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Urgent help

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by Leekypop, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Leekypop

    Leekypop New Member Registered

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    My dog is 7 months old and its getting to the point where my house mate is saying we have to get rid of her. If she is left alone for even 1 minute you return to the room and everything is site is chewed up, including the walls, skirting boards, absolutely anything in sight. She has a 40 minute walk around a field in the morning including running and training, we go to training classes every week and she is Golden. I have tried chew spray, plug in calmers, been to pets at home sought advice, brought a Kong, fobler and new toys for when I am out for longer periods, she has the radio on when I am out. I really don’t know what to do with her anymore( someone please help me before it gets to the point of giving her away!
     
  2. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    7 months.. Its that chewing stage and they all do it. Luckily Murphy only took a corner of the skiting board once.. But my mums lab ate the door, a corner of the wall down to the brick, the kichten flooring and various other things.
    There are various other reasons that can trigger chewing including boredom and seperation anxiety.. Is there any chance you could get a dog sitter or have a dog walker come in so that she isnt alone too long? How long are you leaving her and how often? Have you see a vet to make sure there isnt any medical reason for her chewing ? Really there are loads of options before re-homing and this is part of a natural stage for dogs.
     
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  3. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    There are a few things you can do, like get her used to you walking out of the room then immediately back in again, preferably when she is occupied with something like a Kong. Try to make no fuss, you don't want to prepare her into thinking "oh no this means they are going out" - the aim is for her to barely register you coming and going - ideally for her to have a 'oh, you're back, I didn't notice you leave' reaction. This is going to take time, you might want to book some time off work. Very, very gradually build up time. This will be hard work but put the work in now and it will pay off later. If she gets distressed though you have gone too fast, and created anxiety and that is not what you want. Stair gates are also useful to allow her to see you pottering about in another room, but without being glued to your feet.

    You can also reward independent behaviour - praise when your dog is not actively engaged with you, which is actually quite hard to remember to do because we sort of don't notice when it happens!

    There are other things you can do like picking up keys and putting on outdoor clothes then not actually going out, to desensitise her to the triggers that signal you leaving.

    An Adaptil diffuser releases calming hormones in the house and might also help.

    Also tagging @JudyN who has written a very detailed piece on this.

    If you want to speak to a behaviourist, Emma Judson is one of the UK's experts in separation anxiety and she can do online consultations at a reasonable rate

    https://www.thecanineconsultants.co.uk
     
  4. Leekypop

    Leekypop New Member Registered

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    We had just had a 40 minute walk/ run in the field and we do our training during that time to hopefully wear her out, I went to the loo and had a shower and she’d chewed everything up in site even though she had the run of the garden and kitchen with her Kong and fobler filled. I used to leave her for 3 hours but it got to the point she was tearing the kitchen apart so now somebody goes into her every hour and has to tidy up after her. I have booked an appointment for the vets on Friday, it is not me that wants to get rid of her it’s my house mate that is fed up of the dog ruining her house, she is golden when we are with her!
     
  5. Leekypop

    Leekypop New Member Registered

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    Okay so update I’m in the kitchen washing up with all of the doors open and she is out in the garden I thought she was quiet so I have been to check on her and she has ripped all the washing off the line and ripped apart every item as well as the children’s garden equipment
     
  6. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    This is the article on separation anxiety I wrote that @JoanneF mentioned: Separation anxiety - Positively | Victoria Stilwell | Forum

    However, from your last post, it seems that this wasn't straightforward SA, as she had access to you and still chewed up everything in the garden.

    What breed is she? What age was she when you got her, what was her background, and when did she start to get really chewy/destructive? What is she like most of the time when you're with her - would she still shred things if you didn't stop her?

    The first question you need an answer to is whether the destructive behaviour is caused by anxiety/distress, or whether she's simply extremely chewy. If you're not sure, videoing her while you're out could give you a clue to this.
     
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  7. Leekypop

    Leekypop New Member Registered

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    She is an American Bulldog, I got her at 10 weeks and she has always been a chewer, we moved house 1 month ago from a flat to a house with a garden. She never used to chew anything at the flat when left alone but now that has all changed. For the first week she chewed the walls, I then got the plug in calmer and kong she behaved for 2 days no mess but now it is every day when left alone for even a minute, she is no longer chewing the walls but now everything else in sight. I can’t leave a single thing on the sides whether it be clothes, bags or even washing up bottles.
    When I am with her she is golden and loves to be by me, she loves her chews a rawhide will last not even an hour for the rate she rips it apart. I have recently increased her walks to runs and introduced more training and we go to an isolated field where she can run off the lead to use energy but she seems pretty much non stop when I am not there!
    I rotate her toys every day so she has different ones daily and a fobler which sets off an alarm every half an hour so she has to work to get the biscuits out.
    Do you have any recommendations on what monitoring equipment to get?

    Thankyou for your help x
     
  8. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    Agree with Judy re the additional info about being able to access you. You may have the "perfect storm" effect of a teenager, teeth settling, a chewing habit and the breed - I thought wrongly from your earlier posts she was a golden retriever.

    Is she crate trained? Because it may be that managing what she has access to chew is the way forward.
     
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  9. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Also, what do you feed her, and does she do 'nice' poos? I lie in hope that one day someone will say they are feeding a rubbish brand that contains additives which might affect their behaviour!
     
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  10. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    I'm sorry you are having a bad time with her. It is a very normal things for pups to go through a chewing stage and each pup differs. Also she sounds anxious and the house move has triggered even more anxiety, even though to human eyes it's for the better, with a garden etc. Every puppy I've had has been destructive at first. Puppies interact with the world via their mouths, that's how they are. One absolute fact U can share from having taught human (as opposed to canine) behavioural science is this: behaviour is so-o difficult to change whereas the environment is easier. To start you have to puppy-proof the room she's left in. If she does damage while you are in another room, take her with you. Our puppy destroyed so many remote controls, mobile phones, pairs of glasses, a Victorian necklace! etc (one months bill at its worst was over £400!) I scooped him up and took him everywhere- when too heavy I called him for a treat so we went to have a shower- together! Yes he did worry the shower curtain. Make sure you have things that can be chewed, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles with top removes etc always to hand.

    Last thing if you must give up in the end PLEASE don't 'give her away.' This breed of dog will go to the wrong people. Contact breed rescue or general dog rescue near you to find a good vetted home.
     
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  11. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    .

    I want to second the suggestion of a crate, & further I want to specifically suggest a proper airline-approved shipping crate which will be useful thru out her life, & that of the next 4 or 5 dogs in Ur life, as well.
    A wire cage AKA “show crate” cannot be used as effectively as a shipping crate; wire crates are downright dangerous in transit & should never be used in any vehicle, ever. Shipping crates, in sharp contrast, are useful at home, plus they’re the gold standard for pet transport, whether by air, train, truck, private car, or watergoing vessel.

    If U want to know what crate will fit her, find a pet supply locally that carries shipping crates & has floor models; she can “try them on” for size. The smallest size that allows her to enter, U-turn, & exit, is the right size. If she must back out, it’s too small.

    U can also save $$ by buying a used shipping crate; online sites such as Preloved, GumTree, eBay, & Craig’sList are all good places to look, & don’t forget FreeCycle, where used items are given away to another user, in the owner’s local area.
    Generally, U save about half the retail cost of a new crate by buying a used one - & again unlike steel wire cages, shipping crates don’t rust, flake paint, there’s no tray to warp, bend, crack or rust (depending on whether it’s metal or plastic).

    I have shipping crates that are over 20-years old, & aside from some scuffs made by airport cargo handlers, they look almost new.
    They have been used to housetrain pups & adults, to confine dogs recovering from surgery, injury, or illness, to separate estrous bitches from other dogs (both sexes, all genders - Fs in season can get cranky even with buddies, or they can ELICIT irritable behavior from other dogs without any apparent cause). They have gone to 4-star hotels, RV camping, stayed in friends’ homes, beach cottages, & tents.
    My dogs have a safe place to hang out, protected from the adventurous nephew, the busy hotel maid, or intrusive strangers at dog shows. ;)

    Another plus: shipping crates are virtually inescapable. Dogs can learn to slither sideways over the door of a closed wire cage, often permanently bending the roof & door in the process, but they can’t chew or slide out of a shipper.

    The more she chews, the more likely she is to KEEP chewing destructively; U don’t want her to rehearse unwanted behaviors. Confinement is a safe Mgmt tool, while U reteach a happy addiction to her own chew-toys,
    Antlers, cow hooves, bull pizzles, sterilized marrow bones stuffed with frozen canned food... lots of options. :)

    - terry

    .
     
  12. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Sounds like such a nightmare! But don't worry, you'll get through it I'm sure.
    I also strongly recommend a crate, not for hours of course but it would be handy if you want to go out for a bit or even just go for a shower so that she's contained.
    I used a crate with my dog and it was an absolute godsend! I would put her in whenever I left the house, even for the 5-10 minutes it would take for my mum to drop me off at the bus stop and I would get her to let her out when she got back. She also slept in there at night which was a great toilet training aid. As a result she hardly ever had any accidents and she only ever chewed a couple of things she shouldn't have which were easily replaced! :)
    First though I got her used to going in there, this is absolutely crucial because you don't want her to see it as a punishment. Start feeding her meals in there with the door open and give her Kongs and tasty treats in there so that she associates it with good things, then put her in and leave the room for a few minutes with a tasty snack and gradually build it up. That way she should look forward to going in there, make it comfy too with a nice bed and place it somewhere quiet.
    Good luck!! :)
     
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  13. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    A note of caution:
    As a confirmed chewer, she doesn’t need a bed of any kind in a shipping crate. The smooth solid floor is comfy enuf, in a temp-controlled setting such as a house; she will very likely rip up any pad, towel, mat, rug, or actual bed. :—/
    Don’t supply bedding until she has proven herself, 1st during supervised time free in the house, meaning ZERO destroyed items for at least a solid month, plus with “rippable” but sturdy items in her crate, when solo - such as fire-hose toys & other super-sturdy objects, then slowly introduce more destructible items with no filling, such as FLAT soft-toys of extra sturdy fabrics, with no buttons, sewn-on bits, or any other easy targets to gnaw off.

    A bed in her crate for solo time would be the *** very last thing *** that she earns - her graduation present.
    And she m@y never get there; some dogs are chewing addicts, who shred anything they can reach, all their lives. :shrug: Hopefully, she’s not one of them. :D

    I also recommend CRATE GAMES, the DVD - brief excerpts are posted on UTube as samples.

    - terry

    .
     
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  14. Jack-Russell-Lover

    Jack-Russell-Lover Well-Known Member Registered

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    Aha! Good point, didn't think of that, isnt there any good, more chew proof bedding she could have?
    I'm just thinking some dogs are fine without bedding and some even prefer to lie on the floor tiles! But my dog would hate that, she has to have a bed, she doesn't even like lying on the carpet! I think in her crate she had a blanket.
     
  15. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    I think the chance of a heavy chewer swallowing some torn fabric, or even threads, trumps any possible “added comfort” s/he might feel. ;)

    Thread is dangerous - if U work in food service, U have probly seen cheesecakes & other sticky desserts being cut with monofilament or wires, rather than knives, & if U ever watch wildlife rehab programs on the telly, birds are particularly prone to be sliced by wires, nets, string, etc.

    JUST IN CASE:
    If U ever see thread or any object protruding from a bodily oriface or STUCK INTO the body or limbs, such as a *sTick* or *branch* or a shard of plastic, DO NOT PULL ON IT.
    Stabilize the object & restrain the person (human or non) so that they cannot pull on it, & call an ambulance, or leave immediately for the nearest hospital, clinic, or E-R / A&E Dept.

    String can slice internal tissues, tear blood vessels, accordion the bowel, etc. It MUST be removed under medical supervision, often with forceps & possibly with the aid of a camera threaded in, to ensure no further trauma or injury is done.
    Cats are especially prone to thread / needle emergencies; never leave sewing or straight pins, needles, etc, lying on work tables, or stuck into that hem U are mending. PUT IT INTO SOMETHING, a box, drawer, closet, B4 a pet, a child, or someone’s foot is penetrated; needles will travel thru the body, taking infection & the threat of death with them. // A needle can be trodden on, & puncture the heart, after navigating the large veins of the leg & body. Needles must be found using x-rays, once the eye is under the skin.

    Hopefully no one reading this ever has one of those - our Siamese queen, Beauty, had thread hanging from her mouth & was gagging on it, one day. :eek: My mother was a tailor, & sewing was almost a daily event... she went straight to the vets’, yowling & struggling, bundled in a towel to keep her paws away from her mouth, & thank God, the needle was a short one, jammed into her hard palate - it never entered her throat, there was a shallow puncture, but very minor damage.
    The vet sedated her, & removed it with forceps. She was on soft food for a week, but she was fine. I was only 4 or 5; it was very frightening, & i’m sure she was scared, too. :( We were all relieved, when the vet got it out.

    - terry

    .
     
  16. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    A shipping crate!! OMG, you may consider it safe , but what a PRISON!!:eek:
    Don't have a dog if you have to "Prison" it like this every day:eek:
     
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  17. Barnyboy

    Barnyboy Member Registered

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    Now I know many people are going to be totally against this as I my self would not like to have to do it to my dog but...a soft muzzle. Maybe try using it for short spells while you are in the house but not in the same room. As long as she can drink and not get it caught up on anything then maybe it might help the situation... I have a dog and luckily managed to stop the chewing before it really started (if you know what I mean) I know puppies will chew especially when they are teething but if I saw him chewing as a young puppy I used a lemon...every time he started to chew anything other than his own chewy toys I would dab his lip with the lemon....hey presto he stopped. Also you can get dog teething toys which you put in the freezer as the cold helps the pain the same as babies...I'm not saying what I did was right but it worked. We can all try and give you advice and reading the comments left for you you've have had plenty of it...I really do hope you can cure your dog of the excessive chewing and not have to rehome her....Good luck
     
  18. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    I don't feel it would be safe to leave a muzzled dog alone. What if it became sick due to stress? You return home to a dead dog possibly...
     
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  19. Barnyboy

    Barnyboy Member Registered

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    Sorry but you obviously didn't read my comment properly. I did not mention leaving the dog at home alone wearing a muzzle, what I said was use while at home but not in the same room.
     
  20. leashedForLife

    leashedForLife Well-Known Member Registered

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    QUOTE, Barnyboy:

    ...I myself would not like to have to do it to my dog but... a soft muzzle.
    Maybe try using it for short spells, while you are in the house, but not in the same room. As long as she can DRINK and not get it caught on anything, ... it might help ...

    I have a dog, and luckily managed to stop the chewing before it really started (if you know what I mean). I know puppies will chew, especially when they are teething, but if I saw him chewing as a young puppy, I used a lemon...
    every time he started to chew anything other than his own chewy toys, I would dab his lip with the lemon. Hey, presto, he stopped.
    ...
    ________________________________________
    .



    A few brief notes on safety & muzzles:

    - no muzzle is COMPLETELY safe, whenever a dog is unsupervised... but SOFT muzzles, AKA “groomers’ muzzles”, are never, ever safe, supervised closely or not.

    They HOLD THE MOUTH CLOSED, either fully closed with elastic, or reduced to a mere slit like a postbox slot with inelastic fabric or mesh. In all cases, the dog so confined cannot pant adequately, as their airway is restricted & they can’t open their mouths fully to COOL OFF, or even to maintain a safe core temp.
    Dogs can quickly die when they overheat, & reducing their airway or restricting their ability to pant is one way to kill them.

    - BASKET MUZZLES are the only relatively safe muzzles.
    The dog must be able to fully open her or his mouth, unrestricted, to pant, to vomit if need be, to cough or gag if they choke.

    - even basket muzzles should rarely ever be on the dog when they are solo.
    Accidents happen, & deaths have occurred despite careful forethought.

    - when no one is home, a crate is the safest way to prevent destructive chewing, trashcan foraging, pee or poop indoors, & other undesired behaviors, or simply to confine a sick or injured dog safely.
    Shipping crates are better designed than wire show-crates, as the protect dogs from floor level drafts while providing plenty of ventilation, plus they are virtually inescapable (unlike show crates), & have solid lower halves (no leaks, no spills).

    Missed one, sorry:
    Dogs wearing “soft” AKA tube muzzles cannot drink- nor eat, pant, etc.
    Dogs wearing box-muzzles need a bucket of water, secured so that it cannot tip & spill, b/c to drink they must plunge the muzzle into the bucket, & lap “inside” the submerged muzzle.



    Re chewing
    Chewing is a natural behavior, & like it or lump it, part of a pup’s development. It has mental, physical, & even emotional long-term effects. Among other things, just like human infants, a pup needs to explore their environs orally & learn about objects, living things, non living things, what is edible or inedible, what’s chewable & what’s nasty.

    PUNISHING a puppy for chewing is IMO not only harmful to the pup, but wrongheaded, as the puppy will associate the person who punished them with “bad feelings”. Destroying a pup’s sense of trust in me as an owner, or even as a trainer, petsitter, or dogwalker, who is part of their life only for short interludes, is not worth saving anything from puppy teeth.

    Confining a pup with a crate, babygate, tether, or in a safe puppy-proof area where s/he cannot get to anything they shouldn’t is the RESPONSIBILITY of the owner or of the human adult who is caring for that pup; if the puppy gets ahold of some precious object, it is NOT THE PUPPY who is to blame.
    IT IS THE HUMAN who is at fault, & if anyone gets punished, it should be that human.

    The same rule holds for not-yet-housetrained pups or dogs:
    If they pee or poop in the house, it is NOT their fault; they are entirely blameless, & whoever was the human that was supposed to mind the pup, or who should have confined them to a crate, or who failed to get home within 4-hours, or whatever the cause, THE HUMAN, not the puppy or dog, should be punished.

    Punishment causes distrust, & while dogs are too forgiving for their own good, they can’t wipe the slate blank. They do remember, & U cannot erase the damage done; it’s a one-way trip.

    - terry

    .
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2018
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