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Good pup has a bad chewing habit... (I'll bribe you with pictures)

nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
edited February 2016 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello H/A!

This is Echo (yes, she's named after the Dollhouse character):
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Echo is a 10 month old Boxer/Labrador (and maybe Pitbull) mix. She is a happy, outgoing, intelligent and overall well behaved dog. She is the love of our lives.

But Echo (like the Force) has a dark side. She likes to chew and rip up things like plants, blankets and expensive carpets.

I am at a loss because she only chews/shreds when she is alone in the living room or backyard. If we are with her she is fine. When we do leave her alone we always make sure she has plenty of toys (plush, squeaky, rope, brain teaser treat dispensers, bones, etc., etc.) She has more toys than any dog I've ever owned. She'll show interest in the toys immediately and play with them energetically, but if we leave for a few minutes and come back she's trying to rip up a carpet or chewing on plants.

How do I correct a behavior that I can't directly observe? How do I teach her what she can and cannot chew on?

Help me H/A - you're my only hope!

nakirush on

Posts

  • Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudFuzzy Cumulonimbus Cloud friend pelican soft and relaxing mouthRegistered User regular
    Have you tried a very tough and durable bone like an antler? My dog is a crazy chewer and that will keep her going for days on end. The other thing is to catch her and scold her and/or replace what she is doing with something that is allowed to be chewed on. You can't directly observe it all the time but I bet you can catch her in the act if you start actively seeking out the behavior.

    Another thing to consider is that she may need crated when you are gone. Has she been crated? It could be separation anxiety.

    pelcan Mouth perfect size for put poster in to n\ap! inside poster sleep soundly put poster in Pelicn Mouth no problems because good Support for poster neck weak of big poster head
  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    She hasn't been crated much. If we're going out for a couple hours we tend to let her hang out in the back yard. The other dog can't be crated for any length of time because he's really old and soils his cage every time. If we let him out and keep Echo indoors then the older dog freaks out (he has horrible separation anxiety).

    I kind of doubt Echo has separation anxiety, because she'll do it when we're home. She can walk into my office at any time if she wants.

    I'll definitely look into getting her some antlers.

  • HawkstoneHawkstone The state of intoxicationRegistered User regular
    Usually with dogs chewing comes from only a couple of places, boredom...which you seem to have covered, Anxiety which you seem to think isn't it and the third is simple enjoyment. Fortunately that one can be the easiest to train away so it is a good place to start. The antlers are a really good suggestion and I recommend to get them started on chewing just those, to double down on it by putting a little of something they really like on them...some people get hollowed out bones and throw a little peanut butter in there for example, also to help train them to stop chewing other stuff they make sprays that make the things you DONT want chewed taste bad. If there is a section of carpet or a blanket in particular you catch the puppy with often, start there with a little spray here and a little spray there. Make the Stuff you want chewed super appealing and they stuff you don't as unappealing as possible and see if it gets good results.

    Inside of a dog...it's too dark to read.
    Fuzzy Cumulonimbus CloudGonmunForceVoid
  • GonmunGonmun He keeps kickin' me in the dickRegistered User regular
    Hawkstone wrote: »
    Usually with dogs chewing comes from only a couple of places, boredom...which you seem to have covered, Anxiety which you seem to think isn't it and the third is simple enjoyment. Fortunately that one can be the easiest to train away so it is a good place to start. The antlers are a really good suggestion and I recommend to get them started on chewing just those, to double down on it by putting a little of something they really like on them...some people get hollowed out bones and throw a little peanut butter in there for example, also to help train them to stop chewing other stuff they make sprays that make the things you DONT want chewed taste bad. If there is a section of carpet or a blanket in particular you catch the puppy with often, start there with a little spray here and a little spray there. Make the Stuff you want chewed super appealing and they stuff you don't as unappealing as possible and see if it gets good results.

    My beagle was a notorious chewer of anything she could reach so we picked up a bottle of some bitter apple spray from our vet. It's a non-toxic solution that is bitter like a granny smith apple. A couple of squirts a couple of times over a few days and it worked well to instill that "Hey, this is gross I'm not going to chew it.". As well, as I'm sure you already do, just continue to be mindful and persistent in not leaving anything that you don't want chewed in reach of the little one.

    desc wrote: »
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  • nakirushnakirush Registered User regular
    Thanks, folks!

    I got some Bitter Apple and sprayed it on the rug last night. She sniffed at it, but I haven't seen anything ripped up yet.

    I'm thinking I may just have to re-plant the backyard with tough/prickly leaved things she won't like to chew on. Fingers crossed.

  • TechnicalityTechnicality Registered User regular
    Our greyhound sort of grew out of it. Or maybe it was getting the antler. She absolutely loves that thing and goes off to find it whenever she is stressed!

    We tried the bitter apple spray, but after putting it on things we didn't want her to chew and having her destroy everything we put it on we decided she must like the taste. Hope you have more luck than we did with it!

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