A Tip from the AKC GoodDog! Helpline
Humans are busy. We work; we go to school; we have families to take care of, errands to run, social lives to maintain, and hobbies to enjoy.
Sometimes your dog takes a backseat to the rest of your life.
Is that why he’s suddenly chewing up the furniture like he hasn’t done since he was a puppy? Or why she’s barking and jumping on guests suddenly? Is your dog trying to get back at you for being left alone a lot lately?
This is one of the most common questions new dog owners ask. Very simply, the answer is no.
Anger is a human emotion. Dogs live in the moment and don’t connect their destructive behavior as payback for your absence.
Chances are that your dog is bored! She has a lot of energy and no appropriate outlet for it, so she starts barking at cars out the window or stealing food from the counter. Dogs need physical AND mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy.
Even if your dog gets a three-mile run every day, if he doesn’t also have mental stimulation, he may still be destructive! Set aside a few extra minutes a day to do some trick training or feed your dog from a food dispensing toy instead of a bowl so he has to exercise his brain to get his meal!
When you know your life is going to be busy, such as during the holidays, when you have guests in town, or have to work overtime, look into a doggy daycare or a dog walker, both of which can give your dog the mental and physical outlet he needs while you’re away from home.
For questions and advice on your dog’s training needs, enroll in the AKC GoodDog! Helpline at www.akcgooddoghelpline.org. The seven-day-a-week telephone support service is staffed by experienced dog trainers.