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How to Stop Dog Digging and Chewing (Destruction Tele-seminar)

How To Stop Dog Digging and Chewing

I like to periodically do dog training tele-seminars where I invite you to join me on a call to talk about various dog training topics.  Last evening we did a seminar on how to stop dog digging and chewing and overall destructive behavior.  The following podcast is about 36 minutes of pure content on how to put an end to destructive behavior once and for all?  In it I outline my 5 steps on how to stop dog digging and chewing and then I go through reader questions and show you how you can apply these steps in real life dog training scenarios.

Would you like to be notified of our upcoming tele-seminars?  Simply enter your name and email address at the top right corner of any page of this website and you’ll be notified.  Down below the recording you’ll see an outline of the concepts that were discussed on the call.  Happy training!


How to Stop Dog Digging and Chewing- The Steps

I’ve got a formula for how to stop dog digging and chewing that I’ve used on hundreds of dogs over the years.  I’ve got a great success rate when it’s applied.  That is the key phrase, though, ‘when it’s applied’.  The reality is that it is harder with some dogs than others and in the difficult cases it’s not uncommon to see people give up on these steps.

  • Supervision.  This is a big one!  Dogs that are being destructive shouldn’t be allowed to be in situations where they CAN be destructive.  We need supervision while you are home and some sort of crate/confinement training while you are gone.
  • Mental and physical stimulation.  While many dog owners with destructive dogs THINK they are fulfilling their dog in many cases they are not.  I alway tell dog owners that it is easier and more efficient to tire a dog out through the mind than it is the body.  I like to use focused walks and obedience training to accomplish a mentally, and therefore physically, tired dog.
  • A chewing outlet.  In the podcast I get into more detail but I like to have three things going on with my dog’s chew toys: variety, challenge, and surrogate owners.  Listen to the podcast for more in depth info.
  • Healthy attention.  If you give too much of the wrong kind of attention your dog can turn into a nervous wreck.  You want the right kind of attention at the right times.
  • Correct the destruction.  From poop tricks to balloons to K9 entrapment using today’s latest technology there are a variety of ways to catch your dog in the act 0f being destructive.

How to stop dog digging and chewing- Summary

The thing about fixing digging and chewing is that, for the most part, it’s a science experiment.  Every dog is so different with regards to their motivation for destruction to how we go about fixing it.  What I’ve found, though, is that the answer for you lies in one or all of the above five steps.  I’ve had clients who have casually applied just one of those steps and seen the solution.  I’ve had others, though, who have had to diligently work with all five before they got their solution.  Give it a listen and comment below with any questions you have.

The Magic Word In Dog Training

There is one word in dog training, that if your dog understood it, would solve a large percentage of the problems that people have with their dogs.

Does your dog understand the word ‘no’?  (You can say ‘no’, you can say ‘uh-uh’, ‘chi-chi’, etc., doesn’t matter.  The point is, does your dog have a word for ‘no’?)

When asked this question most people would say their dog DOES understand what no means.  The question is, though, if your dog gets that word, truly understands it….then why do you have to say it so much?

My findings are that very few dogs REALLY understand the word ‘no’.  When it comes to this word I sound like a broken record.  The reason why is that if your dog gets this word then:

  • You can get your dog to stop jumping on people, including yourself and guests.
  • You can get your dog to stop nipping and mouthing.
  • You can stop unwanted or nuisance barking.
  • You can rid yourself of most manners problems.

So ask yourself, if your dog does any of the above and you find yourself constantly yelling ‘no’, does your dog really understand the word?  I think you know the answer.

The solution comes down to associations.  The only association that most dog owners have formed with the command ‘no’ is that they’ve yelled it a lot.

Dogs aren’t verbal learners.  They don’t learn very well by being told.  They learn by being shown.  Dogs are physical learners.  If you want them to understand a command, any command for that matter, then there needs to be something physical that goes with that word.

This is true if you want the dog to understand what ‘good boy’ means, what ‘come’ means, or what ‘heel’ means.  If you are simply saying these words and hoping your dog does them then you’ve already lost the battle.

So how do you associate something with the word ‘no’?  There are a variety of ways.  These are some of my favorites:

  • Leash correction.  When starting out training a dog I always have them on a leash.  With a leash connected you can give a simple correction as you tell the dog ‘no’.
  • Spray bottle.  This is one that I use with a lot of puppies.  When puppies are barking in the crate or nipping I’m likely to bust out my spray bottle and give a quick couple sprays while I say ‘no’.
  • E-Collar training.  Done right, an electric dog training collar can be a great and humane way to train.  We’ve got a video program on how to use an electric collar to train a dog.

Folks, just saying ‘no’ isn’t going to cut it.  Put something with it, however, and you may just solve some of your dog problems.

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