Help! My Dog Is Eating My House

This is not going to be a post about how to solve bad behaviours, but rather one talking about how to avoid making them worse. Solving them is worth a whole bunch of other posts.

Today I saw a house where the dog was literally chewing the siding off the back of the house in the area it was usually kept. I'm sure it didn't help the situation that it is a small area and the dog seems to spend most of it's time there. The person I was with is a contractor who works mostly on rental properties and he was shocked by the damage. My dog is not perfect and yours probably isn't either. Recently, Max got upset when home alone and pulled out a big chunk of weather stripping. I've seen plenty of doors where a dog has tried to scratch their way out.

When you see this kind of thing happening, it is a message written in huge letters that you need to listen to. You don't just let the dog stay in the situation and keep practising the bad behaviour. You can't punish it, punishment doesn't work (also another post or a dozen.) If you can identify the root cause and change it, that's ideal. In Max's case an outside door wasn't latching properly and too much outside noise was coming in. If you don't know what to fix, you need to manage the dog so it isn't able to keep practising that behaviour. That could mean crating, it could mean better supervision, it could mean locking your dog in a different room.

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