A few months ago I was requested to visit Bruno to help out in some issues in the house.
“Bruno has been destroying the house for several months… Doors, floors, carpets… He also knows how to open doors and destroyed several christmas gifts, books, torn apart toilet paper packs and more… We thought this would get better over time, but after so many months it did not and we might not be able to handle him anymore.”
Many of you will read this and think “Separation Anxiety”.
But not. It was not separation anxiety.
Bruno lives with a lovely family who do everything for him. Walk, Play, Interact. All those things that a dog must have.
But all those things for Bruno were too much. So much that when he was left alone in the house, he would always destroy stuff.
The issue was highly connected with arousal levels. Bruno is very “sensitive”. His arousal levels go high very fast and that is just energy which needs to be spent somewhere.
I soon concluded that Bruno’s routine with his family was not helping him and was, in fact, the root of the problem. I was right.
We changed Bruno routine completely, from feeding times, to play time, to walk time, to social interactions’ time.
Soon Bruno stopped to destroy the house and although he still would open the main’s room door, he would go there simply to sleep.
This was achieved within a couple of weeks after my visit and things became better and better over the last few months. We continued to stick to the routine, implemented simple exercises, and managed as well the human side of the process. Keep things calm, and build from there.
I saw Bruno last weekend, and that was after a 3weeks period of time in between our previous session.
No damage, no destruction, no more problems.
Obviously, this story could be very different if we would not understand the real function of Bruno’s behaviour. It could be different if his family would be so exhausted with the problem that they would not be able to implement the necessary changes, it would be different if they thought that “this” was just Bruno. A house destroyer.
But not, fortunately, everything went in the best way possible.
And now, things are much better for everybody.
Dog Behaviourist Ricardo Ministro