Destructive behavior in dogs can be triggered by many reasons ranging from boredom to attention-seeking. If your furry pal claws and chews the molding in your home, the damage can affect the aesthetic appeal and get costly. There are various things you can do to nip your dog's undesired behavior in the bud and to prevent further damage.
Block Access and Vet Visit
If your dog destroys the molding in a certain room, blocking his access can prevent further damage. This might be as easy as closing the door to the room, using a baby gate to block the entrance, or placing your pet companion in a crate when you can't watch him. Before taking any other damage-preventing steps, visit the veterinarian. He can examine your dog to rule out medical conditions, such as gastrointestinal problems and nutritional deficiencies, which might trigger his behavior.
Exercise and Toys
Lack of exercise can be the reason why your dog is clawing and chewing the molding in your home. His misbehavior might stem from pent-up energy that he's trying to release. Increasing his activity level by taking long walks and playing games, such as fetch and tug-of-war, can help. Also, exercise him mentally by practicing obedience training every day. When your dog is home alone, give him plenty of chew toys and a food-stuffed dog toy to keep him busy and entertained.
Interrupt and Redirect
Consistently interrupting and redirecting your furry friend can correct his behavior. Observe him closely, and the moment he starts chewing or clawing the molding, shake a can of coins or clap your hands. The loud noise will startle him and stop him in his tracks. Then, show him a chew toy. When he shows interest in it, praise him lavishly to encourage the good behavior. Never scold or punish your dog after you find the damage, because he won't be able to associate your anger with his chewing and clawing.
Spraying the molding with a taste deterrent might make your dog think twice about chewing and clawing it. Use a commercial taste deterrent, or spray cleanser or cologne with a citrus odor on the molding. Test the product on a small area first to ensure there's no adverse reaction. Observe your dog when he goes near the molding, because some dogs might not mind the taste deterrent and will continue to do damage. If the deterrent works, reapply it regularly to maintain its effectiveness.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.