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Dog chews furniture - Furniture chewing

keenerdeb
December 12th, 2006, 11:23 AM
My 7 month old Lab/Shepherd mix has chewed big holes in my furniture. He does this if I'm gone for several hours. He has several chew toys and a 7 year old Lab to keep him company.
What do I do to stop this behavior?

jessi76
December 12th, 2006, 12:01 PM
tried and true methods off the top of my head....

- crate him. (crate train him FIRST if he's not!)
- confine him to a dog-proofed area or room using baby gates (double up the height of the door way if needed)
- hire a dog walker
- put him in doggy daycare
- tire him out - and by tire out I MEAN REALLY TIRE HIM OUT before you leave
- give him a stuffed frozen kong (frozen ones last longer)

serach this site for more advice, there are a TON of threads on this situation.

a 7mth old lab shouldn't have run of the house IMO. too much to get into to.... as you've discovered. and a 7 yr old dog isn't a puppy-sitter.

technodoll
December 12th, 2006, 12:53 PM
the only thing that worked for us was crate-training our little beaver (she chewed all dining-room chairs, that is 16 legs!). she's 14 months old now but is still crated when we are not home, she cannot be trusted. works for us :thumbs up

ps: she gets tired out at the park and has a big breakfast in the morning, so that she sleeps all day when we are gone. in her crate is a water pail, a blanket and lots of toys. her big brother is loose in the house so she's not alone, and we leave the TV and lights on for the dogs. she will actually go lay down in her crate when we get ready for work in the morning, it's her routine now. :) and no more chewed-up furniture or other valuables!

keenerdeb
December 12th, 2006, 01:07 PM
Is 7 months too old to start the crating him when I'm gone?

Hunter's_owner
December 12th, 2006, 01:15 PM
No, its not too young, just start gradually and work up to leaving him alone for longer periods of time. Just get him used to it without making him afriad of it.

jessi76
December 12th, 2006, 01:26 PM
7 mths is still very much a puppy - not too old at ALL to start crate training! you should find helpful tips on this site about crate training. good luck!

TeriM
December 12th, 2006, 01:29 PM
If you don't want to crate him then consider an indoor exercise pen.

tenderfoot
December 12th, 2006, 03:13 PM
Great ideas from everyone!

Remember this is like asking a 7 year old kid to be good when you drop him off at Disneyland. He is going to go on all of the rides because no one is there to tell him not to. Your dog is already bored with the toys he has and as far as he is concerned the table legs are great chew toys. In addition to managing him when you aren't there you have to teach him right from wrong when you are. He can quickly learn what is his and what is not his to chew.

technodoll
December 12th, 2006, 03:18 PM
but some dogs are still little :evil: devils... like some kids, they know right from wrong but sometimes they just can't help themselves. For example, my little girl absolutely knows the houseplants are Forbidden, and she will not touch them when we are around. but sometimes at night she will sneak up to one and munch munch... two weeks ago i wasn't sleeping and heard her, and just loudly said "Maika! NO!" and she stopped, came back to the bedroom, and that was that! little sneak... that is why she is crated when we are away at work, she can't help herself :o

meb999
December 12th, 2006, 03:39 PM
Buster would NEVER DARE destroy ANYTHING while we're gone!!! :D :rolleyes:

http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a13/meb999/what.jpg

I agree that crate-training is probably your best option. Remember to introduce the crate gradually. There's lots of threads on crate training on this site, but here are a few tips :
- give a treat when your dog goes in by himself
- put a comfy blanket in there (or towel)
- NEVER let him out because he's crying (he'll learn that pitching a fit = getting his way!!)
- Start with small increments of time (5 or 10 minutes) while you are home, than gradually increase the time in his crate until he can go a full day.
remember to get a crate large enough for him -- he should be able to sit in it without his head touching the top, he should be able to lie down completely and turn around in his crate.

Good luck!

technodoll
December 12th, 2006, 03:45 PM
:D marie-eve, that photo reminds me of the one in the "what's your preference" thread... the two kids and the can of white paint :D

chico2
December 12th, 2006, 03:59 PM
meb999,that pic is priceless,talk about a guilty look:D
My sons JRTpup,practically destroyed his condo when he was at work,baseboards,table-legs,drywall,comforters,shoes etc...I kept telling him to get a crate,but no,that was cruel.....luckily she calmed down after a year or so:dog:

Dog Dancer
December 12th, 2006, 05:25 PM
Oh my, Marie-Eve, what a guilty looking Buster! Too funny. Oh, yes I've seen that look on my grrrls before too. Go slowly on the crate training, and baby gates are great too.

t.pettet
December 12th, 2006, 10:21 PM
That picture is worth a thousand words? Really good ad for crate training.

CinnaAngie
December 13th, 2006, 01:22 AM
I totally agree! Crate training is the way to go! My Nikki is an 8 month old lab and she also gets into EVERYTHING. She sees her crate as her special place, and loves going into it.

I would be careful what you leave with your pup in the crate however. Nikki LOVES to chew (and what lab puppy doesn't! ;) ) but she ATE her blanket. She doesn't get one now, she has a bare crate floor, but she is in a plastic airline crate (metal crates can be hard on the toes, the ones that don't have a solid bottom) , and that is on carpet. I'm too afraid that she might swallow some of her blanket (or whatever else I would use to pad the floor). She only gets hard to destroy toys in there too (no stuffies. they are just too tempting to rip apart!). I find a kong filled with peanut butter (frozen) is her favorite to keep her happy for a while. She also has a huge cow leg bone that is stuffed with dog food that we got at Petsmart. It is UNCOOKED and very very indestructible. But I always give her the toy first while uncrated and I can watch her. If the toy lasts outside of the crate without being destroyed then it can go in there with her when I am gone.

I found that the first few weeks were a bit tough for her (I work part time and never am gone too long, but she has been in there for a full work day) but she loves it now.

jessi76
December 13th, 2006, 08:08 AM
meb, that photo is priceless!!!! ooh my goodness... look at that face... I would turn to mush.

Angie J
December 13th, 2006, 12:11 PM
I had a Collie that I also didnt want to Crate because she had grown up outside and was already 5 month when I got her.

I sectioned off an acceptable space for her in our kitchen. As also suggested, a Pen would give that extra space. But for sure... if you dont take control and give safe boundries, the pup will take it..... and WOW, they know no limits on the chew instinct!!

Angie J

OntarioGreys
December 13th, 2006, 08:14 PM
I had a Collie that I also didnt want to Crate because she had grown up outside and was already 5 month when I got her.

I sectioned off an acceptable space for her in our kitchen. As also suggested, a Pen would give that extra space. But for sure... if you dont take control and give safe boundries, the pup will take it..... and WOW, they know no limits on the chew instinct!!

Angie J

I had tried babygating my lab in the kitchen, let's say it was not a good idea :eek:

He chewed the cabinets, a hole thru the wall and managed to rip up the linoleum and shred it this was just in one day, he was then crated whenever I Ieft the house

CinnaAngie
December 14th, 2006, 12:26 AM
I say if puppy is already being destructive to furniture and everything, babygating him to a room will just focus him on destroying what is in that area that he is in. Plus labs are tall enough to pull ANYTHING that may be on the counters off, which could be a hazard. In a crate you can control what is in his environment.

My stepsister has Nikki's brother (also a lab, of course!) and he was the bully/alpha dog of the litter. He listens well to his owners, but he still tries to get away with stuff. He decided to "redecorate" their bathroom. He had recently outgrown his puppy crate, and while they were in the market for a larger crate (he is a BIG labby!!! he's HUGE! and he's not done growing!) they kept him in the bathroom. He tore up the linoleum when they were gone for a couple of hours! The flooring was going to be redone soon... but now it has to be done sooner.

Seems to be a lab trait...

ssteward
January 6th, 2007, 09:19 PM
I think there are some great suggestions- however I am wondering if anyone else has had the experience of their dog destroying the crate and escaping? We had our daughter's lab, Charlie, in a plastic crate with wire door and wouldn't you know it he didn't even get through half a work day before he broke his way out. The wire door was broken out fo the frame. Now we are afraid to have him crated - what if he hurt himself while we are not home. We cannot leave him in a room closed in or use a wire run as he will chew his way around whatever is in his way.
Except for this behaviour, he really is an obedient and clever dog.
We have had advice that perhaps he has some separation anxiety- we do leave one of our other dogs down in our basement with him- a very comfortable , finished walkout basement- and he still has chewed up baseboards, couch cushions, flooring and carpet.
Charlie is just over a year old- we inherited him a few months ago- he never really was crate trained properly.
Is it too late? Is there a crate out there that is indestructable- what age do labs outgrow this stage? So many questions- too few answers from me!:ca: :pawprint:

erykah1310
January 6th, 2007, 10:57 PM
I love the picture meb!!!! "I dint do it mommy" all evidence points to yes, but you have to believe those eyes:cloud9: (little reminent of paper in the mouth) SO sweet!

Dracko
January 6th, 2007, 11:03 PM
Wow! Just reading these makes me grateful for the fact that my dog wasn't much of a chewer! I've heard the stories of dog chewing furniture and things. Dracko went through a stage where he would get in to things and my vet suggested crating. I thought (being inexperienced with dogs) that was mean but broke down and tried it. The vet told me I had to send the message to Dracko it wasn't okay to do things like that and when I was gone it was "rest" time. I think it worked. He was never left in the crate more than 3 hours (slowly built up to that, of course) and after only 2 or 3 months I started to try to leave him out when I would run short errands.

That was about 5 years ago and I can honestly say he has never destroyed anything since then. The only thing he will do is if I leave a garage bag out meaning to take it out with me when I go, he will get in to it. Can't really blame him for that. Otherwise I can trust him in the house, my vehicle, etc.

meb999
January 8th, 2007, 04:47 AM
I think there are some great suggestions- however I am wondering if anyone else has had the experience of their dog destroying the crate and escaping? We had our daughter's lab, Charlie, in a plastic crate with wire door and wouldn't you know it he didn't even get through half a work day before he broke his way out. The wire door was broken out fo the frame. Now we are afraid to have him crated - what if he hurt himself while we are not home. We cannot leave him in a room closed in or use a wire run as he will chew his way around whatever is in his way.
Except for this behaviour, he really is an obedient and clever dog.
We have had advice that perhaps he has some separation anxiety- we do leave one of our other dogs down in our basement with him- a very comfortable , finished walkout basement- and he still has chewed up baseboards, couch cushions, flooring and carpet.
Charlie is just over a year old- we inherited him a few months ago- he never really was crate trained properly.
Is it too late? Is there a crate out there that is indestructable- what age do labs outgrow this stage? So many questions- too few answers from me!:ca: :pawprint:

My first instinct would be to up the exercise. How much exercise does he get? Labs get bored easily, and when they are bored, they are destructive.

Also, if he was never crate trained properly, you'll have to start by introducing a new crate slowly. When we got Buster he used to break out of his crate (wire-crate). You start by putting him in there for a minute, then give him lots of treats and let him out. You increase the time in the crate GRADUALLY. He'll begin to associate the crate with only good things (treats and praise)