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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, theres no distructive catagory so this will have to do
My youngest boy Eli, is about a year and a half old. I love this dog to peices but he has a bit of a distructive side to him. Most people would consider him the dog from h'll but I love him unconditionally and I happen to see his distructive behavior as simply having an overactive mind.
Needless to say I've had to crate him all this time while I'm gone. I've tried testing him to see if maybe he's outgrown this behavior only to come home to a mess. A short list of things that he's distroyed is the bathroom wall (BIG hole chewed right thru it), carpet in one room pulled up and distroyed, hole in middle room wall, shreded bedding (mine, not his), pillows (I actually had to get into the habit of buying the cheap ones at Wal Mart in bulk) featherbed, mattress (all the padding chewed up leaving only the springs and a few peices of fabric here and there), the leather loveseat chewed and now this week (I'll explain) I now have a matching leather sofa as he chewed a hole in that as well.
So to make a long story shorted, he really has outgrown the crate so what I did was I built a Kennel in the middle bedroom just for him. I used welded wire material (its strong) and actually build a kennel inside the room. The first day he found a weak spot and escaped. I knew I was in trouble when I wallked up the path towards my house and he was in the window smiling at me with stuffing stuck on the end of his tongue). Ok, so I strengthened that area. Next day, I guess I hadn't strengthened it enough and once again he escaped. This time damage was limited to some bedding and one pillow-no big deal. Yesterday I really strengthened it and there was no way he could get out. He tried, oh boy did he try!!! And thats why this post....he mutilated his little nose trying to get out-he has little cuts all up and down his muzzle. My question is should I continue to use this kennel and just hope he gets use to it? Or should I put him back in his crate where he doesnt have nearly enough room to move around let alone play?
Theres plenty of toys, treats, chewies, kongs, etc in the kennel and he doesn't mind going in there in the morning but did I ruin it by initually making it so that he was able to find a way out and thats all he wants to do now is to try to escape? I just don't want him getting hurt. I think I've changed the areas where he must of pushed his nose into so I'm hoping he's ok today. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks
 

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Sounds like SA or boredom to me.
Brady did the same thing tore up DH's couch. I couldn't be too mad about that casue I hated the couch but had to put him back in Crate got a huge one so he could move around in.

Just a few months shy of 2 yrs he was fine
 

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Sounds like my Kita. I am having the same problem. I dont trust to stay in the house. But she manages to escape the crate. And I started latching all the sides. and now she is tearing her nose and muzzel up. I usually try to wear her out before i go to work, it helps a little bit.
 

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That is nice! Hmmm...I like the height on that.

This is Nina's "crate" but I don't put the topper on it (it won't fit-the ceilings are not high enough): http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2755438

But she isn't the type to try to escape-so I am not sure how that would work.

You could put a stall mat in for the flooring for either of those I bet?
 

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Rosa,

Does he have separation anxiety? If so then you can get stronger and stronger crates but he'll still have the problem. If it's boredom then perhaps you could take him to doggie daycare a few days a week or have someone come in to walk him while you're at work? How much exercise is he currently getting? Have you tried rescue remedy or any calming stuff?

What about Kong time? Have you seen this: http://www.thepetstoreonline.com/kong-kt...&utm_medium=CSE
 

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I know that you have probably answered these questions in other posts, so I apologize for asking you to repeat yourself. How long have you had Eli? In the time that he has lived with you, has he ever been successfully crated in a "regular" crate? You mention in your post that you have "tested" his house manners only to come home to a mess. In between these "tests" was he crated? If he has been crated, have you ever come home and found him panting heavily, with signs of trying to dig/chew out of the crate (broken nails, bleeding gums), puddles of saliva in the crate?
What is his routine like? When and how does he exercise? When you exercise him, is he part of a "pack" or does he get 1:1 attention from you during the exercise?
What kind of training are you doing and how often? Would you consider him a happy dog, or an anxious dog?
I have a great deal of interest in anxious dogs and dogs that just have a huge amount of energy. I do rescue, and foster a lot of anxious dogs. I also own a dog with a very, very high energy level who is the same age as your Eli. I am always looking to discuss with others the behaviors they see in their dog(s), since every little bit helps me work with not just my dog but the fosters as well. We are always learning, right?
Thanks!
Sheilah
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I really don't think its separation anxiety, he loves to go into his kennel (and before into his crate) when I leave the house. When I'm getting ready to go he'll run to these areas anytime I'm anywhere in the area just making sure he beats me to the doors. He'll paw the doors (which I've kept shut until its time to put him in there) and always seems happy and content when I do leave him there. Theres never any barking or signs of distress when I leave. I do make sure there are special treats and toys only he gets while in these areas. He even has a Talk to Me ball, that will play a recorded voice of me while it disburses treats as he pushes it across the floor. There are several of these types of toys that I use and rotate as part of their enrichment programs they have daily.
They get plenty of excercise. I have three. Each night I make sure they get 2-3 hours of running/fetching/good excercise. I wake up at 4AM each morning so that they have at least 3 hours of play time before I go to work. This way I'm not just jumping out of bed and rushing off-never liked that idea.
I like the examples you've shown me of crates but I really like the one I built. Mostly because its so big. The problem is that when I put it together I had a weak spot. I thought I had it so that wasn't the case but I was wrong. So now that he knows of that spot my concern that he might try to do anything within his power to try to get that weak spot to work again. The first time I 'fixed' it, I didn't do a good enough job so he got out again which just reinforced the idea that if he trys hard enough he can escape. My concern now is that he will be so focused on that prior weakspot that he could continue to hurt himself because now it just won't give. I just want him to be safe and happy.
Like I sort of wrote about, I think he is just a very active little boy with a very active mind. I wouldn't be surprised that once he discovered so many things had stuffing in them that he's simply destroying things to get to the squeeky toy in the middle. He is not may smartest dog...he's really kind of slow with things, but I wouldn't change a thing about him. I have never had such a sweet dog in my life and I'm not doing anything that might change that. He's a wonderful and much loved dog.
Maybe I will try some of that rescue remedy. Truth be told, I have that plug in thing-Ruth you could have even been the one to suggest it for Shoshona around the 4th of July. Maybe I'll try using that around him.
Whatcha guys think? Do you think I've ruined this entire idea by making it the first time so that he could escape and now he will keep trying?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wisc Tiger the more I look at that pic you put up of the crate the more I like it. Its much the same as what I built, but you know if I continue to have problems with mine I might just want to look at getting that. It would be new and therefore he wouldn't have any preconcieved notions about weak spots and its likely made just a wee bit better than the one I made. I will keep that in mind. It would just be so nice if I went home today and he was safe in his crate with no scrapes on his nose.
 

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Thanks Val,
I guess anything is possible. Thankfully mine never wear collars unless they are off the property with me for their walks. Eli doesn't have anything that could get caught up in the wire so I'm thinking he's ok.
 

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Do you have a basement? A dog that has had success getting out of kennels are going to work at it, that is why you should go in like you are going to house a bear. Never give him the idea that he can jump over, climb over, break through.

If you have a basement, you can put a commercial kennel up made of the toughest gage wire, 9 gage, and a good solid gate. Also a lid and hopefully it will be on concrete.

I like outdoor kennels as I can make them bigger and fill them with stuff that the dog can safely play with and he can watch the world go by. But you have to guarantee that he will not be able to break out.
 

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Originally Posted By: shilohsmomOk now I'm worried....someones dog got hung in a kennel??????????

http://www.germanshepherds.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=755963

Eli doesn't wear a collar (none due unless we are out), how would a dog get hung in a kennel???
I think the other person meant a "run" like a zip-line run.

That said, my GSD has caught her collar on her crate twice now. First time I was there and unhooked her, but only after she had a total freak out for a few seconds before I could calm her down and help her. The second time was totally my fault. I had to rush home from work to get Coke to the vet on time and left Kenya out with her collar on. She must have slept in her crate and then got up and got her collar hooked on the door b/c when I got home, the crate was knocked around, the collar was on the floor, and she had peed on the bed in the crate, poor thing. She no longer wears collars in the house.

Both incidents happened with the crate door, so it would not have been possible for her to get caught being left inside the crate. But if she's safely in the crate she doesn't need a collar on anyway b/c she couldn't get loose (not that she has EVER tried to escape, but I'm more worried about friends or relatives coming in and her maybe getting scared and leaving).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Selzer that was my thinking exactly-once he found a weak spot he would keep at it (even if that spot was no longer weak). Today was proof of that. He has a raw spot on his nose... it looks like no more kennel. I wish I could easily take a pic and post what I did. I think the idea was a good one that just went bad with that slight design flaw. You would think it would have been perfect. I took heavy duty welded wire fencing, ran it along the walls attaching it in spots to the studs in the walls. This would have prevented him from tearing up the walls. It's 6' tall and over half the size of the room-about 15'x18'. The idea was I built an outdoor run inside. The weak spot was where the opening met with the wire that went to the other side. I had secured the wire to a 2x4x 6foot post on one side. That side then met with the other and its right by there that he found the weak link.
My option at this point is to close the door on the room. I didn't want to do this because I didn't want him to feel isolated from the other dogs and I'm really not sure I'm willing to do this.
Can anyone picture what I've done? It doesn't seem possible to stop him now since like I said, again today he scraped his nose. I just can't have him getting hurt.
Yes, I have a basement but its not like some basements I've sceen... its gross...its not paved, just dirt and is no place I would ever put one of my dogs. I'll just have to work on something else, maybe I should look at that kennel shown earlier.
I do have the extra room and would love to be able to use it for him... humm, I just thought of something!!!! Maybe I could run the wire around the entire room and then replace the door with one with a window in it???? That might actually work.
I realize this sounds extreme to some, but I feel like he needs more room while I'm at work, and I just can't let him free in the house.
Thanks for the clairfication on the collar thing...I nearly lost my little Shoshona when she was a pup to strangulation and I freak when I hear of any possibilities of that. Again, my dogs never wear collars unless we are leaving the property.
 

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First, I think the kennel idea can work, but you need to use a stronger kennel. Rather than building one, I would go with a manufactured welded wire type like the one pictured above. And not the cheap, flimsy ones available at pet stores and places like Home Depot. Look for a Priefert or a Magnum. Put a top on it, and it's canine fort knox and he won't be getting out.

Second, to help him get more used to the kennel, try putting his crate (with the door open) inside the kennel with him. This will help him to transfer the idea of kennel being more or less the same as a large crate.

You mentioned he gets a lot of exercise of the physical type with walks and ball playing, but how much *mental* exercise does he get? Sounds like he's bored off his rocker, and that sort of boredome is a very common cause of destructive behavior. GSDs need mental exercise as much as they need physical exercise... often moreso. Get him involved in some classes, teach him some stupid pet tricks, whatever... find a way for him to learn, get mental stimulation and have quality one on one time working with you. GSDs need that. And you'll find that 30 minutes of brain work will tire him more than 2 hours of physical work, and will also help cut down on boredome induced destruction.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks so much Chris, I'll be looking for a new (and better made) kennel. I did think of putting his old crate in there with the door open but decided against it-my mistake...maybe that would have helped.
I work with all my dogs with their obedience trainning and we do have one on one mommy and me time. How do I say this??? Eli is not the smartest dog on the block (he's the sweetest but not quite the smartest), he's really kind of goofy. I could try more mental stimulation to see if he responds.
Thanks again for your feedback. One way or another I want my boy to have a nice place where he can safely play and have fun without distroying the house.
 

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Rosa, Are you sure the dog isn't as you say "Eli is not the smartest dog on the block" or is he playing you with the dumb routine. I had a dog that on appearances wasn't really bright, but the fella was dumb like a fox, very cunning.

Val
 

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Like people who chew their fingernails right down to the quick, this truly IS similar to SA. But add in the stress of "Omigod, the whole house (or the whole bathroom, etc).. omigish.. whaddo i do now? I'm in charge of the whole ENTIRE house? Oh go, oh god.. okay... okay... no problem.... all just fine... whaddo i do? whaddo i do?? Okay.. okay... here, look-- there's a little braided border to the sofa... how's that work? Better test it.. yup.. test it.. just gonna nibble a corner. Nothin' more than a corner. Just a quick nibble. Yup, i can gnaw right here on the corner of the sofa cushion......"

An hour later, he has behaviorally chewed all his fingernails down to the last stub (eaten the entire pizza, smoked the whole carton, etc.).. you get the analogy.

How about trying TTouch for him to learn to calm? What about trying Bach flower essences? (no, not Rescue Remedy-- well, okay, but there are others JUST for nerves needing soothing and obsessions) Just some thoughts.
 

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Oh Patti that is sooooo funny, and likely soooo true... I would so say its SA but he doesn't have any problems with me leaving or arriving. I would LOVE to try TTouch and now that you mention it I'm going to do a search on that and try to learn the technique. I love messaging my furbabies (Eli especially likes leg/feet massages) and I've always wanted to do it right.
Val, your likely right too. I'm going to check out that Ttouch and go looking for a new kennel.
 
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