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View Full Version : Chewing, chewing, chewing....EVERYTHING...HELP!



LucyDog
30th August 2007, 05:05 AM
I am looking for help to get our 7 month old puppy (Lucy) to stop chewing on inappropriate things. Her need to chew is insatiable!! She has plenty of chew toys, ropes, squeeky toys, bully sticks and she likes these things. The problem is she likes everything else too. Some favorites include Lego's, Matchbox cars, the tags on clothes and towels, our Persian cat and today she got a hold of my Movado watch (luckily titanium is pretty durable). Tonight, she was asleep at my feet while I did some work on my laptop and I looked down and she had chewed through the power cord! Thankfully she is fine and didn't get electrocuted. But, I just can't seem to break her of this bad habit. She has all of her adult teeth, so it isn't a teething issue anymore. She is a smart dog, crate trained and litterbox trained and pretty obedient overall...but telling her no and replacing the item with an appropriate toy is not doing the trick. I do keep her in her crate sometimes too but I don't want to keep her locked up all the time. Any suggestions?

JeanKC
30th August 2007, 07:31 AM
We have toys everywhere also... but yesterday evening Reba got into two bars of Irish Spring AND a whole roll of toilet paper. Then she snapped at Jean when she tried to take the TP away. She's never done this before... so even if they're 'broken' of inappropriate chewing doesn't mean they won't do it anyway.

Karlin
30th August 2007, 11:36 AM
She is still a puppy, and is going to chew.

This may seem sarcastic, or too obvious, but it isn't, and is easy to forget:

* If you don't want something to be chewed, you need to keep it out of reach of a dog. That goes for puppies, and it will go for her throughout her life. :thmbsup:

Look at it from a dog's point of view. A dog has absolutely no idea that a rope toy is OK to chew and a Lego isn't. Hence YOU (and family!) need to keep *everything* from kid's toys to watches to socks and shoes off the floor and out of reach. This is not just for your sanity :) and to keep your things safe -- it is to keep *your dog alive* (this is just the same as child-proofing a room! A toddler likewise has no idea that s/he can be hurt by a pair of scissors, or a bottle of pills). A dog that swallows a lego or a sock or a piece of a watch could easily be a dead dog within an hour or two. These are very, very dangerous items for a dog to gain access to at any time, as they can lacerate the stomach and intestines or, in the case of ponytail holders, string, ribbon, socks -- can entwine round the intestine and kill the dog. If you need to take your dog to the emergency room it may cost you hundreds to thousands to save her life.

So: get all that stuff off the floor and make it a rule that kids put their toys away. And/or you will need to really limit your dog's access to any rooms where such things might be left on the floor -- start closing doors off. That alone (prevention!) is going to solve a lot of your probems. :)

The second thing is to start actually training her (by redirecting) to chew on acceptable toys. That means teaching the command leave it and drop it, as a matter of importance right now. Also make sure she has adequate chew toys for the strength of her jaws (most likely she will be eager to chew til about a year old, then the habit will fall off. Young dogs do not just chew when teething, they chew til adulthood to develop their jaws and as their main way of exploring their world, just as babies like to stick everything in their mouths). Also you need to teach her patiently and with rewards, to leave unwanted chew objects and distract to something acceptable for her to chew.

If you haven't had her in a rewards-based obedience class she really needs to go as this is an important age to set down some training basics and a good instructor will help to teach you leave it and drop it, and can give general advice. I recommend looking for an APDT trainer (www.apdt.com for a list in your area around the world).

Finally if she is chewing furniture you can try getting a bitter anti-chew spray like bitter apple, but for some (like me!) it didn't work at all. :lol: The best tool for stopping unwanted chewing is: vigilance and prevention. :thmbsup:

Bruce H
30th August 2007, 01:03 PM
Really don't have much to add to what Karlin said. If it's any consolation, everyone who has had a puppy has gone through it. Most of them will eventually grow out of it if you keep a close eye and correct them when you catch them. But there is always that occaisional lapse where they decide there is something they MUST chew no matter how old they get. Just a part of having a dog.

BTW, you should see our house :( . With as many as 3 to 4 litters a year in addition to the adults, it looks like a giant chew toy! The one thing we have done in our living room and dining room is replace the electrical outlets with GFI (ground fault interupter) outlets. It's the type of outlet with the test and reset button that you commonly see in bathrooms. At about $9 each, it's cheap insurance.

Good luck!

lb0024
1st September 2007, 07:57 AM
Thanks for the info!

I needed to hear this too, since Molly chews anything she can get her paws on. I live alone, so that does make it easier to "puppy-proof" my house, but she also chews on table legs, rugs, etc., etc. :rolleyes:

-laura

Lynn
1st September 2007, 01:18 PM
In our house we have puppy proofed 2 rooms that we mostly live in and then block access to other rooms with baby gates or closing doors. The only time the pups go into the other rooms is when we are right there with them. We still watch them in their two rooms....the only time we 'relax' our watch is when they are safely in their kennel.

Caraline
1st September 2007, 03:06 PM
:xctly: Yep, what Karlin said! Super tidy is the only way to go with a munch puppy around. Even electric cables can usually be tucked away behind a piece of furniture, or a large pot strategically placed in front of power points can help poochie not get zapped. If your dog jumps up on your bed, you also need to be very careful of what is left on bedside tables and also low lying coffee tables.

Oh yes, and beware of silence. If my little guy is out of sight for more than a few minutes, and he is quiet, I go looking to see what he is up to, because likely it will be no good. Got to love em at this age.