By Mick, Dec 11 2019 11:17PM
From the mouth of a tradesman who is seeing too many dog related damages to homes, I felt somewhat compelled to help put a halt to the destruction that’s going on behind closed doors. Since beginning in the maintenance industry, a lot of call outs are due to dog related home damage, whether its a dog clawing at the back door, or just making a nice meal of the homes shutters, there’s always something these cheeky trouble makers are getting up to!
Most notably, very recently, I had the pleasure of meeting “Machete” a small white fluffy, suffering from extreme separation anxiety. Quite often when she would leave for work and bring home the bacon (No, no puns, she honestly bought him back bacon!!) he clearly couldn’t wait for his meal, and the window near the front door had some solid white jarrah wood shutters over the windows. Initially my thoughts were, at least go a redwood, they’re much more filling, but then beyond that, there was a lot of chew marks on the shutters that he didn’t bother completely finishing off, which were in desperate need of repair, as replacing a set of these blinds wouldn’t be a cheap or quick home maintenance job.
In order to fix these blindes, i have to fill the holes with a plaster, then let it dry and come back another day to sand them down so there was little to no signs of plaster work carried out. After that, it was a simple wipe down and with the help of Bunnings paint match services, I was able to match the white, so that after throwing a coat of paint over these blinds, they looked a heck of a lot more pleasing to the eye. Not perfectly brand new, but you would need to look closely to see the imperfections.
After my initial inspection of the blinds, the furballs mum thought it was cute, but I’m going to guess her bank might not have. I suggested to her to get a bite repellent that is suited to your doggie, you may need to Google search a few options as there is no blanket solve all. Some popular options you can look at include sour apple spray or chili spray. Essentially making their anxiety meal into a dish best not eaten. When I returned, I asked if she’d managed to find some, considering all of the above, you can guess what the response may have been.
Another similar job recently fixed up, was when somebody had their friend mind their dog, they left him in the backyard sometimes and when they left the house, he tried eating his way inside through the back window. Destroying a lot of the window frames, which being an exterior surface needed a more serious filler to deal with the weather conditions. Essentially resulting in similar works being carried out.
Dogs often like to dig down, and there can be many reasons for this… there can also be zero reasons, other than, “whats on the other side of the fence?”. The best way we find to go about this, is to take chicken wire or some kind of durable steel mesh, and lay it up against the fence, and fix a reasonable section of it to the fence, use tent pegs to hold the other end down, then bury the rest of it under dirt. This provides your dog with a much more secure perimeter, and keeps them far from trouble!
Another handy tip you can implement, if they won’t stop digging is a “dig zone” where you can build a sandpit for your pooch, and hide treats or toys in an easily diggable area, where they can search for a reward and not get caught up digging boredly throughout your entire backyard.
Quite often dogs who are not properly socialised and trained, can and will run a muck wherever they are. The sad part is, it isn’t their fault, despite them getting nearly all the blame, it’s the irresponsible owners who just don’t bother knowing that they need to socialize their pets from a young age, and learn to set boundaries to know what actions are okay and what are not. One great teacher people can look to is Caesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer. His techniques are great for understanding dog behaviour science. Surely it’s cheaper to spend an hour here and there watching a fun TV show about dogs, then it is to work half a week to pay off some damage your “good boy/girls” done to your home.
So my conclusion is prevention is tons better than post semi apocalyptic repairs. But that’s not where it ends, for example, say you’ve got a big dog, something you might consider a bull in a china shop… German Shepherds, Rottweilers and the like, can get pretty damn big, so something like socialization should ALWAYS be a priority, not for the sake of your house, but simply for the sake of all other animals that may pass by your big furbaby. Sure, a dog snapping at another can be easily described as aggressive behaviour. Recently I was asked to help rehabilitate an “aggressive” rottie. Upon first meeting him, he wasn’t the slightest bit aggressive.
Yes, he did want the at in his mouth at one point, but there was absolutely nothing aggressive about it, from a more experienced eye, it was simple a lack of discipline and socialisation. After getting him the right correction tools and a weeks worth of time, he was quite okay to be in the same room as the cat, off leash without the cat thinking of itself as a prospective meal. On one occasion, he even found his way into the house, where he chilled in my room for a few hours, completely ignoring the cat. Which, I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit surprised at how well he’d gone with his training.