dvm (42)Puppies are very cute and fun but, their curiosity can often get them into trouble. Here are some tips to keep Fido from digging up the flower bed or destroying the curtains. Being so playful and curious, there are 3 main destructive behaviors that owner’s experience: biting, chewing and digging.

With biting, this often occurs when you are playing with your puppy. Though it may seem cute, it is important to let your puppy know that biting people is not okay. Make sure that playtime is done with a toy and not with your hands or feet. If they bite you, stop playing and walk away for a few minutes. It is important that you stop playing so that your puppy can understand that you stopped because they bit. If you and your puppy are cuddling and they start to bite or mouth at you, provide them with a toy instead. Lastly remember that this is all a learning process for your new pup. While it is okay to walk away and give playtime a rest, it is never okay to hit your puppy, grab their muzzle of physically punish them.

On to chewing, puppies are very curious about the world around them, and they often explore this world with their teeth. It is important to not only keep them from ruining your furniture, but to make sure that they don’t chew on anything dangerous. Make sure that you puppy-proof your home. Keep cleaning supplies away from where your puppy can find the, and try to tuck away any electrical wires. If there are potentially dangerous items that cannot be put elsewhere, you can but bitter apple spry to deter chewing. It is also important to give your puppy items that they can chew, like rubber kong toys. These can be especially helpful when your puppy is teething. Exercise can also help deter chewing as sometimes puppies will chew out of boredom. If you notice that your puppy is constantly chewing, or destroying the home when you are out, call your vet as it can be a clinical sign of a more serious behavioral problem.

Last but not least, digging. Digging can be a tough behavior to stop, as it can be caused by many different things. Make sure your puppy is getting lots of exercise, as boredom can cause pups to start digging. It is also important to make sure that the digging is not caused by any subterranean pests in your yard. Keep an eye out for signs of mice, moles and other animals. You may have to call pest control to get these animals out of your yard. If it is very hot out, and you notice that you pup is digging holes and then lying in the dirt, chances are that they are too hot. Make sure to provide you pup with lots of water when they are playing outside, and give them access to shade.
With all behaviors, there is always a chance that the real culprit is a medical problem. If you notice any of these behaviors in excess, be sure to call the vet to rule out any medical issues.