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Discussion Starter #1
Gunnar chews, a lot. Socks, hats, wood, plastic, basically anything he finds. Consequently I keep him in his kennel in the family room most of the day and night unless I'm playing with him or he's in the back yard (where he chews sticks and bark mulch).

So while at the vet the other day, he suggested putting a cage type muzzle on Gunnar so that he doesn't eat something that might cause a bowel obstruction.

What are your thoughts on this? On the plus side her be able to be out of his kennel a lot more.

Current age = 7 months
 

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It's not going to get any better unless you're willing to work on it. A muzzle is a bandaid solution, you need to work on the actual problem

First, rather then just crate him get him outside and running. They need outlets for their energy, he's a young puppy and needs to run that off. Take him hiking with you out in the world and allow him to explore

Second, clean up the house. Puppies are like babies, pick up every single thing that he could possible eat and keep the floors clean and anything within grabbing distance is moved higher. A dog shouldn't have access to anything harmful regardless of age.

Third, find a trainer. Obedience will give you the foundation to train him NOT to eat things which can save his life. Both of you will enjoy the bonding experience and it can be great fun. Most places offer fun things like RallyO or Agility which is a awesome outlet for energy and great fun for both dog and owner. You can do it as a casual thing or even get into competing if you really enjoy it.

Fourth: Get him lots of toys, different shapes and sizes and texture. If he chews something wrong, give him a toy and praise him when he plays with it instead of the bad thing. Keep treats handy and do a trade system with them as well. He'll learn that getting GOOD things in return for giving up a bad thing is much better way to go and that his toys are acceptable to play with.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I agree with you too Shade, this would be a band-aid fix, but due to circumstances outside of my control I can't always manage the things you suggest. So in the short term would a muzzled existence inside the home be better than a non muzzled existence inside the kennel?

He's high drive, strong and playful. So when I'm at work he's too much for my Kids right now to handle and my wife doesn't want to deal with him.
 

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Nah, no need for a muzzle. Crate him when you can't have two eyes on him. Give him things he CAN chew on. Chewing is a favorite past time for alot of dogs. My boy enjoys deer antlers and raw meaty bones. He no longer has a need to chew on things he's not aloud too. It's a training issue as well.
 

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Short term solution, yes.

There are two other possible longer term solutions.

Restrict access in the house using babygates. So you could block off the upstairs or keep him in the kitchen area, etc. That way he's not sneaking off and can be more easily watched

If you own a house with a backyard you could build a secure kennel so he could spend some time outside running around. A concrete floor would keep him from eating anything or digging. Short times in there where he can run around and have fun would get some energy out.

Crating it's bad as long as they do get out and get exercise, obedience helps teach them manners which helps them become good pets
 
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Have you tried giving him frozen bones? I had a puppy that was chewing everything in sight and I found that if I gave him a frozen knuckle bone it would keep him busy for quite a while and cut down on his chewing on other things.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Have you tried giving him frozen bones? I had a puppy that was chewing everything in sight and I found that if I gave him a frozen knuckle bone it would keep him busy for quite a while and cut down on his chewing on other things.
I'm trying to stay away from stinky stuff when he's in the house so it doesn't stink up his coat and the rug or floor. I used to give him bully sticks and raw hide when he was younger, but lately it's been nothing but nylabone and deer antlers which he chews, but he doesn't seem to like.

He's actually pretty good about not chewing shoes any more, but soft toys like my kids stuffed animals, socks, under ware, legos, etc he's all over that stuff. And as hard as I try, with 3 small kids in the house, that stuff is always around.
 

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I'm trying to stay away from stinky stuff when he's in the house so it doesn't stink up his coat and the rug or floor. I used to give him bully sticks and raw hide when he was younger, but lately it's been nothing but nylabone and deer antlers which he chews, but he doesn't seem to like.

He's actually pretty good about not chewing shoes any more, but soft toys like my kids stuffed animals, socks, under ware, legos, etc he's all over that stuff. And as hard as I try, with 3 small kids in the house, that stuff is always around.
If you don't want him to get it all over the house give it to him in his crate. But Frozen bones don't stink. I can't smell them at all.
 

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If you don't want him to get it all over the house give it to him in his crate. But Frozen bones don't stink. I can't smell them at all.
Omg you are lucky! The raw soup bones (frozen) that I have here smell awful once they get chewed on for about 5 minutes :eek:
 

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Kongs. I have 4 kongs currently. They're dishwasher safe. I stuffed them with a mixture of peanut butter and various yummy treats and stick them in the freezer. They don't make a mess on my rugs and don't smell any worse than a peanut butter sandwich.

I see you live in the springs. When you're able, get him out to walk around Garden of the Gods. Take him on a day hike up Gold Camp Road (gorgeous up there in the day time). These two activities you can likely take the kids with if they behave well enough. If they're younger kids, I'd lean more towards walking garden of the gods because of the paved areas. Gold Camp is just dirt with steep edges on one side though it's a pretty wide walkway.

Tether him to you. Work on teaching him what's okay for him to chew on and what's not. My kids have to learn the hard way about leaving things out. If they don't want it to be chewed on, they have to remember to pick it up (ages almost 4 and 5.5). Palmer Park is another good place to go walking. There's plenty of flatter areas you can go with him and the kids. If you go into Palmer Park past the dog park, up past the turn off for the overlook, there's a pull off area called Lazy Land. You can take the left fork once you turn off there and it'll lead you straight to a good walking area or you can take the right fork which will take you down. At the end of the right fork, there's a roundabout type area you can park at and you and the kids and the dog can go walking down that dirt road past the gate. Just make sure you keep your boy leashed because there's a lot of people who walk all over with their dogs off leash.

Shade gave some good advice. He can't learn if you can't teach him.
 

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Omg you are lucky! The raw soup bones (frozen) that I have here smell awful once they get chewed on for about 5 minutes :eek:
Ugh... I just get the already frozen ones from the grocery store. I haven't noticed a smell, but I do pick them up and toss them after they are done, if there is anything left. The one exception is the small round marrow bones that I sometimes get from the Smiths. They clean them off so good there is nothing left to smell. I leave those lying around for them to chew on until I notice little pieces are starting to break off. Do you get the beef bones?
 

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Kongs. I have 4 kongs currently. They're dishwasher safe. I stuffed them with a mixture of peanut butter and various yummy treats and stick them in the freezer. They don't make a mess on my rugs and don't smell any worse than a peanut butter sandwich.

I second the kongs. I switch between the bones and kongs and the occasional frozen pigs feet to give them a variety, but I do always give them something to chew at least every other day. Or they start finding stuff of mine to chew on. :eek:

I also want to add, exercise, play and wear out. A tired dog, is one that is not finding trouble. :)
 

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Kongs. I have 4 kongs currently. They're dishwasher safe. I stuffed them with a mixture of peanut butter and various yummy treats and stick them in the freezer. They don't make a mess on my rugs and don't smell any worse than a peanut butter sandwich.

I see you live in the springs. When you're able, get him out to walk around Garden of the Gods. Take him on a day hike up Gold Camp Road (gorgeous up there in the day time). These two activities you can likely take the kids with if they behave well enough. If they're younger kids, I'd lean more towards walking garden of the gods because of the paved areas. Gold Camp is just dirt with steep edges on one side though it's a pretty wide walkway.

Tether him to you. Work on teaching him what's okay for him to chew on and what's not. My kids have to learn the hard way about leaving things out. If they don't want it to be chewed on, they have to remember to pick it up (ages almost 4 and 5.5). Palmer Park is another good place to go walking. There's plenty of flatter areas you can go with him and the kids. If you go into Palmer Park past the dog park, up past the turn off for the overlook, there's a pull off area called Lazy Land. You can take the left fork once you turn off there and it'll lead you straight to a good walking area or you can take the right fork which will take you down. At the end of the right fork, there's a roundabout type area you can park at and you and the kids and the dog can go walking down that dirt road past the gate. Just make sure you keep your boy leashed because there's a lot of people who walk all over with their dogs off leash.

Shade gave some good advice. He can't learn if you can't teach him.


and before you ask how I know this, I'm a C. Springs native. My husband is just stationed in Maryland right now. I left the springs again about 3 weeks ago.

also, invest in some puzzle toys. Work his mind. This will also allow him to spend more time out of the crate. Being crated for hours and hours on end isn't healthy. If he doesn't get the stimulation he needs to work his body AND his mind, he'll never learn what he needs to learn to be part of the family, especially if your wife doesn't want to deal with him. That's stressful on a dog, especially a puppy.
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread but I have a 10 month female. She gets tons of excersie before work. I put her in the unfinished basement while at work. I use to puppy pen her but she always escapes. So now she has free reign of the basement but she loves to chew the wood stairs. She has tons of toys but she loves the stairs and I can?t really block them off. I tried giving her kong treats and spray bitter agent on the stairs. She still only chews that. I?m thinking I?m gonna have to muzzle her while at work. She never chews when I?m home. Only when she?s by herself and she knows she?s not suppose to. Ears are down when I ask her what she did. I?d rather her have the room to walk then to crate her for 7-8 hours. Thoughts ?
 

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Sorry to bump an old thread but I have a 10 month female. She gets tons of excersie before work. I put her in the unfinished basement while at work. I use to puppy pen her but she always escapes. So now she has free reign of the basement but she loves to chew the wood stairs. She has tons of toys but she loves the stairs and I can?t really block them off. I tried giving her kong treats and spray bitter agent on the stairs. She still only chews that. I?m thinking I?m gonna have to muzzle her while at work. She never chews when I?m home. Only when she?s by herself and she knows she?s not suppose to. Ears are down when I ask her what she did. I?d rather her have the room to walk then to crate her for 7-8 hours. Thoughts ?
I buy a bitter spray to spray on things I don't want chewed but that I can't block off.
If I catch him in the act he gets a correction but mostly his chewing occurs when I'm at work so the bitter spray is my backup. I buy it from an online petshop.
 
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