If your puppy rips, tears, bites and chews his blanket, he doesn't think of it as his enemy -- it's mostly just part of being a puppy. Puppies attack inanimate objects for several reasons, and your puppy's destructive behavior could be the result of physical or emotional needs. If you don't want him to attack his blanket, providing him with a more suitable alternative or spending more time together may be an easy solution.
Burning Off Energy
These high-energy animals like to play hard, and if you don't dedicate enough time to playing along with him, he may need to find his own outlet for burning off excess energy -- like attacking the blanket. He may attack the blanket because he thinks of it as just another toy and he can thrash around in his mouth, or he may even do it as an aggressive outlet for frustration and boredom. Devoting more time to walking and playing with your puppy may curb his desire to attack the blanket and other inappropriate objects, like pillows and shoes.
Puppies undergo a long and uncomfortable teething process that can last from the age of 6 weeks to a full year old. During that time, they take comfort in compulsively chewing whatever they can get their paws on, including shoes, books, clothing and blankets. If your puppy has chosen to attack his blanket as part of the teething process, he may need an alternative and more appropriate option, like a frozen wet washcloth or an edible chew, like a rawhide bone.
The world is a new and exciting place to your puppy, and his natural curiosity makes him want to explore as much as he can. One of his most useful tools for understanding the world around him is his mouth, so he's going to wrap it around as much as he can and chew away. If he keeps attacking his blanket, it may simply be because he finds it interesting -- the texture may appeal to him, or even the flavor. Try giving your puppy soft, plush dog toys instead of harder ones, and you may find he enjoys attacking those just as much.
During the first year of his life, your puppy goes through many periods of adjustment, and he must get used to things like being left alone. If your puppy only attacks his blanket when you're away, he may be suffering from separation anxiety -- attacking and chewing up the blanket comforts him. If you suspect that your puppy is suffering like this, the answer isn't to remove the blanket, but to teach him that being alone isn't something to fear. Contact a trainer or behaviorist for help breaking your puppy's separation anxiety.
By Tom Ryan
About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.