In my blog among others I try to also address problem behavior or general problems occurring when a dog, especially a Bull Terrier, newly comes into a household. Who does not know this complaint: “My dog destroys all her toys”.
This is what I want to talk about today.
I often hear of owners of Bull Terriers and other mid-sized dog breeds searching for the “indestructible” toy or complaining about how much money they spend on dog toys, because their pooch just destroys everything they offer – often within minutes.
And I confess: There was a time when I was one of them and was looking for this miracle toy, too. There are so many manufacturers out there using the term “indestructible” – which I personally find misleading with EVERY pet toy I have encountered so far. So we owners are spending hours on research to find the perfect toy, spend the extra Dollar on something that is labeled “indestructible” and make sure to choose something too big to just be swallowed by our dog – and still find it in pieces just minutes after we gave it to our Bull Terrier.
Help yourself and stop “humanizing your pooch”
When I started to rethink the situation I felt like this is once again one of those situations where we tend to “humanize” our dogs and just expect them to know the difference between “intact” and “destroyed”, “right” and “wrong” and about our human ways in general when they are born.
These very same assumptions in my opinion can be the exact reason why dogs are not only destroying their toys, but also frequently have easy access to furniture and even car interiors they sometimes destroy.
We keep them in an environment full of enticements, just presuming that THEY KNOW what we want and don’t want them to do – without ever even showing or communicating it to them before they have done something er did not want.
We just presume that they will not destroy and are disappointed to no end, if they still do.
We don’t remove small items and they swallow them out of curiosity. We neither put away our shoes – why should we??? After all this is OUR house, right!!! – nor do we show the dog that in our opinion the shoes are not toys and are not the dog’s belongings just because they are accessible.
We just expect our dogs to control their own curiosity and play or prey instincts and assume they set the very same standards for everything we humans have.
Basically, that’s like expecting our dogs to just know how to eat with fork and knife – even little young humans are not born with this ability and have to learn that!
It would be very convenient if we could let our dogs play with toys or computers just as our kids do.
But it took not very long for me to realize that with an active Bull Terrier puppy this is just not working and a different strategy is in order. Because dogs may be similar, but after all, they are not human children. And especially when it comes to their entertainment needs, there are huge differences.