German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Im a little confused about using some RMB's like the larger ones that are weight bearing. I assume you just take the bone away after the meat is gone but how long do you allow them to work the bone. Prior to coming here i didn't know this was a real problem and have always let my adult shepherd (female) and mixed breed(male) chew on venison legs bones. Prior to his passing at age 11 his teeth never looked to be wearing but at 7 hers do. And he seemed to be a much more powerful chewer and would crush them to access the marrow. She could to some extent but not as well.Should i just not use these at all. That would be a shame as i basically have an endless supply. How I do use marrow bones without damaging teeth. What about antlers? Are bully sticks appropriate for raw feeding puppies? What can i use to keep the new guy busy while im doing my morning routine. Im really worried about messing up the calcium phosphorus levels. Also are chicken backs and thighs appropriate for a puppy? Sorry, lots of questions in there. My puppy coming next month and want to do raw feeding but dont want to mess him up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I guess i asked to many questions. ill break it up. With raw feeding and the larger weight bearing bones or marrow bones , how long do u allow the dogs to chew on them? to you take them away as soon as the majority of the meat has been eaten? I assume the same for the "marrow" bone. remove as soon as the marrow is gone. Are they ok to use for puppies or are they too hard and will damage teeth. Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,008 Posts
I don't feed the weight bearing bones to save the teeth. I hope they live for a long time and we need the pearly whites until the end.
If you decide to take away the bone, do it when you have successfully distracted the pup to avoid resource aggression.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,308 Posts
I struggle with this question. Even after 11 years of owning a VERY heavy chewer!

She eventually 'eats' every toy I give her. Black kongs, you name it - she will chew until she can tear chunks off it and swallow them. Thank God she's got a cast iron gut!

Recently, I gave her a large piece of antler, which was a gift from the kennel owner I used to work for. She would obsess over it for a period every day, and eventually got it to the point where it was a small enough piece of antler that I was afraid she might swallow it, so I took it away.

Since she seemed to get so much pleasure out of it, I went to the store, and found similar pieces of antler were being sold for $50. Nope - not paying that!

Instead, I bought a marrow bone. After ONE day, she had removed every shred of meat from it, and was working on demolishing the spongier bits of the bone. Again, I took it away, afraid she might crack some major bits off it and swallow them.

Meanwhile the new Chuckit ball I bought her is being ignored...

Does a dog really NEED recreational chewing? Well, if they are going to chew the furniture and baseboard of the house if they don't have something to gnaw on, I guess the answer is YES, but Star hasn't done that since she was a puppy. And even then, she preferred her bedding, towels, rugs and socks to wood, though my dining room chairs have a few scars on the legs!

What to do? :thinking:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
I've always given my dogs the cut large diameter portion of the marrow/soup bones you find at the grocery store. For some reason Publix and Winn-Dixie like to hide them in the back so you usually have to ask the butcher for them, we usually get 6 of them for around $4.50 . Generally I take them home and put them in the freezer for a week or so to kill off some bacteria. I let my boy chew on it until he has gotten all the meat off around the outside and the marrow out of the inside, he has a very sensitive stomach and it has never given him the runs although I've heard it does with some dogs. He usually gets one or two bones a week. When he was a puppy I would go to pick up the bone when he was done and toss him another treat to the side, kind of like a trade. Now that he is older whenever he sees me approaching him and his bone he runs away from it and waits for his cookie lol. Never have had a food aggression problem with my dogs! All of my vets say don't give dogs these bones because they will break their teeth, knock on wood I've yet to have a dog break a tooth on one of them in all my years and they seem to keep my guys teeth cleaner. I would probably stop giving them to a dog as he hit his senior years though, but mine have never lived that long. Figure life is too short anyways, let them live and enjoy a bone if they want it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,008 Posts
I think by giving them all these chew toys we make them addicted to chewing. Mine only get them occasionally when I need a break. The exception is a teething pup until the big ones are fully in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
I don't think it makes them addicted to chewing, mine settles down just fine in the house without one. He also has all of his original stuffed animals from when he was 8 weeks old and they are in perfect condition. He doesn't rip at them or tear them up like I've seen other people's dogs do. He doesn't chew anything he isn't supposed to and he is very respectful taking chews and giving them up. I think bones are a good mind exercise for him, on days when I don't have much time to do anything with him or if it's rainy out it gives him something fun and stimulating to do. And we get a lot of those rainy days here in FL, thunder and lightning storms so bad it's too dangerous to go outside. Marrow also has a lot of health benefits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the opinions. From the replies the jury is still out. I think i will use occasionally and cautiously. This is unfortunate as i basically have an unlimited supply. For those of you that like to use these bones, just a tip, visit your local deer processor during hunting season. At mine the only limit of scraps and bones is the space you have for it all. And as im learning more about raw and not just "treats" and "toppers", the free aspect is very exciting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,308 Posts
I don't think it makes them addicted to chewing, mine settles down just fine in the house without one. He also has all of his original stuffed animals from when he was 8 weeks old and they are in perfect condition. He doesn't rip at them or tear them up like I've seen other people's dogs do. He doesn't chew anything he isn't supposed to and he is very respectful taking chews and giving them up. I think bones are a good mind exercise for him, on days when I don't have much time to do anything with him or if it's rainy out it gives him something fun and stimulating to do. And we get a lot of those rainy days here in FL, thunder and lightning storms so bad it's too dangerous to go outside. Marrow also has a lot of health benefits.
Gandalf, consider yourself LUCKY! I've only ever had one GSD that didn't immediately disembowel stuffed toys! Your dog is obviously at the low end of the chewing scale!

If I were to add up the cost of all the toys Star has destroyed in the 11 years I've had her, it would probably be a mortgage payment, or at least a car payment or two! :grin2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
Gandalf, consider yourself LUCKY! I've only ever had one GSD that didn't immediately disembowel stuffed toys! Your dog is obviously at the low end of the chewing scale!

If I were to add up the cost of all the toys Star has destroyed in the 11 years I've had her, it would probably be a mortgage payment, or at least a car payment or two! :grin2:
It's not luck, you train them not to do it just like you train anything else when they're a puppy. Sounds crazy but I swear by it! I imagine it would be too difficult to train an older dog though once they've gotten into the habit of it. We just couldn't afford all the new toys along with the medical bills so he had to learn to be gentle lol :wink2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,308 Posts
In Star's case, I don't think it would have been possible. Of course, as a puppy, she was crated at night. She would tear her bedding to shreds. Didn't matter WHAT I put in there: nothing was safe! Eventually I gave up, and for her own safety, she had to sleep in a bare crate.

Same thing with the toys: she was a dog that just HAD to chew! The only way to stop her destroying them was to supervise her every minute she was playing with a toy. Take your eyes off her for a few minutes, and she would be trying to eat it.

Her very first toy was a puppy teething ring with nubs on it. She chewed all the nubs off within a week or so. And this was with her puppy teeth!

Next victim was a puppy kong. Lasted about a week or two.

Tennis balls lasted about five minutes before they'd be cracked open like an egg.

If I put her out in the backyard, she'd chew up all the branches that fell off the willow tree, and drag them around the property. Fortunately, willow is a soft wood, so I never worried about the damage splinters might do to her stomach.

Of course, with Gandalf's sensitive stomach, you probably kept much closer tabs on him and what he put in his mouth than I did with Star...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,423 Posts
In Star's case, I don't think it would have been possible. Of course, as a puppy, she was crated at night. She would tear her bedding to shreds. Didn't matter WHAT I put in there: nothing was safe! Eventually I gave up, and for her own safety, she had to sleep in a bare crate.

Same thing with the toys: she was a dog that just HAD to chew! The only way to stop her destroying them was to supervise her every minute she was playing with a toy. Take your eyes off her for a few minutes, and she would be trying to eat it.

Her very first toy was a puppy teething ring with nubs on it. She chewed all the nubs off within a week or so. And this was with her puppy teeth!

Next victim was a puppy kong. Lasted about a week or two.

Tennis balls lasted about five minutes before they'd be cracked open like an egg.

If I put her out in the backyard, she'd chew up all the branches that fell off the willow tree, and drag them around the property. Fortunately, willow is a soft wood, so I never worried about the damage splinters might do to her stomach.

Of course, with Gandalf's sensitive stomach, you probably kept much closer tabs on him and what he put in his mouth than I did with Star...
All of my puppies have been like that too, another reason I never leave towels or soft toys in crates (my aunt nearly lost her rottie from ingesting a stuffed toy in his crate!). I train them by literally doing just that, when they have a soft toy out they are supervised at all times. It's a pain in the butt but its totally worth it and after a few weeks all my dogs have always gotten it. As soon as I saw them going for the seams to rip up the soft toy I'd say Uh UH and give them a harder toy like a kong or something they could really chew on. If they went back to rip up the softie I'd repeat, by the third attempt I'd pick up the toy and act really sad about it and put it up lol. Repeat for a few weeks, so glad I had some time off work to spend with him because it was a lot of this lol. I also rotated toys often and only kept a few down at a time so they seemed high value to him and he wouldn't get bored and just destroy them. By about 4 months or so I could safely trust him with the soft toys on his own 24/7 and he wouldn't rip them up but would chew softly on them, fetch, carry them around or just sleep with them. Overall it helped him learn what was appropriate to go to town and chew on like kongs, bones, rubber toys and what was for playing softly with. I've had 3 shepherds now i've done this with with good results, I'd be curious to see if it worked with the more hard core chewing breeds like pits and labs. Now that Gandalf is in his adulthoodish age (1 yr) he rarely chews on anything unless it's an edible like a bone or stuffed kong. When he was a puppy we dealt with some serious pica I think because of all his deficiencies from the diarrhea, I was constantly picking sticks, poop, lint, bugs, you name it out of his mouth for months... After we got him healthy all this behavior completely stopped I'm happy to say.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top