Most destructive behavior is usually caused by boredom but it could also be a result of separation anxiety. Dogs and cats can both have behavioral problems due to boredom and they can both also be affected by separation anxiety. However separation anxiety is far more common in dogs than in cats. Dogs are pack animals and they love their people and think of their humans as members of the pack.
Bored dogs will get into the trash, destroy furniture, and get into cabinets or food to entertain themselves while you are gone. Dogs with separation anxiety can range from lazing around miserably while you are gone and acting like they haven't seen you in a year when you come home to chewing through wire crates, jumping through windows, eating drywall, and destroying doors in an attempt to get out and find you.
If your dog is bored that means that he needs more physical and mental stimulation. This means more walks, more time to run and play, and spending some time on basic obedience training. You should also leave some dog safe bones (Nylabone) and food game toys (Kong with some peanut butter and kibble works great). These things will also help dogs with separation anxiety but you will need to do some other things to help them get over their anxiety as well.
Start with one minute.
Give your dog a treat and then leave the room closing the door behind you. Come back in one minute and gradually increase the time until your dog can handle being left alone for an hour in another part of the house. The treat is important - the dog will associate you leaving with the yummy treat which will make your leaving seem like a good thing.
Now that your dog is comfortable being left alone in another part of the house it's time to take it up a notch. Step out of the house for a minute. Step out for just a few minutes and come back. After about a dozen or so of those your dog should be pretty comfortable with you coming and going.
Don't make a big fuss about leaving the house just give the treat, calmly say goodbye, and leave. Don't make a big deal out of coming home either you need to show your dog that it's ok when you come and go.
Make your dog more comfortable.
Leave a light on at night and turn on the TV when you are gone. This way your dog isn't constantly listening for your return and they can hear some familiar sounds.
Be Wise... Bewaggle!
Bewaggle is a pet services company located in DeLand, Florida. We offer pet sitting, dog walking, puppy training, basic obedience training, and more. We are bonded and insured, with background checks and references. Be wise... Bewaggle!