I have a 1 year old Siberian Husky that I absolutely love to death. But, I have school and Nova tends to be put in her crate a lot for her bad chewing habits when nobody is around. I would love for her to be able to have a place to roam around without the destruction. She chews anything and everything she can get her paws on. Do you have any suggestions on how I can solve this problem or break this habit so I can allow her to roam around unattended?
Hello Natalie, It sounds like Nova needs to mature a bit more before I would suggest attempting to leave her out of the crate. It is not unusual for a dog to need to be crated for the first three years of life while you are gone. Most dogs need to be crated for the first two years in general. You can do a couple of things to help her learn though. First, give her supervised free time while you are at home, teach her the "Leave It" command and "Out" command, and practice those commands with household items that she tends to chew. Second, when you crate her, give her large classic Kong toys stuffed with her own dog food. Do this to build her interest in her own toys so that she will learn what to chew and will prefer her own toys more and will be more likely to chew her own toys while free. To make the food stuffed kong more interesting, put some of her dog food into a bowl and cover it with water. Let it sit out until the food turns into mush, usually this takes at least a couple of hours. When it turns into mush, then mix a bit of peanut butter, liver paste, or cheese into it, and loosely stuff the kong with the mush mixture. Freeze the kong and then give it to her in the morning when you put her into the crate and it will thaw overtime, lasting her longer. Avoid the ingredient Xylitol in peanut butter. It is extremely toxic to dogs. You can also make several of these stuffed Kongs at once to save you time throughout the week, then you can simply pull one out of the freezer as needed. When she no longer chews things while you are at home with her, then try giving her freedom outside of the crate. Start with only leaving her alone in the house for five minutes. If she does well with that, then leave for ten minutes the next time, then thirty, and so forth, until she can handle at least three hours without an issue. At which point she is probably ready to try being free for the entire day. If she gets into something, then she is not ready. Crate her for two more months and then try it again. Prevention is very important until she is ready maturity-wise. You have done great by crating her up to this point. That has kept her safe and will increase her chances of being able to be free in the house later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello, our dog Mina chews to get our attention. We keep her in the kitchen when we are out and when we have dinner, she immediately chews on the bottom fabric of the seat of the chair. We attempt to distract, to say no and ask her to stop. However she will only do so if we engage - and we don't want to reward what appears to be attention seeking behavior.
Is it OK to just let her chew and ignore her? Or are we instilling the idea that the chairs and things in the kitchen are 'her's'?
Many thanks for the advice.
Hello Ian, Five months of age is a huge chewing age. Puppies are finishing teething at that age and their jaws are developing. Puppies will chew to relieve the discomfort and keep away boredom. Purchase some bitter apple or bitter melon spray and spray it on the items that she tends to chew often. Also, purchase several hollow, rubber chew-toys. Put Mina's dog kibble into a bowl and cover it with water. Let it sit out until the food absorbs the water and turns into mush. Next, mix a bit of peanut butter, squeeze cheese, or liver paste into the mush. Avoid the ingredient Xylitol though. It is extremely toxic! Loosely stuff the chew-toys with the mixture and smear a bit of the liver, cheese, or peanut butter right on the opening. Freeze the toys and give the toys to her throughout the day in place of part or all of her meals, depending on how much she eats. This should give her something to work on to help with the boredom while also helping to relieve the discomfort of teeth and jaws. Subtract whatever you feed her in the toys from her food amount for the day. That will keep her more interested in the toys and keep her weight in check. Do this until she gets past the heavy chewing phase. For some dogs that happens around nine months of age. For other dogs it can take until they get paste one year. If it takes all of her food to fill the chew toys and she eats all of her meals out of the toys, that is alright. In fact it is a good thing. She does not have to get an actual bowl of food as long as she is getting all of her food in other, entertaining ways. Doing all of these things should make it so that she does not chew your items as often, but you cannot ignore it when she does or it can turn into a lifelong chewing habit, which you do not want. Instead, tell her "Out" and point to where you want her to go, then get between her and the item she is chewing on, and then calmly but very seriously walk toward her to make her back out of the area. Block the area until she stops trying to get around you to go back. Repeat this any time that she tries to go back to the area. Do this calmly and seriously or she will think it is a game. She will probably try to go back to the area right after, keep repeating it until she decides that you mean business and leaves the area. With time she should learn to leave an area when you say "Out" without your body blocking that area. Also, work on teaching her the "Leave It" command, and use that command when she chews on things that she shouldn't or starts toward something that she should leave alone. When she obeys, then give her one of her own interesting toys, like a food stuffed chew-toy, instead. Check out the article below and follow the "Leave It" method to teach her the "Leave It" command. That article mentions using "Leave It" for mouthing you, but you can also use that command for objects. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Casper enjoys chewing up our clothes, toilet paper, boxes and anything else he can get into. I am currently trying to create train him from it and I make sure he has dog toys but he still does it. Qhat else can I do? What am I doing wrong?
Hello Anna, If Casper has been destroying things when unattended out of a crate since he was a puppy, then he has developed a habit of destructive chewing. Destructive chewing is completely normal for a puppy, but when they are left unsupervised and able to do it without being interrupted (most commonly because they are not crated or confined when people leave the home), then it becomes a longer-term habit as an adult also... With that said, if that was the case, then it will take just as long for a good habit to form in place of the destructive chewing habit so you will need to stick with the training for the next year. Many dogs also chew heavily until two-years-old also, and almost all dogs chew to some degree for the rest of their lives (the goal is just to train them WHAT to chew). First, keep up the crate training. You are going great to start that now. Any time that you cannot supervise Casper, he needs to be crated with chew toys. This is a vital step. Second, when he is not in a crate, then he needs to be supervised. You can tether him to yourself with a six-to eight-foot leash to make sure that he does not wander off. You can also teach a "Place" command and screw an eye-hook into the baseboard by his place, then connect a chew-proof leash (like Vir-Chew-Ly) to the baseboard and clip the other end to him. If you work on the place command being a firm command, then you can eventually transition to not using the eye-hook and leash and to just having him be on the place with a chew-toy when you cannot supervise him. Essentially, he needs to be supervised, confined to the crate when you are gone, or clipped into the eye-hook on his "Place" when you are there but cannot supervise him. Also, purchase a deterrent spray like bitter melon or bitter apple spray and spray that on the furniture that he tends to chew the most often (do a spot test first on furniture to chew that it's safe for that piece of furniture). When you are supervising him and he starts to chew something he is not supposed to, tell him "Aha!' firmly but calmly, get between him and the object, and walk toward him until he backs away (only do this if he has no history of aggression issues). When he stops trying to go back to that object, then reward him with one of his own chew toys and praise him when he chews it. Work on teaching him "Leave It" and "Drop It", so that you can better communicate with him when he picks up something that he shouldn't have or tries to go toward something he needs to leave alone. Once he knows those commands, then through supervision you can communicate to him what he should leave alone, and that will help him learn not to chew your objects (and confining him with food-stuffed chew toys will help him learn to chew on the correct things). Check out the article that I have linked below and use the "Leave It" method to teach "Leave It". When he can do Leave It with clothing articles, then transition to practicing the command with objects that he tends to chew around your home. Always reward him with something different than what he is supposed to be leaving alone, like the article mentions...For example, when you practice with treats, use two treats, one that he is supposed to leave alone and a different one that you give him as a reward...you do not want him to even expect to receive what he has been told to leave alone...even with treats. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We can't seem to get Lobo to stop biting us nothing that we read seems to work and my daughter looses her patience with him and yells we get mad I'm afraid it's going to make it worst we don't know what to do. He tears a lot if our clothes and he bites hard it hurts. Please we'd appreciate any advice we love him and would hate to have to get rid of him. Will the word "stop" ever work?
Hello Iliana, Lobo is two months old. ALL puppies that age bite. It is 100% normal and part of having a puppy. It can be frustrating, especially for kids. Puppies are learning about the world around them through their mouths. It is how they naturally play at that age, it's how they learn to control how hard they bite - which makes them safer as adults, and it's how they cope with boredom and anxiety. It takes time to teach a puppy to stop biting and any other puppy will also bite at that age too. Check out the article that I have linked below. Work on teaching the "Leave It" method first. Practice that just like the article mentions, until your puppy can leave your clothes alone while they are moving them. When your puppy can leave clothing alone, then use the "Pressure" method to discipline his disobedience if he does not obey you when you say "Leave It". If he obeys, then reward him with a treat - especially if he doesn't bite at all when he was thinking about biting, when you told him to "Leave It". It's important to teach "Leave It" first because your puppy will not understand what you want him to do instead and why he is being disciplined if you don't show him. Practicing "Leave It" teaches him self-control - something that puppies have to learn through practice. Learning self-control will also help with the biting. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Also, crate train him. When he gets really worked-up, give him a hollow Kong toy - stuffed with dog food and a bit of liver paste or peanut butter (Avoid Xylitol sweetener - It's toxic!) and put him into the crate. Puppies that age sometimes get really wound up because they are tired - sort of like a toddler who has more tantrums when tired. When that happens they typically either need to be mentally stimulated or exercised (because they have not been earlier), or put somewhere calm where they can relax and take a nap (because they are tired). Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method to introduce the crate properly so that he will learn to relax while in there. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside You can also teach him an "Out" command - which means leave the area. You can use this command when he is bothering your daughter. To teach him an "Out" command, first call him over to you, then toss a treat several feet away from yourself while pointing to the area where you are tossing the treat with the finger of your treat tossing hand and saying "Out" at the same time. Repeat this until he will go over to the area where you point when you say "Out" before you have tossed a treat. When he will do that, then whenever you tell him "Out" and he does not go to where you are pointing, walk toward him and herd him out of the area with your body. Your attitude should be calm and patient but very firm and business like when you do this. When you get to where you were pointing to, then stop and wait until he either goes away or stops trying to go back to the area where you were standing before. When he is no longer trying to get past you, then slowly walk backwards to where you were before. If he follows you, then tell him "Out" again and quickly walk toward him until he is back to where he was a moment ago. Repeat this until he will stay several feet away from where you were when you told him "Out" originally. When you are ready for him to come back, then tell him "OK" in an up beat tone of voice. Practice this training until he will consistently leave the area when you tell him "Out". When he will consistently leave, then practice the training with other areas that you would like for him to leave, such as the kitchen when you are preparing food, a person's space when he is being pushy, an area with a plant that he is trying to dig up, or somewhere with something in your home that he should not be bothering. With time and consistency the mouthing should pass. Puppies at eight weeks are teething, then their jaws start to develop so they are mouthy. If you are consistent with training he should out grow the mouthing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Thank you for the respond extremely helpful and appreciated. Is it safe to feed Lobo an pig/cow ear? Do you happen to have a video that demonstrates the "out" process that we can purchase from you, not sure we're doing it right he's somewhat moving away but he's looking for his treat. He is extremely smart he already knows sit, food, outside and treat and some what shake.
Illiana, The cow and pig ears depend mostly on how hard of a chewer he is. Some dogs will carefully chew them and not tear off and swallow big pieces. Other dogs swallow large chunks and that can be dangerous. If you already purchased one, watch him carefully when he has it. If he is destroying it or getting chunks off, take it away...and I don't like to give those to dogs when they are unsupervised, like in a crate...Kong's, cow hoofs, cow sterile white long bones, and deer antlers tend to be more durable...super hard chewers can chip a tooth on the hoofs, long bones or antlers - but that is the rare SUPER hard chewers which you are not likely to have at this age. The criteria for bones and toys (unless you are supervising carefully) is something that cannot be torn apart and ingested and something that will not splinter. For the 'Out' I unfortunately do not have a video yet, but will likely be producing one in the next month at www.lifedogtraining.com - so you can check there later. Few people teach 'Out' but I find it's an extremely helpful command that I would like more people to learn. You can see a similar process of sending a dog away (in this case to a Place opposed to generally leaving the area. This trainer does it using a toy (which you can do) but if your puppy is more interested in treats stick with those and use ones that are large enough for him to see. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JNNNy8iuwEs In your particular situation it sounds like your puppy is starting to understand. Break the training down into smaller steps, giving a treat for moving just a little bit away - when he understands better then you can toss the treat a bit further. Once your puppy is away from you, you can also throw a second treat a little further away - this will get your puppy used to chasing treats to that further spot too. If you are still having issues, I do offer paid Skype training sessions, you could recruit someone to hold the phone up for Skype, let me see you guys practice your 'Out' and I could coach you through it in real time. https://www.lifedogtraining.com/skypephonetraining/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We are tired of him biting us my daughter loses her patience very quickly, he doesn't listen I know he doesn't understand I've read a lot nothing seems to work I'm out of things to try. I tried the " leave it" and the "out", he is too smart he only listens to that when he knows there's a treat in our hands. Is there anything else we can try, I'm afraid he is associating us as bad guys. My daughter yells at him a lot and I'm afraid we're doing wrong for him,instead of good. We didn't crate train him when he was one month so we're also trying to do that he got used to having a big area in the house to run and be free. We're willing to keep trying we can't get him professional training until he has his full set of shots. Please advice us we're desperate. :(
Hello Leticia, First of all what you are experiencing is completely normal at his age. I know it can feel overwhelming, but three months is a major teething period so mouthing is usually really bad then. After he gets past teething you should start to see more impovement. Keep working on the "Out" and "Leave It". I know it feels like he is not making progress but it will take him time and practice to developed impulse control - to be able to stop himself when he gets excited. Right now he is still learning what those commands mean, what people rules are, and how to control his own impulses. Keep up with the crate training and put him in the crate when he needs to call down - puppies need breaks to wind down very frequently. When they get tired, the mouthing can actually get worse - sort of like a tired toddler having tantrums or getting wound up. You can also use an exercise pen and put him in there with toys. When he is free, make sure that he has a chew toy in every room he hangs out in regularly. He needs to chew because of teething so having an alternative will help him. If you can find a puppy class that has an indoor facility where they clean the floor with a cleaner that kills both parvo and distemper, requires puppies to be up to date on their shots (not finished but up to date in the series), and does not allow adult dogs into the gated off cleaned puppy area once the area has been cleaned until puppies are gone, you can significantly minimize any risk of him catching parvo or distemper to be able to start a puppy class now if you wish. I suggest looking into the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's recommendations for safe socialization practices. There are risks but the risks can be minimized (I am not a vet though so check with your vet). https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/081001c.aspx Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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So LULU is starting to be a problem in my apartment. During the day when I'm at work she is kept in the crate. At night she is out of the crate while we sleep. I have many toys and bones for her to chew on. Seems lately she doesn't want to play with her toys or bones but when I wake up in the morning, my entertainment center and border trim at the bottom of my walls have been chewed on. At this point its starting to cost me money to fix the repairs my dogs is causing and I really love her and don't want to get rid of her. I'm just out of ideas on what to do next. Like I said before she has plenty of toys to play with and bones, which i also purchased wood bones to try out which doesn't help. Also we have a pitbull male which they play with each other all the time and he ins't destructive.
Hello Frank, First, crate her at night, period. Second, it sounds like she needs mental stimulation also. She needs time each day to do something that challenges both physically and mentally. Huskys are very active breeds and can get into mischief if there need for fun and stimulation is not met. It sounds like she was simply bored one night, started chewing for fun and learned that she could get away with it and have a great time without being disciplined - she needs to be crated at night right no until new habits replace that one. She also needs to be given something to do that involved learning something new. Teaching her new commands, taking her on walks where you practice a focused heel, sits, downs, watch me, and other commands through the walk, playing fetch and pausing to do a lot of obedience randomly throughout the fetch game, practicing agility, feeding her out of puzzle toys, taking her on hikes, or joining an obedience class that meets regularly can all help with the boredom. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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What's the best age to neuter a male dog?
Hello Iliana, There are pros and cons to neutering at different ages. I suggest speaking with your vet about it. Waiting longer increases the risk of certain male cancers and hormone related behavior issues. Neutering too soon can effect bone growth, muscle mass and other physical traits that are dependent on male hormones. 6-8 months is a common age to neuter to try to avoid the extremes of neutering very early and very late. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We got Apollo from the pound a couple weeks ago hes a great dog other then no matter what I do he tears stuff up when I leave. I put him in his kennel and he got out once and and if he cant get out he pulls the door so hard that its bending the bottom of the door inwards and tearing his nose all up. How can I break him of destroying my house and himself?
Hello Sally, First, you can either purchase a sturdier kennel or you can discipline the escape attempts. Either way, give him durable hollow chew toys filled with food to keep him busy in the crate. I suggest putting his breakfast in a bowl, covering it with water, and letting it sit out until the food turns into mush, like marshmallows. When the food is mushy, mix a little peanut butter, liver paste, or cheese into it, mix it together, and loosely stuff the black durable classic Kong toys with it. Place the stuffed toys into a ziplock and put them into the freezer. If you purchase several Kongs, you can stuff them and freeze them at the same time, then simply grab one from the freezer as needed. Feed him his breakfast in the crate via frozen Kongs. The Kongs should give him a little challenge, motivate him with food, and help him learn to prefer his own chew toys even when out of the crate. Don't stuff the Kongs to tightly or you may never get the food back out. He definitely needs something to do while in the crate though, and he cannot safely be left out of the crate right now. He is not ready. You can try putting him into a more durable crate. An escape proof crate combined with something fun to do IN the crate, like a frozen food stuffed chew toy will be sufficient to stop some dogs from trying to escape. Check out the article linked below for reviews of durable crates: https://www.k9ofmine.com/heavy-duty-dog-crates/ You can also discipline the escape attempts (in addition to stuff providing a food stuffed chew toy to help with the boredom). I suggest only going this route with the help of an experienced trainer who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collars. Check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating crate issues. This protocol is for anxiety but can also be used for other issues. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of Apollos life too. Next, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration collar) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). Because of your dog's strong reaction, it is unlikely that the vibration or spray collars will work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar at first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on Apollo. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with Apollo's end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from the other room or outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear her barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on her on the mini educator collar should within the first sixty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for him. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working - when in doubt always double check this. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Sean does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Work on teaching "Leave It". Practice Leave it with household objects while you are there to supervise. When you reward Leave It while teaching it, always give a different treat and not the one that you tell him to "Leave It". You want him to leave to give up the thing that he is supposed to be leaving alone and not simply wait for it. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Leave It" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Check out the second article that I have linked below for additional tips for chewing as well. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Willow has all of a sudden started to chew and destroy things. She's never did this as a puppy, I'm so confused on why she's doing it now.
She's crate trained and as a puppy I use to out her in it. But when she matured I stop putting her in it when I would leave.
She's getting into things during the night or when we leave the house. She's chewed up my daughter's doc matters, my husbands Jordan's, chewed up a bag of cough drops, ate paper bills, ate my daughter's homework (guess that would really fly with the teacher)... Help I am wondering what to do and why she's doing this
Hello Kimberly, Many dogs simply chew on something one day out of boredom and discover that it's fun. Since no one is there to tell them not to they continue doing it and it turns into a bad habit. She needs to be crated with her own chew toys when you are gone for a while right now to break the new bad habit. Make sure you put her own chew toys in there, and I would even suggest stuffing some of them with her own dog food or a little peanut butter or liver paste to make them more interesting so that she will learn to prefer her own toys again. When you catch her chewing on her toys while home, praise her for it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hey there. My husky Kida is a notorious chewing addict. She loves to chew on everything when she is out of sight. She is usually kept on the back patio which is screened in and everything. She only chews on things when we leave her unattended. Tonight is a perfect example. I left her outside her crate and she chewed up a cardboard box of Staples for a staple gun. Luckily, she didn't injure herself, but it's always something. The other day, it was a pair of flip flops left back there, which I fear she sees as her entire domain. She has ropes and toys strewn across the entire room, but only chews on things she is not supposed to chew on, and she knows it's not okay because she cowers when we pick up the item. I have used the nasty chewing sprays, which I tried and I thought it was awful, yet she's even chewed items that I soaked in it like her harness and collar. I'm a my wit's end and don't know what to do anymore. Please help me.
Hello Zachary, Check out the article linked below. It sounds like you are already doing many of the things advised there but also include stuffing chew toys with food to make those items more attractive than other toys. Confining her in the crate WITH food stuffed chew toys. Supervising her when out of the crate BUT also working on practicing the commands mentioned in the article to help her develope the self-control she needs to leave things alone and set the expectation for what to chew and not chew. Many sure you are addressing her needs, especially the need for mental stimulation - which can be addressed by having regular training sessions, which will also help with listening. Chewing article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Some dogs are strong chewers for longer than others. It sounds like she is bored and needs to work on commands like "Out", "Leave It", and "Drop It". Once you have spent time clearly teaching her what to leave alone by practicing leave it with those items, and have shown her what she can chew by stuffing those things with food, and are carefully confining and supervising her, then you can use a remote vibration collar if she is not improving and spy on her with a camera and vibrate the collar using a handheld remote when she starts to chew something off limits - if she is only chewing it while you are gone that is; otherwise you need to work on the commands more first because she clearly does not understand fully yet. It is extremely important that you spend time teaching her commands, making her toys rewarding and setting her environment up so that you can be consistent and not give her access to things she shouldn't chew unless you are ready to train then - so that she does not get away with chewing sometimes (punishment after the fact does not help in this case) and gets in trouble at other times. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog chews on everything he is not supposed to. We have lots of toys and bones and take him on walks everyday. We have a crate for him and he enjoys being in there but if we put his toys in there he takes them out and puts them in the middle of our living room. We don't understand. He doesn't play with them, he makes a pile in the center of the room. He also chews on blankets. If you could provide a solution to this that would be helpful.
Hello Stephanie, First, purchase hollow chew toys and stuff them with dog food. Many dogs have to be taught to chew their own toys instead of your things. By stuffing their chew toys with food you can make them more exciting. You can look up a number of ways to stuff a Kong. One way that's helpful for hard chewers is to put the dog's food on a bowl, cover it with water and let it sit out until it turns to mush. Mix a little liver paste, soft cheese, or peanut butter (avoid Xylitol - it's toxic to dogs) into the food mush. Loosely stuff the hollow toy with the mixture and freeze the whole thing. You can make several of these at once so that you can grab them as needed. Typically dogs will only chew toys in a crate when they are confined in there with the toys. When you are home and he is free you may want to give him a dog bed, encourage him to lay on that by randomly sprinkling treats into it for him to find, and let him chew his toys on the bed. If you need him to chew the toys inside the crate use a thin chew proof tie out lead, the type that is wire and covered with rubber. Thread it through a hollow chew toy, then stuff the chew toy with food, and attach the other end of the tie out lead to the back of the crate so that the chew toy is attached to the back of the crate (cut the tie out lead and adjust it to be smaller with small metal claps if needed). Check out something like VirChewLy leashes. Also, work on teaching the "Leave It" command from the Leave It method from the article linked below. Use the Leave It command to teach him to leave your things alone. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite https://www.amazon.com/VirChewLy-Indestructible-Leash-Medium-Black/dp/B001W8457I?th=1&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Husband can leave, dog is fine. Wife can then leave, dog is fine. Both leave together at same time and dog goes on a rampage chewing furniture and anything else she can get into. Dog gets "bark Box" so has plenty of toys. Dog also goes to dog park for a run and playing with other dogs every day, without fail, no matter the weather, for 1-2 hours.
Hello Catherine, This is likely a case of separation boredom - essentially when one of you are home she knows that she cannot chew because you have told her so probably. At some point she likely chewed and no one was there to correct her though, so she learned that it's okay to chew when people are gone. She needs to be crated when you are gone. Give her interesting or food stuffed chew toys in the crate to keep her entertained. She needs to be crated when you are gone, for several months - because at this point she probably has developed a habit of chewing and needs the behavior to be stopped long enough for good chewing behaviors to be encouraged when you are home and her develop long-term good habits instead. This can take time. I generally suggest a year of crating to accomplish this. When it has been several months AND she has not chewed anything she shouldn't in at least six months, then you can test whether she is ready for freedom. When you test her, leave her un-crated for just five minutes. When you come back home after five minutes, look around and see if anything was chewed. If it was, crate for longer. If she does well, then leave her for ten minutes the next time, then twenty, and so forth, until she handles three hours successfully - at which point you can try leaving her out while you go to work. Crate her for longer periods still while you are testing the shorter times still. Additionally, you can use an e-collar and a hidden camera to correct chewing, but this is only done for dogs out of the chewing phase - who have simply developed a bad habit of chewing and continued it past the normal chewing age. Many dogs normally chew until 1-3 years of age. Huskies often chew until 2 even under ideal circumstances - so need confinement when not supervised. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog Tiny is 7 months old, when I first got him at 3 months old he was very shy and timid and wouldn't let me or my husband within 5 feet of him let alone touc himh, he just recently around 5 months of age started letting us handle him without biting at us (we think the previous owner treated him badly). My issue now is his chewing, he chews up and eats everything in my house, my walls, furniture, cell phone, metal dog bowls, carpet, TV stand, DVD cases, phone charger cords, and just recently my kitchen cabinet doors. I work 3rd shift and he is crated for around 9 hours with food water and a chew toy or sometimes 2. I let him out every morning when I get home from work we play he goes outside for awhile comes back inside eats and takes a nap, while he is asleep I try to sleep but that's where the issue lies, while I'm sleeping is when he likes to chew, I hear him most of the time and wake up and stomp my foot on the ground or eh eh loudly and he will stop, I'll give him his chew toys instead and he will take it for awhile but when I go back to sleep he will start again. He has even gotten to the point where when I say eh eh loudly he will stop, look at me in my eyes, and then chew again like he's taunting me to see if he can get away with it, and I'm afraid to be to stern with him over fear of him regressing back to how he was when I first got him not letting me touch or get near him. We both need your help.
Hello Chasidy, 7 months is right at the peak of the phase where puppies jaws strengthen, and destructive chewing is at it's worst. Most puppies will outgrow this IF you carefully manage them during this time and prevent the chewing so that the chewing does not turn into a long term adult habit too. Even though you are home, if you cannot supervise him he needs to be confined where he cannot chew (like in a crate or a puppy proofed room he doesn't chew, with his own durable toys. Stuff hollow chew toys with his dog food to make them more interesting, Check out the article linked below for some more tips to help him get through this phase. Pay attention to the commands such as Leave It taught there. Correcting after he has already chewed something up is not very effective. He needs to be supervised and correct as soon as he starts to grab something, or better yet told to leave It when something is tempting and rewarded for chewing his own things instead. Chewing: https://wagwalking.com/training/not-chew-on-furniture Leave It method for instructions on how to teach it: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite The first article mentions raw hides. I do not recommend those for strong chewers though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We have a husky 21 months and German shepherd 12 months they started chewing everything except there toys from lamp cords to floor trim to pieces stairs the husky does most of the chewing. They have lots of chew toys bones and stuff to chew on but they will not stop chEwing no matter we do I have tried to spray bitter spray that does not help. I need help soon
Hello Stephen, Both pups absolutely need to be crated when not supervised! The behavior needs to be stopped through confinement to halt the progression of long-term chewing habits being learned. If they protest the crates there are ways to deal with that too, but a crate is a must. Many dogs will destructively chew until 1-3 years of age, and longer if you don't confine them when you aren't able to supervise - because they are rewarded for it by having fun when no one is there to stop them. Surprise method for introducing the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate manners protocol for calmness: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ I suggest crating when you aren't present - for a year. After a year and when pups havent chewed anything in the last six months, then you can test whether they are ready for freedom by leaving them alone for 10 minutes. When you return, inspect the house for anything chewed. If they chewed something they shouldn't during that time, they aren't ready for freedom yet, crate for another 4 months, then test again. You can also test them independently in case one pup is ready for freedom before the other is. If they don't chew anything, then leave them for 20 minutes the next time, then 45 if they did well with 20 minutes, then 2 hours, then 3 hours, then 4-6 hours. If they can do well with all of those times, then they are likely ready for freedom. If they chew during any of those times, then crate for another 4-6 months and try again in a few months. When you are home, work on the training from the article linked below. Especially practice Leave It with household items (always give a treat and not the actual item as a reward for leaving things alone), and provide them with hollow chew toys stuffed with their own dog food to teach them to prefer their own toys to chew on - this last part is super important. Many dogs simply need to chew, so you have to teach them to chew their toys and find them more interesting than your things - stuffing them with food is a great way to do this, and at the same time you have to limit access to things they shouldn't chew on while they are learning chewing habits.. Chewing article: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Milo recently started chewing on everything that’s not his toys. During the chewing stages I gave Milo every from squeakers, ropes, rawhide, PB bones and he enjoyed them. Recently he has taken to chewing anything and everything. I will hide or put away things he’s not supposed to chew on and he will somehow get to them while I’m gone. I attempted to start kenneling him but he gets anxious while he’s alone he howls and screams the entire time and pees or poops in the first hour of being in there. I have tried to kennel him while I’m home to get him used to it but he immediately panics. I also tried to get him to go out in the yard but he doesn’t like being alone. When he’s out while I’m home he doesn’t chew on any of his toys anymore. Sometimes he won’t even eat if he thinks I’m going to leave him after. How do I combat his anxiety?
Hello Mia, First of all, there is a second huge chewing phase that typically starts around 6-8 months when a puppy's jaws start developing. This is the more dangerous chewing phase because dogs at this age can actually chew pieces off of things and swallow them. He absolutely needs to be crated - it could be a matter of life and death. When you are home, check out the article linked below for tips on dealing with the chewing. https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ When you are gone, for his own safety, he needs to be confined to the crate. To deal with the anxiety, The first step is to work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from, and be sure to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time for some dogs. Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar should be low to medium, within the first forty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for her. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he needs her anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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