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Dog chewing everything

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#1 indy's guys

Posted 01 December 2012 - 09:44 AM

Hi everyone, I am looking for advise to stop our 7 month old spaniel x retriever chewing us out of house and home. Shoes, toys, balls, paper, cardboard, cushions,  you name it she chews it. She has another dog to play with, a whole lot of bones in the backyard, various toys. We know she was teething but I think that is finished now. She is clearly a dog who needs a lot of stimulation. I have also read that chewing can be a way of calming themselves but she also does it when we are around (though not when we can see her!).
She is not getting enough exercise which I am sure is part of the problem and something we need to address.
Any suggestions on how to keep her busy and entertained and stop her destructiveness are greatly appreciated.
thank you :-)

#2 la di dah

Posted 01 December 2012 - 05:54 PM

Is she fit enough to go for long walks? I have a friend with a spaniel cross and unfortunately she let it get really fat so it developed some joint issues, and now it chews for stimulation AND isn't in any condition to be exercised enough to not need to chew.

How often/far is she walked? If she is able/needful to do more than she is getting, would a dog-walker be feasible to tack on an extra 5-10 km a day and, oh yeah, the benefit of long walks for stress-chewers (I had one myself) was multifold - a) she sleeps more afterward b) she stresses less with more exercise and it reinforces training c) at the very least the hour of exercise is an hour of time she cannot possibly be chewing anything including the furniture or in my case, herself(!)

Good luck.

#3 Lickety Split

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:02 PM

I would be willing to bet money that if you increase the exercise the chewing will be far less (but given the young age and breed cross of the dog, probably not vanish altogether). Daily walks/runs, preferably in the morning, will give you a much happier, less destructive dog.

#4 Beanbag Warrior

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:16 PM

I'm sure one of the resident dog trainers will come in and give you specifics,  but I'm fairly sure they will probably suggest that every time she starts chewing, you need to distract her into positive behaviours.

so, if she's bored and chewing, take her out for however long and do some basic puppy training.  Sit, stay, whatever else is appropriate, and reward her for those.

Benefits - not chewing.  Mentally stimulated.  Learning appropriate behaviours

#5 FiveAus

Posted 01 December 2012 - 06:30 PM

First of all, keep everything out of her way. She shouldn't be chewing toys, shoes etc, because they shouldn't be where she can get them.
Each time you catch her chewing something she can't have, take it off her and give her something she CAN have....but give her the same thing every time. My youngest dog loves bones but I won't allow them in the house, but inside she has deer antlers. You can buy them over the internet and they are fantastic for chewers. Whenever Jess wants to chew, she gets one of her deer antlers from the spots she hides them in and settles down for a good session.

Here is a link to some, the lady who sells these is lovely and she has some fantastic natural treats for dogs (and no, I don't know here but I've bought stuff from her).


#6 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:18 PM

Ooh, those antlers look interesting FiveAus. I might get some for our pup, as she is an incredible chewer already. She likes to lie on her back and chew the wooden chair legs in the dining room so the antlers might be a good replacement and save my furniture!

#7 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:45 PM

Dogs teeth until they are 2 years old.

In that time, they will chew anything that feels great on their poor aching gums. Keep anything you want to preserve out of chew range. Puppies chew almost continuously, if given the chance (when not asleep or creating other kinds of mayhem) because it feels so darn good. It isn't really a mental stimulation at that age, more of a soothing thing for a sore mouth.

They do eventually grow out of the need to chew everything in sight, and it settles down to a reasonable sort of activity. FWIW, our middle dog Ursa had a thing for chewing thongs - DH's in particular. He went through a number of pairs because he kept leaving them where she could find them. The current pair have lasted several years though, she doesn't chew random objects any more and hasn't done so for many years.

My advice is to invest in some useful indoor chew toys. Anja has a large Nylabone and a cheaper version, and she drags these between her crate and her dog mat in the loungeroom. If there are things in your yard that you're worried about, fence them off or put some sort of barrier around them, so they are protected from your teething puppy. I also agree with the approach of handing her the allowed chew toy, when you're removing the not-allowed item, so hopefully she'll eventually go straight to it.

If we're talking large items, you can smear a drop or two of chilli oil on strategic locations - that usually dissuades puppies from biting things you don't want them to and can't put out of reach (like my outdoor furniture, Buttercup  glare.gif ).

#8 FiveAus

Posted 01 December 2012 - 07:56 PM

My youngest male didn't chew anything until he was 8 months old. He was this perfect, and adorable little man, he was just gorgeous. Then I bought 2 new pairs of shoes from Rivers. I wore each pair a coupe of times, and he chewed up one shoe. I bought another pair and he chewed up one shoe from each pair. I bought two more pairs and he ate one pair.

I tried locking my wardrobe door by sticking a dowel rod in the track so he couldn't push it open, he manoeuvred the rod out and opened the door and chewed more Rivers shoes! I turfed him outside so he couldn't sneakily get to them in the middle of the night, and that worked.
Then I got complacent, and thought he'd stopped chewing. I had my shoes out ready to go on a trip to Adelaide and he chewed both pairs. All up, he wrecked about 8 pairs of Rivers shoes, plus my multifocal glasses ($500 to replace), a Kindle cover and a leather watchband. Only MY stuff.

He stopped chewing when he was a year old and he's never chewed anything he shouldn't have since. But he is very, very devoted to me. My vet said I should be pleased, he was showing how much he loved me! LOL!

#9 FiveAus

Posted 01 December 2012 - 08:01 PM

QUOTE (~Karla~ @ 01/12/2012, 08:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ooh, those antlers look interesting FiveAus. I might get some for our pup, as she is an incredible chewer already. She likes to lie on her back and chew the wooden chair legs in the dining room so the antlers might be a good replacement and save my furniture!

They are fantastic. I prefer the parts from the antler base as they are thicker and more for the dog to hold onto. The inside part is a bit softer, so they can gradually gouge that out with their teeth. It's all good for them, even if they come with some of the felt still on the outer layer, the dogs love chewing that off too. Jess gets right into it, rolling around on the floor, holding it in her paws so she can get to the bits she really likes.

#10 indy's guys

Posted 02 December 2012 - 02:04 PM

thank you for the replies everyone. We just got home from a night away to find some clothes strewn on the floor (left them on the couch where I was sroting the washing, so my fault). It was my clothes mostly. She managed to get to one of the lounge cushions, UNZIP part of it and eat some of the foam. Foam seems to be the flavour of the month. No pun intended!
i agree that she isn't getting enough exercise, so that is also our fault. Maybe we need to look at a dog walker some of the time and us the rest of it.
She does not chew things in front of us, always when we are nto there. So it is hard to teach her the right beavhiour. We do wonder if it is a form of separation anxiety.
she has hooves, bones and other chewable dog toys.
I didn't know they teethed until two years of age, thought she was over it by now as she has grown her new teeth. Also bene told that it is a bit of a retriever thing, will look more into that. She is a beautiful dog but we now dread coming back when we have been out. I can see us eventually resenting her so we need to deal with it now. Will look at getting a dog beahvourist in too.We are going to deal with the barking problem this week. so they can be kept in the back yeard when we are not home. Not sure what that will mean for the lawn that is being put down in two weeks!!!    unsure.gif
FiveAus, i was chuckling when I read your post, I feel your pain, i lost the spare pair of glasses, several pairs of shoes and a number of other things.

#11 Kalota

Posted 02 December 2012 - 04:31 PM

Hi OP, I am sure that the not enough exercise thing could very well be perpetuating the problem! DF and I used to have an extremely energetic little dog who would chew us out of our house AND garden if we did not take her for TWO LONG walks a day! It was the only thing that tuckered her out and calmed/settled her down enough to not want to play and chew with everything in our home. We were both working full-time at the time but still managed to walk her every morning before work and every evening before dinner! It is do-able :-)

Different breeds mature at different times, too, and sometimes smaller dogs take longer to grow out of their "puppy" stage (even if they're finished teething!) Our little one was a chewer until she was about 4 or 5! It did become less and less of a nuisance, though. The two daily walks definitely helped, though.

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