are you worried about leaving your home because your labrador is just gonna tear everything to bits and destroy your home .
leaving your home knowing you can trust your labrador is so so key you don’t want to be going out and coming back to a house that has been torn to bits your furniture being bitten and your pillows being torn all over the place you don’t want that situation.
let’s dive into it and when it comes to destructive behaviors it’s a little bit different from many of the other common behaviors as a behaviorist if that’s something that you’re interested in working towards in the future you’re going to address and as myself it’s very different from say a behavior like extreme aggression or extreme reactivity where you’re there in the heat of the moment and you can implement a strategy or a mod a behavior modification program or intervention there and then and address the issue and deal with it destruction tends to be an issue when people go out to work and they come home and the home is destroyed so we have to address it in a little bit of a different way and oftentimes it’s more around the management of a behavior as opposed to being able to correct the behavior now let me explain what i mean first and foremost we have to understand where is it that a destructive behavior comes from now in my experience of losing count of the amount of cases i’ve helped people with this with it tends to come from one of two places by far though the most common is simply pent-up frustration in terms of a lack of outlet for physical and mental stimulation requirements what that basically means is you are not doing enough exercise with your dog if you go out and do more exercise with your dog give them more mental stimulation enough that truly satisfies them every single day depending on their breed and specific requirements for them as a dog that will nine times out of ten address the problem of destructive behaviors.
sometimes people don’t want to hear that what they want is for me as a behaviorist with a reputation that i’ve got to be able to come in and may wave a magic wand they don’t have to do anything for their lifestyle and i fix their broken dog their dog isn’t broken the dog is simply bored and frustrated we need to give them a positive outlet for that frustration and that will address the problem so we’re going to significantly improve increase the amount of exercise we’re doing and significantly increase the amount of mental stimulation that we’re giving them if you’re prepared to do that nine times out of ten you’re gonna solve this problem now if you want to do that in more of a professional setting you’re gonna have to develop the people skills of being able to get that across to your clients in a way that first of all won’t upset them by simply calling them out and telling them that they’re the problem but helping them see that that’s the case and helping them come up with a process and a program of how it is that they can quickly and efficiently be able to provide additional exercise and mental stimulation and that’s where you can develop different strategies around quick fire ways of exercising dogs quick fire ways of providing more mental stimulation for them.
as is always the case with any behavior case that i work on i always help our owners restructure their relationship with their dogs and help them become a higher level canine leader when it comes to working with specific behavior problems the behavior problem that an owner will come to me with maybe it’s the problem that you’re dealing with yourself maybe again you want to be considering moving into this as a profession so someone might come to you with is what we call the micro issue that is the symptom that we’re seeing and that is what the owner will want to address in and it is our responsibility to help them do that here at fenrir the reason we’re able to have such large levels of success is because not only do we help them with those micro issues but we put so much time and effort into fixing what we call the macro problem the umbrella issue and that is always around relationship with your dog around the owners becoming a higher level canine leader that has a dog that will look up to them for guidance and direction if we can achieve that that opens up an incredible pathway of communication between themselves and the dog which then allows us to teach them the things that we do want and the things that we don’t want from them now in terms of destructive behavior being the micro issue it’s one of the few behaviors where addressing that at a macro level might not necessarily be what they’re looking for in the micro fix it doesn’t mean it’s helpful it’s incredibly helpful .
so i highly suggest that you go and do that because that will address any other possible problems that will come up in the future so this could be an excellent opportunity to either help yourself if you’re watching this from that perspective or to help a client be able to go to that next level and that will just make them them happier and their delcs happier in the the rest of their life but when it comes to destructive behaviors in particular because they usually happen when you’re not there the only real way that restructuring that relation helps is with anxiety now like i say destructive behaviors vast majority of the time comes from a lack of physical and mental exercise if it’s not that and the behaviors still continue then oftentimes it comes from a place of anxiety the dog is stressed and anxious that anxiety tends to come usually all of the time comes from a lack of leadership if a dog has a calm consistent leader in its life that it trusts implicitly they have no reason to be anxious then as long as they’re getting plenty of exercise they’ll happily relax and calm down that’s why we focus on those two things first then on top of that or why we’re going through that process because to restructure that relationship we use our boot camp process again.
with destructive behaviors it’s simply about managing the environment ensuring that there’s not things in their environment that they can destroy to do that the easiest way is to create train or penetrate our dogs let me start by saying that it is not cruel whatsoever if you get a dog and stuff it in a crate that’s never been in there before you’re a poor leader the dog is already anxious you’re not giving it enough exercise as it is so it’s already got pent up frustration physically mentally and on top of that anxiety from a lack of leadership then you leave them in there for 10 hours then we’ve got a problem but that’s not necessarily the crates fault again that’s a macro problem that we need to address if you are a calm consistent leader providing your dog with plenty of exercise and leaving them in a crate for an appropriate amount of time three to four hours at a time before letting them out for an additional bit of exercise before going back in then there is absolutely nothing wrong with using a crate and a dog will love it dogs are denning animals i like to cover crates with a big towel or blanket to make it nice and dark put a nice bed in there so it’s nice and cozy nobody else can ever go in that crate that’s the dog’s special safe calm place for them to go take themselves away and relax that is what we’re looking at achieving and that’s what we’re looking at doing to help with destructive behaviors if we can get the dog to learn to love their crates which is very easy if we follow that basic methodology we leave them in there with a frozen kong get a kong toy stuff it full of some meat pate chuck it in the freezer then before you go out 10 minutes .
before you go out let them sniff the kong put the kong into the crate shut the crate door so they can’t get in there and i promise you you do that every time your dog will be begging you to go away so that you can let them in the crate and shut them in there with that kong they’ll look forward to that time alone you add that on top of exercise they go in the kong provides additional mental stimulation while they work their way through it happy days everyone’s happy the dog then works their way through the kong oh i’m knackered now i’m just gonna have a little sleep until boss comes home you come home do a bit more exercise again it’s not rocket science add in more exercise add in better leadership control the environment nothing in your house ever gets destroyed again it’s not rocket science the theory is simple and straightforward just requires a little bit of commitment and dedication and leadership on your part of the owner or helping your clients owners be able to implement those kind of basic strategies just with dedication and commitment to the desired outcome which is having a perfect dog which you will have if you put in that effort.