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Dogs have been domesticated for centuries. They live close by our sides, we treat them as part of the family and our own emotions and behaviour have been learned by them. Dogs can be jealous, bored, hateful and spiteful.
The most common cause of chewing is boredom, apart from when the dog was a pup and teething.
If we spend more time with our dogs and pay them more attention, boredom chewing can be eliminated.
Make sure your dog isn’t let for too many hours at a time during the day. If you have to work all day, pop home at lunchtime and pay your dog some attention or ask a neighbour to pop in for you.
If a dog has been the “only child” and then a baby comes along, this can trigger the dog to act of spitefully.
A story about a young Boxer dog is a great example here:
Ever since he was a puppy, this Boxer had been an “only child” to a couple who spoiled him with lots of love and attention.
The dog was always taken shopping, running errands, and visiting friends. He loved tagging along with his parents.
Then, a new baby arrived and things changed. Suddenly, the dog found himself left in the car during trips. On one occasion, mum and dad returned to the car only to find the entire interior completely destroyed! The car seats, the padded dashboard, the upholstery, all ripped to shreds.
The Boxer dog was venting his wrath the only way he knew how by chewing.
This is a case of spiteful chewing, not necessarily jealousy. The dog was not jealous of the new baby in the family, but he was not willing to give up his former position in the family and go back to just being a dog.
Replace the dog’s target
The next time you catch your dog or puppy chewing a sock, shoe, or other objects that he’s not supposed to, take it away from him, followed by a firm “No!”
The object should be replaced with his own chew toy. The toy will take his mind off whatever he was chewing and won’t make him think that you are taking something away from him. This will also teach him what is acceptable to chew and what is not.
With changes such a new baby, your dog will need a little extra care and training to prevent bad behaviour and to settle in with the new changes.