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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

So Rex is almost a year old now. When I got him at 8 months old, I got him used to a crate and created him for up to a max of 4 hours when I was away. Part of insuring toilet training and letting him get used to the house. That was maybe for one month.

After that, I let him have the first floor of the house. It is not big. A living room, small entrance hall and a kitchen. He was perfect. Minding his own business and chilling until I got back. For 2-3 months it worked great when I had to leave him for up to 4 hours.

Now, after I leave him, he rips the foam floor mats out of place. These are not fixed or glued to the floor. Just square mats that are puzzled together that I have for him for traction in the house when we play. They are not expensive so no issue there. However, I am not getting the change in behaviour. He has daily plenty of exercise, training etc etc. So it is not pent up energy.

I prefer to not start to crate him back. What could the source of this change of behaviour and how can I address it? This morning, I left him toys, TV on etc etc. Same result.

He never touches anything when I am in the house. This is for now limited to when I am out and with these mats. Nothing else is touched but I am worried that this escalates into other things...

I am thinking of two solutions:

A - I have a camera. I leave and I watch from outside the house. I wait and once he starts ripping, I go in and correct him. However, I worry that he will associate the correcting with me entering the house.

B - I get a camera and speaker. And correct him remotely via the speaker and see if he stops with that.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Mozi
 

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Just crate him. It may be anxiety or he may have simply found out that ripping things up and destroying them is fun. For me freedom when I am not around is a privilege not a right. A dog that will damage things if loose is also a danger to themselves if they start to ingest things. Mats may be cheap, but emergency surgery to remove a blockage is not. Crate him for a while, let him mature some more, then go back and revisit leaving him loose when you are gone. Realize though he may never be the sort of dog you can give free run of the place when you are away.
 

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Bramble gave some good advice. I think some dogs, especially immature young ones, are like "You give them an

inch and they take a mile" . They get so well pampered to, lots of attention, exercise, good food, etc. and they still

want more, more. We have to be the responsible ones and put the brakes on this phenomenal great life.

For his safety, he needs some containment til he is better able to handle his 'aloneness'.

PS/ I've enjoyed reading about your adventures with Rex. He's a lucky dog.
 

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He's only a year old, he's likely going to be going through a pushy teenager phase although this is fairly dog dependent. Some dogs are trustworthy to be left alone from a young age. He is clearly showing you he is not at that stage yet. As others have said a blockage can be awful. And it may start with a foam mats but escalate. Say you get him trained to stop going after the mats, and then stop watching him on camera and after awhile and he moves on to something else not as inexpensive as those mats and potentially more dangerous for him.

Crates are not a bad thing. My dog prefers to sleep in her crate half the time(door open) throughout the day. Personally for me if the dog gets into things when you're gone it's either a sign they aren't ready to be alone or it's a sign of bordedom/anxiety. 1 year old dog, 4 hours is plenty long enough for him to get bored and start to entertain himself. It won't hurt him to be crated that long provided your crate is large enough.

When I start giving dogs house freedom I start with leaving them alone 30 minutes and then very slowly increase it over time. If they've shown they can't be trusted them it's back to crating for awhile. Rinse and repeat until they aren't destructive in the house.
 

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A- the dog may think, "cool! I rip up this mat and my people come and play with me" or " Uh Oh, my people are here and angry and I have no idea why"
B- I have Ring doorbells and talking to my dogs through the speakers does nothing. If it worked I'd use it to stop digging up moles or barking at the neighbor's GSD.

Like others have said, crate and earn the reward of more autonomy.
 

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When Asher and Levi were young, potty-trained, but not yet ready to be loose in the entire house, I would put them in a small room when I left the house (like the bathroom or the laundry room). I'd put some toys and a bed in with them.
 

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I have an 8 year old dog who is crated when I leave. Not because she is bad but because she makes poor decisions.
Some dogs just need to be crated. Some are fine as pups. Some need a year. Some need to mature. Some are never ready. Mine climbs bookcases, walks on ledges and stands on tables. It's an individual thing.
 

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Crate. Don't chance it. I've mentioned this a few times in other posts already. I left my dog alone twice. First time he ate 1 foot of thick paracord leash. Second time he ate a lot of foam from his crate mattress. Both times I had to rush him to the emergency to induce vomiting (because it was within an hour of him eating it.) If I waited longer, blockage would have resulted and then we're talking about thousands of dollars worth of surgeries to remove the blockage. Opening up the intestines come with a huge threat of infection and death. Crate him. Proof is right there...he is not to be trusted right now.
 

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Excerpt from my book on GSDs

"And if King created a problem with the pillows, Shalimar’s favorite pastime was tearing up the wall-to-wall carpet in the house. Having bought out all the rolls of carpet tape and being a security “authority”, I decided to monitor what was going on in the house via closed circuit television with a monitor in the basement.

So I “left” to go to work and quietly ran down into the basement to monitor Shali. I figured that when she tore up the carpeting, I would race upstairs and scold her. Hopefully she’d get the message.

So in the basement I sat, my eyes glued to the monitor. And that’s where I sat all day long. Shali didn’t touch the carpet in the house, but instead went out and got a piece of carpeting that she had torn up the previous day. I know because I could see her holding the piece of carpeting in her mouth on the monitor.

The next weekend I was sleeping in and enjoying the piece and quiet when all of a sudden I was jarred awake by what sounded like carpet being torn up again. When I got down stairs, there was Shali—every muscle in her body ripping up the carpeting. King sat by watching the Shali-antics. He had been trained, but not to protect the carpeting!

The problem was finally solved by Shane Beardsworth (AAA Dog Training/), a trainer that I knew and had used with King to teach him basic stuff like sit, stay, heel, et cetera. He told me that when Shali was caught tearing up the carpet, that I should take a piece of carpeting, large enough that she couldn’t swallow it, and tape it in her mouth. And Shane said, “I know you so don’t wimp out or you’ll regret it.”

He went on to tell about another client who used the correction once instead of three times as called for. This client then left the dog out in his back yard where he stored his favorite restored convertible. The client came home to find that his convertible and been “converted”—permanently.

By that time, I was more or less desperate so I did what this guy recommended. He said that once wouldn’t be enough, and that I should plan on doing this “correction” three times. And Shali never again touched the carpeting. "
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Update

PS/ I've enjoyed reading about your adventures with Rex. He's a lucky dog.
Thank you Orphan Heidi for this. It has been a very enriching experience for me, personally. I am a much softer person as a result, taking care of him and improving on my patience. Never had kids and I have no significant other (at this stage). So teaching me giving :)

So I found a solution that I am trying. Outside my room, there is a small room and a per gate between that small room and the main living room. It has nothing in it. Except two chairs. I left Rex twice in it so far. 4 hours once and 6 hours another. It went well. So I will stick to that and see where that goes.

Here are a couple of pics in the desert camping.

Thank you all :)
 

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The problem was finally solved by Shane Beardsworth (AAA Dog Training/), a trainer that I knew and had used with King to teach him basic stuff like sit, stay, heel, et cetera. He told me that when Shali was caught tearing up the carpet, that I should take a piece of carpeting, large enough that she couldn’t swallow it, and tape it in her mouth. And Shane said, “I know you so don’t wimp out or you’ll regret it.”

This is the worst advice I've ever heard of.Both cruel and dangerous.
 

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The problem was finally solved by Shane Beardsworth (AAA Dog Training/), a trainer that I knew and had used with King to teach him basic stuff like sit, stay, heel, et cetera. He told me that when Shali was caught tearing up the carpet, that I should take a piece of carpeting, large enough that she couldn’t swallow it, and tape it in her mouth. And Shane said, “I know you so don’t wimp out or you’ll regret it.”



This is the worst advice I've ever heard of.Both cruel and dangerous.
That is the most cruel advise I have heard sounds like an abusive twisted monster this trainer. There was a german shepherd abandoned on the highway the dogs mouth was duck taped shut - sounds like the same thought process of this so called trainer.
 

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"Cruel, dangerous", and it sounds like it worked.

A family dog from childhood almost got a death sentence as a chicken killer, and was saved using a similar technique.

At about 1.5 years, and after killing two chickens in two weeks, he was on his last chance. Someone suggested to tie the dead chicken to his collar, and leave him tied up for a week.

It was barbaric, cruel, and it saved his life.
 

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"Cruel, dangerous", and it sounds like it worked.

A family dog from childhood almost got a death sentence as a chicken killer, and was saved using a similar technique.

At about 1.5 years, and after killing two chickens in two weeks, he was on his last chance. Someone suggested to tie the dead chicken to his collar, and leave him tied up for a week.

It was barbaric, cruel, and it saved his life.
I'm sure that dog lived a very long happy life.:rolleyes:
 

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I'm sure that dog lived a very long happy life./forum/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif
He sure did. I think he lived till 14 before his health issues got to much and we had to put him down. That's 12 years of playing with the family and enjoying going every where with us. 12 years of living on the farm without attacking any poultry. A pretty good tradeoff for me.

I suppose you think the kinder approach would have been too rehome him?
 

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He sure did. I think he lived till 14 before his health issues got to much and we had to put him down. That's 12 years of playing with the family and enjoying going every where with us. 12 years of living on the farm without attacking any poultry. A pretty good tradeoff for me.

I suppose you think the kinder approach would have been too rehome him?
Sometimes drastic situations call for drastic solutions. In many places I have lived dogs get shot for harassing farm animals, never mind killing them.
My Dane spent a long boring day, chained short and muzzled in the chicken pen of a neighbor. She never looked at a chicken again. It was his suggestion and a better one then I expected in rural Montana. He was within his rights to shoot her, and I was sick about it.

Two different cattle ranches that I was on selected stock dogs based on survival. The pups were put in a pen with range cattle. The ones that survived got to keep working. A good bitch is one who's pups generally survive this "hazing".

Koehler recommends similar methods to stop destruction in his books I believe. It's aversion therapy. Make the dog so despise the feel of the carpeting in it's mouth that it will never touch it again. It works and we need to remember that different cultures have different approaches. Personally I would crate, but also bear in mind that in some countries crating is illegal.
 

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I don't agree that the end justifies the means.There are effective humane methods to solve problems.
 
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