How to Stop a Dog From Destroying Your House When Gone

If your new puppy is chewing up everything in his sight, know there are certain ways to deter, correct, and punish their unwanted behavior. Puppies might be the cutest little things on earth, but they can be very frustrating when they chew and destroy things,

Puppy Proofing

Make life a lot easier for both you and your new puppy by putting away stuff you don’t want him to chew on. Remember you can put them back later on when he outgrows this behavior.

Put your plants into protective custody, tape down the electrical wires, pick up any throw rugs. Put your clothes and shoes into the closet and shut the door securely. Hide the trash cans in a closet, along with the toliet paper and household cleaners. And if there’s anything heavy in your home that a puppy could pull down, secure it so he can’t hurt himself.

Acceptable Behavior

Teach your puppy what behavior is acceptable right from Day 1 Puppy chewing might be cute when you first bring him home, but it will quickly become a major problem if you let him keep doing it. Start working with him right from the start to prevent this dog behavior problem from ever becoming an issue.

Designated Room

Keep your dog In one room, Use a puppy gate to confine him to one room in your home that has been well puppy-proofed. A wire-reinforced puppy gate that he can’t chew through is best.

Minimize Distractions

Too many toys can be overwhelming distracting, with two or three being readily available is plenty. He needs to learn what toys are his, and what belongs to you. If he has too many toys out, it’s harder for him to learn this important distinction.

Plus he’ll get bored with them after a few days. It’s best to swap them out every few days to keep them interesting for him.

Obedience Training

Start obedience training right away A young puppy can’t concentrate for too long, so keep the sessions very short. 30-second mini-sessions several times a day are best. Take advantage of those teachable moments as they arise. Correcting small behavior problems as they happen is much better than trying to deal with ingrained dog behavior problems later on.


We can’t say this enough. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! Every puppy needs one to two hours of rousing exercise every day to burn off that excess energy. Playing fetch, running, jumping, and long walks are a great way to keep him tired out.

Dog Parks

Playmates are fun. If you have a dog park nearby, take him there every day to run and play with other puppies. This is also a great way for him to learn how to get along with other dogs.

Agility Training

This is a win-win situation for both of you. These classes are a great way to channel your pup’s energy in a positive way. He’ll also become more coordinated and confident as well. And both you and your puppy will enjoy working together.


A bitter-tasting spray can discourage and stop puppy chewing. If your pup just won’t stop gnawing on the chair leg, try spraying it with a bitter apple spray. This is an easy way to make your companion wonder why he ever thought that chair leg tasted good. Plus you’re not being the bad guy by yelling at him to stop all the time.


Don’t punish them after the fact. Puppies live in the present. Punishing him for something he did a couple of hours ago is fruitless. He doesn’t understand what he did to upset you unless you catch him in the act.


Watch out for the little things. For a young puppy, there is probably no greater joy than exploring the world around him with his mouth. Everything he comes across he wants to lick, taste, eat. Shoes, socks, toys, buttons, cushions, the carpet, you name it and he wants it. If the object is too big, your puppy will bite pieces out of it using those sharp puppy teeth that can seem like razors at times.

So it is up to us, as responsible dog owners, to practice good puppy safety to make sure that they make it through this inquisitive stage. If not, this destructive phase can also be fatal for the puppy.

The problem is not only with something getting stuck in his throat, but so many things have harsh and dangerous chemicals that can be fatal to a young puppy. An unsupervised puppy is so much like an unsupervised infant, just looking for something to get into.


Puppies are drawn to all sorts of decorations, and bright, shiny objects such as:

  • Pins
  • Magnets
  • Needles
  • Glass
  • Plastic
  • Wood

Many of these items can become stuck in your puppy’s throat or their intestines. Worse yet, they can actually puncture the throat or intestines.


Misha is over a year old, but this is really her first Christmas. At least, the first Christmas that she gets to see the tree with all the decorations and so on. So as Christmas draws near it is important to keep your puppy’s safety in mind, especially with all the lights, and shiny Christmas decorations begging for your puppy’s attention.

Be especially careful with all the electrical wires. You definitely don’t want your puppy to start chewing on one of the string of Christmas lights. An electric shock can be lethal to a young puppy, to any dog actually.

Common Sense

The secret to puppy safety and decorations is just good old common sense. and supervision. Remember, it only takes a second for a puppy to choke on a piece of gift wrap ribbon or for some other dangerous item to become stuck in his throat.

Whether it is Christmas time or some other celebration, just keep an eye on your puppy. Telling him “No” will not have much effect on a curious puppy. It is up to us as dog owners to practice good puppy safety habits, and supervision is a key factor.

Other Dangers

Another particularly dangerous item is soft rubber. The puppy can easily tear off pieces of soft rubber from toys and balls. These pieces of rubber can then stick to your puppy’s intestines causing intestinal blockage.


Your puppy is a fairly uncomplicated, creature so how do they learn? He does things because there is something in it for him. It may be a treat, it may be a cuddle, or it may even be to avoid punishment, but his main motivation is what he wants.

This means that you need to let go of the idea that your pup should do things because he loves you. But it’s not all bad – you can take advantage of this self-interest to train him.

If he does something and it results in something pleasant, such as a treat or a cuddle, then he is very likely to repeat that behavior. For example, if he is given a piece of hot dog when he sits, he will do it again to try and get more hot dogs.

Puppies are capable of learning from a very young age, and you can start training your new four legged companion as soon as he comes home with you.


Food is an ideal reward for pups. It needs to be chopped into small pieces so you can reward him repeatedly during a training session without him getting too full. Diced hot dogs, roast chicken, even small pieces of diced meat are perfect for this purpose. Don’t use his regular kibble, it won’t be exciting enough and he may not try very hard for it.

Some pups aren’t motivated by food, but they are very much in the minority. If your dog isn’t interested in treats, then reward him with a pat or a game of tug with his favorite toy. Whatever you use to reward your puppy, it should be something that he absolutely loves and will be very keen to work for.


Puppies learn by repetition. This helps him to link the treat or reward with the behavior he was doing when he received the reward.

If you spend 5 or 10 minutes twice a day teaching him a behavior, then he’ll learn it much quicker than if you trained him once a week. Short training sessions are best for puppies as they don’t have long attention spans. Two 5 minute sessions a day is much better than a half hour training session once a week.


This ties in with repetition. Your pup will learn best if you are consistent. If you are teaching your dog to sit using a hand signal, then every time you train him, use that same signal. He’ll quickly figure out what you are asking him to do when you move your hand in that particular way.

If you don’t want him to jump on the bed, then don’t let him up there one day, then push him onto the floor the next. He won’t know what you want!

If you are teaching him to walk nicely at heel, then reward him for doing so, and not when he is pulling ahead. This will only confuse him and he won’t know what you are actually asking of him. He will probably still learn, but it will take longer.

Staying Calm

How To keep one’s sanity when a new puppy moves In. It took me a lot of years before I was willing to get a puppy because we live in Moncton, a city, and I always preferred seeing dogs running free on farms outside of the town. In the back of my mind, I had still been expecting to buy a home out of the city. But our son was growing up without a dog, so I gave in, and I’m glad I did.

If you are just now thinking of bringing a puppy home to join your family congratulations, I never had an indoor dog or puppy, so I had no idea what we were in for. Be ready to lose a little sleep over the first few weeks!

Puppies need constant attention, even if it’s only your eyes on them at all times. There is a good reason for that, as you’ll find out soon enough. You have to learn the signs that say something is about to happen and be ready for it. Including a lot of things such as:

  • misunderstandings
  • the persistent chewing
  • the messes on the floor

Now I’ve got you scared, didn’t I. Well, don’t fret the joys are all worth it and if you pay close attention to your puppy, the issues will be far less.

I found puppy training to be quite rewarding. In reality, I had to train our son more about puppy care than we did teaching Shadow, our first puppy.

Don’t let it get you down mentally or allow it to drain your physical energy, just be prepared for what it takes to house train a puppy. Just having that extra few seconds to notice what puppy is up to gives you an edge that will help keep the stress down.

Teaching Methods

Positive training methods such as food rewards and clicker training are best for young dogs. They will have fun as they learn and will look forward to their training sessions with you.

Many people feel there is a place for punishment in dog training, but there are risks associated with it. If you get the timing wrong, you may be inadvertently punishing your dog for the wrong behavior. Punishment must immediately follow the behavior, so if you come home from work and find your puppy has peed on the floor, there is no point in getting angry. He won’t know why you are mad at him.

You may also find that your pup becomes afraid of you because you are the one doling out the punishment. Fear will slow down his learning, and make him less willing to try new behaviors. Unless you are an experienced trainer and know exactly how to use punishment properly, then don’t do it.

Always end your training session on a successful note. That way both you and your puppy will look forward to working together again. After your session, play a game with your pup, let him chase a toy, and give him lots of pats. Learning should always be fun for him, and for you.

No Shouting

Why should you never shout at your dog? Shout At Your Dog First of all, let’s try to understand the reasons why you should never shout at your dog just to get him to stop doing things that are wrong or from barking too much. The fact is that yelling at your dog will not stop him from doing what he is doing or fix a problem or induce any type of positive reinforcement.

You may get angry at your dog for not listening to you but the truth is that shouting will not fix the issue. You may get your dog to stop temporarily from doing whatever activity he is involved in but it won’t take long for him to return to what he was doing.

Most puppies look at their owners as other dogs so that when you start yelling at him he believes that you are excited over something and he gets excited too. You also cause him to form a negative association between yelling and the way he feels around you. It won’t be long before he begins to feel disliked and unwanted every time he hears you yell. There’s no way for him to know that he is breaking a rule that you are trying to establish.

Voice Commands

Not all loud voice commands are bad. Yelling at your dog is definitely not the proper way to communicate with him. However, there are times when you need to use a strong voice and be firm with him to get him to understand that you are serious. There are three different ways of communicating with your dog and these are listed below to help you understand how you should talk to him.

  1. The soothing tone of voice: Whenever you give praise to your dog, you should use a soothing and delightful tone of voice. Communicating to him in this manner will relax and soothe him instead of exciting him. Your puppy will feel secured when you speak to him in a soothing tone of voice and it makes him feel proud to know that you are happy with him.
  2. A direct tone of voice: This tone of voice is similar to the tone of voice that you use when giving your dog commands to get his attention. A direct tone of voice should be short, firm and authoritative.
  3. A disciplinary tone of voice: You use this tone of voice to try to discipline your dog. However, this can be confused with a yelling tone. When you use a disciplinary tone, all you want is for your dog to back away from something quickly or to stop doing something immediately without scaring him off and making him feel that you are yelling at him. For example, a disciplinary tone of voice can be used with “Down Boy” or “Sparky No”.

Learning Routines

Sometimes it might get a bit chaotic as the puppy will want to be into everything possible. It is normal as puppies are only experiencing life and learning on the go. And speaking of “go” that’s another thing to watch for as puppy will give indicators such as sniffing for a place to go or moving around in circles like dogs do when they are ready to do their business. Just be on top of things and grab puppy up and out to the right place to go potty.

Learn the routine and catch puppy before they go so you can teach them where to go and to let you know when they want to go. Just like children puppies need routine in their lives to make them content.

Create a schedule or routine for puppy which includes feeding times in the beginning, potty times, play times, nap times, and even bedtime. The trick at the beginning is for you to stick to the plan, so you don’t confuse puppy.

Remove Temptation

Remove things from your dog’s path of destruction. We didn’t learn this tip fast enough, and we all lost things we loved. Lesson learned. Keep the things you don’t want the puppy to chew on out of puppies path. Our poor son Steve didn’t learn even after we did and every so often we would hear some bad words coming from his bedroom. Eventually, he learned to close his bedroom door when he wasn’t in the room.

My wife lost a pair of slippers, one shoe which of course made a good shoe useless. Steve lost more than any of us, and we hear all about it. I only lost one thing, a new pair of fishing gloves. Jenny bought for me and left them hanging over the edge of the kitchen table for me to see when I got home from work. Well, the one glove left on the table looked great, the other, well I never did find that one.

Keep in mind that some plants you have may poison your puppy or worse and those electric chords are so tasty looking, better tie them out of reach.


Distract your puppy with other things, All the things that happened were in the first few days so we headed to the pet store down the street and bought a few chew toys that would help distract Shadow from other things we loved.

If no noises are happening you better check on puppy. The pup is either sleeping or doing something they shouldn’t be doing. Puppies need to chew, and they need to play, so make a good toy available at all times.

Dog Crates

You can’t keep your eyes on puppy 24/7, so you need help. There were three of us, so someone was always watching Shadow, but at night I held her in a dog crate. I kept it in the living room in the basement and slept on the couch for about two weeks.

She never experienced separation anxiety, like most puppies do when separated from their siblings. She also learned to go potty outside really quickly, and we only had a couple of accidents in the house.

The dog crate also made the perfect place for Shadow while Jenny and I were at work and Steve was at school. We gave her water and food and lots of toys to distract her while we were out.

Lunch Time

If you can come home for lunch, it makes it so much easier on a puppy trying not to do their business in their den. I was able to go back home a few times a day, and it was much easier. After just a few weeks she was able to hold on until someone arrived home.