My weimaraner pup Remy challenges me in many ways, but he’s never destroyed anything valuable.
Remy hasn’t chewed our couch, ruined any shoes or shredded any pillows. He doesn’t “counter surf” or get into the trash. He doesn’t even try to hop onto our bed.
The main reason for this is simple: PREVENTION.
We use a pet gate to keep Remy in the main living room of our apartment most of the time. At night or when we’re not home, we put Remy in his crate.
The gate and crate we use are from Carlson Pet Products, the sponsor of this post.
This post is about how to prevent a puppy or dog from destroying your stuff.
Please leave your comments in the discussion below because your suggestions are helpful for anyone dealing with this problem.
How to stop your dog from destroying your stuff:
It’s really all about prevention.
When you decrease a dog’s options, he’s going to make better choices and be successful. It’s MUCH easier to prevent bad habits to begin with vs. trying to change a habit.
For example, because we’ve used a pet gate to block Remy from our kitchen, it’s never crossed his mind to put his paws on the counter or to stick his nose in the trash.
These bad habits never had a chance to form.
Now that our dog is a year old, we’re able to take the gate down more often and he’s well behaved.
6 tips to stop your dog from destroying your stuff:
1. Use a crate when you can’t supervise your dog.
Don’t look at crates or kennels as a “punishment.” Instead, look at them as tools that will allow your dog future FREEDOM.
Because you’re preventing bad habits now, you’ll have a better behaved dog in the near future. Good dogs get more freedom. See my post: Is it mean to use a crate?
Tip: Sometimes my dog is on his worst behavior when he’s overly tired. The crate is helpful because I can put him in his crate with something to chew and he’ll just fall asleep.
2. Use a pet gate to block off certain areas.
Use pet gates to block off areas of your home so your dog is in a smaller space. We keep a small extendable pet gate up in our hall to keep Remy out of our bedrooms and bathrooms. You can view a variety of affordable styles and sizes of pet gates from Carlson Pet Products HERE.
3. Provide lots of daily exercise.
Dogs with less pent-up energy have an easier time relaxing and doing nothing, but most young dogs don’t get enough exercise.
Go for a long walk every single day appropriate for your puppy’s age. See my post: How far can I walk my puppy?
For more exercise, play tug of war with your dog, consider a dog backpack and try to get some off-leash play or running in once a week.
4. Work on training every day.
One of the benefits of training your dog is to keep his mind engaged. If his mind has something to work on every day, he’s less likely to look for “work” elsewhere such as “organizing” your shoes!
Work on some basic obedience or simple tricks for a few minutes every day. Going to any type of training class is also helpful for tiring your dog out.
5. Give your dog toys to chew.
Rotate 2 or 3 toys at a time to keep things interesting. Every dog is different. My dog is a tough chewer and destroys most toys except Nylabones and Kongs, so that’s what we use. He also gets bully sticks and cow ears.
6. Re-direct unwanted behavior.
When you catch your dog sniffing or chewing something that’s not his, distract him and get him interested in something more appropriate.
For some dogs, you might be able to give a firm “NO” to teach him which objects are off-limits.
But with dogs like Remy, telling him “No” just makes him more interested in the pillow or the shoe or whatever because he knows he’ll get my attention. Re-directing him is usually more effective.
Other reasons to use a pet gate
I recommend all puppy owners have a crate and a gate because these tools make life so much easier!
In addition to preventing our puppy from chewing, the gate helped us in many ways.
Other ways the gate helped us:
- Preventing Remy from chasing our cats. They always had a safe area to get to.
- Potty training: The gate kept our puppy to a smaller area
- Preventing counter surfing
- Preventing him from getting into the trash
- Giving our senior dog a much-needed “puppy-free zone”
- Separating foster pets from my own pets
More info on gates from Carlson Pet Products
You can browse the company’s pet gates HERE.
I chose an extendable gate for our hallway because I wanted something sturdy to block Remy from our kitchen and bedrooms. I also wanted a gate that can easily be moved or taken up or down. No assembly required!
Our gate is made of steel and stands at 24″ tall so it’s easy to step over. It’s chew proof and fits openings between 26″ and 42″. It also has an adorable 9″ by 9″ pet door for cats to pass through. I was surprised how much our cats appreciate this door vs. having to jump over!
There are taller gates available if you need that option and some come with a handle lift so you can easily walk through instead of stepping over it or taking it down every time.
View all of Carlson’s pet gates HERE.
Win a gate for your pets!
*Update: This giveaway has ended.
Carlson Pet Products is giving away a FREE gate to one reader of That Mutt! Just leave a comment below to enter.
The winner will receive their choice of either:
- The Tuffy Expandable Pet Gate featured in this post OR
- The 44″ extra wide pet gate with a lift handle
Just leave a comment below to enter. Let me know why your pets could benefit from a gate.
Must have a U.S. mailing address to win. I’ll choose the winner at random on Wed Sept 6 and notify the winner by email.
Everyone signed up for the $7 reward or higher on That Mutt’s Patreon page receives automatic entries into ALL giveaways + a FREE product from Mighty Paw every month. There are 10 spots remaining. Click here.
Do you use a gate for your dog?
Let us know in the comments! Please share this post with anyone who might benefit from a pet gate.