Digging and Chewing Issues

Dear WOOF:

How do I stop my dog, a Lab mix, from digging up my plants and chewing them, chewing on my car, and digging up my lawn. He is about a year old. I placed him on a chain but he still finds a way to chew things up. I bought him several chew toys and big bones. I play with him daily. Is he stressed? I hate to have to give him away or take him to a pound.

Thanks for any tips you could pass our way.


Hi:

Does this dog live outside? If so, I would suggest that you have him live indoors where he belongs, as part of the family!

If he does not live outside, do you leave him outside alone for extended periods of time -like while you're at work all day? If so, I'd suggest that you crate train him to stay in the house during your absences. Many people think that dogs will be "happier" if left outside alone, rather than indoors. This is not the case for most dogs. It sounds like your dog is more than likely just bored, and quite possibly a bit stressed, although more information is needed to make an accurate assessment of the cause.

Clearly, you need to get some help right away. Do you live in the Detroit Metro area? If so, please contact me directly . If you do not live in Metro Detroit, please email me with information on where you live so that I can put you in touch with a qualified positive reinforcement trainer that can help.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
Lisa Patrona,  Dip. CBST, CPDT-KA, ACDBC, AABP-CDT