Hey Adam, my little dog has been chewing on my journals. I get very upset and angry when she does that! Yet, once in a while she would get on my night shelf and surprise me with another chewed journal!
Adam: Dogs repeat behaviors that are rewarded. The behavior that's being repeated in this case is chewing the journal.
But doesn't she get it how upsetting it to her mama? I get angry with her every time when I find my journal destroyed! I don't see how this can be rewarding to her.
Adam: Firstly, chewing is a stress relieving activity. So, her chewing your journal could very well be an outlet for her anxiety.
Second, if a giant angry man stormed into the space that you are in, and started screaming in a language that you can't understand, how could you know what he is screaming about? Wouldn't your first priority be your safety?
Hmmmm this is the first time that I am curious about my Chichi's motivation for chewing my journals. Hearing that she may be anxious and found an outlet to relieve her stress makes me see it from a different perspective.
Would you say that if I find a different way for her to release her stress, she may leave my journals alone?
Adam: Not always - but if you replace the journals with something that she likes more, it would help. Dogs are creatures of habit. She loves those journals. I am guessing that you put a lot of energy into them and she probably (ironically) is doing this to be closer to you.
Wow. I write in my journals a few times a day. And usually when I write, it's my time with myself, when my Chichi doesn't get attention.
Adam: Bingo! The good news is you know she can't help herself and you know how to safely store your journals. There is a way for her to understand that the journals are off limits, but that could take hundreds of training exercises in catching her when and only when she is in the act of chewing a journal (or making them repulsive in any other sense).
If I were you, I would just keep the journals out of her reach.
Also, I've never seen a tired dog chew a journal! If a dog doesn't have enough of an outlet in nature, it will find one in your home=0)
Disclaimer: The contents of this blog are intended for informational purposes only. The contents are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your vet with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition of your dog/s.