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So our 2 year old female spayed GSD has started chewing anything and everything in the last couple months. I have no idea why. i am a stay at home mom so she gets constant attention from me and the kids. There always playing with her and im always loving and cuddling and petting her. She has PLENTY of toys she plays with and chews. I can leave for an hour or two and come back to a disaster which is what happened today and im at my whits ends. She has been pulling books from the book shelf and shredding them!! She also pulled out the paint stirring sticks from the bag which was on the counter and chewed them. She also opened the bag of paint rollers which was also on the counter in the bag and chewed one of them. What do i do??? its like she so pissed off we left so she chews everything:frown2: And when i punish her for chewing which is me showing her what she chewed and telling her no no in a very stern voice she starts to growl at me.
 

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Hi, don't punish her after the fact - you have to catch her in the act for her to make the connection between the punishment and the behaviour. She doesn't understand why you are acting agressive towards her, thus the growling.

At two years old, she is maturing and as a working breed, she needs exercise for he body, and for her mind. Playing in the yard won't be enough. Long walks, hikes, open areas where she can run and run and run until she is so tired her tongue hangs to the ground. Swimming is also good exercise, but these only address the physical side of her needs.

You also need to exercise her mentally - her chewing stuff suddenly is sign that she is bored, and is trying to find stimulation by exploring new things. You need to provide that mental stimulation for her, so she doesn't do it for herself getting into stuff that could harm her. Sign up for obedience classes, agility, tracking, nose-work, dock diving - huge bonus is that these activities are fun for people too! Daily training sessions at home, find-it games, etc, will work to stimulate her mind.

To keep her safe for now, and for you to have peace of mind, start crating her if you leave her home unsupervised - she can't get into trouble and start chewing things up if she is crated - she isn't chewing things up to get back at you for leaving her, that is projecting human emotions onto dogs.

I can tell that she is much loved, but right now, she is being misunderstood, and her needs aren't being met. Work on giving her the mental and physical workout she craves, and things will get better - won't happen over night, but a majority of the time, behavioral issues are simply due to a lack of exercise - and remember, exercise her body AND her brain, both need to be put to work in a positive, productive way.
 

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So our 2 year old female spayed GSD has started chewing anything and everything in the last couple months. I have no idea why. i am a stay at home mom so she gets constant attention from me and the kids. There always playing with her and i'm always loving and cuddling and petting her.
And ... that right there is the at the heart of a lot of your "Issues." If your dog went to a proper board and train ... that would not be happening (to much affection.) The dogs life would be Structured, there would be Rules and there would be Limitations put on her and there would be "consequences" for her making Poor Choices! And the dog would learn how to deal with doing "Nothing." If the dog were not being trained or having play time she would be in a Crate ... deal with it dog. "Training" do "nothing" is the "Place Command." All that stuff my sound hard?? But I think I've outlined it all pretty well, so ... you can make that call. :)

If the dog is not Crate Trained it would behoove you to start with that. Since your a stay at home you have "flexibility" in how long she stays in the crate.

But two to three hours would be a good minimum and ... leave her alone while she is crated. When you take out go over the basics most likely "Place" to start then, take her and let her run or walk or whatever. If you have a back yard?? She can play out there also but when she is indoors??


No free roaming. Indoors she should be in her Crate or in Place ... period. No free Roaming and until "Places" is properly taught keep a drag leash on her indoors ... a short leash with the handle on it to get caught up on furniture. You used that to correct her if required and guide her back to "Place."

And no bed or furniture privileges those are privileges that need to be "earned" not rights freely given because she is your dog and "stuff."


This should be enforced for 30 to 90 days, I've heard that number given frequently, by Jeff and Sean and at the end of that time, you should have a more well mannered dog. And I'm not a "Pro but most of that is stuff I wound up doing by accident at the time .. worked out fine. :laugh2:

The rest and details can be found here:

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/8006017-post7.html

And the to much affection thing .."Soft Energy" Weekly Q&A by Sean and Laura, ... that question was asked. :
[ame]https://youtu.be/_Qm37ZlFzbg?t=1164[/ame]


Welcome aboard and as always ask questions. :)
 

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What has changed in the last couple of months?

Have you discussed this with your vet? Maybe there is a diet or nutritional need that is not being met or maybe some other medical need.

If there are no health problems, as other have suggested, definitely try upping her exercise. I would not do anything that would further restrict activity such as crating, as it most likely will work against you and increase her anxiety and stress. How much exercise does your dog need? As one trainer stated, if the behavior continues, your dog has not been exercised enough.

Just what are you doing for exercise right now?
 

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My friends dog did this after not chewing for a long time. She started to eat her crate pan. Turns out she had tape worm. She did not look emaciated so no one would have thought something was wrong with her medically. After the worms were treated, she didn't chew on anything. Just something to consider if this behavior is not the norm for the dog.
 

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eddie and MineAreworkingLine make a good point - first thing to consider whenever there is a change in behaviour could be medical.

Zoeybaby, crating your dog for those times you are away is not 'restricting' her in anyway, as how much exercise she gets in the house alone while you are out for a couple of hours is negligible. It will keep her safe, and prevent the behaviour you don't want.
 

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What has changed in the last couple of months?

Have you discussed this with your vet? Maybe there is a diet or nutritional need that is not being met or maybe some other medical need.

If there are no health problems, as other have suggested, definitely try upping her exercise. I would not do anything that would further restrict activity such as crating, as it most likely will work against you and increase her anxiety and stress. How much exercise does your dog need? As one trainer stated, if the behavior continues, your dog has not been exercised enough.

Just what are you doing for exercise right now?
I was also going to ask if a medical problem had been ruled out. A little odd that an adult dog with no previous history of this would suddenly start wrecking stuff? Unless you stopped exercising it?
 

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Or have you started any new meds...my old male went on prednisone for itching and began to raid the trash for the first time in his life. So I would put him in the bedroom when we left. We tried a toddler lock on the trash cabinet first but he could also open that, crafty guy :)

If the dog is not crate trained, is there a room of the house that is safe, even a bathroom maybe, where the dog can't get into anything and practice bad behaviors? If it is crate trained, I agree to crate because you don't want the dog to keep doing this and there is no other way to put a stop to it if you aren't there.
 

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eddie and MineAreworkingLine make a good point - first thing to consider whenever there is a change in behaviour could be medical.

Zoeybaby, crating your dog for those times you are away is not 'restricting' her in anyway, as how much exercise she gets in the house alone while you are out for a couple of hours is negligible. It will keep her safe, and prevent the behaviour you don't want.
I just want to clarify that I did not mean for OP not to crate this dog when she was out of the house or home but not available. My comment was meant to convey this dog should not be fully restricted when the family is home and available as is being suggested by another.
 

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Like others have mentioned,rule out a medical issue,confine her when you leave,make sure she gets out to run and goof around(recess!).
And she may actually need some alone time away from the daily hubbub of the family.A couple of hours to nap or chew her bone quietly and relax by herself.
Please update later with your progress!
 

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Don't know where we'd be without simple knuckle bones. She needs one every couple of weeks. It seems to satisfy her need for chewing. Yes, she wants to be in a place alone with no disturbances when she chews her bone. She did growl once last year when she had a bone so I tell her to leave the room before I go in to take the bone away. Works.:smile2:
 

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My previous GSD has a period where she became 'suddenly' destructive. I adopted her from the shelter at age 2. From the time she came into my home, she had zero accidents and was not destructive. I never crated her. she never bothered anything.

About a year and half later, my perfectly behaved dog, chewed the leg of my coffee table. She destroyed my watch and my husbands' cell phone. During that time, my father was seriously ill - in and out of the hospital and later into hospice care. Our previously predictable routine no longer existed. I came and went at odd times. Not only was my routine chaotic, my nerves were a wreck. These things, no doubt, impacted my dog.

I crated her. I moved her to a quiet room and left the radio on. Even though I had never crated her before, she adjusted fine. I crated her over a period of months, possibly for a year. I gradually increased her freedom and she was no longer destructive. From that time forward, there was no need to crate her.
 

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You may want to consider having a FULL thyroid panel done on the dog.

There are many cases of dogs who are spayed and neutered that have thyroid problems which can cause behavior changes.

Whole Dog Journal:
Any time a dog presents with a behavior problem, particularly one of sudden onset, it is recommended that the owner take the dog to a veterinarian for a full physical exam, complete thyroid panel, blood chemistry/CBC, and urinalysis. After all, a dog can have something as simple as a urinary tract infection and be in horrible pain, causing the unusual behavior.
You have to be particular about the thyroid test, however. Insist on having your dog’s blood sent to a reputable laboratory and tested for all the thyroid hormones and autoantibodies to those hormones. In-office thyroid tests, or simple tests of your dog’s “total” T4 levels, are inadequate for diagnosing hypothyroidism.
Research done at Auburn University indicates that in-house T4 tests are unreliable and inaccurate about 52 percent of the time in dogs. “Having treated lots of animals for hypothyroidism, the most important thing I can recommend is the panel versus the total T4. Every time I think that you can tell something from doing just a total T4, I’m mistaken,” says Dr. Pressler.
In addition to the possibility of inaccurate readings, the total T4 can be in the “standard” reference range, but too low for a particular dog’s age, breed, or size. And the other levels found in a full thyroid panel give a much clearer picture about how the thyroid is functioning. A complete thyroid panel tests these six levels, plus TgAA:
• Total levels of thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4), and
• Triiodothyronine (T3);
• The availability of T4, as indicated by “Free T4” (FT4);
• The availability of T3, as indicated by “Free T3” (FT3);
• The autoantibody levels of T4 (T4AA), and
• T3 (T3AA).
If the test is being performed as a genetic screening for breeding stock or for breeds at high risk, Dr. Dodds also recommends checking the thyroglobulin autoantibodies (TgAA). Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) may also be tested, but it isn’t nearly as reliable for dogs as it is in identifying hypothyroidism in people.
Dr. Dodds says that testing for autoantibodies is particularly important, because elevated levels of autoantibodies indicate thyroiditis, regardless of T4 or T3 levels. “Those animals are having inflammatory immune-mediated lymphocytes attack and damage the thyroid gland,” she explains. It’s important to proactively treat these dogs, she adds, because when you’re dealing with behavior issues, the dog could end up with serious aggression before the total T4 ever tests too low.
Don’t let recent “normal” tests keep you from suspecting thyroid issues, should your dog’s behavior change suddenly.

Dr. Jean Dodds - Hemopet:Aberrant Behavior and Thyroid Dysfunction
The principal reason for pet euthanasia stems not from disease, but undesirable behavior. While this abnormal behavior can have a variety of medical causes, it also can reflect underlying problems of a psychological nature.
An association between behavioral and psychologic changes and thyroid dysfunction has been recognized in humans since the 19th century. In a recent study, 66% of people with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder were found to be hypothyroid, and supplementing their thyroid levels was largely curative. Furthermore, an association has recently been established between aberrant behavior and thyroid dysfunction in the dog, and has been noticed in cats with hyperthyroidism. Typical clinical signs include unprovoked aggression towards other animals and/or people, sudden onset of seizure disorder in adulthood, disorientation, moodiness, erratic temperament, periods of hyperactivity, hypoattentiveness, depression, fearfulness and phobias, anxiety, submissiveness, passivity, compulsiveness, and irritability. After episodes, most of the animals appeared to come out of a trance like state, and were unaware of their bizarre behavior.
The mechanism whereby diminished thyroid function affects behavior is unclear. Hypothyroid patients have reduced cortisol clearance, as well as suppressed TSH output and lowered production of thyroid hormones. Constantly elevated levels of circulating cortisol mimic the condition of an animal in a constant state of stress. In people and seemingly in dogs, mental function is impaired and the animal is likely to respond to stress in a stereotypical rather than reasoned fashion. Chronic stress in humans has been implicated in the pathogenesis of affective disorders such as depression. Major depression has been shown in imaging studies to produce changes in neural activity or volume in areas of the brain which regulate aggressive and other behaviors. Dopamine and serotonin receptors have been clearly demonstrated to be involved in aggressive pathways in the CNS. Hypothyroid rats have increased turnover of serotonin and dopamine receptors, and an increased sensitivity to ambient neurotransmitter levels.
Investigators in recent years have noted the sudden onset of behavioral changes in dogs around the time of puberty or as young adults. Most of the dogs have been purebreds or crossbreeds, with an apparent predilection for certain breeds. For a significant proportion of these animals, neutering does not alter the symptoms and in some cases the behaviors intensify. The seasonal effects of allergies to inhalants and ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks, followed by the onset of skin and coat disorders including pyoderma, allergic dermatitis, alopecia, and intense itching, have also been linked to changes in behavior.
Many of these dogs belong to a certain group of breeds or dog families susceptible to a variety of immune problems and allergies (e.g. Golden Retriever, Akita, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, English Springer Spaniel, Shetland Sheepdog, and German Shepherd Dog). The clinical signs in these animals, before they show the sudden onset of behavioral aggression, can include minor problems such as inattentiveness, fearfulness, seasonal allergies, skin and coat disorders, and intense itching. These may be early subtle signs of thyroid dysfunction, with no other typical signs of thyroid disease being manifested. Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | Aberrant Behavior and Thyroid Dysfunction

Scroll down to middle of page to see the tests for thyroid that your vet can order from Dr. Dodds at HemoPet: https://labordatenbank.com/cake/hemopet/samples/hemopet_form

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My previous GSD has a period where she became 'suddenly' destructive. I adopted her from the shelter at age 2. From the time she came into my home, she had zero accidents and was not destructive. I never crated her. she never bothered anything.

About a year and half later, my perfectly behaved dog, chewed the leg of my coffee table. She destroyed my watch and my husbands' cell phone. During that time, my father was seriously ill - in and out of the hospital and later into hospice care. Our previously predictable routine no longer existed. I came and went at odd times. Not only was my routine chaotic, my nerves were a wreck. These things, no doubt, impacted my dog.

I crated her. I moved her to a quiet room and left the radio on. Even though I had never crated her before, she adjusted fine. I crated her over a period of months, possibly for a year. I gradually increased her freedom and she was no longer destructive. From that time forward, there was no need to crate her.
Good point ... I suppose I should add the Crate does not have to be "forever" it can help to "adjust the dogs attitude and giver her the opportunity to "earn" her "Free Roaming" privileges. :)
 

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So our 2 year old female spayed GSD has started chewing anything and everything in the last couple months. I have no idea why. i am a stay at home mom so she gets constant attention from me and the kids. There always playing with her and im always loving and cuddling and petting her. She has PLENTY of toys she plays with and chews. I can leave for an hour or two and come back to a disaster which is what happened today and im at my whits ends. She has been pulling books from the book shelf and shredding them!! She also pulled out the paint stirring sticks from the bag which was on the counter and chewed them. She also opened the bag of paint rollers which was also on the counter in the bag and chewed one of them. What do i do??? its like she so pissed off we left so she chews everything:frown2: And when i punish her for chewing which is me showing her what she chewed and telling her no no in a very stern voice she starts to growl at me.
I’m dealing with the same. Ours is just 1 year old and an outside dog, however at nights we bring in both dogs so they have protection from cold/rain. Karma will destroy everything down to plugged in electronics over the night. She destroys anything outside she can get her teeth on. It’s very frustrating and expensive! I’m about at my end of the rope!
 

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I’m dealing with the same. Ours is just 1 year old and an outside dog, however at nights we bring in both dogs so they have protection from cold/rain. Karma will destroy everything down to plugged in electronics over the night. She destroys anything outside she can get her teeth on. It’s very frustrating and expensive! I’m about at my end of the rope!
Couple of questions that may help you get to the root of your problem:
How long has she been doing it? Is it a sudden ordeal?
Is she crate trained?
Does she have access to chews or things to chew on?
Does she get plenty of exercise?

She may be bored. In that case she needs more exercise and mind engaging things to do. You could get her an interactive feeder, such as a Bob-a- Lot. (on amazon) Also there are anti chew sprays out there.
Anti chew spray:
Interactive feeders:
Hope this helps and the problem is fixed soon!
 
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