7 month old starting to be destructive
So I'm thinking my 7 month old male has started his "teenager" phase.
Let me preface this by saying that up until now, Luka was an absolute angel. We started crate training at 8 weeks old and he has gotten used to being in the crate while we are at work. If he is crated for an extended period of time, I have a dog walker come in every 2 hours or so for a romp outside. My partner comes home during his lunch break to spend an hour with Luka also.
A couple of weeks ago, Luka managed to break out of his crate. And he destroyed many things in our room (curtains, windowsill, chewed on cabinets, etc.) The walker discovered this when she came to take him outside. A one-time occurrence, we thought, so we cleaned up and moved on with our lives. This week it happened again. He broke out but only managed to chew up a cardboard box that was on our dresser before my partner came home. We bought a new crate and reinforced it with carabiners so that he couldn't open it by himself. We put his old bedding in the crate, and since then, he's managed to chew up his bed into shreds. He has a Kong in his crate, and I always put chews in there as well. He of course doesn't touch any of them when in his crate. He is generally not very interested in Kongs no matter what we put in them. He's just not very food motivated, unfortunately (I've even put raw meat, sausage, cheese, pretty much every dog's "dream" foods in there without any luck.)
Lately we have noticed that he's taken up the hobby of chewing all of his toys to shreds. He just loves to destroy things, and he's never done that before as a younger puppy. I keep buying him "tough" toys for heavy chewers, and he has gone through them quickly.
When he is with one of us, he is an angel (apart from his toys.) He doesn't counter surf, chew on furniture, chew on bedding, etc. It is only when he is alone that he's destructive. We used to be able to leave him for an hour in our room uncrated and he wouldn't get into any trouble. Now when he is left alone for even 20 minutes, he will swipe something off the dresser or end table. Because he only does this when we are not around, I've never been able to "catch him in the act" to correct him.
He is crated only 3 days a week, and gets what I thought would be an appropriate amount of exercise. When we are at home, he is very calm and never gets into trouble. He just naps most of the time. When he's not napping, he's either playing with his ball (he loves to make it roll, then pounce on it around the house) or he's chewing on either his toys or the variety of chews we have for him. I'd love to be able to trust him outside of the crate one day so we wouldn't have to lock him up every time we left. But right now I'm just at a loss and am not sure what to do. Is this something he will grow out of? How can I break these habits when we are not around?
Luka - male - 7/4/2018 | Solid Black ASL GSD
Last edited by Storms; 02-15-2019 at 01:25 PM.