Ask Kathy About Destructive Breeds and Shedding

By Kathy Santo | Updated: Mar 25 2019

Student’s Question:

“I own a lot of antiques and good upholstered furniture. What breeds are least destructive? Which ones don’t shed?

Kathy’s Answer:

One of the most common questions I hear in my training school  is “How do I stop my dog from chewing on my stuff and being destructive?”   

You call it destruction. They call it “entertainment.”

Most puppies or adult dogs that are exhibiting destructive behavior are doing so because they’re either bored, over-tired or need to have more exercise.  Providing them with appropriate toys, teaching them what not to chew by providing supervision, awesome ‘puzzle-type’ toys, allowing them to get enough sleep, and giving them the exercise they need will reduce your chances of finding a pile of sawdust where your kitchen chair had been.

To say that a specific breed is more destructive than another would be the same as classifying people into false stereotypes. Just because people have had an “x”  breed of dog that “ate their whole house”, does not mean that destructiveness is a necessarily inherent characteristic of that breed. A more likely scenario is that the owner’s management was less than air tight, and the dog’s core needs (exercise, treats, toys, or  all of the above) weren’t met.

Happily, however, shedding can be (mostly) predicted by breed type. Make sure that you do your research on the subject, as many people think that a short-coated dog (like a doberman), equates to a dog that doesn’t shed as much as a long-coated breed like a golden retriever. As someone who’s owned both of those breeds, I can tell you that nothing could be farther from the truth, as both do their fair share of shedding.

Kathy Santo has spent her entire career as a dog trainer and handler, training dogs and winning over 500 obedience, agility and Canine Good Citizenship titles. Working with her own dogs, she has achieved every competitive obedience title the American Kennel Club (AKC) has offered and earned the prestigious AKC “Obedience Trial Champion” title (OTCh) multiple times.

In Waldwick, Kathy teaches classes, private lessons, and oversees the training of her student’s dogs using her extensive knowledge, experience and intuition to handle problems from the benign to the serious. Her engaging personality has won her the respect and friendship of her many students, who now consider themselves part of her extended family.


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