These 8 Mistakes Can Lead to a Destructive Dog

Jan 20, 2023by Suzie Cyrenne

If you’re anything like most dog parents, chances are you wouldn’t want your beloved canine family member to become a destructive dog sooner or later. Interestingly, this negative behavior can be prevented by simply avoiding a few key mistakes.

What’s really surprising is that you could be making these mistakes without even having the slightest clue. Read on to find out what these are so you won’t have to inadvertently deal with a destructive dog before you know it.


Mistake #1: You are not nipping things in the bud.

Funny playful dog destroying a fluffy pillow at home

A study published in ScienceDirect emphasizes that while some forms of destructive behavior like unnecessary chewing are associated with a dog’s early life stages, this could eventually become a full-blown problem if not corrected immediately.

Sure seeing your pup nibble at a plush toy may be cute, but it definitely won’t be that adorable if an older dog does the same thing. If you notice that your dog is on the verge of developing some destructive behavior, make sure you set it right as soon as you can.


Mistake #2: You are scolding instead of correcting your pooch.

owner finger pointing at black dog

Although it’s not uncommon that the terms “scolding” and “correcting” are used interchangeably these days, they definitely don’t mean the same thing. Let’s distinguish one from the other right now.

Scolding refers to harshly criticizing your dog for an act that he may have committed and usually involves some form of punishment. On the other hand, correcting pertains to making your dog understand that what he did was wrong in a positive and more constructive manner.

Should you observe your pooch displaying any destructive behavior, choosing correction doesn’t just reinforce the lesson you’re trying to teach him, but also helps strengthen the bond between you and your canine family member.


Mistake #3: You are not properly diverting your dog’s attention.

husky puppy playing a sock

I’ve seen a lot of dog parents who deliberately hand their pooches old footwear and socks to nibble on—and then get angry when they later discover their pets gnawing on fairly new slippers, shoes, socks, as well as other things.

If you’re looking to keep your dog’s destructive behavior in check by diverting his attention, it is crucial that you do it the right way. Instead of giving your pet stuff that he shouldn’t be chewing or biting in the first place, offer sturdy toys that do not easily break into pieces as a more feasible alternative.


Mistake #4: You are not exercising your dog enough.

The boy plays on a lawn with dog

ResearchGate reveals that a dog subjected to continuous bouts of physical understimulation can lead to undesirable effects in his behavioral, cognitive, and neural flexibility, which can set off destructive behavior in the long run.

Besides making it a point to have a regular exercise session with your pooch daily, such as walking, playing fetch, or engaging him in a game of tag, creating opportunities that motivate exploration and learning can also significantly help resolve this issue.


Mistake #5: You may be overlooking a health issue that your dog is going through.

sick dog

Failing to notice that your canine family member could be going through a health problem can also be a factor when it comes to destructive behavior in dogs. Since our pets cannot directly tell us that they’re feeling sick, they do it through non-verbal cues.

Examples of these non-verbal cues include nipping at objects, licking a specific body part, loss of appetite, and a sudden increase in water intake. Unexpected lethargy and skulking can also be observed in dogs when they are feeling ill.


Mistake #6: You are giving your pooch toys that easily break.

Naughty dog home alone

Some dogs tend to be quite rough when playing and they almost always end up breaking their toys. If you allow your pooch to habitually smash his toys to smithereens, chances are he will develop the notion that “playing” with toys is synonymous with “destroying” them.

Apart from potentially making your pooch destructive sooner or later, giving him access to toys that can shatter also puts him at risk of choking. A more pooch-friendly alternative would be going for plush toys that are specifically designed for dogs.


Mistake #7: You are not feeding him at set times.

Funny naughty dog playing with shoes at home

According to a study published in Neuropsychopharmacology, being exposed to persistent hunger can trigger impulsive behavior in animals. This means that if you don’t have a regular feeding schedule for your canine family member, it’s highly likely that he will get “hangry” and eventually display destructive behavior.

The first step to fix this issue is to have regular feeding times for your pooch. Keep in mind that it is also crucial to not just give your pet the right types of food, but the appropriate portions as well.


Mistake #8: You are not giving your dog enough mental stimulation.

Gerrman shepherd puppy with treat release toy

The lack of mental stimulation in dogs normally results in boredom. However, if this problem is not dealt with properly, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that the whole thing could set off separation anxiety in your canine family member, which could eventually encourage destructive behavior.

A no-fuss solution that I can recommend is introducing toys that have puzzle elements to your pooch. Go for the ones where you can put food or treats in, too. Besides encouraging your pet to use his smarts, the amount of mental stimulation he’ll get will also put off any unnecessary chewing and similar negative conduct.

And while we’re on the subject of curbing dog anxiety, here’s a natural option to consider including in your home pet care checklist…


A Natural Product To Keep Anxiety In Dogs At Bay


Zumalka’s CALMPET is designed to help maintain the balance of your pet’s nervous system while also improving his social behavior. The different natural homeopathic ingredients in its formulation work in synergy to promote an overall sense of serene well-being.

Apart from being a natural support to tremors, fear, and nervousness, CALMPET can also be used to help deal with hypersensitivity to noises, apprehension and other indicators of canine anxiety.


A Quick Recap

There is a possibility that your pooch could become a destructive dog if you’re overlooking a few mistakes that trigger negative behavior. This is why having an idea of what these mistakes are won’t just help you avoid this problem, but also ensure that you’re giving your pet the best quality of life at the same time.

Moreover, make sure you contact us if you’d like to find out more about keeping your canine family member as healthy and happy as can be using natural means. Our trained homeopathy professionals will help you every step of the way.



About the author

Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie Cyrenne


Suzie Cyrenne has dedicated more than 20 years of her life in making and improving natural animal health solutions in the global setting.

Being the co-founder of Zumalka, Suzie is a forerunner in enhancing the lives of pets through natural and homeopathic options using the knowledge she has gained from the Classical Homeopathy School in Quebec.

Through the guidance of her mother-in-law and fellow natural health expert, Denyse Lessard, Suzie constantly devotes herself to create premium pet products that are aimed at dealing with the root causes of wellness problems and not just their symptoms.

Besides immersing herself in books, personal development and visiting new places, Suzie also enjoys keeping herself in tiptop shape by snowboarding and taking daily hikes with her husband and Zumalka co-founder, Matt Lessard, and their Golden-Doodle, Westin.

Find out more about Suzie when you click HERE.

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