Audrey has owned and trained Malamutes for over 15 years from puppyhood into
adulthood. She has also rescued many other dog breeds.

A lonely dog is a setup for destructive behaviors.

A lonely dog is a setup for destructive behaviors.

adangarcia, CC BY 2.0, flickr

Stop Destructive Behavior in Dogs

If you asked several people what they would describe as destructive behavior
in dogs, you would get conflicting answers. The key to understanding dogs is
to look at their natural behaviors and then figure out what reactionary
behaviors they may have developed along the way.

As in most things in life, there is a cause-and-effect relationship between
what a dog perceives and what a dog does. Most of the time, there is a very
logical explanation as to why a dog has done what he or she has done. The dog
owner who knows how to decipher the puzzle is the one who will have the most
success in avoiding canine destructive behaviors. First, let’s look at a few
of the most common destructive behaviors.

The Most Common Destructive Behaviors in Dogs

  • Digging
  • Barking or howling
  • Inappropriate elimination of objects or in places not acceptable
  • Chewing and tearing things apart
  • Aggressiveness towards other dogs
  • Excessive fright or phobia of situations or noises
  • Biting—either themselves or humans
  • Eating plants or other objects
  • Other “neurotic” behaviors such as pacing or repetitive activities

Barking and Howling

Howling or barking for a dog is like speech for a human. When dogs bark,
they’re trying to communicate something.

Whether that something is a warning—hey, there’s someone behind the fence—or a
plea for attention—hey, it’s time to eat!—it’s important to realize why the
dog is barking or making vocalizations.

When vocalizations become inappropriate or destructive in nature, that’s where
the problem arises. If a dog is left alone in a yard all day long with nothing
to do, he or she may become overly bored and decide to bark at anything.

Dogs that are teased by children or bothered by excessive noise around them
can become incessant barkers. The pattern, once established, can be a hard one
to break.

The important thing to remember with dogs barking apparently needlessly or
excessively is that they have learned this behavior somehow as a coping
mechanism. Finding the trigger or reason is essential if you want to modify
the behavior.

Key Questions to Ask About Your Dog

  • Is the dog feeling like his environment is too chaotic, too noisy, or too stimulating?
  • Is someone or something inciting the barking or howling? For instance, if cats are sitting on the fence “teasing” the dog all day long the dog’s going to bark! Someone needs to remedy the situation by removing the cats! Or if kids are throwing things at the dog over the fence or antagonizing the dog by making howling noises, the kids need to stop their behavior!
  • Is the dog afraid of environmental factors such as thunder or hail? Some dogs bark instead of trying to get away when they’re frightened.

Take the time to analyze when and why your dog is barking before assuming that
it’s just your dog’s personality (or fault). Dogs usually bark for some
reason. You have to figure out the antagonist before you can remedy the
problem.

Barking and howling are considered destructive behaviors especially when
done repetitively or without apparent reason.

Barking and howling are considered destructive behaviors especially when done
repetitively or without apparent reason.

smerikal, CC BY SA 2.0, flickr

Separation Anxiety and Destructive Behaviors

If you leave your dog or dogs alone all day while you’re at work, you should
not be surprised if destructive behaviors are the end result. That may seem
harsh, but few humans like being left alone all day long without human contact
so why would we expect our dogs to survive this practice unscathed?

Dogs are social animals and some breeds even more so than others. Leaving a
dog to his or her own resources for 8-10 or so hours a day is going to most
likely have some repercussions.

Especially if you leave your dog in a confined space—or heaven forbid in a
kennel for that length of time. I know someone with a small dog who left the
dog in a kennel while she was at work all day long. She came home to let the
dog out for potty breaks and back into the kennel she went. The dog, years
later I might add, still has anxiety issues and is an extremely demanding dog.
I can’t say that I blame the dog—I blame the owner.

Scroll to Continue

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Dogs are meant to be free to the extent that they have full use of their
muscles. Traveling in a crate is a good thing—it’s smart and it’s safe. Being
in a kennel for a short period of time for a time-out is smart—it’s a
disciplinary tool that works. Being in a kennel to protect a dog from himself
or herself when a puppy is a good idea if you can’t be right there paying
attention.

However, leaving a dog of any age or any size in a small crate or kennel all
day long is, in this author’s eyes, animal cruelty. It’s better than the dog
being dead, yes, but the long-lasting side effects from this kind of life are
overwhelming for most dogs. I can honestly say from my years of observing
other people and their dogs that as much as there are not enough dog owners
for all the dogs in the world, I think it’s even worse to see someone with a
dog who doesn’t know how to care for it properly. Just like children—if you
don’t have the time or the energy to care for them properly—don’t get them!

Being busy is not a good excuse for neglecting a dog by sticking it into a
kennel. Even large outdoor kennels unless they allow running room are like
doggie prisons. Without regular muscle stimulating exercise, dogs’ muscles
deteriorate and atrophy. They gain weight, can become ill and much more
importantly, can become mentally unstable. Again, I believe in confining a dog
in appropriate situations—but the keyword here is appropriate —not
convenient for the owner as a babysitting tool.

Dogs spending lots of time in crates tend to demonstrate destructive
behaviors.

Dogs spending lots of time in crates tend to demonstrate destructive
behaviors.

oakleyoriginals, CC BY 2.0, flickr

Dogs and Chewing

When folks term chewing as destructive behavior, it’s important to define what
is meant in the individual situation before terming this a negative behavior.
For instance, when a dog is a puppy, he or she has to chew. There is no way
around it. If you don’t want a dog who has to chew, you should never get a
puppy!

Chewing is a dog’s way of exploring the world around them. When dogs are
puppies, they chew because they’re cutting teeth and much as children do, they
need something to make their gums feel better. Punishing a puppy for chewing
is like punishing him or her for breathing.

When dogs mature, sometimes the chewing behavior stops completely by around
age two never to be seen again. However, other dogs may have continued the
behavior as a form of releasing anxiety. Some dogs in fact never stop
chewing—sad but true. This author had one dog who until the day he died at ten
would chew certain objects if left in his area of reach—like remote controls.
For whatever reason, he had a remote control fetish and he never quit chewing
them up.

If you don't want them chewing furniture, give them something else to
chew!

If you don’t want them chewing furniture, give them something else to chew!

carterse, CC BY SA 2.0, flickr

Chewing on Pillows

The key again is to understanding why the dog is chewing. Furniture can be a
tempting surface because it has wood or it has stuffing—or it smells a certain
way—for instance down pillows. One of my dogs has a fetish about the smell of
the pillow and if left alone with one, will chew the ends off and pull out the
feathers.

Even the most well behaved dog can have destructive
moments.

Even the most well behaved dog can have destructive moments.

dhg0333, CC BY SA 2.0, flickr

Chewing on Plants

Chewing on plants and things in the yard may not seem like a big deal but they
can have grave consequences—as in killing your dog. Certain plants are
poisonous and allowing dogs to chew on them may result in a tragedy.

Even chewing on fabrics—like clothing, shoes, curtains, plastic chairs, etc.
can all lead to disastrous results in terms of your dog’s health. Pieces of
unnatural fiber or even natural fiber can tangle in dogs’ intestines and
require surgery. Rocks or foreign objects can lodge in the dog’s throat and
cause them to choke to death—or pass into the stomach or intestine and need to
be surgically removed.

If left to their own devices, dogs will even eat plants--which can be
disastrous.

If left to their own devices, dogs will even eat plants–which can be
disastrous.

tfkrawksmysocks, CC BY SA 2.0, flickr

What’s the Solution?

What’s the solution? The most intelligent solution is to make sure your dog is
observable when he or she is chewing on anything. That includes rawhide (not
recommended by this author), bones, antlers, and toys. Anything that has the
potential of hurting your dog should be given to them under supervision.

Give them appropriate toys to play with—things that they can’t destroy such as
Kongs or balls that can’t be chewed apart. A great adjunct to a Kong is
putting a treat such as a raw carrot inside and letting the dog chew and chew
until he or she gets it.

Most dogs will amuse themselves any way they can--even with a huge
stick.

Most dogs will amuse themselves any way they can–even with a huge stick.

arrtx1, CC BY ND 2.0, flickr

Dogs Become Bored

Much like children, dogs do become bored with the same old thing. Buy new toys
periodically and put the older ones away—but cycle them all so the dog always
has something new to chew on now and again. Ditch things that are past their
prime or have loose parts—especially squeakers.

Remember the rule when you’re raising a puppy—as soon as you see him or her
chewing on something you don’t want them chewing on, replace it with something
else. Avoid scolding and punishment as if it’s chewed already, it’s done.
Reinforcement is usually the end result when we yell or punish rather than
just redirecting the behavior.

Give dogs of any age appropriate toys to chew.

Give dogs of any age appropriate toys to chew.

Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Dogs and Digging

Why do dogs dig? For the same reason that they bark—it’s part of their
behavior pattern and it’s fun! Most dog owners don’t like their dogs digging,
however, and in fact, it can be a dangerous behavior especially if it leads to
getting at something that could be harmful to them or worse yet, escape.

Some dog breeds are more proficient at digging (and escape) than others. No
matter what the breed though, the important question to ask yourself if you
have a digger is why is he or she digging. Believe it or not, that is a vital
part of the puzzle.

For instance, since I have malamutes, part of our yard involves a layer of
brick underneath our fence. That is the best deterrent we have found for
keeping our dogs from digging out under the fence and getting loose in a
dangerous environment—wildlife, snakes, livestock and guns. Since northern
breeds have a propensity to dig out and escape, it is the logical solution and
has never been a problem.

Does this stop them from digging completely? Not entirely—because we live in a
hot climate and oftentimes our dogs will dig a hole wherever they find a spot
to create a cool spot to lay in. So is that technically destructive behavior?
No way! It’s smart behavior because the dog is actually trying to cool off and
going about it the only way he or she knows how.

The solution? Provide an alternative—a nice shady spot that’s cool or even a
spot where the water’s sprayed to keep it cool. In extreme cases, a cooling
mat is not out of the question to give dogs respite from hot weather—and a
reason not to dig.

We leave out a wading pool filled with clean water which allows the dogs to
cool off when they need to. Does it totally eliminate cool holes? Not entirely
but it does cut down on them considerably.

Another solution is to give dogs a spot where they can dig—with your blessing.
Leave it devoid of anything except dirt—and bury toys or treats and encourage
the dog to dig there.

If your dog is digging just to stay cool, it's not destructive behavior--
it's common sense.

If your dog is digging just to stay cool, it’s not destructive behavior–it’s
common sense.

eliduke, CC BY SA 2.0, flickr

Digging and Boredom

For dogs who are left alone to their own devices, digging can sometimes be an
outlet. It can of course also be a source of escape.

If your dog is alone in the yard all day long and digging is an issue,
consider giving toys as mentioned above (perhaps enticed with a treat inside)
that keep the dog engaged in something else.

Of course, the best solution is to make sure the dog has interaction and the
behavior will probably not even be an issue. If digging is an issue though,
figure out why and when the dog is digging and then take steps to mediate the
problem by actively working to solve it rather than blaming the dog. He or she
is just doing what dogs do naturally but we as humans can come up with
alternatives.

Most dogs dig holes because they're bored.

Most dogs dig holes because they’re bored.

Dennis from Atlanta, CC BY SA 2.0, flickr

Aggressive Destructive Behaviors

Perhaps the most frustrating (and dangerous) destructive behaviors in dogs
center around aggression. Whether it’s aggression towards humans or aggression
towards other animals, it’s very hard to ignore and definitely detrimental to
any dog’s well being.

Often the most overlooked part of this kind of dog behavior is an explanation
for the behavior in the first place. Most dog owners or victims assume that
the dog “is just like that” which is usually far from the truth. In almost all
cases, there is a reason for a dog’s aggression. While it is not necessarily a
pleasant realization as to why the dog reacted the way he or she did, there is
most probably a definite link to the behavior.

On any given day, any dog can be aggressive—to anyone or anything. Why?
Because they’re dogs! They don’t have reasoning abilities like humans and they
simply react. So a seemingly well behaved family dog can bite a child without
warning simply because the toddler grabbed the dog and frightened it. Was that
a destructive behavior? This author says emphatically no—it was stupid
behavior on the part of the dog owner for allowing it to happen.

I’m a firm believer in dogs not getting into trouble if their owner does not
put them into a situation where they can fail. Knowing your dog but especially
knowing your dog’s breed are really key parts of the equation. Some dogs for
instance have more of a prey instinct than other dogs—malamutes tend to react
to small animals like cats whereas other dogs might not even notice them.
Consequently, when walking my dogs and seeing a cat, I make sure my dog is
under control lest there be a lapse in my dog’s concentration where he or she
decides that cat looked like food.

Simply because of the size of my dog’s teeth, I do not tolerate food being an
issue. This is not to say I can control every situation, however, one of my
dogs is a rescue dog who was starved. I will not let children be around my dog
when they’re eating—nor will I let children be around my dogs if the children
have food. In my humble opinion, sometimes disasters could be avoided if
people stopped and thought about their expectations from their pets. While my
neighbor’s toddler might be able to run up to my dog and throw his arms around
my 90 pound dog’s neck and be quite safe, I would not allow that to occur
without my being present—nor would I allow it to happen if the child had a
cookie in his hand. It just doesn’t make sense.

Destructive or aggressive behaviors towards other animals or people in dogs
usually stem from some trigger. Rarely does a dog just “go off” and become
aggressive—unless they have been abused in some way. However, the key to
stopping aggression in dogs is to ward it off before it has a chance to
happen. Figuring out your dog’s personality and knowing what things seem to
annoy or frighten him or her is really important and then working on those
things to desensitize him or her. Sometimes though, as in the case of my
rescue dog and food, it’s the dog owner’s responsibility to just not put the
dog in any situation that could result in misbehavior.

Likewise, if a dog demonstrates aggression towards other dogs, it’s important
to know this and not put the dog into situations where he or she feels
threatened. I’ve personally observed many dog owners who seem to think dogs
are people too. While this is not a bad sentiment, it is far from the truth.
Taking dogs who have anxiety issues into large groups of people and expecting
the dog to “behave” is not realistic. As the photo shows, bad things can
happen when dogs react. Sometimes innocent bystanders can get caught in the
crossfire as well, like children. Dogs depend upon their owners to make the
calls in social situations. When we set our expectations above what our dogs
can actually do, we all fail.

Dog aggression happens for many reasons in different
situations.

Dog aggression happens for many reasons in different situations.

kennethkonika, CC BY ND 2.0, flickr

Anxiety and Aggressive Behaviors in Dogs

Not to be taken lightly, as the picture below illustrations, fear or phobias
can be an incredible trigger for dogs. An otherwise calm, cool and collected
dog who has a problem with thunder for instance, can and will do anything and
everything to escape.

Oftentimes owners don’t realize the effect of anxiety on their dogs until it’s
too late. For instance, our rescued malamute was apparently loose in very bad
electrical storms before she was found. Emaciated, starving and near death,
she’s never forgotten her fear. During a freak storm on a summer day in our
Central Oregon area, we were away from home when we realized she was still in
the backyard.

As we raced home to get her into the house before the storm grew worse, she
had already taken matters into her own hands. She jumped through a screened
window in a downstairs window, landing on a sewing machine, knocking it and
the table to the ground. While the damage was relatively minimal, it could
have been a horrible disaster—especially had the window not been open. I for
one am almost certain she would have tried jumping through the glass window to
escape the sounds.

We make sure that we’re home during thunderstorms or that she is in a safe
place in the house with lots of noise like the TV or fans going to reduce her
anxiety. Medicating her was recommended but we found that that only made her
worse. Tools like thundershirts, etc. have had a minimal effect as it seems
the true thing she needs most is just human reassurance and being in a safe
place with people she trusts.

Anxiety in humans is a very real thing. Consider the fact that dogs cannot
reason so it must be twice as bad for them. Their fear is real and dog owners
need to be aware that the only logical way to deal with the resultant
behaviors is to keep the dog out of these situations as much as possible.

Noise can be a powerful trigger for aggressive behaviors but for some, being
confined in a small space can have much the same effect. It’s not unusual for
a dog left in these situations to eat holes in the drywall or the door or
completely tear the room to shreds trying to escape.

Dog anxiety is a real condition that should not be viewed as destructive
behavior.

Dog anxiety is a real condition that should not be viewed as destructive
behavior.

djg0333, CC BY SA 2.0, flickr

Remedies for Destructive Behaviors in Dogs

If a dog has destructive behaviors of any kind, the most important factor is
to identify what they are and then to identify when they are occurring. The
last step is providing an alternative to the destructive behavior.

If dogs are bored, they will misbehave. This is a known fact. So, the solution
is not to let your dog be bored!

If you have the luxury of being home, interact with your dog as often as you
can. Get in the habit of always exercising your dog and you will have a happy
(and healthier) companion. Again, if you have a dog or dogs and you can’t make
the time for them, you should not have them in the first place. Being busy is
no excuse for ignoring your children or your pets.

If you work outside the home, make time before or after work to exercise your
dog. Give a thought to changing up the routine as well. Dogs get bored like
people doing the same thing all the time. Go walking in different spots at
different times of day. Enjoy your dog’s exercise time yourself and you’ll get
more out of it.

No matter what season, anyone can exercise their dog. Engage your dog in a fun
activity if that happens to interest you. Some breeds like malamutes are great
pullers so sledding is a great winter activity to help them release energy and
feel successful. In summer, the same principles apply to scootering. At the
very least, walking is something most everyone can do. Tiring your dog out
goes a long way to avoidance of destructive behaviors!

Exercise dogs no matter what time of year and eliminate destructive
behaviors.

Exercise dogs no matter what time of year and eliminate destructive behaviors.

Audrey Kirchner, CC BY, via Hubpages

Dogs need human interaction and just taking a few minutes every day to have
your dog chase a ball is worth every precious moment.

Consider taking your dog with you on vacation. Some dogs travel surprisingly
well and today, there are so many pet-friendly options it’s incredible.

Leaving large dogs in boarding facilities seems cruel and unusual punishment.
If you can possibly arrange for a house sitter, especially for large dogs or
dogs of certain breeds, that is preferable. Even facilities who claim to have
large dog runs or allow exercise times rarely let dogs play for more than
15-20 minutes at a time. Without even being aware of it, dog owners can plant
the seeds for anxiety in their dog by kenneling them for days or weeks at a
time.

Every dog this owner knows welcomes a romp on the beach—or even a swim in the
lake or the stream. Adjusting your life around your dog’s needs isn’t a bad
thing and especially one that grows on you if you take the time to get out and
about with your dog—ideally from an early age. You don’t have to be tied to
your dog—but you can take him or her into consideration and be the better for
it.

Even playing catch with your dog helps exercise your
dog.

Even playing catch with your dog helps exercise your dog.

D133H, CC BY 2.0, flickr

Destructive Behaviors and Companionship

This author is a sucker for dogs. I’ve rescued and raised them all my life and
being a one-dog family has never actually ever crossed my mind. I’ve
personally found that dogs are very social creatures and they love interacting
with their human counterparts as much as possible. However, nothing can
replace the camaraderie that they feel with their own kind.

While occasionally having more than one dog can backfire on you (two dogs can
obviously cause more damage than one dog), I’ve personally always found that
having two (or three) instead of one is not that much more difficult. You
definitely need more hands (and more of everything) but the benefits have far
outweighed the downside.

Having a playmate means your dog can interact at any time during the day with
his own species. Especially with malamutes, who are overly social anyway, this
is an added bonus. It teaches them all about pecking orders and respect. It
also gives them a sense of purpose and knowing where they belong. Lastly, it
teaches them about the give and take, the right and wrong of behaviors and the
meaning of obedience.

Folks who can’t afford or physically handle an additional dog do have options
as well. Setting up play dates for dogs is not unheard of and is a great way
to build confidence in a lone dog. It’s also a great way to burn off energy
and all those negative temptations that might creep into his or her head
because boredom is the problem.

Going to dog parks works for a lot of dog owners and for a lot of breeds.
However, this author is not keen on them at least for our type of dog and in
our type of situation. I totally see the value of this though as a social
outlet for most dogs. Mine unfortunately are of the breed that will finish
something if another dog shows aggression towards him or her and unfortunately
my experience has been that some dog owners bring dogs who should not be in
the park at all. After mine have been bitten a couple of times while the
owners looked blithely on, I decided it probably would be in my dogs’ best
interests to avoid them.

Doggie daycare is another option. At least in this situation, you can count on
the dogs to be socially adjusted and also have the supervision factor in
place.

Still another option is that if you can’t walk your dog or exercise him or her
regularly, you can find someone else to do it for you. Whatever works and
whatever you can afford should be taken into consideration but again, if you
expect a dog to be well behaved and not submit to destructive behaviors,
appropriate care has to be given in preventing those behaviors.

Having someone to play with can also stop destructive
behaviors.

Having someone to play with can also stop destructive behaviors.

ozjimbob, CC BY SA 2.0, flickr

Last Word on Destructive Behaviors in Dogs

Destructive behaviors in dogs occur when there is a missing link somewhere.
Something is wrong in the dog’s mind that is causing the behavior to happen.

Again, puppy behaviors are not destructive behaviors—they are puppy behaviors.
Know the difference and do not expect more from your dog than is possible.
They have to pass through the puppy phase to get to normal dog behavior.

If, however, your dog is exhibiting destructive behaviors after reaching
adulthood, you need to look at the root cause and then take steps to fix
what’s wrong. Punishing destructive behaviors is the opposite of what a dog
owner should do. Anyone who hits, kicks, or otherwise abuses a dog should not
have a dog in the first place.

Enlist the help of a qualified dog trainer if you cannot figure out how to
deal with your dog’s destructive behaviors or read up on what to do. Usually
there are many recommendations in treating a dog behavior and you’ll have to
decide which one works for you and your dog.

The important thing when faced with adversity with your dog’s behavior is
learning how to recognize signs before they happen and then actively
correcting it through logical steps to prevent it in the future. It can be
done but it does usually take effort and patience.

Remember that every dog is only as “good” as his or her owner encourages them
to be. Put your dog in a win-win situation and you all win!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a
veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

Question: I have two golden retrievers, one is 9 months old and the other
is 8 months old. Jenni (8 months) can be extremely aggressive as well as
destructive. She fights with Leo who is almost twice her size. She destroys
everything and becomes of possessive of what she destroys and will bite if you
try and take it away. WE have a large yard where they 4-6 times a day for a
minimum of one hour. We are always interacting with them since we are retired.
Only Jenni shows this behavior. What are we doing wrong?

Answer: I would work with a trainer to be honest. Sometimes it can just
be a matter of dominance. If there is food out at all, that may be a trigger.
If there are certain toys that are triggers, then I would eliminate those. You
have to be the alpha as well and should not be a situation where you cannot
take something back from a dog. Again, training can really help that type of
situation. I have seen cases where there was something physical wrong with the
dog inciting that type of behavior as well, so would make sure she has been
checked thoroughly by your vet.

© 2013 Audrey Kirchner

Comments

Percival on September 16, 2015:

Please bear in mind that dogs eat plants to self-medicate. this is not
destructive behaviour, but entirely sensible. of course caution is needed with
certain toxic plants, but too many people control everything the dog puts into
its body and then get cross when he forages for plants. Zoopharmacognosy is
the study of animals self-medicating.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on October 13, 2013:

Good for you, Flourish – what a kind thing to do!

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 13, 2013:

Great hub. Very thorough information. The poor pup next door tries to dig
under the fence, and I am concerned because his choice of digging areas
involves a buried utility cable. I have purchased him some toys and go to talk
and play with him. I have also talked to the neighbors about engaging him a
little more.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on June 02, 2013:

Ha – we don’t put her in there to punish her–she actually does think that
it’s her safe place so if she gets too wound up or excitable, we just let her
go in there for a rest~ It works for her – not sure it would work for every
dog but that is just our solution as she becomes VERY crazy when she comes to
visit–it might be the fact that we have 3 dogs as well~

Agnes on June 02, 2013:

Yes, he has a crate here, and he takes naps there, but I never put him in the
crate to punish him. I want him to like the crate and think of it as a nice,
peaceful place, nothing negative. He also has a doggie bed, and he loves it,
but again, like with the crate, that’s his place to rest and enjoy. I think he
feels he has to watch the door, and he just can’t relax.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on June 02, 2013:

Monis Mas – thanks for dropping by – poor guy…it must be the new
environment. Have you tried encouraging him with toys or something to feel
more secure there? Or does he have a crate or an area that is “all his own?”
Sometimes it’s an anxiety thing–my daughter’s puggle comes to my house and
drives us all insane because she gets over-stimulated so we put her in her
crate in the living room when she acts up too much–it works~

Agnes on June 02, 2013:

Very interesting! My dogs barks all day long, when we spend weekends at my in-
laws. He comes back home exhausted. I know it is just way too much going on
for him there, and there is not much I can do about it – but he sure drives
everybody crazy, when he keeps barking every time somebody comes to the door
(which is 100 times a day!)

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on June 01, 2013:

Too funny, BJ–I do think many of my very best friends are canines and always
have been…I tend to know a lot of people who have swine for partners
though…not canines~

drbj and sherry from south Florida on June 01, 2013:

This was just jam-packed with information about dogs and their potential for
aggressive destructive behavior. I have bookmarked this hub, Audrey, to share
with everyone I know who has a dog in their home – many of them even canines.
🙂

Loved the photos, too.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on May 19, 2013:

Thanks, RC–I’m passionate about dogs and their behaviors–I guess it must
show. Sometimes I think the problem is we tend to think of dogs as people,
which is cool–but we forget that they truly aren’t. Understanding is the way
to fixing most everything.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 19, 2013:

Wow, I was not expecting such a comprehensive article! Great job with this
topic. You have covered so many important aspects of destructive dog behavior.
Thanks for the great resource.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on May 19, 2013:

Thanks, Helen for the great insight–I know that sedation is supposed to work
for most dogs–it just never has with her. Usually she ends up on our bed,
digging her way through my armpit but I just turn up the music, the TV or the
fans and wait it out with her. I always smile inside though as the dog she
“replaced” when my beautiful labrador Molly died at 14 was terrified of
thunder too. It’s like she’s come back to me and I always think of her–and
her hysterical teeth chattering. They all have their quirks~

Helen Murphy Howell from Fife, Scotland on May 19, 2013:

Hi Audrey, Hope things are well with you!

Great hub packed full of information and insight about dog behaviour. One of
my Rough Collies, Megan, from many years back, was a super dog but when
fireworks were set off, especially around Guy Fawkes night it was a nightmare
for her. We tried everything under the sun, but the only solution was to get
temporary sedation from the vet. Not a pleasant thing to do, but it was either
that or she was liable to have had a heart attack with the stress. So I could
sympathise with your beautiful Malamute who was scared of the thunder storms –
poor soul!

But great hub + voted up!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on May 19, 2013:

Well…Dim…that’s entirely up to you and your owner/trainer~ If it keeps you
from chewing….another alternative would be a Kong with a treat inside…

De Greek from UK on May 19, 2013:

So s ex is out then?

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on May 19, 2013:

Yes, Dim–get more exercise~ Ask your owner to take you on more walks and to
take you for a run on the beach. Also ask her..I mean your owner…to play
fetch with you in the backyard for at least 20 minutes every day…that should
do the trick. If not, take up sledding or scootering preferably with a
playmate~

De Greek from UK on May 19, 2013:

Any ideas on how I can stop chewing? 😉