View Full Version : Chewing on wires

22nd February 2007, 03:36 PM
Hey Everyone!,

Looking for a little assistance, if anyone has any ideas. Willow has picked up a new and disturbing habit of chewing on wires. She's so far managed to chew through two - one was DH's expensive gaming computer mouse! :yikes

So far, she hasn't managed to get at any actual live electrical wires, but we figure it's only a matter of time. The room where we leave her when we aren't home doesn't have any exposed wires, but the two she managed to chew through were both while we were home - she's very quick - by the time we get to her she's chewed through it!

We're trying to figure out how to stop this. She's been told "no" and "off" when she goes for them in a very disapproving voice, and we give her alternate things to chew on. She has a variety of chew toys, but she seems more interested in the wires than those. We're thinking of trying the bitter apple spray, but I'm not sure it'll work, and I'm not sure we can coat every wire in the house with that stuff.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions? We're very concerned that our little one is going to fry herself one of these days on a wire (plus, we can't afford to keep replacing every piece of electronics she ruins!)


Cathy T
22nd February 2007, 04:10 PM
We ran all of our cords through pvc pipe.

22nd February 2007, 04:14 PM
How old is Willow? I had the same issue with Lucky a while ago - he did 2 wires in 2 days.

I posted this - hopefully some of the advice will help.


My tips that have helped me -

1) be vigilent and watch Willow like a hawk whenever she's in the room with exposed wires. If she has free run of the house close that door when you are not in that room.

2) Lucky also really likes ice cubes and frozen carrots to chew on - for him it is the molars coming in and those are helpful for me in getting him away from the wires when I see him heading toward them. I know you already mentioned you have alternative chews, but you might want to try these too. :flwr:

Good Luck ... I feel your pain!! :)

22nd February 2007, 04:45 PM
Thank you! I thought we were done with teething - didn't realize there was a second stage - Willow is almost 8 months old, and in the last couple of weeks has been acting like she might be teething again - off her food a little, lots of chewing, running outside to get ice. We just didn't think she could be teething again - it's a relief to know. Now we can do all the teething stuff like freeze her toys, give her ice cubes, etc. Hopefully that will help!


22nd February 2007, 05:00 PM
I would suggest that you spray things with a deterrant like bitter apple spray ..

Wires can be dangerous! :yikes

Cathy Moon
22nd February 2007, 05:43 PM
We sprayed all of our cords with bitter apple when our dogs were young. We also blocked access to all cords and outlets using furniture and cardboard moving boxes. Maybe it looked a little weird, but they never got to the cords! :flwr:

22nd February 2007, 06:09 PM
My hubby bought this very tough plastic wrap stuff at I think the car parts store...and wrapped all of our wires very tightly with this. So far it's worked very well. I like the idea of the bitter spray too....I need to pick some of that up and add it to what hubby did.

We gave the pups LOTS and lots of toys and keep them in baskets that they can get into. So far, (knock on wood) the toys have kept them busy and when they seem tired of the toys we give them Booda Bimples...a chew.

Hope this helped!

22nd February 2007, 06:35 PM
Yep, I'm off to the pet store after work today - I'll be picking up some bitter apple, and hopefully a few new chew toys with different textures to try and keep her interested.

Sadly, the boxes in front of the wires wouldn't work - she LOVES chewing cardboard. Sigh. And we just have so many wires in our basement/TV room - many of them are covered, but those that aren't she's been going right for lately. I just really hope she doesn't like the bitter apple - we let her try lemon a little while ago and she liked it!!

22nd February 2007, 06:46 PM
And she looks so innocent :lol: I agree with trying the bitter apple - even that didn't work with my GSD though - she used to lick it off and then chew the wires :roll:

22nd February 2007, 06:48 PM
chewing can easily be a stage that lasts over one year for some dogs. And some chew because it's their thang, like belle, i just now came back from cleaning up a shredded brown paper bag in the living room. Zack would've never chewed that sort of thing, i hope he's not getting corrupted. Belle will be 2 years old in June. thank goodness she has always loved chewing paper and not wires.

I think sometimes boredom can explain it and not enough exercise. belle stayed in her crate all day for a long time, and then was changed to being in the kitchen all day. that could explain her love of chewing, it probably helps with her boredom, even though now she has much less boredom and a lot more exercise, it's an ingrained habit, just like people have.

The thing about a lot of exercise, like long games of fetch and runs (not just walks) outside for an hour or so, it helps by using up that huge amount of energy they have especially when they're young. Most of us don't have time to exercise a young dog enough to use up all their energy. I do know a couple of people who are able to do that and they swear by it, they say they don't have any behavior problems such as unwanted chewing.

I have used Bitter Yuck rather that Bitter Apple, i don't remember why, the guy at the pet store recommneded it, i think because it didn't have an alcohol in it. It worked when Zack was gnawing the bottom of the baby gate that was keeping him in the kitchen. And when he gnawed the runner on the rocking chair. I've read user reviews online, and some people say Bitter Apple works and some say it doesn't, and some say Bitter Apple works better than Bitter Yuck and some say vice versa. I can only say Bitter Yuck did work on those two wood things, the bad taste took the fun out of it.

Bruce recently mentioned a solution in a post that i hadn't heard about, GFI, not sure what that is.

23rd February 2007, 12:27 AM
Well, there is bitter spray on all the wires now (Willow wasn't impressed with that, which is a good thing!) and she has a few new toys to keep her interest. Here's to hoping we can survive teething #2!

Thanks everyone for the advice :)


Coco's mom
23rd February 2007, 01:40 AM
I had no idea there was another destructive chewing stage. :oops: This explains a lot of what I've been going through with Coco recently! Thank you once again!

23rd February 2007, 02:27 AM
Chewing isn't the same as teething. Some dogs will be chewers all their lives; others will do it up til around a year or so. Leo and Jaspar both chewed til about then. Jaspar never chewed as a small puppy but went thru a phase from about 8 months to a year and demolished two unsuspecting shoes. :roll:

As with children -- do not rely on teaching a puppy or dog to leave dangerous objects like wires alone. You have to dog-proof (not just puppy proof) the house -- eg assume this is for life s even a non-chewer may gnaw a wire when you've gone out, out of boredom. Get all wires up off the floor and into tubing you can buy to encase it, & keep things you don't want chewed out of access. In general, anything that a dog can reach is going to potentially be fair game -- and anything dangerous, such as poisons, some foodstuffs, cleaning products, medications, snail pellets and other garden poisons, antifreeze -- should never be accessible to a dog.

I know of a case where a cavalier pupppy chewed into a live wire and was electrocuted so this is a very serious hazard.

23rd February 2007, 02:34 AM
For our rabbit I bought the cheap (under a buck) shower rod plastic covers - cut them into length needed. Now the plastic is soft so if you dog is truely a chewer - its not going to hold him off long (use Bruce's pvc idea). But is we are talking puppy curious stage it works (ever see how sharp a rabbits teeth are, he hasnt destroyed them in a yr and he is out 5 hrs a day). Mostly it just makes the cord no fun, so they go bother other things :roll:

Coco's mom
23rd February 2007, 02:58 AM
Well, actually Coco has just been really after the carpets and rugs again. She won't give up! She has never chewed a wire because they are all hidden. I puppy-proofed the house really well before she came from the breeders.