Why Your Golden Retriever Destroys Everything


If your Golden Retriever has been being destructive then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why it might be happening and how to stop it.

So, why is your Golden Retriever destroying everything? The main reasons are that it’s teething, boredom, separation anxiety, fear or it might be in its nature to be on the more destructive side. The best way to diagnose the cause of its destruction will be to consider the time that it happens, if you’re around or not and the Golden Retrievers age. 

How to stop your Golden Retriever from destroying everything? There are a number of possible options that you can try and the best will depend on the cause of its destruction. Some options that you can try are giving it lots of exercise, doing lots of “leave it” training,  crate training, doggy daycare and getting help from a certified dog behaviorist. 

Stopping a destructive Golden Retriever can be a difficult task especially when you’re not around. But, for its safety and your own sanity, it’s important that you get it to stop.

Reasons That Your Golden Retriever Might Be Destructive

There are a number of possible reasons that your Golden Retriever could be causing lots of destruction. It’s important to take the time to consider the cause since it will give you a lot more direction on how to make it stop.

Below are some possible reasons that your Golden Retriever is being destructive.

It’s teething

If your Golden Retriever is a puppy that has just started teething then it’s likely that this is the cause of its destruction. This stage can last for around 6 months so you’re going to need to be very understanding of your Golden Retriever during this period.

To alleviate the destruction of things that you don’t want to be destroyed you should give it lots of things to chew and to follow the advice given in the next section below.

It might be tempting not to do anything since it should calm down once it stops teething but you shouldn’t do this. The best time to get your Golden Retriever into good habits is while it’s still young. It’s easier to change the habits of a Golden Retriever that’s a puppy than an adult Golden Retriever. If you don’t take measures to stop its destructive behavior now then it might continue into adulthood.

Boredom

Golden Retrievers are dogs that need a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated. If your Golden Retriever isn’t getting lots of exercise then it’s likely that it’s going to become bored and to find its own way of entertaining itself which could include destroying things.

To alleviate this type of destruction it’s imperative that you ensure that your Golden Retriever gets lots and lots of exercise.

Separation anxiety

The cause of the destruction could be caused by separation anxiety where your Golden Retriever does not like being left alone. This can cause it to become anxious when it’s alone and to cause it to start to destroy things as a way of coping.

To reduce this type of destruction you can try to get your Golden Retriever used to being without you for longer time periods by starting by only leaving for a small amount of time. You can do this by simply leaving the room for a few seconds and then to reward it for being well behaved and then to gradually increase the time that you are away.

There can be a lot of other issues with this type of destruction so a good idea would be to get the help of a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist in your area.

Fear

It could be that something happened in the past that has caused your Golden Retriever to become fearful of something which could result in it becoming destructive.

You can try the advice given in the section given below to correct this type of destruction but you’ll often find that help from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist in your area will go a long way.

Nature

It could just be that your particular Golden Retriever is more destructive than others. To get this to stop you’re going to need to be patient and to be consistent with your training. If it’s not working then you could consider solving the issue when you’re not around by using doggy daycare or crate training.

How To Stop Your Golden Retriever’s Destruction

When training your Golden Retriever it’s important to be active in stopping the destructive behavior and keep them in your presence when you’re around. There are a number of different things that you can do and the most effective ones will depend on the cause of your Golden Retriever’s destruction.

Train it to not be destructive

Training your Golden Retriever to stop being destructive can be a difficult thing to do but with a lot of patience and persistence you can make a lot of progress.

The training to stop your Golden Retriever from being destructive will be quite spontaneous since you’ll usually be doing it when it starts to destroy things. 

To train it you’ll need to keep treats that your Golden Retriever likes handy. Then, when it starts to chew things, get its attention and then when it gives you its attention get it to sit or lay down then reward them with a treat. This teaches it to pay attention to you when it’s feeling impulsive rather than destroying things.

When it does start destroying things in your presence avoid physically pulling the Golden Retriever away unless you have to. The goal is to get them to voluntarily stop chewing things that you don’t want them to and to learn to direct their attention towards you instead.

The other type of training that you should do is lots and lots of “leave it” training sessions where you place things that your Golden Retriever might want to chew in front of it and tell it to leave it then give it a treat. This teaches them what is ok to chew on and what is not.

You can watch the video below to see how to reduce your Golden Retriever’s destruction

Reduce its ability to destroy things

One way to reduce how much your Golden Retriever destroys things is to reduce its ability to do so. There are a number of ways that you can do so that I will mention below.

The first option is to leave it where it won’t be able to destroy everything. If your living room has lots of things that your Golden Retriever can destroy then you should take measures to make sure that it doesn’t have the ability to get in there when you’re not around. Instead, you should try to leave it in an area where there is less for it to destroy.

One way to reduce its access to things that it can destroy is to make use of pet gates that block its path into different rooms. You can also make sure that you have high fences that are hard to break through since it might decide to start chewing on the fence.

Alternatively, you can move the objects that you don’t want to be destroyed instead. Easy objects to move would include remotes, wires, shoes, poisonous fluids like dish soap and pillows.

Do crate training

One way to make sure that your Golden Retriever can’t destroy anything while you’re away would be to get it used to staying in a crate.

It’s important to get it used to going into the crate because it wants to and not because you’re forcing your Golden Retriever to otherwise it won’t go well.

You can watch how to do crate training below

Use doggy daycare

Another option to make sure your Golden Retriever can’t destroy anything would be to use doggy daycare. This option is good if your Golden Retriever isn’t young and doesn’t want to use the crate and it helps them to socialize with other dogs more.

Give lots of exercise

Golden Retrievers are very active dogs that are designed to be able to run for hours. With this being the case, one of the most important things for you to do is to make sure that your Golden Retriever is getting lots of exercise daily.

You might find that your Golden Retriever can handle more exercise than you normally give it so you might want to find ways to make the exercise even more tiring.

When you’re walking your Golden Retriever you can make it harder by walking faster further, in hilly areas or you could make it wear a dog weight vest that weighs less than 10% of its body weight.

You could also teach your Golden Retriever to play fetch. By doing so you will be able to wear it out quickly because it will have it doing a lot of sprinting without much rest in between.

You could also teach your Golden Retriever to swim. When dogs swim they have to move their legs around a lot which can cause them to use up a lot of energy. It’s also good for the summer months since it can help to keep them cool.

If you don’t have the time to walk it yourself then you could consider getting a dog walker to do it for you. There are apps that you can download now that let you hire a local dog walker through the app.

Give it lots of toys

One way to get your Golden Retriever to stop chewing on things that you don’t want it to is to have lots of toys around for it to chew instead.

Get help from a behaviorist

If all of your attempts to get your Golden Retriever to stop destroying things has not been working then try getting help from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist in your area. They will have dealt with similar issues before and they will be able to assist you with getting your Golden Retriever to be less destructive.

Things to consider

When you’re training your Golden Retriever to stop destroying things there are some things that you should keep in mind.

Try to avoid the spray products

The problem with using spray products is that they don’t teach your Golden Retriever what not to chew. Instead, they simply make it choose not to chew the particular thing that you sprayed. What you want is to teach it the things that it can and can’t chew instead.

Avoid physically punishing

If you physically punish your dog when it destroys things you’ll be risking making it lose trust in you and it will become fearful. This can lead to other problems such as anxiety and often won’t stop it from being destructive.

Age

It’s important to remember that at a younger age your dog will naturally be more mischievous. Despite that, it’s important to take the time to train it to be well behaved now instead of waiting for it to get older.

Be patient

When you’re training your Golden Retriever to be well behaved it’s important to take a long-term approach to it. Getting your Golden Retriever to change its habits isn’t something that you’ll be able to change in one training session but over the long term, you can.

Be consistent

It’s important to train your Golden Retriever to be well behaved regularly. If you just train it to be well behaved once then it will likely forget its training.

Related Questions

Why is my Golden Retriever suddenly destroying things? If your Golden Retriever is suddenly destroying things when it was previously calm then there could be emotional issues causing the behavior. It could also be that it is ill or injured and that it is causing it to be destructive. To get it to stop you should consider getting help from a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist in your area.

If you would like learn everything that you need to know about how to have a happy, healthy and well-behaved Golden Retriever, take a look at this Golden Retriever ebook.

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