How To Stop A Dog From Destroying Things When I’M Gone


Is your furry friend turning your home into a chewed-up mess when you’re not around? Don’t worry; you’re not alone in dealing with this common issue. Dogs, especially puppies and anxious ones, can resort to destructive behavior when left alone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore practical strategies to put an end to your dog’s destructive tendencies and create a peaceful, damage-free environment for both you and your pet.

Understanding the Root Causes

Before diving into solutions, let’s examine the underlying reasons why dogs engage in destructive behavior when left alone.

1. Separation Anxiety

One of the leading causes of destructive behavior in dogs is separation anxiety. This condition can manifest as excessive barking, chewing, or digging when the dog is separated from their owner.

2. Boredom

Dogs are naturally curious and active creatures. When they’re bored, they may turn to chewing and destroying objects as a way to alleviate their restlessness.

3. Lack of Training

Insufficient training can contribute to destructive behavior. Dogs may not understand what’s acceptable and what’s not, leading to unwanted actions.

4. Teething

Puppies, in particular, go through a teething phase, which can make them chew on various items to alleviate discomfort.

Practical Solutions to Prevent Destruction

Now that we’ve identified the root causes, let’s explore practical solutions to curb your dog’s destructive tendencies.

5. Proper Exercise

Regular exercise is essential to burn off your dog’s excess energy. Ensure your pup gets enough physical activity, which can significantly reduce boredom-induced destruction.

6. Mental Stimulation

Mental stimulation is just as crucial as physical exercise. Puzzle toys and interactive games can keep your dog’s mind engaged and prevent boredom.

7. Crate Training

Crate training provides a safe space for your dog when you’re away. Dogs often feel secure in their crates, reducing anxiety and the desire to destroy things.

8. Obedience Training

Invest time in training your dog to understand commands like “leave it” or “no.” Consistent reinforcement can help them distinguish between acceptable and off-limits items.

9. Socialization

Proper socialization with other dogs and people can boost your dog’s confidence and reduce anxiety-related destructive behavior.

10. Desensitization

Gradually acclimate your dog to your departure routine by practicing short absences and gradually increasing the time you’re away. This can help alleviate separation anxiety.

11. Provide Chew Toys

Offer a variety of safe and durable chew toys to satisfy your dog’s need to gnaw. This can redirect their destructive tendencies onto appropriate items.

12. Dog-Proofing

Remove or secure any items that your dog might be tempted to destroy, such as shoes, cables, or valuable belongings. Prevention is key.

13. Hire a Dog Walker or Sitter

If your schedule permits, consider hiring a dog walker or sitter to break up your dog’s day and provide companionship.

14. Consider Doggy Daycare

Doggy daycare can be an excellent solution for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety or extreme boredom. It offers socialization and structured activities.

15. Use Technology

Modern technology allows you to monitor and interact with your dog remotely. Some devices even dispense treats, keeping your dog engaged and reassured.

16. Medication or Professional Help

In severe cases of separation anxiety, consult with a veterinarian or a professional dog behaviorist. They may recommend medication or specific therapies to address the issue.

17. Positive Reinforcement

Reward your dog for good behavior when you’re away. Positive reinforcement can help them associate your absence with positive outcomes.

18. Calming Techniques

Explore calming techniques like pheromone diffusers, calming music, or anxiety vests, which can help reduce your dog’s anxiety levels.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s address some common questions regarding stopping destructive behavior in dogs when you’re not at home.

19. What if my dog only destroys things when I’m gone?

If your dog only exhibits destructive behavior when you’re not around, it’s likely related to separation anxiety or boredom. Implement the strategies mentioned earlier to address these issues.

20. Can I leave my dog alone for long periods?

Ideally, dogs shouldn’t be left alone for extended periods, especially if they are prone to destructive behavior. If unavoidable, make sure to provide mental stimulation and consider hiring a pet sitter or using doggy daycare.

21. How do I know if my dog has separation anxiety?

Signs of separation anxiety include excessive barking, whining, pacing, and destructive behavior when left alone. Consult with a veterinarian or dog behaviorist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

22. What are the best chew toys for dogs?

The best chew toys are durable and safe for your dog to gnaw on. Consider options like Kong toys, Nylabones, or rubber chew toys designed to withstand heavy chewing.

23. Is crate training cruel?

No, when done correctly, crate training provides a secure and comfortable space for your dog. It should never be used as a form of punishment but rather as a safe haven.

24. Can older dogs develop destructive behavior?

Yes, older dogs can exhibit destructive behavior due to various factors, including medical issues, anxiety, or cognitive decline. Consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health concerns.

25. What if my dog ignores commands to stop destructive behavior?

Consistency is key in obedience training. If your dog ignores commands, reinforce training with positive rewards and seek professional help if needed.

Additional Tips and Tricks

26. DIY Puzzle Toys

Create homemade puzzle toys by placing treats inside cardboard boxes or rolling them in a towel. This engages your dog’s problem-solving skills.

27. Dog-Proofing Tips

Use bitter-tasting sprays on items your dog tends to chew to deter them. Additionally, provide plenty of alternatives like rawhide chews.

28. Monitor Your Dog

Set up a camera to monitor your dog’s behavior when you’re not home. This can help you better understand their triggers and adjust your strategies accordingly.

29. Gradual Departures

Before leaving, practice short departures and gradually increase the time you’re away. This can help desensitize your dog to your absence.

30. Consistency is Key

Consistency in training and routines is essential for success. Make sure all family members are on the same page when it comes to managing your dog’s behavior.

Preventing your dog from destroying things when you’re not home is achievable with the right strategies and patience. Understanding the root causes, providing proper exercise and mental stimulation, and employing positive reinforcement are essential steps to help your furry friend overcome destructive tendencies. Remember that every dog is unique, so it may take time to find the most effective combination of methods for your pet. With dedication and love, you can create a safe and happy environment for your dog, even when you’re away.

It’s important to consult with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer if your dog’s destructive behavior persists or worsens despite your efforts.

Note: This comprehensive guide provides practical solutions to stop your dog from destroying things when you’re away. However, always consult with a veterinarian or professional dog trainer for personalized advice on addressing your dog’s specific needs and behavior issues.

Answers ( 2 )


    There are several strategies you can try to stop your dog from destroying things when you’re not home. First, make sure your dog is getting enough physical and mental exercise. A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive behavior out of boredom or excess energy. Consider taking your dog for a long walk or engaging in interactive play sessions before leaving the house.

    Second, create a safe and stimulating environment for your dog while you’re away. Provide plenty of toys and chewables that are appropriate for your dog’s size and breed. Puzzle toys or treat-dispensing toys can keep them occupied and mentally stimulated. Additionally, consider using baby gates or crate training to confine your dog to a specific area where they won’t have access to items they could destroy.

    Lastly, address any underlying anxiety or separation issues that may be causing your dog’s destructive behavior. Consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist who can help identify the root cause of the problem and provide guidance on how to address it effectively. They may recommend desensitization techniques, counter-conditioning exercises, or medications if necessary.

    Remember, it’s important to be patient and consistent with these strategies as it may take time for your dog to learn new behaviors and overcome their destructive tendencies when left alone.


    How To Stop A Dog From Destroying Things When I’M Gone

    First of all, let’s just be honest here: you really can’t blame your dog for tearing up your home while you’re away. After all, they’re doing it because they love you and want to be close to you even when you’re not there. That said, I’m sure that once or twice in your life, you’ve come home from a long trip only to find half your living room furniture chewed through (or maybe even worse). So it’s important that we teach our pets how to behave properly when we’re not around so that we don’t have to replace every single thing in our houses every time we leave them alone for more than two hours at a time! Here are some tips on how to prevent this problem:

    Crate train your dog.

    Crate training is a great way to train your dog. It’s easy and it can be effective for housebreaking, too.

    Crating is a form of positive reinforcement that teaches your dog that he or she will be rewarded for good behavior by being allowed to stay in the crate. The crate should always be associated with something pleasant, like food or playtime, so be careful not to use it as punishment!

    The best time to start this process is when your puppy or young adult dog is still small enough that he/she can easily fit into one without having any room left over (this means no extra blankets). Once they’re big enough though(around six months old), they may need more space so consider getting two crates if needed–one for sleeping at night and another as an alternative place where they can stay during the day when you’re gone out somewhere else

    Give your dog chew toys.

    • A good way to help keep them from destroying things when you’re not home is by giving them something to do and keep them busy while you are away. This will also help with their anxiety, as they will not have time to think about how much they miss you or why they are alone in the house.
    • It’s best if the chew toy is something that doesn’t look like food so that it won’t get confused with any other items around the house (like shoes!).

    Buy a squirt bottle.

    The squirt bottle is a good way to teach your dog not to chew things, but it’s important to use it properly. The first step is filling your squirt bottle with water. Then, when you catch the dog in the act of chewing something that isn’t theirs, give them a few quick spritzes on their face or body (not directly in their eyes!). Don’t use this method as punishment; just make sure they know what they did was wrong so they don’t do it again!

    Invest in a Baby Gate.

    If you’re looking for a way to keep your dog from destroying things when you’re gone, a baby gate can be an effective solution. Baby gates are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, so if you don’t already have one in place, consider getting one now.

    There are numerous factors that determine which type of gate will work best in any given situation: whether or not there are stairs involved; whether or not your dog is young enough that he wouldn’t be able to jump over the top of it; how wide the opening between two rooms needs to be before installing one (you may want something narrow enough so as not to get in their way); etcetera… But regardless of these considerations, there are two main ways in which baby gates work: by physically blocking access through doorways or hallways; or by creating “virtual” barriers using pressure-mounted brackets that hold them up against walls without actually touching them–this allows animals (and people) who aren’t interested in climbing over things themselves but still want something sturdy enough not fall down easily either way

    Introduce baby gates gradually to your dog.

    First, make sure you don’t just put the gate up and leave. Dogs don’t like change and it can take a while for them to get used to something new in their environment. You should be there when they first see it so that you can give them some extra attention while they adjust.

    Keep them busy and entertained when you’re not home.

    • Play with your dog before you leave. If your dog’s allowed to be in the same room as you, play with them for a few minutes and then leave. This will help them learn that being alone is not fun, so when they’re alone again, they’ll be less likely to do destructive things.
    • Give them something to work on while you’re gone. Puzzles are great ways for dogs’ brains to stay busy while they wait for their humans or chew on something else (and they’re also great at helping reduce anxiety). Try giving your pup some puzzle toys like Kongs stuffed with peanut butter or Nutro Crunchy Bites right before bedtime so there’s no time left over during the day where he has nothing else going on besides thinking about how much he misses being around people!
    • Give them treats! Dogs love getting treats–especially when those treats come from their owners rather than just randomly falling out of nowhere onto the floor…so don’t forget about those tasty morsels when thinking about ways what could help keep Fido occupied while mommy goes shopping downtown with her friends.”

    These tips can help you keep your home intact even when you’re away for long periods of time

    If you want to keep your home intact, even when you’re away for long periods of time, there are a few things that will help. First and foremost, don’t leave them alone for too long. Dogs are pack animals and need companionship from their human family members in order to feel secure.

    If it’s not possible to have someone stay with your dog while you’re gone (perhaps because they don’t get along well with other people), consider hiring an animal sitter or having a friend stop by daily or every other day during the work week so that your dog gets some attention and exercise outside of being confined in an empty house all day long.

    We hope that these tips will help you keep your home intact even when you’re away for long periods of time. Remember to always be patient with your dog and make sure they know they are loved!

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