It’s perfectly normal for puppies to explore their environment by chewing, digging, and being protective of their territory.
However, they can bring this destructive behavior with them as they grow up.
If you want a dog but are afraid they will destroy your home, look for a pup that is easy to train and does not suffer from separation anxiety. Learn why dogs can be destructive and which breeds are the least destructive.
Why Dogs Are Destructive
Most puppies tend to be destructive by accident as they explore their new surroundings.
While this is normal behavior for puppies it can become destructive behavior in adult dogs if it isn’t corrected.
Here are some other reasons why dogs can become destructive.
Boredom is the main reason why dogs develop behavioral problems.
Many dogs will bite and chew to relieve pent-up energy. Those left in kennels and crates often destroy their bedding and bowls, while those left in the yard will destroy your landscaping.
You can help prevent this by making sure your dog has enough exercise and mental stimulation throughout the day.
Dogs with separation anxiety panic when they are alone. This can lead to destructive behavior like chewing, barking, and pacing.
This is their way to satisfy their frustration. Separation anxiety, however, can be relieved through training and comfort!
Hunger is another reason why your dog could be exhibiting destructive behavior. If they are on a calorie-restricted diet, they might chew and destroy objects in an attempt to find sources of nutrition.
If your dog chews on objects related to food or items that smell like food, it could be because they are not getting enough food.
Your puppy’s explorations are normal. Sometimes, the discomfort of teething motivates them to chew on stuff.
They are like babies who lose their baby teeth and experience pain as their adult teeth come in.
Teething should end by six months of age. Try giving them ice cubes to relieve this pain.
Guide your puppy to restrict chewing on inappropriate items like your furniture or shoes.
Drive and hyperactivity can lead to destructive behavior. This is common in dogs that do not get enough exercise as they seek an outlet for energy.
As well as getting some physical exercise, your dog also needs mental stimulation in the form of games and challenges.
If your dog doesn’t feel well, they might start using destructive behavior to get your attention or try to relieve themselves of pain.
Other signs of health problems accompanied by destructive behavior include:
- biting or nipping at their sides
- chewing the fur off their paws
- excessive drooling
- not eating or eating too much
- always thirsty.
Least Destructive Dog Breeds
The least destructive dog is one that is easy to train to stop soiling the house, digging, and acting out.
Aside from being trainable, they also require less physical exercise so that they don’t become bored and hyperactive.
Here are some of the least destructive dog breeds.
They say the Mini Schnauzer is a big dog in a small body as they act like brave and intelligent guard dogs.
This smart dog breed is quick to learn tricks, commands, and proper behavior in general. You can teach them to behave in any situation.
They fit well in a lot of homes because of their pleasant and playful temperament. Despite their individual personalities, the Mini Schnauzer is generally obedient and kind.
They won’t chew things, break vases, dig, and soil the carpet whether or not you are away, as long as you take them on walks and give them a decent amount of exercise.
Their adaptability is also one reason why you can leave them alone without worrying if they’ve destroyed the whole house.
Learn more about the Mini Schnauzer in this video.
The Boston Terrier does not suffer from separation anxiety. This adorable dog with a “tuxedo” marking is intelligent and independent enough that you can leave them alone at home without worrying.
This is why they are a favorite breed among people who live in apartments! Just confine them in their safe area where they can’t jump or tunnel, then they will enjoy their alone time.
They aren’t known to be aggressive either. They love lying beside you or sneaking onto your lap when you’re around.
They can be stubborn and hyperactive when left untrained, so make sure to give them enough exercise daily.
The Boston Terrier often gets a bad rap for being a destructive chewer when it’s only because their owner might not be giving them adequate exercise.
Remember that any dog breed, no matter how intelligent and easy-going, can be destructive if they don’t undergo basic training.
The Boston Terrier makes a great companion for older people too!
If you want a tinier dog, the Chihuahua is a great option!
This pocket-sized lap dog may be highly active, but they do not require a lot of physical exercise. That means fewer chances of destructive behavior due to boredom.
Chihuahuas have a reputation for being mean, so make sure to provide excellent basic training. And if you don’t give them enough exercise, they can be very destructive.
Some people blame this bad behavior on their personality, but the Chihuahua can be the most obedient, tidy, and independent dog if they are raised right.
Most Chihuahuas are also very healthy. Grooming needs are minimal too. In short, they are very low-maintenance dogs that are suitable for new dog owners.
Chihuahuas do better in pairs, so they can be even better pets if they have a playmate!
If you want a gentle giant, Mastiffs are the best couch potato dogs to have! You won’t have to worry about them being hyperactive at all.
They have relatively low energy levels and endurance. They become lazier and lazier as they age, not caring about the soil to dig and the shoes to chew.
Despite their tendency to be aloof, Mastiffs still need a bit of physical exercise and mental stimulation. Otherwise, they can dig and drool.
Mastiffs are also not recommended for novice owners. They shed a little, gain weight easily, and can be difficult to train.
This dog breed is one of the most ancient ones, and they have adapted well to apartment dwellings and all types of homes.
Despite not being destructive, you need to make sure to give your Mastiff a big, spacious crate because they have a place of their own where they can rest and relax.
FAQs Destructive Dog Behavior
Is it Normal for Dogs to Chew on Wood Trim?
Chewing in general is normal dog behavior. It is a way for them to cater to their curiosity.
But as dogs grow, they should learn how to stop chewing on everything, especially wood trim. Otherwise, it could lead to continual destructive behavior.
Chewing on wood is dangerous for dogs and can lead to sharp shards in your dog’s mouth.
Stop your dog from chewing on wood trim with five easy tips.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Puppy Pads?
Puppy pads are absorbent and therefore dangerous if your destructive dog eats them.
When these get into their stomach, the fluids get absorbed and they expand and get stuck.
These pads may also contain substances like grass scent, ammonia, and pheromones that can lead to poisoning.
Puppy pad ingestion is just one example of destructive behavior in dogs.
Find out what you should do when your dog eats puppy pads.
Do Anti-Chew Sprays Work for Destructive Dogs?
Anti-chew sprays can work to help stop dogs from chewing on objects in your house.
These deterrents are made to taste bad for dogs. These are either spicy or bitter since our furry friends tend to reject these foods.
Some of these sprays can even be applied to dogs so they can stop licking and chewing themselves.
To make your own anti-chew spray for dogs, you will need white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and an empty spray bottle. Learn how to make an anti-chew spray for dogs now!
Find a Less Destructive Dog Breed!
All dogs are good dogs! Some are just less likely to have separation anxiety, training issues, and a huge need for exercise.
A dog has less destructive tendencies if they are easy to train, can be left alone, and does not need a lot of physical exercises and mental stimulation.
Mastiff, Miniature Schnauzer, Chihuahua, and Boston Terrier are some dog breeds that are less destructive.
However, it all comes down to basic training. Train your dog to see you as the pack leader to eliminate destructive behavior from the beginning!