Here's the thing. I have a 6 year old "perfect" Shepherd/Lab mix. 3 months ago, we decided to rescue a 1 year old Pointer/Lab mix. She is great in every way except the chewing damage she does when I am at work. Recliner- GONE, dog bed- GONE, Down comforter- FEATHERS EVERYWHERE....you get the picture. I have heard every solution. I will list them & the reasons they do not work. It's up to you guys to help me find the right solution. CRATING: She has opened up the metal bars with her teeth. Confinement to a room: Impossible since she will do anything to be with her older "sister" & I do not want to confine the older one to one room with her, because I do not find it fair. Exercise: 20 minute walks in the AM. Dog sitter comes for another 20 minute walk at 12:30 PM. 5:30 PM another walk including play time at the park ( lots of running around). 9 PM final evening walk before sleeptime. Chew toys: Every toy in the book. Kongs, NYLABONES, you name it. I even give her Dr.'s Foster ULTRA CALM biscuits before I leave in the morning. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
First you have to figure out whether your dog is exhibiting "I'm bored" behavior or "I'm anxious" behavior. And although both behaviors require lots of distractions, you'll have to go a lot more slowly if it's anxious behavior (separation anxiety). Unfortunately, there's no magic bullet for SA. Google it and see if your dog is exhibiting classic SA symptoms.
Assuming it's "I'm bored" behavior, have you tried any interactive toys (i.e., buster cube, busy buddy, i-cube, etc.)? As others have said above, keeping a bored dog busy generally alleviates the issue.
Thanks for all the suggestions, but like I said, the Kongs are not doing it, frozen or otherwise. In answer to the strength of the crate, it is very heavy duty. She would have eventually broken her teeth had I kept her in it. She does not want to be anywhere away from my other dog Sage. So confinement is out of the question. It is most likely SA because she understands commands like come & sit, etc & she is totally house trained. Any other tips?
Have you tried any of the sprays for keeping dogs off of stuff? I've never used them, nor do I know how safe and effective they are, but I'm sure there are people on here who have.
I know you've said every toy, but have you gotten ropes and stuff along that line? Maybe playing tug of war with stuff??
I know that I have a 2 year old dog that doesn't chew stuff up when I'm home, but when I leave for a long period of time (which is not often), he will randomly find one of my kids' toys or grab a napkin and go to town. Personally, I think he does it when he's upset, thinking maybe I'll leave him?
Sorry I'm not too much help. I'm assuming you discipline for this behavior?
I used the biting spray whenever my dog was chewing everything. 'Bitter Bite' was the name of it, and I only had to spray things down once (the table twice) and she quit chewing everything. You might also want to close some doors in your house. When she gets used to the idea of being out, then start opening them back up again. I know that it isn't a 'perfect' solution, but it might help and you wouldn't feel so bad about isolating your other dog. Wish I could be more help. Good Luck!!
What about a chain link kennel in the yard with a suitable dog house that both dogs can share while your at work? Just make sure if you get one of those, to get a good one. I boarded a dog who ate a whole in one of those too! The Prefert kennels are $800 but really super strong.
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sounds like she needs human contact at all times....she's a people dog and needs the human affection most of the time which is difficult to provide when you have to work and leave her alone...if you can get a dog sitter and little by little reduce the time that is spent by the sitter she should learn to cope with just her and her other dogmate
I think trying "every" toy is half of your problem. I would get one toy. 1!. And only play with that toy. I would put the toy away when you are done with it. Never let her have it. The games are between you and her. Making 1 toy special, will make everything else less valuable. In fact I would play only few minutes with it, multiple times a day. till you see the dog is crazy for it. Using multiple toys, has only taught the dog to generalize. The dog thinks that world is a chew toy. everything is. Because you have used in the dogs eyes, everything as toy! The dog has generalized when I get bored of this one, I can just go to that one. And I do not get the logic behind letting the dog's "wants" determine the rules in the house. So what if the dog loves to be with other dogs? My kid loves cookies. I do not set him on the couch with a bag of oreos. I give him 1 or 2. When asks for more, I say no. I set the limits, not the dog.
I believe a dog's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment he holds dear, is when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle-with a ball in his mouth."
Ok, wow, thanks for all the suggestions. VHROCKER- you are correct, she is most definitely a people dog. Very loving & affectionate. Keep in mind, she is 15 months old & came to us from a rescue when she was 1, so who knows what kind of life she had prior? I can sometimes see fear in her sweet eyes. WINDY VALLEY- No yard for a kennel. I live in a condo. GUNNY - Keeping Shylo separated from SAGE is not a "want", it's a need. She will break a door open, or penetrate any gate if separated from her big sister. I find you to be very hard with your suggestions, although I do appreciate your intentions.
PEN, my other dog stays in the house as well. She is 6, so she is over the crazy destructive stages. Doggie day care is not an option here in NY where I live. I have read nothing but bad reviews about every one of them in my area. Believe me, if I lived elsewhere, I wouldn't think twice about daycare.
I think the best compromise might be to gate off, or section off a part of your house, with both dogs, and try and dog proof it. Spray a repellant on anything you think she might destroy, and move everything else out of her way. It sounds like she might benefit from a bit more exercise, I know you're doing that already, but perhaps more, if you can manage it. I'd do a bit more research into the daycare thing too. There's got to be one good one in a place the size of New York. Perhaps contact a few breeders,and ask them if they know any, or if they board dogs, etc. Good luck with her!
Ok, I'm guessing this may be a little of both, anxiety and maybe some bordom, but I'm guessing alot of the anxiety part. Here are the rules for a dog with separation anxiety. 1.Keep the attention you give her to a minimum, stop coddleing, period. If your to give any attention, make sure you use a basic command, and then some quick petting/attention, and thats it. If your leaveing for work, just leave don't say bye, it would be even better that the dog doesn't see you leave. 2.At least for a little while confine the dogs to one room, till youve worked on a few exercises. Make sure there is somewhere comfortable to sleep. food and water-your choice. 3.Design a toy box full of toys just for the dogs. 4.While your with your dogs, offer appropriate chew toys and when they show interest in them and are in the process of chewing on them, tell them how happy you are that they are chewing them.I use "Good Job!" 5.If you catch them with something you don't want in their mouths, keep your mouth shut and just exchange the toy to something appropriate. After a few minutes, praise for chewing the appropriate items. 6.ALWAYS-reward for good behavior-no punishments for inoppropriate chewing etc. Sometimes if a dog is very reactive to your voice, they will take punishments as just as good as a reward. So I repeat no punishments, make the good behaviors stand out. Separation anxiety is really just that the dog doesn't know how to entertain herself/himself when your gone.(#Especially the pointer side)Very human oriented, they are bred to work alongside man for hunting. So, starting now, your dog must have a special bone time. Once or twice a day, that special bone comes out and the dog gets to chew on it for 30-60 minutes, on his bed. The point of the training is that you are present while the chewing first starts and then as time goes on you leave the room for short periods of time.Two minutes at first and then as the days go by, increase the time up to 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes. (Come and go from the room often, to desesitize to the comeing and going.) The reward is the chewing, its associated with your absence. Another suggestion (while your at work)is the Tricky treat Ball, this can be left out a few minutes before you leave, giveing you enough time to slip out. You can use these balls for meals. Everyday try to work on a few movements like sits and downs, with rewards.Obediance really boosts the confidence. Ask your Veterinarian about DAP Pheramone Sprays, it can be sprayed on a bandana. Leave a radio on, I use Classical (He he) Its only for smart people. I would expeact this to take up to 2 months of consistency, for it to become a new habit for the dog, cause really most behaviors are habits, and it takes at least 6 weeks to make a new habit, so put aside two months and work on this one. Good Luck Sue
When I look up into the sky, I think to myself, Wheres the ceiling?
I will tell you guys, I am going so far as talking to a pet psychic next week, as freaky as that seems.....I just don't know where else to turn.....hopefully she can tell me what is going on in Shylo's head. My best friend used her & she swears by it, so let's see what happens.
If the new pup wants to be with her sister so bad, why do you need to keep them separated? I don't understand that. Perhaps the dogs being together can help calm the pup down. Maybe Sage can help teach the pup the correct way to do things. Am I misunderstanding that part? I used to have a lab that was also destructive. My older dog helped keep him in line and taught him what was okay and not okay to do while we were gone.