Hi, I have a 1 year old goldendoodle. She chewed as a puppy , but stopped that with rawhides and kong toys. Has not chewed anything other than toys for 6 months. Came home 2 days ago and she had destroyed the couch. I came home last night and she had chewed bottom of rocker. She is big about 80 pounds and can do a lot of damage. She is so big, I hate to start crating her again. She can jump over a gate. Generally a great dog and has had obedience classes. What could cause this to start up again. Also, what do you think of bitter apple spraying or are there mats you can get that are like the invisible fences you can put down to keep her from going into a room. I have to replace my sofas before I have Thanksgiving and would hate to have this happen again. Thanks Judy
Not only is this frustrating to have your things destroyed, it is dangerous to your dog.
This type of chewing is usually to relieve some sort of frustration or anxiety, or to release pent up energy.
It is what is called a SELF REWARDING BEHAVIOR. This means that EACH time it happens, the probability that it will happen again rises. No matter WHAT you do, you can never remove that joy, relief and satisfaction the dog got when she chewed up those things.
Get a good crate, and use it.
Has anything changed recently in your lifestyle? Sometimes this can trigger anxiety and chewing issues in dogs.
She runs with my husband every day- he is an avid jogger. Plus I have 2 children who play with her constantly. She had school as a puppy. Was at the vet just 2 weeks ago for 1 year visit. Nothing else new going on. Feed her dry dog food ( Purina). Not sure if I am spaying her yet.
The chewing could be due to separation anxiety. Buy a big wire crate. You will spend about $100 but a new couch is more expensive. Crating is not punishment so don't feel bad. It is actually their den. Put warm blankets and some toys in the crate while you are done.
Your dog has separation anxiety. Dogs are social animals. They want and need to be amongst their pack. You and your family constitute your dog's pack. When all of you are gone, the dog becomes worried. The chewing is akin to you biting your nails, albeit much more destructive (from the human point of view).
Some dogs can get over separation anxiety, but no matter what you do, you will never be able to completely trust your dog while you are away.
There is a simple answer to the problem: a crate. Your dog will feel safe in the crate, but more importantly, it will be safe from household destruction. I recommend that you Google up some crate training tips.
The biggest drawback is that a large dog needs a large crate; and a big crate is usually not a part of one's home decorating plan. However, most will fold up for storage and transport. You can just remove the crate for the times when you will be having company.
Dogs go into season every 6 to 8 months, so in this case shes probly already gone through one, I wouldn't expect another for a bit. So I don't think this is part of the problem. When you spend alot of time with a dog, they can start to become too dependant on their owners, basically they never get the chance to learn how to be comfortable with the feeling of being alone. Sometimes a family can be going through a regular routine, and the dog never shows any symptoms, then one day mom has a week off and spends most of it with the dog, and when she goes back to work the dog starts to show anxiety symptoms, cause all of a sudden they are alone. It doesn't always start with eating the couch. It may start with chewing up kleenex from the garbage or just some crying or barking. And then it can escalate. Mabe youve come home to something and scolded the dog for something hes done and the anxiety increases.(I'm not saying you did any of that) To start with you said you can't use a gate, so a crate may be your only option. I would offer a few things to chew while your gone in the crate that are safe for her/him while your gone. A big kong filled with frozen yogurt say.(safe) Dogs should have a bone time everyday(Filled with goodies). The owners are encouraged to leave the room often to have the dog associate good feeling with chewing, and being alone and enjoying chewing is a good association as well. Owners learn to ignore the dog more and fuss over them less. Put together a toy box for your dog, with lots of toys and chew toys like real bones, raw hide, chews etc. He can then help himself when ever he feels the need to burn some energy or spare time. I hope this sheds some light, and improves your relationship with your dog, and the couch!
***Edited By: sue on 10/25/2005 6:28:53 PM*** Reason: dfjdsyfhjs