"You wouldn't believe it if you saw it--the couch filling just burst out!"

“You wouldn’t believe it if you saw it–the couch filling just burst out!”

Coming home to see fresh cupcakes spilled on the kitchen floor, or trash strewn throughout the living room, makes you want to ask “why do dogs do what they do?” The moment the accident is discovered and you address the culprit about his bad behavior, dogs tend to run away and hide, or wear their guilty conscience by avoiding eye contact. Though there is usually an explanation of reasons why dogs misbehave, below are some of the main destructive behaviors your dog might indulge in while on a naughty streak.

Typical Destructive Habits

Chewing: New shoes are always first in the line of fire. Rubber and leather are often just too tempting for your dog to resist! When a dog is bored or teething, chewing on tough items seems to bring great relief. However, it’s one thing when dogs chews on their paws or their toys, but the moment your furniture, plants, and accessories become the target –it is time to stop! Consider using a strong taste deterrent to break the bad habit.

Exploring and Foraging: Canines are hunters, chasers, and explorers instinctively, so it is no wonder when they start poking around new corners of the house in search of some entertainment. This inclination to explore manifests in many ways. Some dogs follow their noses to any scent that seems promising of treats, tasty morsels, or intriguing new smells. That leads some dogs to the trash, to track down that one scrap of chicken from last night’s salad, while others prefer to get to get to the bottom of the bathroom wastebasket. This often leaves a trail (or pile!) or unsightly garbage in the nearby area.

Digging and Scratching: Dogs tend to overly dig when they are bored, nervous or trying to look for something they lost, or suspect may be hidden behind a barrier. Fresh flower beds quickly become points of interest when there is new soil to turn up, and bugs to sniff out. They scratch at floorboards, porch decks or walls when they hear movement (such as rodents) behind the surface. Dogs also like to apply their digging skills to vertical platforms by scratching against the back of the couch or the screen on the sliding door. This tends to happen when dogs feel left out, sad and lonely, or when they just want to give their paws a good stretch.

Breaking Rules/Eliminating Indoors: When dogs are anxious, experiencing separation anxiety, or a traumatic situation, sometimes that can revert to negative habits that they had overcome in the past. Whether this is urinating indoors, going in rooms they aren’t allowed in, or chasing the cat; remember that something is causing your pup to forget his manners, and is making him frightened or disoriented. Exert patience with your pet when this happens, as the dog just needs affirmation to help him overcomes the fears. Help by soothing your dog, and re-training and reminding him of the skills he mastered once before.

Escaping: Many dog breeds seem hell-bent on escaping from their homes. While this is not only emotionally injurious to their family, it tends to result in prominent holes in the ground and gashes in the fence. If your dog is attempting to escape, he might need more exercise and some fun adventures in the outside world to keep him happy and relaxed at home.