puppies can have an adorably curious mind. However, their curiosity makes
you giggle in the beginning but causes problems once he or she starts digging
up your roses or destroying your shoe collection. Then suddenly your laughter
changes to pangs of frustration.
So what can you do about this digging and chewing habit? While punishment is
useful to correct problem behavior, you will find that using it as the sole form
of correction may not be as effective. Whereas reinforcing good behavior works
better and keeps your dog much happier.
When approaching the chewing problem, begin using chew toys, so that the puppy
has specific toys that it is allowed to chew. Rotate the toys so that they remain
novel and interesting and can keep up with the puppy's ever growing curiosity.
Train your dog by rewarding it for chewing on its chew toys and try to avoid
confusing your puppy by not giving them toys that are similar to items that you
do not want them to chew on. For example, do not expect your dog to know which
old shoe is their chew toy! Other methods for training that may assist you in
training are the commercial anti-chew sprays that use citronella oil.
Destructive behavior is usually a direct response to anxiety. It is important
to teach your dog that it cannot receive attention on demand. Exercise your dog
before you leave home, and try to sneak out when it is occupied to avoid the
anxiety spurts that occur when you leave. Practice short departures and gradually
increase the length of time that you dog is alone.
As for digging, it can be attributed to a number of causes: to cool off, chase
rodents, bury and retrieve bones, escape confinement, or just for the fun of
it. Digging commonly occurs when pets are left alone with insufficient stimulation.
Therefore, try to provide your dog with chew toys, and increased play and exercise.
You can try to discourage digging through remote punishment such as turning on
a sprinkler, pulling an extended leash, or changing or covering the surface with
rocks. An effective approach to a digging problem is to provide a digging area
and reinforce appropriate digging.
Which ever your plan of attack is to prevent the frustration that occurs from
chewing and digging, remember that reinforcing good behavior is the best way
to keep both you and your dog happy.