PG 72 ASK THE EXPERT
Our esteemed experts offer their advice.
I have two eight-month-old mongrel brothers. They are both very destructive and impossible to control! They rip our shoes into pieces, chew on the teak legs of our dining table, and dig up the garden. They even bit and dug a huge hole in my sofa. I’m desperate as I’m unable to manage them. What should I do?
Puppies are always innocent, especially considering how small and cute they are in the beginning. But as they grow bigger, teething kicks in. When this happens, they find the urge to ease the discomfort by chewing on things. However, if they’re not given the appropriate toys to chew on, they will find their own. Sadly, it always ends up being your household furniture. If this issue is not nipped in the bud early, it evolves into a permanent bad habit. Even when teething is over, your dog will find joy in chewing up anything he can set his mouth on.
To prevent and stop this bad habit, you will need to start better managing your home. You will have to stop giving complete freedom to your dogs. If you are unable to watch them, they need to stay in a confined area such as a room, playpen, or crate. While in their confined areas, they must be given things to do. Puzzle dog toys, dog chews, and other types of toys should be given so they do not get bored. When you decide to let them out to play, you must monitor them at all times. Give them useful toys even when they are outside. These bad habits are caused by boredom. If they have something better to do, they will not need to find something to occupy themselves with, such as destroying the beautiful teak legs of your dining table.
Another thing that contributes towards your current predicament is littermate syndrome. By adopting two puppies at the same time, they tend to bond very well with each other and basically ignore everything or everyone else, including you. They do everything together and it is very hard to get their attention. With the confinement approach, you will have to separate them if you want them to listen to you. They will have to be fed, walked, played with, and trained separately.
EXPERT: MAUREEN TAY Certified professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed AVA-accredited Dog Trainer Association of Professional Dog Trainers Pet Professional Guild KasPup UniFURsity