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Chewing everything now at 7 months

1557 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  kelso
I really thought that Sugar would stop chewing stuff once she was done teething, but it worse now than ever. An added complication is that she's tall enough now to start taking things off shelves that were previously out of reach. It's getting expensive and dangerous. No place is safe now. She has more chew toys (fabric squeakies, rawhide bones, pig ears, etc.) than you can shake a stick at, but she still insists on going for forbidden objects when left on her own. Clearly this can't continue.

She spends most the day outside chasing squirrels and birds so I don't think it's a lack of exercise problem and I do take her for walks. The problem seems to be that she doesn't fully grasp that no means no. If you try to take the object away from her, she just runs off out of reach with the object in her mouth. I don't chase her since that would likely encourage the behavior, but I'm seriously considering a more physical punishment since verbal scolding is not getting the point across. I'm not fond of the idea, but some of the things she's chewing are dangerous to her and she needs to stop now. (I caught her trying to eat a tube of pipe thread compound she removed from a toolbox this morning.)

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The chewing phase can last up to a year or year and a half or more, so the end of teething is just the beginning. The best thing to do is to manage the environment to limit her access to things she's not supposed to chew, supervising her when you can and confining her when you can't, and to continue providing plenty of appropriate chewables and redirecting her to those. In the meantime playing trading games can help overcome the keep away game she's obviously enjoying very much.
Crate her
I would crate her, but she seems to be claustrophobic.
Get rid of any of her toys that resemble house hold items. NO cloth type chew toys. Invest in KONGS you can stuff with food to leave with her in her crate or kennel run with you leave. She is still a young pup that is very curious about everything. As others have said, Never leave her unattended. If you can get her really chewing on HER toys she will learn to leave yours alone, in time.
I dont know about claustrophobia in dogs. What does she do exactly when you crate her? Have you crate-trained her at all?

Also, I would not use any physical punishment, either. What I did w/Kodee (although he's 10 mos and doesn't chew on everything, he does swipe stuff that doesn't belong to him and try to chew on it). Rather than punishment, and concentrating on "no", I would start working on a command to teach her what she should do instead. Kodee knows "off" (which means get off of whatever/whoever you're jumping on), and "leave it" (meaning don't bother whoever/whatever you're getting ready to bother), and also we are working on "out. (drop whatever you already have in your mouth)."

It seems to me the best way to get them to "stop" doing something is to tell them to "do" something else. Hope this is helpful. I just think physical punishment will destroy your bond, which is the whole fun in having a dog, IMO.
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Den animals are not claustrophobic...

As has been suggested, take the time to make the dog know what can and cannot be chewed. Also limit time with the toys. A crate is your best friend!!
Taking toys out she IS allowed to play with and playing WITH her for large amounts of time each day.

Generally my dogs chew when they are bored. And they grab chew things they KNOW they aren't allowed when they are bored (see the common link?). Me tearing after them and yelling well, is NOT boring!!!!!

Even negative attention can be more fun then nothing when they are bored.

I decided a long time ago that waiting until they get in trouble to then yell and correct was frustrating for me and NOT working. The key problem/issue was the 'me waiting until they did wrong.

What ended up MUCH better was me sitting down, using my vast brain
and being PRO-ACTIVE to come up with ways to interact with my pup and prevent the bad behavior from even occurring.

With the idea that BOREDOM is leading the problem, me coming up with a way to plan my day to INCLUDE my pup and stimulate them both mentally and physically was key. Taking her on all my car rides and errands. Leaving early for all of those so I could include a stop at the park for a rousing game of Chuckit, or a swim in the lake for the pup. Walking around Main St for meet and greets with strangers.

DOG CLASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Weekly organized activities to learn and meet other people/dogs who are involved in this 'dog' thing.

A good dog is a TIRED dog, so way upping the exercise (and I don't care if you are having him run 20 miles a day right now, that's not enough for him right now or he'd be not getting into so much trouble.).
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The playing with them with their toys and such really will help. And if you keep at the redirecting to their toy instead of your shoe for example and exercising there will be a day where pup will know to grab its own toys to play (hopefully!).

I thought Kelso would never reach the point where he would know his own stuff, but using all the advice like at least when I am doing laundry or something he will go grab his own toy to chew on instead of playing tug with my laundry!

Just keep at it!
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