without a great show of emotion helps to avoid priming your dog for distress behavior, too.
Dog crates are not suitable for leaving a dog in whilst you are at work. They are fine for a few hours but not for eight or ten hours each day. People who cannot accept this should not keep a dog. The area in a crate is too small. One room is adequate whilst chewing is a risk, but once a dog has passed "adolescence," the risk usually ends. Then it is nice to allow your dog greater freedom whilst you are out and it makes better sense as a deterrent to burglars.
Remember you are more intelligent than your dog. Out think him if you can, but above all be tolerant. He loves you unconditionally, given half a chance. You can buy new furniture, but you can’t buy that kind of love.
I am Joseline Burns. I am a big fan of fantasy and horror movies, science, and psychology. Also, I am a teacher and PhD writer with over 9 years of experience at online dissertation help and I led my blog for 5 years. I have many hobbies and I can write about everything. I am a proud Akita owner. I spend a lot of time with my dog and I am really good at understanding her.