Dogs can be wonderful companions, but pet owners may encounter some challenges along the way.
Dogs may exhibit undesirable behaviors such as gnawing on your walls, which can be quite exasperating. To put an end to this conduct, it is crucial to determine the root cause.
Why does my dog chew on walls?
Upon arriving home from work, you notice that your beloved dog has caused damage to a wall. Rather than immediately reprimanding them, it is important to understand the reason behind why they are chewing on the walls.
If your dog is chewing walls, it could be due to teething if they are a puppy. Puppies typically develop their baby teeth at around 2 weeks old, and like humans, they lose these teeth and grow adult teeth.
Dogs typically start losing their baby teeth at around 3-4 months of age and should have all their adult teeth by the time they reach 6 months old, although this is not a hard and fast rule, so it’s plausible that your puppy who is either younger or older than this range may be chewing on walls due to teething.
After getting their adult teeth, dogs are not supposed to have teething problems. Nevertheless, if they develop a fondness for gnawing on your walls, they might persist even after the teething phase is over.
Dogs are trained using positive reinforcement, where they receive a treat when they obey a command, creating an association between the behavior and a positive outcome that encourages them to repeat it.
Training is beneficial, but there are instances where we unintentionally teach our dogs undesirable behaviors.
When you catch your dog chewing the wall, avoid scolding or removing them from the area as it can create a negative association and decrease the likelihood of them continuing to chew on your walls.
Although dogs don’t have the same moral compass as humans and may not inherently know that chewing walls is wrong, providing them with a toy or redirecting their behavior through communication can create a positive association and potentially discourage this destructive habit.
Instead of relying on their own judgment, dogs depend on your response to decide whether or not they should persist with the behavior of chewing walls. Your unintentional positive reaction signals to them that you are happy with what they are doing, or that wall-chewing leads to getting their favorite toy, which encourages them to continue this habit.
Similar to humans, dogs require different levels of attention. While some can manage with minimal human interaction, others have comparable attention needs to that of a young child.
It can be challenging to figure out the appropriate amount of attention to give to dogs that constantly seek more, making it difficult to determine when they have had enough.
If there has been a recent change in the amount of attention your dog is receiving, this could be the reason for their wall chewing behavior. It’s possible that a new family member or pet has been introduced, or your work schedule has shifted, resulting in less time for your furry friend.
If your dog is experiencing behavioral issues such as chewing walls, it is recommended to increase the amount of time you spend with them and consider hiring a dog walker or seeking assistance from family members. Additionally, arranging play dates with other dogs can aid in fulfilling their socialization requirements.
When you observe your dog chewing the wall, avoid giving them attention and wait until they stop before spending extra time with them.
It is common for owners to overlook the fact that dogs can become bored, and often times, destructive behavior such as chewing walls or personal items is the first indication that an owner considers what their dog does throughout the day.
Dogs require both mental and physical stimulation to maintain their well-being. In the absence of adequate mental stimulation, they tend to engage in activities that may not be desirable.
Regarding boredom, consider your dog to be similar to a young child. You may have heard the saying, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” which applies especially to dogs and children. If they don’t have appropriate activities, they will create their own. A bored toddler might scribble on the wall, while a dog may gnaw on it.
It is crucial to identify the root cause of your dog’s behavior before taking any action to address it, as disciplining a dog with anxiety may exacerbate the issue rather than resolve it.
Although you shouldn’t tolerate the behavior of your dog chewing walls, it’s important to refrain from scolding or using intimidating punishments and instead opt for a gentle approach.
Additional indications of dog anxiety consist of inappropriate elimination, extreme vocalization, restlessness, salivation, and heavy breathing. A few dogs may become hyperactive and exhibit destructive behavior while others may become unresponsive and sluggish.
Sounds in the Walls
Despite the various reasons why your dog might be chewing on walls, it is probable that they will also chew on other objects. While one day it could be the wall, the next day it may be your beloved shoes. However, it is improbable for this behavior to only target your walls.
If your dogs is solely gnawing on your walls and not displaying any other indications of a behavioral problem, the reason could be what’s concealed inside the wall.
Animals in the walls can be a reason why dogs resort to chewing on walls as they try to get rid of the intruder that does not belong in their territory. Due to their acute sense of hearing and smell, you may not even notice the presence of these animals, but if you hear them scurrying occasionally, it is highly likely that your dog is trying to deal with them by chewing.
When dealing with a dog that chews walls, it’s important to remember that they are trying to defend their territory, so discouraging this behavior may not be the best approach.
According to many owners, the recommended approach in this scenario is to recognize your dog’s behavior and make them aware that you understand what they are trying to achieve. Afterward, relocate them from the area without offering any rewards or positive reinforcement, as this may promote wall chewing.
If your dog is chewing on the wall, it could be due to the strange noises caused by pipes in the walls, which may be mistaken as an intruder by your furry friend.
How to stop my dog from chewing on walls?
Stopping your dog from chewing walls is essential, regardless of the underlying cause. It may require some effort on your part, but there are various methods to discourage this behavior.
Solve the Underlying Problem
To put an end to your dog’s wall chewing habit, you should initially address the root cause of the behavior. In case your dog is feeling bored, it requires additional physical activity and fresh playthings. However, if there are pests in your walls, eliminating them from your home is necessary.
Training Your Dog Not to Chew the Wall
It is crucial to train your dog to refrain from chewing walls, in addition to utilizing the techniques mentioned and addressing the root cause of the behavior. Employing this comprehensive strategy will increase the likelihood of success.
If you want to prevent your dog from chewing on walls, you will have to establish an appropriate consequence. Many pet owners discover that a repulsive flavor or a loud noise produced when the dog chews is sufficient to deter them from continuing the habit.
It is important to avoid rewarding your dog for wall chewing and expressing disappointment or displeasure is acceptable, as dogs can sense your emotional state and want to please their owners.
It is important to give positive reinforcement to your dog when they chew on acceptable items, as this can aid in training them to avoid chewing on the walls and focus on their toys instead.
Taste repellants can discourage most dogs from chewing walls, and there are two options available. The first one is to use a commercially available deterrent spray such as bitter apple.
Non-toxic sprays that taste unpleasant to dogs and may contain a scent repellant are available, but it is important to test a small area before applying them to your wall as they have the potential to stain your paint.
If you want to prevent your dog from chewing walls, you can create a taste repellant using hot sauce, which is both easy and efficient. All you need to do is mix it with water and apply it to the wall, but make sure to test for staining before applying it fully.
Using a correction method can be effective for dogs that chew walls due to reasons other than anxiety. When you observe your dog chewing the wall, activate the corrector spray which emits air and produces a hissing sound.
If you have ever tried blowing in your dog’s face, you are aware that they do not like it. This method is a successful way to discourage them from doing something because it creates an unfavorable connection. It does not cause any harm to your dog, and the unpleasant experience is not directly linked to you as it would be if you were to yell at them.
Anti Chew Panelling
Finally, anti-chew panels can be installed as a solution. Certain dogs are extremely persistent and stopping them from chewing on drywall can be challenging. If you have attempted other techniques and are unable to monitor your dog while you’re away at work, this may be the answer.
If your dog has a habit of chewing walls, using anti-chew panels can be an effective solution. These panels are available in two types: one that you can install on the wall to prevent chewing and another that is durable enough to withstand your dog’s teeth.
Anti-chew panels made of acrylic or plexiglass can be purchased pre-made for this specific purpose, or the raw material can be bought and cut to fit your requirements.
To prevent your dog from chewing on the walls, it is recommended to install panels that cover the specific areas where they tend to chew. These panels are made of a smooth and durable material that is difficult for dogs to chew on. Additionally, the clear color of the panels makes them inconspicuous and blends in with the wall.
Another solution to prevent chewing is to buy fiberglass paneling that is specifically designed for this purpose. This option, like the others, is built to withstand the force of chewing and protect against damage.
How to fix damaged drywall from a dog?
It is possible to repair a wall that has been chewed by your dog using some simple items from a nearby hardware store.
If you need to repair a minor hole or an area that has been gnawed less than 1/4 inch deep, you will require drywall compound, and it is recommended to use sandpaper initially to even out any uneven surfaces.
To eliminate dust, apply drywall compound to fill in any gaps and ensure that the surface is even with the wall, using a putty knife to smooth it out.
After the drying process, sanding is required to make it smooth and ready for painting. The paint you select may require a primer before applying it to match your wall color.
Medium Holes or Area
If your dog has caused significant damage to your drywall by chewing, you can use drywall mesh to repair it. The process involves applying the mesh and then covering it with compound.
The purpose of using drywall compound is to provide a surface for the compound to adhere to, but it may not be effective for extensive damage or large holes. In such cases, additional measures may be necessary.
After applying the drywall compound, it should be left to dry before sanding and painting. It is highly recommended to use primer before painting because of the extensive surface area.
Large Holes or Area
If your dog has caused significant damage to a wall, simply patching it up won’t suffice. Instead, you’ll have to remove the affected portion of the wall and replace it entirely.
If you are not skilled in using power tools and have no prior experience with drywall, it is advisable to seek the services of a professional. The affected section needs to be taken out, and fresh wood or drywall must be put in its place.
Proper execution is crucial to avoid visible damage to your wall when repairing it.
Why does my dog chew the wall when left alone?
If your dog is left alone, they may resort to chewing on the wall due to reasons mentioned earlier or because of separation anxiety.
Separation anxiety in dogs happens when they get distressed when left alone. While some dogs are okay as long as their owners are in the house, others may become anxious and follow them around. These dogs can also get upset if their owners leave the room.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, they may exhibit destructive behavior such as chewing on walls, personal belongings, and anything within their reach. Additionally, they may excessively vocalize their distress when you are not in close proximity.
You can also check this YouTube video about this topic:
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