If you’re reading this article, then you’ve probably come home to a few war zones created by your pup. Destroyed doors, chewed up tables, torn up couches — you know the drill all too well. But the good news is you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to learn how to stop dogs destroying the house.
I bet you were able to picture that messy nightmare of a house in your head crystal clear, weren’t you? And the scary thing is that it could be worse. Dog separation anxiety is a very really thing that can turn very very bad if not handled properly.
Your dog may act out differently. Maybe you come home to a nasty letter from a neighbor complaining about your dog barking non-stop while you’re gone. Maybe your dog is digging in the yard no matter what you to do to stop them. You’re at your wit’s end.
Often, your dog is not even misbehaving when you’re home. So when you come home to these nasty letters or a ruined couch, you think either I’m doing something wrong or my dog is having some awesome parties and not inviting me!
It’s like your dog becomes something entirely different when you’re not there. There’s no way to not notice a destroyed house, but many dog owners do not even realize the nonstop barking that happens when they’re not around.
But the good news is that this is not nearly as complicated a problem as it seems. It’s actually one of the easier dog behavioral issues to handle.
Why is my dog destroying the house when I leave?
Let me explain this to you with a little story. Imagine that you are a parent with a two year old child. Your main job would obviously be to look after, care for, and protect this child.
Now imagine that your child has become locked out of the house, and you are locked inside. What are you going to do? Relax, maybe read a nice book?
Of course not! You’ll be going crazy trying to find a way outside. Tearing at the windows and doors, screaming and yelling — whatever you need to do get out of the house.
Your energy levels are going to be running sky high. You stress would be gigantic. You’re chewing your fingers, pulling at your hair, and just going plain crazy. And guess what?
Your dog is no different!
The problem is simple: you are letting your dog believe that they are the pack leader in your home. Therefore, it’s only natural that your pup assumes it is their responsibility to watch over and protect you.
This is what is causing your dog to be so stressed when you leave them. They are stuck at your home worried sick because all of their puppies have left without them. Anything could be happening!
Look at it through their eyes: you leave for work, school, or whatever each day while your dog waits at home. They have no idea where you’ve gone or when you’re going to be back. Imagine the stress!
And just as humans deal with stress differently, so does your dog. Some will chew up the couch, some will bark, some will destroy doors.
More hyperactive dogs will probably turn to barking, though it will not settle them. Chewing up things in the house or digging holes in the yard are also very common.
Chewing actually will release endorphins that help calm them a bit, much the same way that many people will absentmindedly chew gum when they are nervous.
Dog tearing up the house: The bottom line
Your dog is stress and unsettled. They have no idea where you went or when you are coming back. It’s rarely something that can simply be fixed through more exercise or dog toys or bones. Sometimes, those can even make it worse!
The real solution is straightforward and actually quite simple: you have to become your dog’s pack leader. Once you have established yourself as the one in charge, your dog will happily rest while you are away from the home.
There’s an excellent video series ran by a trainer named Dan who will teach you everything you need to know about this subject plus much more. His series will teach you the 5 golden rules you need to know to achieve pack leader status in your dog’s eyes.
From then on, you will be able to come and go from your home as you please without worrying about what horrors await you when you get back.
Won’t that be refreshing? Of course! Watch Dan’s video series here, and soon both you and your dog will be much happier and relaxed when you leave the house!