Most dogs that are trained in basic rules from a young age happily integrate into their household. However, some dogs may develop unwanted behaviors that require further training or specialized help.
Chewing is a natural behavior in puppies and dogs, but when it becomes excessive or is targeted toward something inappropriate it can quickly become a source of tension between owner and dog.
Sometimes dogs exhibit destructive behavior as an outlet because they are experiencing physical pain or suffer from separation anxiety a condition characterized by extreme distress during the absence of their owner.
Dogs can be affected by anxiety disorders, however supportive and happy their homelife. You should seek your vet’s advice or consult a professional behaviorist if your dog suffers from anxiety.
Occasionally, destructive behavior such as chewing or digging can become a problem in otherwise healthy, adult dogs. This is often a sign that the dog is not being sufﬁciently stimulated, and it may help to provide him with an acceptable outlet for this natural behavior—such as allowing him to dig for treats in a sandpit.
This will only work in dogs where all of their other needs, such as physical exercise, nutritional requirements, and social interaction, are met.
The ﬁrst stage of training is to put the desired behavior on cue, by associating a command word with the behavior. For example, a dog that chews furniture can be taught to chew special toys containing food instead. Offer your dog a toy with treats hidden inside and praise him as he begins to investigate it, telling him “good boy, chew” in a clear voice.
It is vital that you make some temporary changes to restrict your dog’s opportunities to perform the unwanted behavior, such as preventing chewing by using a bitter spray to make the furniture taste unpleasant.
When you have made a good association between the cue word and the correct behavior, you have a channel of communication when your dog misbehaves. Do not punish your dog, since he is not being bad—he is displaying a natural behavior. If you catch him chewing the furniture, simply interrupt him (for example, with a hand clap) and hand him his chew toy, saying “good boy, chew.”