How to Stop Dog from Destroying Things When I’m Gone?

You come home to find that your pillows, shoes, and other belongings have been mangled by your dog. Chances are that you have to go to work or just leave the house at some point, whether to run errands or anything else. You can’t always take the dog with you of course, which means that you have no choice but to leave it home alone.

Dogs are known for being quite destructive, especially when left alone, and it can be a real problem. More often than not, this is a behavior which puppies and adolescent dogs exhibit, something they often grow out of.

However, what happens when the dog does not grow out of its destructive behavior and continues to shred your home when you are not there? It’s a problem that needs to be solved, or else you’re going to end up spending a lot of money on new shoes!

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Give it Attention Prior to Leaving

Although this is not scientifically proven, many owners think that their dogs are in fact angry about being left alone, and that the destruction of objects is a sign of that anger.

They are telling you that they are not happy with being left alone. While there is no solid proof of this, it does make sense. Kids do the same kind of thing.

So, a good way to try and prevent this from occurring is to show your dog lots of love and affection before you leave. If the dog feels loved in general, it’s going to be much less likely to get angry about being left alone for a while.

Lots of Exercise

Dogs ripping your belongings apart when you leave the house may also be due to a simple buildup of energy. How often do you walk with your dog? How often do you play with your dog? A very energetic dog that does not get to burn off its energy is way more likely to be destructive.

Once again, think of dogs as kids. A child that has been sitting in front of the TV all day is not going to want to go to bed at night. They’re likely to cause trouble in their rooms and be fussy.

Just like your kids, if your dog has too much energy and a lot of spare time, trouble is going to happen. So, before you leave the house, especially for a long period of time, be sure to provide the dog with plenty of exercise. If it is tired when you leave the house, it’s likely to just sleep until you get back.

Provide Alternatives

Your dog may be angry at you for leaving no matter what you do, and if you have a high-energy dog, there may be no amount of walking that’s enough to burn off all that energy before you head out for the day. Your dog might just be bored at home, have tons of energy, and nothing to do. Dogs love to chew things and rip them apart, so there’s really nothing better for them to do.

Therefore, if you suspect that your dog is going to chew your belongings no matter what you do, leave it plenty of chew toys. Ropes, bones, rubber chew toys, and anything in between will do just fine. If your dog is going to chew, it may as well be its own toys and things that you don’t value. Dogs chew, so let them chew on toys.

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Sometimes, getting a dog to stop destroying belongings when you are not home is as simple as waiting a few months for the dog to mature. As mentioned before, puppies and adolescent dogs are much more likely to engage in this destructive behavior, just like little children.

This might all be as simple as waiting for the dog to grow out of this behavior. They mature mentally as they age, although of course not as much as humans.

Crate Training

If all else fails and you keep coming home to shredded and chewed belongings, your only other option may be to crate the dog during the day. This will require you to crate train the dog so it feels comfortable in there, but it’s a better alternative to thousands of dollars lost to sharp teeth and claws.

If you don’t feel like a crate is a humane way to go, you could always clear out a small room in your home, put some toys, water, and food in the room, and then keep the dog in there. Just make sure to remove anything from the room which the dog might chew.


For the most part, dogs should grow out of this destructive behavior, but it’s not always the case. Make sure to provide your dog with love and affection, plenty of exercise, and lots of chew toys too.