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Please help me. My dogs are SO bad!

geoffh4
November 8th, 2008, 06:47 PM
Hi everyone,

I need some help---Please!!

I have two dogs: One lab mix who is almost 2 and one hound mix who is almost 1.

They are best friends, and I love them both more than I ever thought possible.
However, I have one major problem----they are destroying my house!

My wife and I both work, and when we leave for the day, we put the dogs in our downstairs basement-turned-living-room area. Its basically a living room and has windows, etc. When we return home, we always find that they have destroyed something. Just for fun, let me detail some of their exploits:
1. Chewed up and shredded their stuffed toy
2. Chewed through the coaxial cable for the television
3. Chewed off the bottom of the table leg
4. Chewed off the corner of the coffee table
5. Chewed up a collection of cds and video games and their cases
6. Chewed holes and shredded the insides of the couch cushions and pillows
7. Chewed a HOLE in the center of the CARPET!
:wall:

I do NOT know what to do!?!?

We thought they weren't getting enough excercise, so we started taking them for walks in the morning before we left and in the evenings when we returned. --- They still destroyed
We thought they still weren't getting enough excercise so we started waking up really early and taking them to a large park where they could run full speed for 30 minutes to an hour and then left --- They STILL destroyed.
We give them kongs -- They still destroy.
We give them treats --- They still destroy.
We give them tons and tons of toys --- They still destroy.
I've triend radio, animal planet, etc --- They still destroy.

What can I do? These dogs are perfect when we are home. They don't make mistakes like this, so we can never punish them. They are extremely submissive to us, but as soon as we leave, its like they turn evil! I'm pulling out my hair here. Any help is greatly appreciated!!

ancientgirl
November 8th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Sorry about your problems. I don't have dogs so I can't give you much advice, but I'm wondering if maybe they have separation anxiety. I know some dogs get destructive when they don't like being separated from their owners.:shrug:

I'm sure some dog owners will be along and be able to be of more help.

Gail P
November 8th, 2008, 07:10 PM
Two words:

Crate Them

Even if you've never crated them before it's not too late for them to learn. They may resist the idea at first but if you make it a good place to go into (throw in a cookie, but don't make a big fuss over the crate - just say something like "go to bed") they'll soon get the idea. At first if they're not used to it they may bark/whine etc. to get out but you'll have to ignore that or else you'll teach them that kind of behaviour gets them out. You need them to learn that it's not the end of the world to be in a crate and settle down for a nap or a chew on a KONG, bone, toy etc.

Don't view crating as being mean or punishing your dogs. Just make sure that the crates are sized properly for the dogs, they should be able to comfortably lie down, stand up and turn around without being too cramped. (Mine are something like 42"Lx30"Wx36"h which is spacious for all of my 45-65 pound dogs. That size would probably suit my 90 pound collie fine too if I needed to crate him) Once accustomed to using a crate most dogs view them as their den, their safe and quiet place. Not only will you be protecting your house and valuables from further damage you'll also be protecting your dogs. If you continue to leave them loose no doubt they will eventually get into something that may harm or poison them. You will soon find the crates to be worth their weight in gold.

If your dogs have been on a destructive trend for a while you may need to always crate them, but on the other hand it may be possible after several months of crating to wean them out of the crates again if you wish. I start all my dogs in crates when they're little puppies, it helps so much with housetraining and prevents the unwanted behaviours from developing. Once they're fully housebroken and past the teething stage I begin leaving the crate door open at night time, and then I'll start leaving them uncrated for very short "trial periods" when I go out. If all goes well and they don't get into anything I"ll start to leave them uncrated for longer periods when I'm away. Eventually when I feel they're fully trustworthy in the house I pack the crates away, but that's not usually until they're 9-11 months old. Some dogs take longer than others and although I haven't experienced it myself, some can never be trusted loose in the house.

Good luck! :fingerscr
p.s. they're not evil, they're just puppies who've found their own way of entertaining themselves when you're away. Some dogs mature later than others but most are considered to be puppies until 12-18 months.

Mat&Murph
November 8th, 2008, 07:23 PM
I agree with Gail. Best thing for them and you. Awsome with the walks and a nice peaceful bed. Good luck!!!:thumbs up

geoffh4
November 8th, 2008, 07:29 PM
Thanks for the quick replies!!

I'm a little hesitant to crate them, mainly because I work a regular work week during the week, so I'm gone basically all day. Thats a long time to be cooped up in a crate!

The other problem is that my older (2 year old) dog has a luxating patella, and the vet said to try and give her as much space as possible to keep it from getting arthritis. I'm worried that crating her will make this worse.

Do you recommend open pens at all?

Mat&Murph
November 8th, 2008, 07:31 PM
I have had open pens and ended up with more problems. If your dog tries and jumps the crate then you risk injury. But other people find they work. Mybe try oversize crate like one for a Mastiff or Great dane. I got mine at petsmart for not as bad of price as I was excepting. Good Luck

BusterBoo
November 8th, 2008, 08:41 PM
I agree with the crate! I was soooo against crating a dog, thought it was cruel until I got Buster! He had destroyed.....all his stuffies....my leather boots, the corner of a brand new bedroom dresser...chewed a plug for a lamp (still plugged in!) a couple of remotes for my TV etc etc... So I got a crate and now......when I say I am going to the store, or going to work, Buster goes in his "house", with treats, a bit of food and water and some bones and he LOVES it!

Good luck! I think it hurts us more to crate the dogs than what they feel... :shrug:

IluvZeus
November 8th, 2008, 08:53 PM
Thanks for the quick replies!!

I'm a little hesitant to crate them, mainly because I work a regular work week during the week, so I'm gone basically all day. Thats a long time to be cooped up in a crate!

The other problem is that my older (2 year old) dog has a luxating patella, and the vet said to try and give her as much space as possible to keep it from getting arthritis. I'm worried that crating her will make this worse.

Do you recommend open pens at all?

Just wondering, is there anybody you can ask to check in on the dogs periodically during the day? Dogs are social animals, and it's not in their normal nature to be left alone, all day long, while their pack is off to parts unknown. Crating is a good option if you care about your furniture, but the dog needs to have some interaction mid-way to break up the monotony of waiting a bit. Is there any way you or your wife could come home at lunch and visit with them? Or hiring someone in the neighborhood that knows and likes your dog to stop in during the day to exercise them? That way, you might feel less worried about crating them (which, in fact, would calm them down some) And large crates have enough room for the dog to move around, lie down comfortably and eat and drink.

KarenC
November 8th, 2008, 09:02 PM
I agree with the crating. I would ask your vet again about your dog with the medical issues.

Another option..although a bit overwhelming...I had a rescue dalmation years ago that destroyed EVERYTHING. My parents were ready to kill me and in the time I had him I had to spend about $2000 on just repairing things he destroyed.

It turned out he also had epilepsy. We found this out because one day he went on the counter and got a bottle of Baileys and although he had not had much he ended up having a seizure and then had several after that. The vet suggested a crate at the time but I felt bad so we had an unfinished area in our basement and we built him a huge cage so he had room to move around but he was safe from getting into stuff as well as safe from having a seizure and falling down the stairs or hurting himself in another way.

Melinda
November 8th, 2008, 09:49 PM
crating is good, a friend of mine, Beaglemum who is also on this board, set up a full size kennel in her finished basement for her beagle! also, My LabX , before she hit the magic 3 yrs old, needed a good 90 minute walk/run in the mornings, a 3 km walk at noon and another 3 km after supper and a rousing game of fetch in the back yard, they are high energy dogs and it takes a lot to tire them out.

Longblades
November 9th, 2008, 07:48 AM
It really, really sounds like they are bored stiff. Not evil. :evil: :D They are also very young dogs and both from breeds needing lots of exercise. I daresay even as much as an hour a day is scimpy for breeds such as that and is certainly less than my 12 month Lab would get.

Of course with young ones you have to be careful not to overdo the exercise, especially if they are basically otherewise confined all day. You don't want to run into the weekend warrior syndrome with any dog but especially not with a young one who's growth plates may not be closed yet.

I don't see any mention of obedience work in your post. Obedience will exercise their minds and tire them out almost as much as running. I mean obedience in addition to the exercise you are already giving.

I do see that you seem to give, give, give to them and they don't seem to have to work for it.

I am not a fan of all day crating. It saves your house but is really just a convenience for you. Meanwhile your dog is still bored and under stimulated. Could you have someone come in to let them out a couple of times a day? How long are they alone anyway? Could they go to doggy daycare? At their ages I think you are expecting too much from them.

One thing I wonder might be worth trying is to not allow them to be together in the same room when you are away. Two young dogs like that, I bet they get each other going. Could they have separate spaces? I know, most of us find it difficult to find one room to allot to one dog but it is an idea for you to consider. It might be better for your injured dog to not be bouncing around with the other one.

You asked about a pen and that is what we did. A crate, door always open, in a pen about 4' x 8' for our first pup and for this one we have built high, sturdy gates for the kitchen. We still have to be careful not to leave things, like CDs for example, lying within reach of the dog though. Lead them not into temptation.

Just some ideas for you to think about, hope it helps. Good luck.

Gail P
November 9th, 2008, 01:17 PM
Something that may work (won't know unless you try I guess), is just crating the one dog and leaving the other one loose, or in a confined area. Sometimes they will feed off each others energy and destructive behaviour (almost like "hey! this would be fun to play with! Let's play tug of war with it!") and sometimes one dog will entice the other into doing something they might not otherwise do. I would normally suggest putting them both in crates but if your vet doesn't recommend it because of the one dog's patella you could try just crating one and see if keeping them separated helps. Several years ago we had 2 great dane pups and then got my collie pup and it was mayham in our house. The danes outgrew the crates that I had for them and we opted to shut all 3 dogs in the hallway when we went out. They ripped off the trim around the bedroom and bathroom doorways, crushed the plastic doorknobs etc. We had the feeling that it was mostly the one dane causing the trouble so we ended up taking down our spare bed and putting in a custom crate that my husband built (5'L x 3'W x 42"H) That was the end of our troubles, just by keeping the one dog crated. The other two were fine loose in the house then.

How many hours are you gone each day? Although it would be nice for the dogs to get a break in the middle of the day, that's not always possible for everyone. There are lots of people who have to leave their dog(s) crated during their normal work day and the dogs are just fine. That of course could be different if you work long hours or have a long commute. In most cases the dogs will spend most of the time sleeping so you just need to make a point of exercising them well before and after. Something to also consider as the season's change is the location of your crate(s) and the temperature and ventilation.

LavenderRott
November 9th, 2008, 01:34 PM
The other thing you might take into account as you decide to crate or not to crate is this - is there anything (and I mean ANYTHING) in the space they stay in that can hurt or kill them as they are tearing up your house?

Back in the day that I thought crating was cruel, I confined my shepherd pup to my kitchen. I bought a crate the day he ate the 220 volt cord off the back of my refridgerator. Better crated then dead.

Dogsinquestion
November 9th, 2008, 03:26 PM
Depending on your living situation, you could maybe try just leaving them in your backyard. If you don't have a fence, build one or get an electric fence. Also, maybe try going to a trainer or something to teach them some control. Other than that, your only real choice is to crate them. It may not necessarily be both dogs chewing up the house. Maybe try crating the dog that doesnt have arthritis. Keep the dog with arithritis out of a crate. Maybe the dog with arthritis isnt the culprit.

Dogsinquestion
November 9th, 2008, 03:29 PM
Actually, another way you could also go, which should be your very last resort, is cleaning out a closet, and leaving them in tehre. just like a small room, that nothing is in, just leave them in there. that way they dont ruin your house and they dont chew up anything that could hurt them

clm
November 9th, 2008, 04:30 PM
Sorry dogsinquestion, but I can't agree with leaving them outside unattended all day or putting them in a closet. :eek:

Exercise is key with a young dog and getting them into a good routine too. Yes my two, who are both under 2, have chewed the table and chair legs like every other pup we've had. Kept it under control with regular spraying of bitter apple. They were walked for an hour before we went to work every morning when they were under a year old. It helped to take the steam out of their sails. No easy task considering we have to get up at 4:00 in the morning without doing the walk, so we were up at 3:00 during that time. Now they are fine running around the backyard for an hour and a half with one us out there playing with them while the other is getting ready for work.
They each get an 8" large bully stick before we leave for work, actually they get 3 of them, Bentley likes to steal Baxters, so the third one is so Baxter actually gets a chance to chew one for a bit. :rolleyes:. No chords or wires are left out where they can get them. They're covered. The cupboards all have the child safety closers on them so they can't get into them. If you don't want your shoes and boots chewed, keep them out of reach. Puppy proof the house to make it safe and either crate them or block them into one room during the day until they have calmed down enough to leave out.
Mine were blocked off in the kitchen until they were over 5 months old, they now have full run of the main floor with no issues.


Cindy

MommaKat
November 9th, 2008, 06:39 PM
Actually, another way you could also go, which should be your very last resort, is cleaning out a closet, and leaving them in tehre. just like a small room, that nothing is in, just leave them in there. that way they dont ruin your house and they dont chew up anything that could hurt them

:sorry: I can't agree with that. Unlike small rooms, closets don't have windows or (at least most don't) vents for proper air circulation, so nope not the same. Also I think the OP and his wife work long hours (from the sounds of it) so definitely not a good idea to put them in the closet.

Leaving dogs unattended all day even in a regular fenced yard is a good way to get your dog stolen. I think you mean well Dogsinquestion but I do feel your off the mark.

Crates,store bought (or home made) indoor pens,Dog sitter or Doggie day care like other posters have mentioned is probably your best bet :thumbs up

snowflake1
November 10th, 2008, 02:46 AM
when i go to work, i have my dog in the kitchen. I have a baby gate up between the kitchen and the rest of the house. I also leave toys out for her when I leave. she usually gets some ice cubes, sometimes some PB in a bone and kong toy with some treats in it. she is usually good by herself. very proud of her :)

torzechowska
November 13th, 2008, 01:07 PM
Something that may work (won't know unless you try I guess), is just crating the one dog and leaving the other one loose, or in a confined area. Sometimes they will feed off each others energy and destructive behaviour (almost like "hey! this would be fun to play with! Let's play tug of war with it!") and sometimes one dog will entice the other into doing something they might not otherwise do. I would normally suggest putting them both in crates but if your vet doesn't recommend it because of the one dog's patella you could try just crating one and see if keeping them separated helps. Several years ago we had 2 great dane pups and then got my collie pup and it was mayham in our house. The danes outgrew the crates that I had for them and we opted to shut all 3 dogs in the hallway when we went out. They ripped off the trim around the bedroom and bathroom doorways, crushed the plastic doorknobs etc. We had the feeling that it was mostly the one dane causing the trouble so we ended up taking down our spare bed and putting in a custom crate that my husband built (5'L x 3'W x 42"H) That was the end of our troubles, just by keeping the one dog crated. The other two were fine loose in the house then.

How many hours are you gone each day? Although it would be nice for the dogs to get a break in the middle of the day, that's not always possible for everyone. There are lots of people who have to leave their dog(s) crated during their normal work day and the dogs are just fine. That of course could be different if you work long hours or have a long commute. In most cases the dogs will spend most of the time sleeping so you just need to make a point of exercising them well before and after. Something to also consider as the season's change is the location of your crate(s) and the temperature and ventilation.

:pray: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU :pray:

I was having a problem with a new puppy enticing my other dog into destructive behaviour and this is something I definitely have to try!

Thank you! :)

happycats
November 13th, 2008, 01:33 PM
It sounds like the're bored, so breaking up their long lonely boring day, would be best. Maybe doggie daycare, or have a dog walker come in in the afternoon to take them for a walk.

Karin
November 13th, 2008, 07:02 PM
BAD DOGS!

Crate 'em. Arthritis is going to happen anyway.

And, take the upper hand and get control fast. You can train them to behave while you are gone. Leave a radio on...I know, I know, you have said they destroyed it already.
Put it where they can't get to it!
Put the tv on a news station, that alone should scare them asleep, it does me.

If all else fails, ace promazine can be your friend.

brandon272
November 15th, 2008, 06:40 PM
I would crate them. The dog that needs "space" would just be sleeping all day if it wasn't destroying your house, so I don't think that crating it would be a big deal. If that dog needs exercise (which all dogs do!), I would probably just commit to taking the dogs for a walk once you get home from work.

JM4611
November 17th, 2008, 10:14 AM
You say that these dogs are your "best friends" and you "love them more than (you) ever thought possible".

So why do you leave them alone at home all day when you go to work?

I apologize for seeming judgmental or unkind about this, but the fact that your dogs are well-behaved
when you and your wife are with them, but destructive when they are left alone, should give you a
pretty big clue about why they "misbehave".

I'll never understand why people get dogs when they can't meet their needs. Leaving them alone all day,
whether in a basment, a "crate" or a closet (?!?) is cruel. Hounds and labs are working dogs and if you
don't provide a job for them, they'll invent their own.

Sorry, but that's the way I feel about it. Your dogs aren't "so bad" - they just need to be with you.

bendyfoot
November 17th, 2008, 10:37 AM
:rolleyes: My dogs are home all day while I'm at work, as are thousands of dogs everywhere, and they are not destructive, anxious, or bored. It's not cruel that my dogs have a loving home where their physical, mental and emotional needs are attended to and where 90% of their humans' "at-home" time is devoted to enriching their lives.

The pups here DO sound bored, they need some structure and stimulation, and DO need to have a job to do and LOTS of exercise when their people are home, those are very high-energy dogs that require more than the average walk around the block to burn off the steam that could be manifesting as destructiveness.

JM4611
November 17th, 2008, 05:42 PM
:rolleyes: My dogs are home all day while I'm at work, as are thousands of dogs everywhere, and they are not destructive, anxious, or bored. It's not cruel that my dogs have a loving home where their physical, mental and emotional needs are attended to and where 90% of their humans' "at-home" time is devoted to enriching their lives.

The pups here DO sound bored, they need some structure and stimulation, and DO need to have a job to do and LOTS of exercise when their people are home, those are very high-energy dogs that require more than the average walk around the block to burn off the steam that could be manifesting as destructiveness.

Some dogs don't mind being left at home if they have other dogs for company.

I could have been more specific and stated that my opinion was about working dogs.