View Full Version : 11 month old Winston is chewing doors, walls, and furniture... normal?

15th June 2009, 07:05 PM
Winston is an 11 month old Blenheim boy. He is healthy as can be and has a fairly normal appetite. He is very playful, etc. with no outwardly-obvious issues, except for the fact that he is EXTREMELY destructive.

He has chewed multiple walls (at corners) down through the drywall to the metal beneath it, doorframes and wooden doors, corners of coffee and end tables, and most recently, the upholstered corners of our new king size bed frame.

I have tried using Bitter Apple, disciplined him when I've caught him in the act, etc... nothing seems to work. I don't know if we aren't walking him enough, or if he has anxiety issues when my wife and I aren't home (he isn't alone, he has cats to play with) or what, but we are at our wits' end. Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

15th June 2009, 07:09 PM
Most pups go through a chewing phase...I have a huge ottoman with a wood frame and both my dogs chewed all four corners when they were pups. So it's been repaired twice now. However, Winston's chewing sounds excessive with the walls, doorways, etc.

How many hours a day is he home alone? Do you give him free reign of the house or is he crated? When does all this destruction happen? How often and for how long are you walking him in the morning?

It sounds like he is bored and does not like when you leave him. Taking him on a really long walk in the morning would be a good start- at least 30 minutes of brisk walking. He should be in a crate or an ex-pen while you're gone and give him lots of "brain toys" to work on...Kongs, etc. that will keep him busy for hours. They also make a dispensing tool for kongs.

15th June 2009, 07:53 PM
It's entirely normal!
We've had the skirting board eaten,four corners off the coffee table,over 1,000 worth of shoes,side of leather recliner,roofing felt,chair legs,corner of computer table.
Bitter apple spray just added a little piquancy to the flavour of the wood.:D.
I think it was just a teething phase she went through and stopped after plenty of exercise,supervision and training.Diversionary tactics worked too,but above all if you want to preserve your furniture don't let him have the run of the house.

Mom of Jato
15th June 2009, 08:14 PM
My two are always crated when we are away from home, and at bedtime. Have you ever used a crate? That way you know your house and the dog are both going to be OK when you return. ;)

Claire L
15th June 2009, 08:41 PM
Bitter apple spray just added a little piquancy to the flavour of the wood.:biggrin:.

:rotfl:I love it!!

15th June 2009, 10:33 PM
Seriously though,the best thing you can do is place anything edible that costs you money and/or can do him damage out of reach.
When you're not at home, fence him into a small area with nothing that he can destroy.Daisy now stays in our utility room in her crate with the door open. We're only away for four hours at the very most so she survives.
She has a long walk in the morning so she's happy to rest while I go to work.
A kong is a great toy,I just wish I'd bought one earlier,would have saved me a fortune:p
Try to teach him to "leave it",This was the only thing that saved the skirting board in our house.
Don't worry, he'll settle in time.
I have the Dunbar book "The good little dog book" and again I wish I'd bought it when people here recommended it.

15th June 2009, 11:29 PM
30 min in the morning? I Walk my dog 40 min.
we always does somting during the day. walk to the park, play with other dogs, walk to the pet store or take the bus in to the city.
And then 40 min in the evning.

/exuse my bad english its the first time since 2000 I use it :P

16th June 2009, 04:39 PM
We have been very lucky with both Tanner and Whiskey. When they were pups we used a spray from PAH (can't recall the name) - basically it was a deterrent due to the taste. They have never chewed any of our furniture - although they have chewed a curtain in their time!
We also use the kongs and a treat ball when we are gone which seems to occupy them.

16th June 2009, 08:27 PM
Ive just got the spray from PAH * pets behave training spray* it seems to be helping with my trainers but im still working on leaving my socks alone:rolleyes:

16th June 2009, 09:32 PM
Lol. We had the socks and bra issues - thankfully seem to have stopped. Was costing me a small fortune

16th June 2009, 09:39 PM
I agree that maybe Winston is bored and needs his mind occupying whilst you're gone. We were lucky with Sally as she never chewed anything but Lois got into all kinds when she was a few months old. Lois chewed the skirting board and doors and picked the bottoms off my vertical blinds! Potatoes would be all over the floor and she loved the oven gloves! We then bought a crate and she loves it. The crate is the best thing we bought even though I didn't like the idea at first. Now I know Lois is safe and my house is safe while we're gone. As for the kongs my two love them but they dont last long even when frozen they get through them in 5 mins.

16th June 2009, 10:09 PM
Agree -- these are generally signs of a bored dog looking for entertainment and also a dog given a bit too much freedom (at the age when they normally chew). Also this is in large part a training and supervision issue -- again, he has probably been given too much unsupervised freedom over time, so that his chewing is now an established habit. That's why it isn't generally a good idea to allow young dogs the run of a house -- always have them within sight and block access to places where they become destructive (close doors, use baby gates, etc). Young dogs, like young kids, get into things when no one is watching. :) So they need to be under managed supervision so the bad habits never start or can be controlled and limited in a kind and productive way, once they have. This type of chewing definitely needs to be addressed and managed and controlled.

Cats are usually not companions for dogs in any significant way. It is better than being left entirely alone for the dog if the cat(s) is friendly, but dogs really are social animals looking for companionship and interaction and being left alone unsupervised with freedom to go anywhere in the house is a recipe for destructive behaviour. Even another dog doesn't necessarily address this.

I'd recommend downloading After You Get Your Puppy (it is free) at www.dogstardaily.com. This wonderful book will give lots of guidance on normal dog behaviour, how to keep dogs from being bored at home, and why you should not punish your dog (especially not for normal behaviour that is really caused by our human failure to give dogs anything to do during the day. Imagine how boring it would be to be left to sit in an empty room alone for 8 hours...!).

Also -- does someone come home to walk and play with him at midday every day if he is being left during work hours? The enormous stretch of a typical workday is really too long for most dogs to not have a toilet break and some active exercise and interaction. Maybe someone could come in and walk him for 30 minutes midday?

For your dog's safety really he should not have the run of the house alone though. There are so many things he could move on to chewing -- with fatal consequences -- like electric cords, poisonous plants, foodstuffs like chocolate or raisins, poisonous cleaning solutions, etc... it is wiser to have a single dog room (or the kitchen) where he can stay with a comfy bed, plenty of safe toys like some stuffed kongs (instead of a morning meal), water, etc. Leave a radio on... and so forth. This alone should help with the chewing all over the house.

The Ian Dunbar book above though should help give you some solutions that will make you and your dog happier! :)

16th June 2009, 10:14 PM
And I strongly suggest reading the articles at these links: