Since Hailey’s destruction is driving me batty, I have decided to put on my behaviour analyst hat and try and figure out what the function of this behaviour is and what we might be able to do about it.
Possible causes/function of the behaviour (from my internet search):
1 Separation Anxiety: Upon further research into this, we don’t know if it is true separation anxiety because when we leave, we don’t hear any barking etc immediately. All the research I have read suggests the behaviour should occur as soon as we leave. The neighbours have never complained about obsessive barking (and they would complain!)
2 General Anxiety: It may occur because of anxiety caused by things like storms. We do not have storms that often, so occasionally it may be due to this, but not always.
Lack of exercise: We are averaging at least 1.5 hours per day and sometimes more. On Caesar they only suggested 2 hours per day for a much bigger, part wolf dog.
4Curiosity Propelled Chewing – Occurs mostly in juvenile dogs (which she is) as they explore their environment.
We think it is curiosity propelled chewing. (It does happen sometimes when we are home)
To help prevent this we:
- Provide her with things to chew on – she is left with treats, including a Kong, as well as access to many of her babies.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise!
- We tried crate training, but this did cause separation anxiety and worst destruction, so we are not sure we should try that again.
- Clean the environment to keep anything she may want to chew (but she is smart and tries to find new things!)
- Pray she outgrows it – well, we will, but we don’t want to have our house eaten first!
What scares me is that some of the research suggests that some dogs never out grow this! Especially sporting breeds (which is likely in her mix). If anyone has suggestions for us, please, please share!