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Reducing Dog Shredding: How To and Tips

by Ann Ruyag November 30, 2018

Reducing Dog Shredding: How To and Tips

Some dogs have the common habit of chewing, ripping apart, and shredding your couch or other belongings without you watching or while you are away from home.

Does the statement above remind you of your beloved canine companion? Are you tired of seeing this happen but you can’t just punish your dog extremely because they do not know any better? What would you feel if we tell you that this constant state of stress can be stopped? Yes, it is possible! There are certain ways you can do to ultimately stop the slow destruction of your furniture by your pooch. Follow the easy steps provided below to help prevent dog shredding and save your belongings. 

Why do dogs shred?

dog shredding

It is fairly common for dog owners to experience this once or twice, or even thrice. There’s no science behind it or a huge explanation, dogs just love shredding things (like paper, furniture, etc.) with their mouths. It is something that they are innate in doing. Dogs enjoy shredding and the sensation that comes with it, and they will never see the harm in doing this. Moreover, dogs sometimes shred whenever they feel bored, anxious, stressed. However, this does not mean that you cannot prevent or stop this. Some dogs are even more likely to be ‘shredders’ than other breeds. These breeds include Terriers, Boxers, Golden Retrievers, and Maltese.

Although dog shredding may seem like a harmless past time – except for the fact that your dog is literally tearing up paper – dog owners must remember that your canine’s health is also put at risk because dogs who swallow paper may develop digestive problems in the future. There are certain measures you can do and follow to prevent your beloved pooch from shredding your favorite novel or your child’s test paper.

Reducing Dog Shredding

  1. Avoid leaving paper!

They say prevention is better than cure. The same can be said when it comes to dog shredding. In order to avoid this, you can start by not leaving behind pieces of paper lying around in which the dog can easily reach and then shred. Make sure that all your newspapers, magazines, books, schoolwork, etc. is put in a place where your dog is unable to reach and make contact.

  1. Provide a safe and fun alternative

Since dogs have a certain need to chew something, you can maybe try and provide a safer alternative for the dog and for the owner. A chew toy or a stuffed animal is a popular choice when it comes to this. Another option you can provide is a hard and hollow rubber toy; you can then fill the toy with peanut butter or any dog treat and have watching your dog figure out how to remove the food on his own. Basically, anything that distracts the dog’s mouth is perfect to reduce dog shredding.

  1. Constantly engage your dog in playtime before leaving

Since dog shredding commonly occurs during times where the owners are not present, one thing you can do is to engage your dog in playtime before leaving the house. This allows the dog to release excess energy and encourages the dog to sleep throughout the day rather than using its energy in shredding up paper or furniture. Like what they say, a tired dog is a calm dog. Allow your dog to release energy in playtime so that it won’t have any left for shredding.

  1. Close off a specific area of your home

If your dog shredding problem gets a bit more serious and hard to control, then you can try to close off a specific area of your home and let your dog stay there. You can use a spare bedroom or invest in a tall baby gate to create a safe space for your dog to dwell in while you are away. Make sure to include all the things needed for your dog, like beddings, adequate food and water, and toys so that he does not grow tired and be bored for the rest of the day.

  1. Distract your dog while you are away from home

Again, distraction is the key to avoid or reduce dog shredding in your home. Before leaving your home, you can leave stimulation for your dog to keep him occupied and distracted until you come back. You can buy dog puzzle toys that your pooch would really enjoys solving or those toys that you can fill with food and dog treats. Basically anything that would keep your dog stimulated all throughout the day is recommended to reduce dog shredding.

  1. Correct your dog, point out his/her mistakes

If ever you catch your dog doing something inappropriate, like ripping up paper or furniture, make sure to correct him or her nicely and patiently. Don’t shout or scold your dog harshly for this will not do any good. After correcting your pooch, you can then provide a chew toy and praise him when he plays with it. It is all a matter of behaviorism and letting your dog slowly know that it is not nice to dog shred.

  1. Love your dog!

Dogs usually act up when they feel lonely or sad. Spending all of your time with your dog is clearly impossible so make sure to give him plenty of attention and love while you have time! Make sure that your dogs feel extra love especially if you’re leaving for quite some time. Don’t forget to also praise your dog and give him a reward every time it leaves your furniture or any paper material untouched and unscathed.

We hope that you have learned a lot from our list above. Dog shredding is never a healthy behavior by dogs. Aside from it affects your paper materials and furniture; it also has grave consequences on the health of your canine companion. So for your dog’s health, and for your wellbeing, it is essential to slowly prevent and train your dog to stop this behavior.

Ann Ruyag
Ann Ruyag


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