My family got our first dog about 4 months ago, he is now an 8 month old Lab/Pit Bull Mix, while we love him very much, I am at my wits end now. I came home from a doctors appt and found that he tore a huge patch off the front of my couch. We have lost a few flip-flops here and there, we started using chew toys, and Kong, which seemed to be working well for a while. My house is too small to have a crate for him. And I sure can't move the couch when I leave. What else can I do???
If your place is not even big enough for a crate he is likely not getting enough excercise either seeeing he is in too small a space required for his breeds he is mixed with.
Boredom and pent up energy are 2 of the top reasons for chewing. First he needs to be excercised and taken for long walks a few times a day. There are crates that are collapsable so you can put it up for him while you are gone and it folds flat when you are not using it.
Lots of excercise outdoors and walks, and a crate when not at home equipped with a toy and chew items are your best bet.
Thanks Alot, I might check into collapseable crate, I know we generally have alot of play time through out the day, and he does require alot. Unfortunatley I did not have time before the doctors appt this morning. I usually run him while I ride my bike, or my husband and I take him to a nearby park with a huge hill to play frisbee. Like I said this much damage was unusual for him.
Putting your dog into a cage will just make him more energetic when he gets out. Doggie jail is not the answer. Crates are for transporting dogs on airplanes, not controlling their behavior at home.
Your dog does not think of his behavior as destroying your stuff. In fact, he doesn't think of it as Your stuff at all. While you do fulfill his need for exercise (good job) somewhere in your behavior you have not convinced him that you are his pack leader. You play with him as a peer, perhaps, or let him lead you in walks and on bike rides -- I cannot say without observing you directly. The bottom line is that a dog would Never destroy his leader's stuff, so as soon as you get him to see you as the one in charge the chewing behavior will go away.
Failure to take up the leadership position will result in many more unwanted behaviors, like pulling on the leash, unwanted barking, food aggression, etc. While some trainers are qualified to help you, many are treat-feeding frauds who have no clue despite their ridiculous fees. For no charge at all you can watch The Dog Whisperer M-F @ 11am PST, as well as every Friday evening, on the National Geographic channel. The guy has a huge heart and great doggie insight. After watching a few episodes you should begin to get the general idea of calm, assertive pack leadership and how it not only fixes the problem you are experiencing but just in general makes you and your dog's life much happier all around.
Crates are not doggy jails. Anyone who knows about dogs and training knows that a dog comes to love their crate. It is viewed as their den and safe place. A dog trained properly will happily and willingly go to the crate when needed.
Crates are used to keep your dog safe while he cannot be watched. Household plants, chemicals, electrical wiring among a ton of other things can be gotten into when they are not supervised and be fatal.
Crate training is not cruel and is one of the safest things you can do for your dog, especially when they are known to be destructive.
When someone starts with 'Anyone who knows about dogs ...' you can be fairly certain they are resorting to argument by intimidation due to their position not being arguable any other way. Don't be afraid of these people, just calmly walk away.
If his house has deadly household plants, chemicals, electrical wiring and 'a ton of other things', and he puts his dog into a tiny box claiming it's 'one' of the safest things you can do, I would suggest that 'another' one of the saftest things would be to get rid of all those dangerous things and let his dog out of jail. Lazy owners rationalize psychological abuse as not harming their pet, but the scars are there nonetheless.
Of course, 'a dog trained properly will ... go to the crate when needed', but unless you both have a plane to catch there is no such need. Nor is there a need for drugs, euthanasia, or giving away the dog, which just like doggie-prison are lazy-minded abdications of ownership responsibility. If you want to imprison an animal, get a fish. Otherwise, as I wrote in my original comment, get your dog's respect as his pack leader and your couch and shoes will be safe.
lpn is exactly right. Crates are a safety area that dogs want to go into; they are not punishment or a jail. They sleep there and it keeps them from getting into a potentially harmful situation.
As far as treat-feeding frauds go...I find that a very offensive term. My dogs have won multiple shows and they were trained by some very wonderful trainers and how amazing it is that all they have ever used with my dogs are treats. That is a REWARD and yes, I do play with my dogs but they know I am their master. My dogs have never torn anything up in my house (other than when they were puppies, they did get a shoe once) but that's the extent of it. Have you ever watched the behind the scenes of Dog Whisperer? It takes several weeks to film one show. There are so many things that go on but on tv, that is edited. They clip all of the "desirable" shots together to form one show.
OP, your dog does need to be in a crate when you can't watch him. Even a baby gate in the laundry room is better then free roam of the house. Not only can your items be destroyed, but just like LPN told you, he can get into ANYTHING that can be harmful to him. As far as your personal belongings, use a bitter apple or training spray and even some vinegar & water in a spray bottle. Spray items that you know he finds attractive with the training spray and if you happen to catch him going after something that he's not supposed to have, use the spray bottle. Don't drench his face or anything but I spray right on the nose or mouth. This lets them know that you do not approve of this behavior and they do not approve of being sprayed. They understand when you are upset and they love praise. When he does something right, reward him with a treat and lots of praise! He will start to get the idea.
I have a crate that I bought at Wal-Mart and it folds up to the thickness of a large book and can slide behind a chair. When it is expanded, it doesn't take up a lot of room either and can be placed anywhere. Just use it when you are gone and at bedtime.
Hope this all works out for you!
Best of luck!
Friends will step in when the rest of the world steps out.
So crates are doggie jails and ceasar is the answer to all dog problems, well now I know for sure you have no clue about what you are talking about. Ceasar is not a trainer, and if you follow his "teachings" then hanging dogs by collars is the crap you condone then you are sure as hell not the kind of person I want help from.
OK, so let me get this straight...just so I know for sure...
You have a lamp that is plugged into the wall. While you are away, your dog decides he wants to see what that strange looking thing is so he wanders over and chomps down on it...oh no!!! OR what if your dog decides to take a different route to the doggie door and he walks by a table that has the laptop sitting on it and he trips and the laptop falls on his head and kills him??? BOTH of these very things happened to real people that I know. Gosh, I guess you'll have to get rid of all the 'lectric items in your house so that your well-trained Ceasar baby doesn't get a concussion.
Hmmm...my dogs are in crates when I am not home and they are safe!
You are very insulting and you are the kind of people that make me do such thorough background checks before a puppy or dog leaves my house. I may be lazy but my dogs are healthy, happy, loving dogs who are spoiled rotten and very smart. They do what they are supposed to do and most all of them go and get in their crates when they nap or when it's bedtime...I don't tell them to, they just go right in and unless it's bedtime, I leave the crate door open.
Friends will step in when the rest of the world steps out.
We do watch the dog whisperer quite often and while I have not perfected anything, I am definately THE PACK LEADER of pretty much the whole house. LOL. I do not let him lead me when we are walking, biking, playing, etc. That I do have down pretty good. I am a little iffy on the crate thing, not that I think anything is wrong with it I just never wanted an animal I had to keep caged. We did however just get back from vacation, and I'm wondering if there wasa some sort of regression in training for him while we were gone. (even though my mother is an avid cesar watcher also).
If you as the pack leader left for vacation and left the dog behind then yes, the dog may well have stepped up to the leadership role in your absence, since a vacuum loves to be filled. It does sound like your mom may not have filled that role, but it's not possible to say from where I'm sitting. Watch your mom take the dog for a walk, or watch how she feeds it, etc, and you may get a good idea of whether she is deferring to the dog or the dog is deferring to her. Either way, you're back, so it's time to take the job once again.
Every Dog Whisperer episode is different, so if you haven't seen them all there's plenty left to learn. I still pick up subtle things watching them a 3rd time around, little comments or motions or glances that I missed the first or second time around. There are several episodes where shoes get chewed, couches get eaten, etc, but often there is something that can apply to one situation through generalization from another slightly different situation, so they're all worth watching. A TIVO or a VCR lets you timeshift so the whole family can view and learn from segments together.
You got yourself this far. Finish the lesson. Good girl... :)
Everyone else out there, you might want to check out what most educated trainers think about his methods and lack of professional training before idolizing him. There are many, many trainers out there that are able to work with dogs in a humane manner without resorting to all this alpha bs that most trainers left behind decades ago.
When someone starts with 'Anyone who knows about dogs ...' you can be fairly certain they are resorting to argument by intimidation due to their position not being arguable any other way.
What position would that be that is so intimidating? I was not arguing, I was stating fact. I am just as permitted to have an opinion as you are. The difference is MY opinions are based on a lifetime of owning, raising and training dogs. Yours is based on watching television.
Caeser was once an interesting show until I started seeing the use of pain, fear and intimidation for training in some of his shows....that ended it for me.
You should never get a big dog that needs a lot of excersize if you have a small place and you're suppose to house train them as soon as you get them. so the only advise i have to give you is to give him walk and play with him for a while before you leave so he is more tired and has a less chance of miss-behaving.
chewing on things can also mean that they're are teething so the best thing to do is to leave him in a room that doesn't have stuff he can ruin and leave him with food a big bowl of crushed ice and some chewing toys until you get back. This can also mean there are suffering speration anxiety. Your vet would be able to tell if he does and give him som medication. It also help a lil if you leave the tv or radio on so he feels acommpanied ;)
crates are just like doggy houses and if you but a blanket and some chew toys they are very comfortable just like my bostons. but if you scold and punish them by putting them in their crate they feel very bad and uncomfortable going in there because they think they're being punished.
[Quote calmassertiv] Doggie jail is not the answer. Crates are for transporting dogs on airplanes, not controlling their behavior at home. [/Quote] . .
Wow...didn't you ever play in a box when you were a kid? A box could be a fort, a refuge, a place isolated from the distractions of the outside world where imagination can run free. In other words--a happy place. Of course if you treat the crate as a prison your dog will not enjoy his time there. But that's YOUR fault, not his.
Those who feel a crate is a jail should come and try and get Zoe out of hers in the morning I have to drag her out and she gives me "the look" Really it is a falsehood that they feel like they are in prison. When well used, a crate is a safe haven and can save the life of a dog that doesn't know the danger of everyday objects that potentially could kill them. Some dogs will eat the most amazing things and it has nothing to do with their training but just their personality. Good Luck and I hope you find an answer to your problem.