Your retriever mix Chance appreciates the finer things in life. This discerning dog insists on a quality ceramic food bowl and handcrafted collar, just for starters. Your status-minded pooch also values top-notch furniture construction. In fact, he’s especially obsessed with your brand-new living room set. For three days, your industrious dog has been chewing and digging at the plush upholstery fabric, fluffy stuffing, and richly finished wood frames. While Chance’s chewing scrubs his choppers, these undesirable antics must stop now. Tomorrow, your Portland veterinarian will give your destructive dog some behavioral counseling .
In a perfect world, separating your canine delinquent from the crime scene would be easy. You’d simply close the living room door, or block off that room with a baby gate or other makeshift barrier. However, your seventy-pound dog will quickly knock over or otherwise demolish your temporary blockade. He might even tackle the living room door.
Perhaps your refined pooch occasionally enjoys quality literature. To keep him from destroying your magazines and books, place them on higher shelves or in another room. If Chance likes high-end footwear, lock those unlucky shoes in an off-limits closet.
If your super-focused dog won’t give up, make his chewing experience completely miserable. Purchase a vet-recommended chewing deterrent, and spray this nasty-tasting substance on or near Chance’s current targets. To introduce him to the deterrent, encourage him to lick a saturated paper towel. He’ll likely react with revulsion, which is perfect. You want your little miscreant to clearly connect those two awful experiences.
Now, give your dog some more desirable objects to attack. Purchase some rugged chew toys that might outlast your pooch’s steel-trap jaws. If Chance can have snacks, stuff a treat puzzle with tasty kibbles or peanut butter. If he’d rather play tug-of-war, buy a two-way pull toy that will give his teeth a nice workout.
Get your unruly dog some discipline by enrolling him in an obedience class (or refresher). Add more super-charged exercise, too. Hopefully, your canine housemate will burn up tons of energy outdoors, leaving him with insufficient “oomph” for his chewing hobby.
Ask your Portland veterinarian how to short-circuit Chance’s destructive behavior when he’s home alone. If your pooch has an inappropriate chewing habit, call us for expert assistance.