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My one year old Staffy x Kelpie continuously destroys his bedding!
He has a large kennel outside that has one doona and one blanket.
Dre is outside for most of the day whilst I'm at work. My mother is home during the day and goes out a couple times to play games with him. He has a variety of toys - kongs, soft toys, balls, ropes for tug-o-war (his favorite), which i swap over daily so he doesn't get bored. He is walked every night when I get home.
Yet, without a fail he always rips apart his kennel bedding - It's becoming very frustrating. I've taken to applying a few drops of citronella oil to the affected areas but this isn't helping much.
Do you have any other suggestions?
Answered Thursday 12 February 2015
Hi Lauren, thanks for your question. The behaviour you describe could be due to boredom, but it sounds like Dre has got lots of toys and a human companion at home during the day. We think it is probably more likely that his behaviour is a form of separation anxiety. Separation anxiety often manifests itself as destructive behaviour.
Separation anxiety is a complex behavioural problem which we recommend you discuss with your local veterinarian. Some things he or she might suggest include changing your routine when you leave the house so Dre can’t predict your departure, making sure you don’t reward attention-seeking behaviour and potentially changing some aspects of his environment or exercise regime.
You might find two walks a day, a dog walker or even a regular doggie play-date or two might help out with Dre’s excess energy.
Simply removing the bedding is unlikely to solve problem as he will likely look for other ways to express his feelings ie digging holes, tearing the washing off the line, escaping or barking. However, just be careful that he is not eating any of the bedding as foamy types of bedding can result in nasty gastointestinal obstructions that can be very difficult to diagnose and treat (the foam doesn't show up on X-rays or ultrasound readily).
Hope that helps!
Anthony and James
Pet ExpertsDr Ant and Dr James
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