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Chewing... EVERYTHING! (approx 9 months old)

April 26th, 2009, 07:15 AM
I'm back!

One serious (for us) issue we are having a terrible time overcoming is chewing! Biscuit chews everything, but shoes are starting to become expensive! He has ruined at least 5 pair of our shoes so far. Last night he stashed on of my DD's new sandles in his crate and destroyed it overnight.

I have gone so far as taking one of the leather shoes and 'allowing' him to have it (It is beyond wearing anyway) but that hasn't helped at all

He has taken crayons, a ceramic figurine DD painted and various other things off of the coffee table as well

Any ideas what I can do?

I am sad to confess that our family is having a hard time bonding with this dog, he has brought so much destruction to our home =(

April 26th, 2009, 07:18 AM
Let me add that we have had him about 3 months right now and that training has been a challange -to be fair to the dog, partly my fault do to illness partly his

April 26th, 2009, 09:40 AM
This can be a really frustrating issue for sure. At nine months old it sounds more like a behavioural issue than a teething one.

First of all, do not let him "have" an old shoe - this will just confuse him more, as then he will think all shoes are fair game. He needs to start learning what is "his" and what is "yours", and then respecting the rules about leaving alone what is not his.

Next, make sure he has a selection of good qualty chew toys. Nylabones and Kongs are excellent. Avoid rawhide....this can splinter and cause trauma to the digestive tract.

I would start practising the "Leave It" command now - this is VERY important for your dog to know. One excercise I found helpful when my Chase was a pup was to put a selection of things on the flooor....a mixture of his toys and things like a shoe, wallet, etc. Put Biscuit on leash if need be, and let him explore the items. If he starts sniffing something that is yours, interrupt him with a firm "AHAH...Leave it!". If he moves away from the item, pet and praise like crazy! If he picks it up, tell him a firm "No!", take the item away, and redirect him to one of his toys. Every time he picks up one of "his" items, pet and praise like crazy! Practice this regularly!

It also sounds like Biscuit is not respecting you the way he should at nine months, so it sounds like more training is in order. Finding a good obedience class will really help his issues. In the meantime, google "NILF training" - this will teach him that he needs to work for everything he gets and should increase his respect for you and your things, making for a much happier time with your dog. Also practice "Leave It" at every opportunity, both with the exercise above and in everyday situations. Every single time you see him with one of his toys, praise him for it. If he shows any interest in an off-limit item, interrupt him with the "Leave It" command BEFORE he picks it up and starts having a great time with it.

Keep his crate closed so he can't stash things in there and be sure to keep him crated with a couple of his toys anytime you aren't able to keep a close eye on him. Avoid setting him up to find trouble. Keep your shoes in a closet.

Hope this helps!:)

April 26th, 2009, 11:34 AM
Thank you for the ideas!

Just to clarify. I would love to take him to classes, and will see if there is any way I can figure a way to do this... unfortunately we live on a farm in the country and I think that I will be looking at a minimum of 90 mihnutes of driving plus the class time. With a full time job (from home) and a 5 year old and a farm, it doesn't seem likely that I will find that chunk of time.

Putting shoes in a closet would be the easy solution... if we had a closet to put them in :wall:
I only gave him the chewed shoe yesterday in desperate hopes that it would keep him away from the rest.

He does have a couple of good quality chewies (including a Kong) and when we find him with a forbidden we give him the toy. Unfortunately, he doesn't 'steal' when anyone is around, and I feel that if I have to crate him anytime I can't give him my attention, it wouldn't be fair to him (or fair to my job if I am not paying attention to work)

His crate is kept open so that he has HIS space - away from my daughter who can often pester him too much - she is not allowed to bother him while he is there so it is his SAFE place. It tends to be his sleeping choice as well - where he has his naps. He has also chewed his bed and taken almost all of the stuffing out - while he was closed in. What are your thoughts on closing the crate door with this in mind?

Thanks again!

April 26th, 2009, 12:04 PM
It sounds like he is bored - he likely needs more exercise and a job to do! Definately look up the NILF training - it's easy to incorporate into everyday life, so you don't necessarily have to set aside large chunks of time. Should help him develop some respect and also focus his attention on completing positive tasks.

Although I would never advocate sticking a dog in his crate for unreasonable amounts of time, if you aren't around it really is the best place for a destructive dog. Although we've come a very long way with our rescued shepherd, the honest truth is that she's sneaky when unsupervised and has gotten into potentially dangerous situations because of it. Now even if I'm just having a shower she gets crated - for her safety and our piece of mind - and she doesn't mind it one bit.

Try giving Biscuit something fun to do in his crate if you need to keep him in there. A Kong stuffed with peanut butter and frozen overnight works well, as do "puzzle" toys that hoild kibble pieces. You can put parts of his meals into them.

How much exercise is he getting? This could very well be a big part of the problem.

April 26th, 2009, 12:07 PM
Re: the lack of a closet....we've been living in a small space for a while now and I've found that the pantry/wardrobe cupboards you can get at places like Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire are great storage solutions! :thumbs up

But keep practicing "Leave It" - all dogs should know that command and it can save owners a lot of headaches. Show him how you want him to behave when you are around and it should start to translate to time when you're not.

April 26th, 2009, 01:15 PM
nothing to add here, but GREAT advice, Chase_Mom!

April 26th, 2009, 04:53 PM
Well until you can pin-point the problem, the best I can offer is to keep & carry a piece of lime near by. :thumbs up

If you happen to catch him in "the act" gently rub the lime onto the tip of his nose with a little squeeze. :)

Lime (not lemon) worked wonders for our little pups not to mention, it's a natural remedy. :thumbs up