Destructive dog? Is your dog destructive or unruly when you leave home? You are not alone. This is a common problem. Often the destructive behavior begins soon after the owner leaves the home. Many people assume that separation anxiety is at work. Separation anxiety is a pretty specific diagnosis with specific symptoms, which in the worst cases may involve behavior leading to self harm. Sometimes, when things go awry
when you are out, it’s not anxiety that’s at work. The dog could simply be bored. Or, the dog could see the departure of the owner as an opportunity to engage in a rewarding behavior that it discovered.
I wanted to understand who raided my kitchen cabinets when I was out of the house, and if this was an anxiety-related behavior or something else. I was also curious about how it was done! With a nose? Paws? As a group effort? This was a new problem that started when my sister’s dogs were visiting. Take a look at the video below, which I made from still photos taken with ICAM on a motion detection setting. There are lots of video and photo apps today that are great tools for seeing what your dog is up to when you are out.
Separation anxiety is tough to treat and will probably best be resolved if you have help from a credentialed trainer/behaviorist. For dogs that are bored, exercise, entertainment (stuffed chews) and management/prevention will help. To help better understand what is going on with your dog while you are gone, you can get some clarity about the behavior with a photo video program.