You are happy to get some new toys for your newly adopted dog, but only to find them shredded by your pet the day after.
This makes you wonder what is happening to him? Don’t dogs love to play with toys?
Is it because he has any allergies to these toys that make him uncomfortable? Or is there more to that?
Your dog is shredding toys because he is feeling so bored and there is nothing to keep him occupied. High prey drive makes him restless. He thinks there is a “treasure” hidden in the toys. It’s a learned behavior that he had picked up from shelter. He is trying to ease his teething pain. You have given him the “wrong” toys.
He Is Feeling Too Bored
Boredom is the primary factor that causes a dog to misbehave and act unexpectedly.
You will find him feeling restless, and he will start to bark, dig, whine, and chew on things such as your sock, clothes, wooden furniture and his surrounding toys.
So, make sure that you have planned out a routine to keep your dog busy for the day.
Physical and mental simulation activities are a MUST to provide an outlet for your dog to release his pent-up energy in his body.
This is SO important, especially if your dog belongs to active dog breeds such as Dalmatian, Russell Terrier, Siberian Husky, Poodle, Beagle and Border Collie which possess “unlimited” energy in their body due to their herding instincts.
They are always very active and energetic.
You will need to help your dog manage his energy and keep them in “control”.
Physical activities such as tug of war, chasing bubbles, flirt poles and fetch games can easily help your dog to drain off his energy and keep him from boredom.
As for the mental simulation exercises, I would suggest that you go through some basic obedience training commands with him, as this training will not merely make him utilize his brain power and keep him mentally tired but will also train him to be obedient.
As long as you provide your dog with adequate exercise and stimulation, he will not be “dissatisfied” with his life.
Also, make sure to play with him every now and then, talk to him, pet him, hug him, and give him attention.
This will ensure that your dog is able to enjoy his life to the fullest.
High Prey Drive Makes Him Restless
High prey drive breeds such as Airedale Terrier, Xoloitzcuintli, Greyhound, Saluki and Bull Terrier possess an instructive natural instinct to chase, pounce, and capture prey.
They are considered predatory in nature and are more aggressive, stronger, and possess higher stamina than other dog breeds.
If your dog belongs to one of these high prey breeds, he may see the toys as his prey and start “attacking” them.
This is especially so if the toys generate a high-pitched squeaking sound when he bites them and this will invoke his prey’s killer instinct to get rid of the squeak.
It could also be the case that he is “trapped” in the house all day long and starts to act aggressive as you are not providing him with a natural outlet for his energy.
He will exhibit his frustration through shredding his toys and your belongings, such as your clothing and shoes.
The best way to prevent your dog from this behavior is by providing him with the proper exercise and stimulation.
Give him a channel to express his energy and let him get it out just like what he would do in the wild.
Physical intensity games such as fetch will be a great option for your dog’s exercise routine.
You will throw a ball away from you and your dog will run after it and bring it back to you.
This is similar to him chasing after a prey in the wild and the ball is his “prey”.
Remember to always reward your dog with a praise or treat for fetching the ball back to you.
This will make him feel that this game is fun and rewarding, and he will love to continue playing.
There Is “Treasure” Hidden In The Toys
Just like your dog learning to figure out how to get his treat out from a KONG toy, he will also be curious about the toys that you are giving him and start exploring them.
He will play with his new toys and look for any potential hidden “treasure” on these toys that he can rip off.
So it is important that you should be mindful when giving your dog any toys to play with. They should be disclaimed as safe for dogs to play with.
A Learned Behavior That He Had Picked Up
Your dog will probably have picked up this “shredding” habit during his stay at the shelter.
You see, dogs learn from experience. They learn through repetition and by watching what others do.
They will do things that they see and if these behaviors bring them joy, they will repeat them over and over again.
This is why you should be careful not to give your dog the wrong impression that you are happy with his “shredding” behavior.
Never yell or scold him for that act, as this will only make him more likely to repeat the behavior. He will feel that this will be the way to get your attention.
Instead, you should calmly and firmly give him the command “Stop It!” and walk away. This is to let him know that you disapprove of this behavior.
Reward him (can be a small treat or simply just praise) ONLY if he responds and stops immediately.
This will make him learn that by stopping this act, GOOD things will happen!
Easing His Teething Pain
If your dog is in his teething stage, he could be experiencing discomfort in his mouth.
This means that his adult teeth are erupting from his gums and that causes immense pain in his mouth.
The pain can be so intense that it makes him want to chew his bed and tear up everything around him.
He will try to gnaw or bite on things that he can find and, of course, the surrounding toys will be his easy “target” as they are readily available.
This behavior is normal for any young dog who is in his teething stage and this can last for a period of 6 months till all his adult teeth are fully grown.
Your dog will be in his teething phase when he reaches the age of 3-6 weeks old.
You ought to pay special attention and ensure that the toys you are giving your dogs are safe and of good quality that can withstand his chewing and do not come with sharp edges or small detachable pieces that could possibly choke him.
Wrong Toys For Your Dog
Did you simply pass your kid’s toys to your dog to play with?
That explains why they are all shredded.
You see, your dog possesses sharp and long teeth and toys that are designed for humans are certainly not suitable for him.
In fact, these toys will be of GREAT danger to your dog as they are not made to withstand his chewing and small parts falling off from these toys could be swallowed by him, leading to choking.
You should only purchase chew toys that have been specially designed for dogs to chew and bite on from a reputable pet store, and they should be made from materials that are safe for your dog.