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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wolfie is Eating His Doggie Bed

I think that my dog, Wolfie, has probably eaten his weight in doggie beds!  He never does it in front of me, but he just chomps on it at night or when I am away.  I don't want to take his bed away from him.  What would he sleep on?



In my early days of dog training, I wrestled with this question time and time again.  I came up with some interesting answers and scenarios I asked my clients to try.  The results were hit and miss...

Several years ago, I had one of those "Oh my gosh" moments about dogs eating their dog beds when we weren't around to let them know it was wrong.  The first thing to remember is that dogs don't need a nice fluffy bed to lie on to fall asleep.  Look outside.  Wolfie is sleeping on the cement patio or on the rocks under the tree.  They love to sleep on the cool tile during the hot days of summer.  So, our first "truism"  is that we don't need to give Wolfie a bed.

Next, we have to understand that dogs build behaviors through repetition and direction.  If we are allowing them do destroy their fluffy beds because we can't catch them, we are instilling the behavior of "let's tear up fluffy things" with our dogs.  The next thing we know, it isn't the $35 dog bed that we find torn up, it is the $400 upholstered and fluffy family room chair that now has stuffing all over the carpet.

So, what do we do?  The answer is really simple.  I know that we "humans" don't like simple answers, but here goes...

Take the dog bed away and let Wolfie sleep on the ground.  We know that he is fine with the ground, so we are not going to give him back aches.  Also, we have removed that repetitive destructive behavior.  This will keep him from escalating that unwanted behavior to destroying more expensive things. Wolfie is still fine and we have saved a ton of money.  Win win for all!  For more information, please contact The Best Dog Trainers in South Florida.

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