Originally Posted by Harry and Lola
Yes you should reprimand them as it happens, however there is nothing wrong with picking up the destroyed item when you get home, giving him a serious look and in a low voice tell him naughty boy and then ignore him for a few minutes - they know - believe me they know. I have done this and all mine have survived with no psychological issues!
He is very young and is doing it from boredom and separation from you. You could try giving him a 20 minute walk before you leave for work. Assuming you are feeding dry kibble, don't feed him in the morning, put the required food plus larger treat type food in a couple of treat balls. So he will have to work to get his breakfast by moving the treat balls and figuring out how to get the food, plus with the larger treat type bits, make sure they are big enough not to come out - he will just enjoy the smell.
Working like this will tire him out and hopefully once he has spent a couple of hours getting the food out will have sleep.
Oh, my yes, I know they know. I've heard people say that dogs can't tell that you're punishing them for the mess they caused, but when I come home and he's been good, he's at the garage door when I open it, tail wagging. But when he's bad, he's at the top of the stairs or on his bed with a nervous look.
And as I mentioned, I love taking him for morning walks, but I don't really like to walk him when it's dark, and I have to leave before it gets light.
I have seen those treat balls, but I am somewhat skeptical that they'll withstand his nibbling. What do you use? I only ask because I've gotten toys for him that are supposed to be tough, or long lasting treats, or both, but I often find they are neither.
For example, I got him one of those everlasting treat holders, which seems like a great product.
****, it's hard for me to get the cookies in the rubber housing, and I'm fairly strong. But he does something where he pries his canines inbetween the cookie and the housing and pops it out in like 5 minutes.
So, if you had a recommended treat holder that's shepherd-proof, I'd probably try one out.