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My pup really hates to be home alone now! I know I should have practiced more when she was smaller, she is now 10 months old. Wondering how do I fix?

When left alone she sometimes will bite/dig into the throw rug or her bed (patched since it had a hole in it). She takes the insides of it out. I've caught her on webcam. She seems to have a ball doing it.

The thing is, when I return I use the "who did it" and "bad" words she HATES. She crouches, hides, sometimes even shakes in fear. If I pick up the cotton /rug she tore off or point and ask, she refuses to look.

How should I respond to her destruction? I feel bad saying "bad dog" when she's so upset when I do that, but I don't want her to think it's ok either.

Yes - she has plenty of plush and nylabone/antler toys laying around so it's not really a teething thing.
 

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Beware of Nestle Purina
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Telling her bad dog after the fact doesn't work. She is reacting this way because of the words you are using not the actions she did. This being said I always know when 1 of the dogs has done something mischievous (ripped up newspaper on the floor or de-stuffs a toy) or got sick because most will be hiding. I don't say anything I just clean it up.


Crate when you go out. House access is a privilege- Not a right. Or put her in a dog proof area. Nothing but her toys and crate.

If she is having a ball doing it she is bored not anxious. Buddy has separation anxiety. When left he barks, cries, whines, drools, walk back and forth, runs to check all the windows, and stands at the back door looking out. 8/10 times he is looking out the backdoor when I got back. I thought it was because he hurt the car so I tried leaving it a few houses away and the creeping up to the door and there he was. The windows and doors must be cleaned even if I only go to the mailbox. It is better from him if he is tired/exhausted before I leave.

I know it sounds silly but only give a few toys at a time and rotate them then they will be more interesting when she gets them again.
 
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Mulligan & Samantha's Mom
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I would use a crate if you're not doing so already. Put what you need to in the crate (towel if you're having potty issues and definitely some bones/ chewie toys).

The best method is prevention. Make it "no big deal" when you put your pup in the crate and leave. Consider giving a treat when your pup goes in the crate. You can also train your pup to learn that the crate means treats.

We had a lot of problems with Samantha when she was a pup (through 2 years) with separation anxiety. The crate was our savior. Mulligan learned to like the crate with some training and it gave us piece of mind after we adopted him at 1.5 years this past May.

Mulligan was VERY adversed to the crate at first. I started by giving treats through the door (i.e. he didn't have to be in the crate) and moving them slowly back. After a few days he would go into the crate to get treats.

Be patient and it will pay off. When in doubt crate your pet... it will give you piece of mind AND keep your doggy safe.

Best of luck and please us know if you have any additional questions/concerns.
 

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The crate will help, but shoving a bored dog into a crate is going to result in some problematic behavior as well.

EXERCISE your dog before you leave him. Take him on a walk, let him run around in the back yard, play fetch, etc.; do something to stimulate him before you put him in the crate. Also, as the first poster said, verbally punishing your dog after you come home is pointless. Dogs can't connect previous bad behavior to what you're saying.
 

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Treating a problem like this requires that the most serious aspects be dealt with first. Those would seem to be the destruction of the house and the dog's safety from consuming objects or things that could hurt them. The crate will do exactly like that. Depending on one's schedule, it may be necessary to put a "bored dog" in a crate. People who work face this very dilemma every morning they go to work. They wake up and feed the dog and the dog may get an hour of play time before it is time for them to leave. I would suggest the dog have a "safe" outside play area to play in after getting fed to burn up some energy. When you come home...DO NOT immediately recognize the dog if it is going bonkers in its crate. Once it settles down then take it out and play with it so that it learns that calm behavior is rewarded.
 
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