View Full Version : Frustration is mounting
31st December 2009, 01:32 AM
Hi all need some advice. Vivian is now a year old, finally seems to be house broken(still peed on both crate beds a few weeks ago the day after I cleaned carpets, she seems to mark strange for a female). Bigest problem is the chewing of cardboard or any hard covered books out. I have left newspaper and magazines for her to shred, works sometimes. Just last night she was sitting in front of me on the ottoman, thought she was chewing on her ball, turns out she was chewing on a hardcover cookbook sitting next to her. I come home and find she has dragged my internet address book off the coffee table, chewed (and eaten) the cover with paswords and the page with bank info.
She gets walked at mid-day, food cubes to bat around, I am trying to do some morning training before work.
31st December 2009, 01:46 AM
My females mark 'outside' as much as the males do. Especially if they are coming in season.
It sounds like she has more freedom than she has has 'earned'. When mine back peddle in training, we back up the freedom. Paper is a common enjoyed chewing material. I have a one year old that will sneak CLEAN tissues from the pop up box to take quietly and chew on.
31st December 2009, 01:58 AM
First off, by giving her newspapers and magazines you are setting her up to chew on books -- she just gets the message that she is allowed to chew paper and to her, what is the difference between a book and a magazine? Very little! :)
Really, your issue is management and management alone. Chewing is an absolutely normal behaviour for a dog. She is in prime chewing age and many dogs will remain major chewers all their lives. Just as you need to child proof a house for small kids, you also need to dog proof a house when you own a dog. That means removing all items from easy access UNLESS you don;t mind them being chewed (and assuming they are not actually dangerous! eg cords, containers that might contain poisons, etc).
Rather than give her things to chew that are similar to what you don't want her to chew, give her things that are safe and more satisfying like stuffed kongs (subtract any food inside from her daily ration or use banana etc -- lots of threads on the board on advice for kongs!). She prefers hardback books because the hardness feels good. A magazine or newspapers doesn't give any real chewing satisfaction.
I also think these will be of huge help!
31st December 2009, 02:06 AM
PS -- why does she have so much free access to so much stuff in a room when home alone?
I come home and find she has dragged my internet address book off the coffee table, chewed (and eaten) the cover with paswords and the page with bank info.
Oh no!! Sounds like she needs to be in a safer, gated room. EG safely in the kitchen with doors closed or babygate in place. No items available. She is pulling things off and chewing them because she 1) has access and they are there 2) no one is supervising 3) she is bored and this is entertainment.
Please try to remember that she is not doing any of this to annoy you. She is doing totally normal dog things (that address book is a nice hard chew, and she is bored and looking for something to relieve anxiety, boredom or help develop her jaws -- chewing serves all that for a dog). We owners have to take the caring and responsible role of managing, supervising and training, all of which are central to dog ownership -- a dog cannot take such responsibilities for itself as it only is programmed to behave like a dog. :) Training also does little for dog left to itself -- which is why management to prevent the problems in the first place is a better approach and have that dovetail into your positive training approaches.
Dogs are not easy -- they require a huge amount of hands-on time, care, training, supervision. We generally get the adult dogs we ourselves prepared for -- so be sure to be always setting her on a path towards success through management coupled with good training. :thmbsup: By the way my Leo loves to gnaw on the edge of hardbacks. I have gnawed cookbooks and nice coffee table books to prove it. That is when I learned to remember to keep them well out of reach (a dog means no more display books on coffee tables!) or to chalk it up to my own forgetfulness and stupidity if I leave a book down and he chews at it. After all, I know he will chew on books -- and I forgot to put it away. Stupid, stupid, naughty owner me! And after all it is only a book -- Leo gives me pleasures that far outweigh a book I can still read -- or just replace. :)
PS have you downloaded Ian Dunbar's free book on care and training? I think you'd find his advice on management and training helpful too.
31st December 2009, 02:36 AM
Do you work full time? In addition to the great posts here already that ITA with, she may have some separation anxiety if you're gone all day, every day. It's one of the breed characteristics, that they like to be with people. Breeders I visited all inquired about my schedule when I looked at their dogs.
31st December 2009, 04:29 AM
Oh my goodness, ths stories I could tell about my Goldendoodle, Carly, she LOVES to chew paper!!! She got ALL my dogs (5 total) hooked on kleenex & toilet paper. My 1 year old Cavalier (Alice) loves the toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls. We have to keep all Kleenex & paper towels put far out of reach! Carly has a radar for any important papers, she has eaten: an $8 ice skating ticket of my daughter's, phone list of my husbands right off the computer desk, the cover of a photo album, cover of a kid's book, numerous kids report cards, & recently a nice hand made Christmas card from a friend I've had since 6th grade. The part she ate had my friends new address on it! (luckily I still had the envelope w/their return address label on it!) We have really had to learn to keep most things well picked up. We still crate our one year old Cavie whenever we are gone or can't keep a close eye on her. I would not encourage ANY chewing of paper, they can get quite a taste for it for some strange reason!
31st December 2009, 06:23 AM
I have tried to cut down the area they have available during the day, all the doors to rooms except the laundry and kitchen living room are closed. Tried baby gate when she was a puppy, they don't make one tall enough for my jumper. It keeps the house much neater, I even have to make sure all chairs are pushed in and the bar chairs are pulled back(she jumps up and climbs on the bar). Both girls think tissue is like chocolate, but will not unroll the TP, thank god.
I work but have a dog walker who visits. They have one or two days max per week by themselves, today was a dog walker day. I had thought I had put up all books, no paper out, no magazines. Missed this book and my ipod onthe coffee table, which she climbs on (she also chewed on the zipper for the ipod case). A few weeks ago came home to a 4 inch piece of the carpet fibers missing from scratching, cleand the carpet after that incase of a smell or mark.
The food cube is my answer to Kong toys, they have to roll it around to get the food out, takes at least 20 minutes.
I had intentions to walk or work her in the morning before work, felt working her brain helped the busy body. Will look at the training that you have suggested, I guess I was spoiled with Chelsea who is totally non-distructive (minus one laptop cord) Vivian is requiring a lot of work. Thanks for the info and encouragement, will do my best and keep both of us busy.:-p
31st December 2009, 10:29 AM
I know it seems like it will never get better,but it will.
Time flies so fast,one moment you have a lively destructive puppy and then suddenly you have a sedate bitch snoozing her day away in the window...:(
Just try and keep any harmful materials or precious items out of reach.
I have a three year old and a three month old,(it's a bit like chasing a naughty toddler around a sweetshop.):p
A few months ago there was a pup I was interested in buying but a friend of my husband's really really wanted her.
Christmas week she went to visit her parents, taking her now seven month old beauty to stay for the holidays.
First day, she ate Grandad's €1400 hearing aid that he left on the coffee table.:D
See? Things could be worse;)
31st December 2009, 12:54 PM
Just an important note: a food cube doesn't serve the same purpose as a kong. A kong is actually a *chew toy* more than a food dispenser toy and will satisfy the craving to chew on something hard. So will flavoured hard nylabones for example -- though you need to see how hard a chewer she is to be sure a given chew toy is safe (they come in different strengths). Young dogs really need hard things to chew to develop their jaws and they are good for keeping teeth clean too. Chewing is a calming, satisfying dog activity and your dog needs *something* to chew on -- she is indicating she does by going after items that give her this satisfaction.
If you haven't downloaded Ian Dunbar's book, please do --I would really recommend it. He talks about these things there and he would answer many of your questions with specific helpful answers. :thmbsup: Believe me, everything that people have said here is already in that book. :) Also you can generally find quite high baby gates and dog gates, over four feet high -- just takes some online searching. That might be an answer.
For example there are extra high gates or gates with height extensions here:
and several types here:
31st December 2009, 04:53 PM
Only out one or two days a week would not cause separation anxiety. The dogs may need to be crated instead for their safety and your sanity.
Our Sophie is an aggressive chewer. Except for the one spot on the baseboards where food had gotten dropped during a party, she has never chewed anything that wasn't hers. Did I mention our house is strewn with dog toys? (LOL)
Being crated when left home alone has taught her, I guess, that one passes the time quietly and asleep. Funny thing about her, she doesn't chew on her dog chews while in the crate. We put dry kibble into a kong toy when she goes into the crate during the day. Once she sees the kong, she races into the crate. Silly dog.
Try crating when you're not home, and do it for a couple months. The dogs may need to unlearn (or forget) the destructive habits.
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