Sometimes the joys of having a canine companion are overshadowed by your pooch's natural instincts and destructive behavior. Chewing is one of the most common behavioral problems, along with digging. Luckily for you -- and the plants -- both of these behaviors are correctable.
Find out why your four-legged friend is attacking your landscape. Many dogs chew and dig because they are boredom, suffer from separation anxiety or they lack the proper things to chew on. Both puppies and adult dogs need to chew, it's a natural, instinctive behavior -- but they'll also become destructive if they're not getting enough exercise or attention.
Give your pooch some high-quality, durable chew toys suited for her size and chewing abilities. Many of these chew toys have ridges and bumps that stimulate the gums and imitate items they would naturally chew on. If your pup is a highly destructive chewer, consider buying different types of chew toys to satisfy those undying urges to destroy.
Pick up the pace on your dog's exercise routine. Whether this means taking your brisk walk up to a jog or extending the length of your daily walk, the additional exercise could be exactly what your pooch needs to satisfy the boredom she's feeling.
Spread some hot sauce or a bitter taste repellent on the tree trunks and shrubs. Dogs are sensitive to tastes and smells and this could very well put an abrupt end to the vicious cycle your pup has started.
Enlist the help of some scare tactics and a firm, disciplinary voice to aid you in correcting the behavior. Fill a tin can with small pebbles or rice and shake it when your pooch starts gnawing on your favorite shrub and give a firm "no!" The sound often startles the pooch immediately and when repeated over a short time will help your friend realize the chewing is not acceptable.
Place a tree cage around the trunk. You can purchase these or make them out of chicken wire. Don't let the wire rub on the trunk; leave a few inches between the trunk and the cage.
Place wire mesh under an inch or so of mulch around the base of your bushes and trees to prevent digging. The mulch will hide the wire so it doesn't create an eyesore, while also deterring the digging behavior because of the way it feels on your pup's feet.
- While chewing on wood is a natural behavior to satisfy the urges in wild dogs, your domesticated pooch could suffer from serious injuries because of it. Wood can splinter or your pup could swallow pieces that are too large to pass.
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.