Now that we have puppies who love their stuffed toys, I started getting tired of Rodrigo destroying to after toy. Now that the puppies are in puppy class, I started wondering what else we could teach our dogs to do – can we teach Rodrigo not to destroy dog toys.
So one day I got started.
When Rodrigo would pick up a stuffed toy, instead of taking it from him, I treated it as a new day. He would chew it, poke his nose into it, get it to squeak, and then right when he went in for the kill, I’d say “Nope” firmly and take the toy away.
I did this several times a night for a few nights until he started choosing a toy, chew it a little, poke his nose in it, then he’d just lay next to the toy.
A few days would go by where I’d mentally pat myself on the back for my training prowess and then we’s start all over again when I heard the tale tale sound of a toy being ripped to pieces for the squeaker inside.
It’s been a few weeks and the number of toys being ripped to shreds has reduced drastically. We still have a casualty here and there, but Rodrigo does understand that ripping toys (in our presence at least) isn’t okay.
So to recap…
- Let your dog have the stuffed toy.
- As long as s/he isn’t ripping it to shreds, don’t interfere.
- The second your dog goes in to start ripping the toy, say “Nope” (or a similar word – but be consistent) firmly and take the toy away. Option: you can swap it for a tough chew toy; I do this sometimes to show Rodrigo what he can chew on.
- Lather, Rinse, Repeat.
- Oh and more dog walks. We find that the more exercise Rodrigo gets, the less he needs to get out that energy in destructive ways.
Do you have any simple training tips that have worked with your dog?