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As Bark Busters dog trainers in Las Vegas, we have seen dogs tear through drywall and knock down doors when they are suffering from separation anxiety. We have seen dogs chew through couches and dig up new plants. These are destructive behaviors. Although it is normal for puppies to play bite and chew, it’s time to do something about it. In fact, destructive behaviors are the number one reported behavior problem in dogs. Understand a dog is not being destructive to annoy you, nor does he understand when you say “no”.

Most often, dogs engage in destructive behaviors when they are bored, not trained properly to make good choices, scared, aggressive, diet deficient, or anxious. Just as many pet parents chew on their nails or have a glass of wine when they are nervous, licking, chewing, digging and toileting in the house are common behavior for dogs when they are nervous.

There are several different methods to stop your dog from chewing, depending on what he is chewing. Keep in mind that dog’s tastes vary and what deters one day may not deter others:


  • Bitter Apple spray is effective. It safe and the most multi-purpose deterrent available. It can be sprayed on just about anything as it does not stain and is non-toxic. Ask us about the most effective way to use it in conjunction with behavior modification for your dog.
  •  Mental stimulation will help reduce chewing if your dog is bored. Bark Busters Las Vegas can teach you easy, time efficient ways to mentally exercise your dog.
  • Interactive toys are advisable. Toys will help divert your dog’s attention to a more interesting option for chewing when they need something to do. Some dogs also find chewing soothing, so if they have something to chew on that they won’t get in trouble for, then it can reduce your stress and theirs. Ask us about the GameChanger!
  • Never give your dog shoes or clothing to chew. We walked into one of our client’s homes and the dog had chewed her slippers to which the pet parent said: “I don’t mind as long as she doesn’t chew my shoes.” Unfortunately, dogs don’t know the difference between shoes they can chew and shoes they can’t. Dogs don’t know “valuable” or “new”. Keep all clothing items and shoes off limits! Also, be aware that allowing your dog to chew up plastic drink bottles may unintentionally teach your dog to chew up other plastic items like plastic planters, hoses or garden furniture.
  • Never physically correct your dog for chewing. Bark Busters does not believe in pain or physical punishment, since this basically will teach your dog aggressive behavior.  Instead, we will show you how to stop dog chewing using the way dogs naturally communicate — voice tones and body language.

Punishment is not very effective in stopping your dog’s destructive behaviors and can in fact make them worse. If you discover an item your dog has chewed even a few minutes after the fact, it’s too late to correct him. He/she does not associate his action to your reaction. You know that guilty look you think you are getting? It is really just your dog reacting to your angry tone or facial expressions.

To truly eliminate destructive behaviors, call your Bark Busters Las Vegas dog trainers — Derek and Lissette Anovick.  We will teach you how to overcome destructive behaviors!

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