Why does my dog shred her beds?
(Q) My one-year-old dog shreds every single bed I give her, regardless of how many toys she has. We are very active with her. How can we stop her doing this?
(A) Behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith says: A young dog has a strong urge to explore the world with her mouth and certain breeds will thrive on performing the more natural behaviour of tearing apart and de-stuffing any soft item they can find.
It sounds as though your dog has a preference for soft items which is why she is opting for the bed rather than the other items you leave for her. You can alter the habit by exchanging her bed for some flat vet bedding or blankets that do not have the same fascination.
At the same time, offer her plenty of other alternative items. You can buy soft toys with tougher rope-knots inside, or make your own by knotting up old towels or rags. You must play with her and encourage her to focus on these toys until she has built up sufficient experience for these to become the ‘go to’ item in future. At one year old she is still very immature.
It is important to also look at when she is destroying her beds; is it any time she is playful or excited, or just when she is alone? This is important information to explain her underlying motivation and will lead you to the solution.