11 month old puppy and destructive chewing - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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11 month old puppy and destructive chewing

Hi folks!

First post here, but I've followed this forum for a long time.

We've had our Shepherd pup since October last year. He's coming up to 11 months old but the chewing just isn't abstaining: he goes in cycles with it. We've had our Virgin Media cable bite the dust three times, a water pipe, the stairs carpet and yesterday he ripped up part of our astro-turf.

I will admit we don't crate him, and we're sporadic with walking - he normally has about 4-5 a week but I'm going to crank it up to everyday now and also take him for a walk in the morning (we leave him on his own with our other dog for about 8 hours a day whilst we work). He has plenty of toys in with him in the day (he is kept in a utility room with a dog flap for easy access outside) and we give him and my other dog Kongs with peanut butter - we can't do bones as they'll fight and the other dog is a Jack Russell, so won't stand much of a chance!

Carpet aside, everything else has occurred when we've been out at work (everything has occurred whilst I've been out as I work shifts, and he chewed the carpet when I was working an evening) so I'm inclined to think it's predominantly separation anxiety.

I know walking will go someway to fixing it and I'm embarrassed to say he didn't get as many before: it's very irresponsible dog ownership on mine and my owner's part. But has anyone else got any tips on how we could help him abstain further? Like I said, it all occurs when we're not there and he has never chewed any of our personal possessions.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 12:34 PM
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I feel like you know what people are going to say but like myself you work full time and have a busy life so you try to do your best...

Our puppies are not as bad, we offer the same things you do but they still dig holes anywhere they can find. Come to the door with new items they have found in the backyard. If they had access to the house full time I can only imagine what we would come home to.

You need to come to terms with 2 things
1. If you don't want to change your lifestyle you are going to have to be ok with what he is doing and accept it! Replace the things as he chews them and be ready to take him to the vet if he really swallows something bad.
OR
2. You will need to change something - either your life or his... Crate him, get him training, exercise him more. He is bored and he is WAY to smart and is telling you he needs more.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 04:09 PM
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Is the area he is in large enough for an exercise pen? You can zip tie the exercise pen to the doggie door. Just drill a few holes on both right and left side of the doggie door, and ziptie the pen to the doggie door frame. That way, he can’t destroy anything in your home, and still has access to get outside for potty breaks. Give him tons of different things for him to chew on. On of the cheapest I can think of, which my pup loves, is a flattened gallon milk jug. They can bite it, kick it around, but it doesn’t break apart so you don’t need to worry about choking. Also get some food puzzles. That can keep him going for a good hour.

As for exercise, it does not have to be walking all the time. You can walk one day, do scent work the next. Grab some empty water bottles, poke holes in them, and put something smelly that a dog would like inside the bottle, and cap it back up. I use sardines. Then hide them around the house and tell him to find! You may have to lead him a bit in the beginning, but they catch on quick! All 3 of my guys get more enjoyment out of this than walks (probably because they get one sardine every time they find a bottle 😂[IMG class=inlineimg]/forum/images/smilies/wink.gif[/IMG].

We build an agility course in our backyard, and run our 4yr old and 4 month old on that. We also have a pool and they get a TON of energy out that way.

Also just basic training sessions in your home or yard will help immensely as well. It’s not just physical energy they need to get out, they also need games that stimulate them mentally!

Best of luck, hope you get enough tips to find something that works with your guy!
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Last edited by Jchrest; 07-11-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 04:22 PM
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Increase his exercise if that is lacking, and crate/or contain him when you are away. Can someone come home at lunchtime to let him out for some free time, play, and pottying? If not, can you hire someone to do it? If you don't like crates, you could try putting up babygataes and leaving your dog in a secure room that he can't damage--a laundry room, basement, bathroom, ect. Leave some safe toys in there to occupy his time. You could build a secure/locked kennel/run in your yard for the day. After some months pass, when he's more mature, try leaving him loose in the house for 20 minutes while you run to the dollar store or do some quick errand. If that goes well, keep extending the time you let him remain loose. If there is a setback, then you know you've progressed too far too quickly, go back to what he could handle. All my dogs have eventually earned the right to be loose at all times in my house, but they have to prove to me they are ready first.
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Last edited by sebrench; 07-11-2019 at 05:12 PM.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 05:11 PM
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C.R.A.T.E

It's easier and cheaper than a surgery to clear an obstruction and replacing carpets, and walls, and furniture (been there, done that)

At that age, they can go all day without being let out.

My girl was crated until 9 months. My boy was crated until he was 4. He lost privileges when he destroyed a huge bottle of carpenter chalk in the house. My young girl probably will be allowed to be left uncrated once she stops chewing my boy's face. I do think she'll be able to be left uncrated at night in the bedroom while we sleep.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 05:22 PM
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As others have said, crate. Ive crated mine since he was 8 weeks old and he never developed into a destructive chewer.

Hes 2.5 and hes still crated. Not because hes not trustworthy, but because he plays too rough with my elderly dog. I still need to supervise.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jax08 View Post
C.R.A.T.E

It's easier and cheaper than a surgery to clear an obstruction and replacing carpets, and walls, and furniture (been there, done that)

At that age, they can go all day without being let out.

My girl was crated until 9 months. My boy was crated until he was 4. He lost privileges when he destroyed a huge bottle of carpenter chalk in the house. My young girl probably will be allowed to be left uncrated once she stops chewing my boy's face. I do think she'll be able to be left uncrated at night in the bedroom while we sleep.

oooooh what color chalk????
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 06:59 PM
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He can’t abstain.
You have a young dog who has tons of energy, no way to expend it, and is bored senseless.
If you are unwilling to crate, and then do something with the dog when you get home, then get him into a doggy daycare.
A bored dog with nothing to do will find things to do that you won’t like. It’s up to you to make sure he doesn’t get into trouble while you are not there.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LRP View Post
oooooh what color chalk????
Orange! I couldn't find the mess so thought he just chewed the bottle. And then my husband informed me otherwise. Husband did a great job vacuuming.


It was the 5 lb big contractor bottle.




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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IllinoisNative View Post
Not because hes not trustworthy, but because he plays too rough with my elderly dog. I still need to supervise.
That's why Faren is crated. She plays to rough. Seger tried to get away from her this morning. Swung his 80# butt into the kitchen table in an avoid the heathen maneuver. Husband had poured my coffee already in travel mugs (even though I told him not to before because it gets cold). Both mugs on their side. I left for work with half my coffee.

E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E was crated. Coffee is sacred.




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