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Hello,
I have an 5 year old Belgian Malinois that has recently degressed in her behavior and training. She has begun to chew on all sorts of clothing and furniture. I am wondering if this might be because of a new girlfriend that I have who now has the majority of my attention. Any insight would help into helping resolve this.
Thanks
 

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Perhaps, or maybe something else. Malinois are very high drive dogs, if they don't have a 'job' they sometimes go self employed and create their own amusement. What is her exercise/training/sport regime?
 

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Perhaps, or maybe something else. Malinois are very high drive dogs, if they don't have a 'job' they sometimes go self employed and create their own amusement. What is her exercise/training/sport regime?
Admittedly with a a busy work and life schedule this might seem to make sense a bit. I did however notice these behaviours start close to the time that I introduced my new girlfriend to my life. She is also very protective and wants to get inbetween us any time she is around and sees that we are close to each other. If I try to hug my girlfriend she begins to growl and wants to be right there if not inbetween??

I appreciate your time and consideration to this.
 

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She may well be unsettled. Is she a sensitive dog normally, or confident?

Just be aware of the potential for her getting in between your hugs be the start of resource guarding, with you as the resource.
 

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Many dogs will get upset if their owner hug somebody or is close to another person in a “stiff” way. This is because the dog thinks that you’re about to fight since that’s how dogs act before fighting, they stand close, stiff and still before they snap. Dogs don’t want fights in their family and therefore can try to stop the fight. It might be what’s she’s trying to do when you’re hugging.

It can also be resource guarding. She sees you as a resource she doesn’t want to share, she is lacking trust to you and your girlfriend to be confident enough to share.

Is she chewing on things whenever or is it when she’s left alone? She could be suffering from separation anxiety. But it’s very likely that she acts like this because of under-stimulation. Destructive behavior if often a strong sign of lack of activity. A Malinois needs to get the proper amount of exercise and activity if it’s going to be a happy dog. It’s a working breed and she needs to be working, with both her body and mind. If you can’t offer this maybe you should realize that rehoming her would be the best.
 
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