- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


chewing items and the "big trade"

March 11th, 2005, 11:20 AM

You know how if your dog is biting/chewing something he shouldn't be, that you stop him, and give him something that is ok to chew on. What if that doesn't work.

Odin has started to chew our books in our spare room/computer room. Also, he has started chewing my dining room chairs while we are eating dinner, and chewing the TV bench while we watch TV. We have a lot of books, and don't really have the option of moving them, and can't spray them with anything to stop him (as most are expensive hardcovers). At least we can spray the tv table and chairs with something he doesnt like.

Odin LOVES to chew. So..he has a LOT of chew toys. Problem is, he won't take one instead of chewing on something he shouldn't. If I try and give him a kong or something, he doesn't want to...Any ideas? In the beginning, a loud noise would stop him, but I have to raise my voice louder and louder each time now for him to pay attention!!

March 12th, 2005, 02:50 PM
The first thing is probably to make sure that everything he's not allowed to chew on is off limits unless you're there, whether you shut doors or kennel him or whatever. There's nothing wrong with kenneling him when you're eating, this is actually a good thing because it stops him from begging as well as carrying on other mischief. As far as deterrents, you can try aluminum foil laced with cayenne pepper by the books, that might help out (the sound might be scary, and the taste is even worse). When he starts chewing on something when you are there, tell him no only once, and if he doesn't listen, you have to physically enforce the command by getting him. This will teach him that he can't keep putting you off while you repeat yourself, but that immediate obedience is necessary. In fact it is good to never give a command you can't or won't enforce, that way he will learn to listen immediately. In the long term, make sure he gets lots of exercise, chewing can often be the result of a bored dog with lots of energy to take out on something. Also only giving him two toys at once and rotating them once a week or so will help him stay more interested in them.

March 12th, 2005, 03:01 PM
I still don't know the ending to the last book i started reading. He chewed only the last 6 pages!! :eek:

My pup is also not toy motivated at all! I have to use food to trade off with. It's easier if you keep a couple ready to go. I have medium sized kongs, I mixed kibble with peanut butter and stuff them.. I keep one out and the rest in the freezer till I need them.
Even if you have to give him a spoonful of peanut butter, it's better then a 100$ hardcover! lol

I also will use a water bottle that sprays a long stream of water..(might not be best around books though) it's great when he's farther away from me then arm length. I give him a shot of water (aim for the butt) and a big NO, at the very least it distracts him from chewing and makes him look at me.....that's when the actress skills come in handy "hey, lets go! wanna play?" All of a sudden the books forgotten. Crazy lady looks like more fun anyway ;)

March 12th, 2005, 06:24 PM
Well, I think you responded to my problem with Cole (5 month old 1/2 doberman 1/2 weimaraner)- which sounds very much like yours. I am starting to think that my dog is very hight energy (well, ok, I know he is) and his biting and chewing both seem related to being too excited and/or bored. He chews if bored, bites if excited. I've been home with him all day today and took him for a walk as well as gave him a bath - between the two, he hasn't hardly opened his mouth. He has a fenced yard here, but he's a big chicken and doesn't like to go out even with my other dog (a 9 yr old miniature dachshund - great match!). So, he can be quite annoying when bored. I am following your advice, and ignoring him after he bites, and after I have mashed his tongue with my fingers (not doing that when he bites my leg - he's too quick!). I hope it works - we all have bruises and too many scabs from his uncontrollable behavior. Let me know if any other ideas work!

March 12th, 2005, 07:09 PM
Have you tried yelping? If you yelp like a dog, usually they stop if you're serious.

For the chewing, we taught our dog "That's not a toy" and "This is your toy". Also "that's not yours" and "that's not fun".

Lucky Rescue
March 12th, 2005, 07:54 PM
but I have to raise my voice louder and louder each time now for him to pay attention!!

He heard you the first time.:p Unfortunately you're teaching him that he can safely ignore you the first 3, 5 or 10 times that you scream.

Agree a command should only be given once.

How much exercise is he getting? Could he be bored? Have you tried giving him real bones to chew - knuckle or marrow?

March 12th, 2005, 09:40 PM
I have never been clear on what bones are safe. Vets always told me, "They don't need any" and never gave me an answer. I know rawhides supposedly cause constipation (not in my dogs), but what natural ones are safest? What about pig hooves? (they're a great way to make your house smell like farm for a couple of days...)

March 13th, 2005, 09:52 AM
Thanks everyone for the responses.

Odin isn't allowed real bones, as they are all beef and he got hives the last time he had beef. I was thinking of going to the local butcher to ask for a lamb bone, if they have any...

All he is allowed is kongs. He has three, and I rotate them, so he doesn't get bored of them.

Last night we gave him an edible nylabone and he loves it!! He has been dragging it around the apartment for the last 24 hours. So, hopefully this may solve our problem.

I do only give the command once. He does stop, but goes back 5 minutes later and does it again. After three times, I give him a time out. Usually that means us leaving the room, or closing him out of the room we are in. If we are near his crate, he goes in there. After that, he usually doesn't do it all day.

Regarding the cayenne...he loves it! We tried all our hotsauces (we love hot sauce and I have a bottle that was voted the world's hottest, and he didn't even flinch).

I was thinking he might be bored, but I can't get him to do anything!! He gets approx 4, 30 minute walks a day, and he is fine with that. He is a bulldog so long walks aren't really good in either hot or cold weather. He has lots of toys, and things that are supposed to help with boredom, but he isn't interested. He has one of those treat balls that he has to play with to get the food out, but he doesn't play with it anymore.

It's as if all he wants is us to not be doing something so that we can just sit there with that weird?? The funny thing is, it's like he just wants me to watch him. It's not like he wants me to play. He usually bites things when we are eating, on the computer, or watching TV. If we stop, all he does is fall asleep, as if he wants us to guard him??

March 13th, 2005, 10:52 AM
Hi Raingirl

I do not remember Odin's history as a rescue. From what you have noticed, he is doing things to get your attention. If he was neglected before, then he is just loving his new home and attention. It is a very fine edged sword, settling in a rescue dog. Some settle down once they realize that they will not be isolated/ignored anymore and the stop demanding constant attention as they get that "warm fuzzy feeling", and some get spoiled and demand that attention all the time.

My guy has learned that when the treat ball stops rattling that it is empty and he stops playing with it. I have seen some "crazy balls" that make noise, flash lights and wobble funny when the dog pushes them around. That might be an alternative for Odin to his treat ball.

My dogs love cow hoofs, but you must be prepared for the abatoir breath and the MAJOR pain if you step on one in your bare feet.

March 13th, 2005, 04:46 PM
raingirl: have you tried to "borrow" an older dog to play with Odin and to teach him some manners?

Our golden puppy Diego had the same problem with chewing, and at one point it seemed so hopeless. And we borrowed our friend's older dog Nini for 2 days, and boy it worked like magic! Diego is now chewing on his toys about 90% of the time, he still loves daddy's slippers and my toilet papers, but he's much more responsive to the "no chewing" command, and can actually play with his own toys most of the time.

March 13th, 2005, 05:01 PM
We found that edible nylabones rock. We generally get a package of 3 in different flavours. She knows they all taste different, and if she finishes one, and we give her another one that tastes the same she isn't so eager to eat it. I've heard good things about the fruit flavoured ones, but haven't tried yet. Beware of the nylon nylabones, Cider slowly chewed the end rough over the period of a few months and cut her gums before I could throw it out.

March 13th, 2005, 05:16 PM
I have to agree with MafiaPrincess on this one... Nylabones are the best.
Justice, my Toller, started to chew on wood at the corners of walls... then we gave her nylabones, and she jsut thought they were the best thing.
I have tried the Fruity Edibles with her and she just LOVES them
Ice Cubes are a good solution as well.
With Justice, she liked wires, so we covered them with .... trying to think of how to describe,... the tubing for fish tank filters... that fits perfectly over wires if he/she is chewing on them too.

March 13th, 2005, 05:19 PM
Prin- I've never heard of Rawhide causing constipation...what I have been told, by my breeder and vet, is that the rawhide, they can get large peices off of the chews. They swallow these large peices, cannot digust them. The pieces can also be very sharp, and cause injury when trying to digust.

I suppose constipation might be aresult of the above reasons as well, but hopefully that explains a bit better.

I don't give justice anything other than Nylabones to chew on. I've heard that the pig hooves are OK, but for strong chewers may have the same problem as rawhide

March 14th, 2005, 12:14 AM
Don't the nylabones get sharp? Or are you talking about the food kind? We bought a nylon nylabone and my dog warped it so that if you stepped on it you'd bleed instantly...

I stick with rawhides... I just get ones that they can't break big pieces off of.

March 14th, 2005, 09:01 PM
Nyla bones get little peices that come up, which helps keep the dogs teeth clean. if the peice is larger than a small grain of rice, it might cause harm, so you gotta watch them.
They get rough, but not sharp by any means.

March 14th, 2005, 09:03 PM
oh, forgot to mention the edible ones, my dog cannot have, because she has a food allergy.
Only one she has not gotten sick on is the fruity ones... which are terribly hard to find in my city... gotta drive to Windsor to get them.

I've never been comfortable with rawhide, they can get peices off any of those toys... they just scare me. it's all a persons perfernce though.