Dog on the couch

2015-07-23 06:00

I AM having problems with my naughty and destructive dog Gypsy. She is digging up my plants and steals and chews my books. She also removes the washing from the line and puts it in her bed after throwing out her blanket. Please help. - Rowella Pieterse

When dealing with these types of behavioural issues it is important to try to imagine reversing roles. I hear two cries for help. The first is from you, obviously distressed by the destruction of your property.

The second is from Gypsy, who is revealing and relieving stress and boredom. Do you take her out for a walk once a day? Confinement even to a large garden isn’t enough for some dogs. They need activity and to experience different sights and smells. The brain needs to be stimulated in order to create a psychologically healthy dog.

When these needs are not met, frustration and stress levels increase. Chewing and digging are both dogs’ ways of releasing frustration and stress.

A pet has needs besides shelter, food and water. Taking in a pet entails a responsibility to meet their psychological and emotional needs by giving them a stimulating and satisfying life. Imagine yourself with no social outlets or pastimes, and you will be able to empathise with the frustrated dog.

Share appropriate activities. Interact with your dog. Learn to communicate with her and to read her. Enjoy regular walks and quality playtime with Gypsy, and you both will feel much better.

With best wishes Susan.

Send questions to info@dogbox trainingschool.co.za

A pet has needs besides shelter, food and water. Taking in a pet entails a responsibility to meet their psychological and emotional needs by giving them a stimulating and satisfying life

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