Why does my German Shepherd destroy everything?
Ugh, it’s getting pretty annoying! I can’t have any nice things.
Help, PupVine… what should I do?
For starters, you should read this article to figure out why the destructive behavior happens. Only then will you be able to find a way to curb this bad behavior for good.
Are you ready to replace those chewed up chairs and buy a new pair of shoes? Your GSD is ready, but the question is: will he destroy them or will he ignore their presence?
Why Does My German Shepherd Destroy Everything?
There are several reasons why your German Shepherds destroy everything. And, let me tell you something… it’s not because they’re bored.
Let’s read about the real causes of the destructive behavior!
Bored dogs can become destructive if the boredom continues for a while.
Do you ever wonder what your dog does when you’re not home? Sure, he will take a nap, maybe play with his toys for a while, but if you’re out for eight hours or more, chances are your dog might become bored.
A lot of dog owners decide to get another dog for their dog, just to keep him company. It’s a good idea, but just don’t let both of them become bored. That would be a disaster.
Bored dogs will chew on things. Do you know where your house slippers are? And, what about those scratch marks on the front door? They were there a few days ago, or were they?
Boredom is dangerous for dogs like German Shepherds. For starters, they’re big and strong. Dogs like the German Shepherd have a strong bite force. If they decide they want to nibble on your things, they will destroy them with one strong bite if they want to.
He Didn’t Get His Daily Dose Of Exercise
German Shepherds must be exercised daily. They can’t stand being in the house all the time. The ideal life setting for dogs like German Shepherds would be a nice, big house with a spacious back yard. If you can’t commit to daily exercises, then you shouldn’t get a German Shepherd.
These dogs must have their energy levels all drained up before the end of the day. Otherwise, you’re looking at a restless night, and an even more restless dog.
But, daily exercises don’t mean light strolls in the park. German Shepherds must have at least two hours of strenuous workouts. This includes runs, hikes, swimming, fetching balls, and playing tug-o-war.
If the lack of physical exercise continues, then your dog will become too destructive. Sadly, destruction almost always leads to aggression, especially if there’s accumulated energy.
He Needs More Mental Stimulation
Mental stimulation is another important part of every dog’s life. Your dog can exercise as much as he wants, but if he doesn’t have enough mental stimulation, it can all go down the drain.
Mental stimulation is basically exercising your dog’s brain.
You should provide enough toys for your GSD, but not the simple ones. I’m talking about puzzle toys and games where he has to work to get the final reward. Those rewards are usually delicious treats that will make your GSD search harder.
Once a dog smells a treat, he’ll do his best to figure out how to get to it.
Remember, these games should not be used only occasionally. Your GSD must exercise his brain on a daily basis. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be considered such an intelligent dog breed.
He’s Still A Puppy
Don’t worry – puppies do get easier. However, that takes a lot of time. Young puppies can be quite destructive. They’re little chewers and adorable monsters that will destroy pretty much anything they can dig their teeth into.
When a German Shepherd puppy teeths, it’s quite a process. They’re nervous, in pain, and super itchy. Teething is not pleasant at all. You will have to pay a price until your GSD puppy exits this phase.
What’s important is to stay patient and wait until it’s all over. It’s absolutely normal to have your GSD puppy chew and destroy things while he’s still a little pup. But, older puppies should not be destroying or chewing anything.
Chewing and destroying should be curbed once the puppy is old enough. Otherwise, it will turn into unwanted behavior.
He’s Under Lots Of Stress
Dogs that are under a lot of stress are prone to destructive behavior.
Whether we like it or not, we all are under lots of daily stress, including our canine buddies. Unfortunately, the stress can be quite hidden, and we can’t really tell if it’s happening to us or our dogs.
The causes of stress are different, but most of the time, they are a result of unknown situations and meeting new people.
A German Shepherd that was not socialized properly will experience lots of anxiety if his owner takes him to a new dog park where all the dogs come to greet him. Such dogs will be under stress, and may exhibit it later when they come home.
That’s why the toys are chewed up, and your new sofa has bite marks.
He’s Suffering From Separation Anxiety
Separation anxiety is a disease, and it does strike German Shepherds. Basically, it strikes any dog breed that’s extremely loyal and attached to their owner.
Rarely does any dog breed act so loyal like German Shepherds do. They want to be around humans, and they want to feel loved and appreciated. But, when the owner leaves home for a while, a German Shepherd might not act so confident anymore.
Unfortunately, dogs that weren’t taught to stay alone can develop separation anxiety. It’s a condition that causes lots of stress for your GSD. Dogs suffering from it are pacing around the house, barking, whining, and destroying things that come their way.
The only solution would be either to take your GSD with you, or to find someone that will take care of your dog when you’re not around.
He Needs More Attention
Your German Shepherd is a dog that needs human attention… not desperately, but he still needs it. If you’re not a good dog owner, then you don’t show enough attention to your dog. Getting a German Shepherd and not showering him with love and care would be such a shame.
If you continuously avoid showing your GSD signs of attention, he will try to turn your focus onto him. This could mean barking, whining, or even nudging you with his nose.
However, if they see nothing is working out, and you’re still not paying enough attention to them, they might become destructive.
Simply put… your GSD will either destroy something or knock over a plant to see your reaction. They don’t know that’s wrong. They will do anything to get a minute or two of you.
Stop what you’re doing and show him some love before you end up with a destroyed home. It’s a clear cry for help.
What Not To Do To Stop The Destructive Behavior
There are some things you shouldn’t do when your GSD is acting all destructive. No matter how much it angers or annoys you, destructive behavior should not be punished physically. Your dog will not forgive you for hitting and yelling at him that easily. It’s an insult to them.
Hitting and yelling will do nothing. Your GSD will end up doing even more bad things around the house.
Also, spraying them with water or using chewing deterrents do not work. It’s just a myth, and using those methods can either anger your dog or make him afraid of you.
Destructive behavior should be cut to the bud. How? By changing your approach and your routine.
How To End The Destructive Behavior Once And For All
So, destructive behavior can be curbed by changing the routine. It’s actually quite simple, but you will have to show some dedication.
This means exercising with your dog on a daily basis, providing him with enough mental stimulation games, and not putting him through stressful situations. Such situations can be triggers for destructive behavior.
Get your German Shepherd a bunch of chew toys. Spend some time with him. Show him that you care and love him. Yes, this does mean showering him with love. He’ll go nuts over it.
And, most importantly… keep doing your daily dog training. No matter how badly your GSD behaves, canine training is what these dogs need in their life.
Now, you won’t have to wonder why does my German Shepherd destroy everything.
You know exactly why this destructive behavior occurs.
German Shepherds are a handful. They need physical and mental exercises. They need love, and most importantly… they need a stress-free life.
If you can commit to providing these things to your GSD, then you’re a good fit as a GSD owner.