Why Does My Dog Only Destroy MY Stuff? [Explained]

Has your dog ever destroyed your things the moment you turn your back? If they have, you’re not alone! Dog owners everywhere struggle with similar problems and often don’t know how to get their dogs to behave and stop destroying things.

There is hope, even if you’ve lost shoes, random household objects, or furniture. Through training methods and understanding why your dog only destroys your stuff, you can stop the bad behavior and make your home more cohesive and flexible.

why does my dog only destroy my stuff
Why does my dog only destroy my stuff? [Explained]

Read on to learn the answer to the one question all dog owners have: why does my dog only destroy my stuff?

Why Do Dogs Destroy Your Things?

Dogs are complex creatures, but the reasons for them destroying your things are straightforward. Many dogs may be bored, want attention, or have anxiety. The destruction they wreak on your home could be a simple by-product of them missing you or having too much energy.

Read on to learn the top reasons why your dog destroys your things.

Separation Anxiety

Some dogs will develop separation anxiety, especially if they are accustomed to having their family home often only to be left alone for several hours at a time. Your dog may feel anxious when you leave and choose to start destroying your things if they feel upset. Additionally, separation anxiety can cause your dog to cuddle up to your belongings and eventually start to chew on them for comfort.

German Shepherd bites a shoe
German Shepherd bites a shoe to catch attention from the owner.

Your dog may not intend to destroy your things. The destruction may be an accidental consequence of them trying to seek comfort from items that smell like you and the members of the family.


Some dogs need to exercise a lot and may get bored without someone in the home to play with. This boredom can manifest in a few ways, but most dogs will find something to get into that they know they shouldn’t. For example, some dogs who feel bored might try to get into their kibbles and eat as much food as they want.

Dachshund chewed home slippers
Dachshund chewed home slippers and leaves a lot of mess on the couch.

Other dogs might chase around the household cats or tear up furniture.

Boredom may mean your dog feels unsure of what to do and needs an outlet for their frustrations at not being able to occupy themselves. Boredom is most often a problem for dogs who don’t have enough toys they love or things to chew on to keep them occupied.

Excess Energy

Busy families who don’t have much time for their dog and have forgone taking them on lengthy walks may find their dog has too much energy and this reserve of energy will start to manifest in many unproductive ways. Your dog may start to have zoomies around the home, meaning they can easily destroy furniture or household items you want to protect.

dog bites sock
Dog bites a blue sock.

Consider how often you take your dog for walks to help decide if they have a buildup of energy that needs to be released. Most dogs may need a simple run around the backyard for a few minutes to get out some energy and make your dog less destructive in the home.

Too Much Stress

Stress in your dog will look a lot different than human stress. For example, dogs can get stressed out and seek out comfort and affection that may go ungiven. When your dog fails to get comfort from their stress, it may begin to chew on things to self-soothe.

dog chewed a sofa
A dog felt guilty after chewing a sofa.

You may notice your dog whining, barking, and pacing a lot when they feel stressed.

Additionally, your dog might chew and lick their paws a lot to get comfort or sneeze for no apparent reason. Excess stress can make your dog act irrationally and cause them to act impulsively, especially when it comes to destroying the household objects you want them to stay away from.

How To Stop Your Dog From Destroying Your Things?

Thankfully, you can keep your dog from destroying all your things – although it’ll take plenty of time and energy to ensure your dog stops their destructive behaviors. Spending time with your dog and giving them toys to distract themselves with are among the best ways to ensure they stop destroying your things.

Spend Time With Your Dog

One of the easiest things you can do to stop your dog from destroying things around the home is to spend more time with your dog. If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, it may need more time with its owners to feel safe, secure, and happy.

Yorkie licks his owner
Yorkie licks the face of his happy owner!

Additionally, when you have a strong bond with your dog, they will want to do things to keep you happy with them, meaning they will be less inclined to destroy things or furniture. Instead, you may find them to be more docile and cooperative when you spend more time with them.

Offer Your Dog Plenty of Toys to Play With

Your dog may be bored and need toys to play with to prevent them from chewing up everything in sight. Consider the type of chewer your dog is and what toys they can play with to keep them occupied. Some dogs may be too aggressive and will destroy stuffed toys and plastic items.

female Dachshund with toys
Female Dachshund sits on the couch with toys.

Additionally, some dogs may eat the inside of the toy and give themselves digestive trouble by suffering from an intestinal blockage. Try multiple toys with your dog to see which items best suit your precious pup’s temperament. Some dogs may need time and training to stop destroying toys and their bedding.

Train Your Dog To Stay Away From Household Objects

Your dog, like most dogs, will need training to keep away from your items or furniture. Many owners may lament, asking “why does my dog only destroy my things,” when the dog destroys everything in sight, including their toys and bedding.

training with Dogo Argentino
The owner trains with her Dogo Argentino.

Monitor which items your dog chooses to chew up and destroy to help you decide if they need overall house training. Training your dog to respond to verbal commands can help them be better behaved and ensure your home remains intact and toothmark-free.

Play or Walk With Your Dog Often

To combat destructive behavior, play with your dog as often as you can and walk them daily. Getting out any excess energy can help keep your dog docile in the home and ensure it won’t destroy things it shouldn’t.

Blue Heeler walks with his owner
The Blue Heeler walks home with his owner.

Even 30 minutes of play outside can be enough to get rid of your dog’s hyperactivity and ensure they feel calm enough to be well-behaved indoors. However, your dog can handle anywhere from 30 to 120 minutes of consistent outside time before it’ll need a break. Alternatively, a small walk around the block can be sufficient for keeping your dog physically engaged and active.

Final Thoughts

“Why does my dog only destroy my stuff” is the question every dog owner has asked in a fit of frustration. Although mostly asked rhetorically, some answers can help you solve this problem for good.

Dogs are loving creatures who will have no problem destroying your things if it means getting your attention or expelling energy. Your dog may also destroy your things if they are anxious and have separation anxiety or feel bored.

Consider training your dog, spending more time with them, and giving them toys that will keep them occupied and away from your personal effects.