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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, this is my first post here, and what a very detailed forum it is too! I like the numerous amounts of topics and subtopics.

I have a rescued 2 year old female. She's afraid of strangers but follows me everywhere like my shadow. She completely trusts and loves me, but is terrified of others. It's hard to correct her because she pees herself and runs away if I just raise my voice while looking at her.

I've had her for a year, she's gotten much better, but is now suddenly destroying all our furniture when we leave the house. I don't know what to do, I've sprayed and wiped various types of hot pepper, anti chewing spray etc and it doesn't help. I know I need to catch her in the act to really correct, but I think it's more of a behavioral problem than a training issue. I'm not sure what to do about her anxiety when we leave the house, but she always runs to her crate when she's afraid or when she's bored. So lately I keep her crated when I leave the house, but hate that idea.

I have 3 other dogs, 1 of them is another GSD rescue who also was afraid of people the first two years. She is now an excellent Sable Sheperd, very well behaved with people and other dogs. Our Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is the dominant one, and easily excited out of control. She lays around lazy all the time, but one knock on the door sends her out of control. Our little ****zu poodle is the leader in her own mind, and the big dogs play with her and ignore her little attacks.

So if anyone has some tricks for stopping our furniture from being destroyed please share.

JOE
 

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Your going to have to keep her crated for longer periods away from the house, but how to catch her in the act you should leave her out of her crate, and leave the house, maybe just go stand outside for 5 minuets, go back in, if she is chewing/destroying correct and repeat, adding length into your time away she should get better... Hope others chime in for you.. Also Welcome to the forums! :)
 

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She really needs to be crated. Crating is not at all cruel. It keeps them safe and your furniture safe. It becomes their den so to speak. If she is only doing this when you are gone it is either anxiety that you are gone or boredom.
 

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if she is chewing/destroying correct
She is chewing because she is stressed. Correcting her for it will only confirm how awful the situation is for her. You should never correct a dog that is stressed or fear aggressive.
Besides, at the moment you bust into the door to "catch her in the act" she will have stopped chewing because you are now home and you will be correcting her for what? For her you just have turned into someone she completely does not understand.
 

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Since she likes her crate, why not just go with that? If she's chewing everything she might end up with an obstruction, which is very dangerous. Plus, you've already stated that she's very sensitive to the slightest correction, so I don't think setting her up for more will do any good. Please keep her safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One other thing I didn't mention was that as she's been "coming out of her shell" and feeling more comfortable, she's been learning how to play and be happy, and run around without fear. However, she's acting like a 3 month old puppy sometimes which had me thinking the chewing is more of a puppy chewing phase, and could just go away? I feel like she never got to go through her puppy phase earlier in life, and is now experiencing it.

Our other GSD came from the same person, and acted the same way for the first two years, then suddenly she sort of snapped out of it and is very sociable now, very calm, and very confident. Basically she grew up in a huge caged in area with about 20-30 other GSD's and almost zero interaction with humans other than being moved from one cage to another. She had to fight for her food before the others ate it, and had a very high tension, loud, busy environment. I took her at 11 months old to "foster" her and get her socialized with people, but absolutely could not give her up when I got the call that they wanted her back.

We bring her to the local sandbar each weekend to meet with our friends. When we leave the boat to go wander around, she will follow us for a while, but when tired she just lays down in the boat for hours and doesn't run away. She has the perfect laid back instinct of wanting to stay and not go wandering or running away.

One day she was hopping around in the water playing, and two big pit bulls ran over and attacked her. I grabbed them both by their collars and just twisted their collars to choke them, and pulled them off her. She just jumped up and went back to running around and playing again, no fear of animals, just fear of people.

I'll continue crating her until she's acting more mature, and maybe try leaving her loose again in the future. Thanks everyone for your input.
 

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My dog had got this chewing habit months ago and i had read somewhere that it is completely natural for dogs and puppies to chew.You must provide your dog with proper chew toys and teach them to chew the toys, not the furniture.
 

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One other thing I didn't mention was that as she's been "coming out of her shell" and feeling more comfortable, she's been learning how to play and be happy, and run around without fear. However, she's acting like a 3 month old puppy sometimes which had me thinking the chewing is more of a puppy chewing phase, and could just go away? I feel like she never got to go through her puppy phase earlier in life, and is now experiencing it.
She is not able to do her puppy hood over. It is the more relaxed dog you are seeing :) She is who she is and will always be at least somewhat fearful. Respect her for who she is and enjoy her improvement. You are doing a good job evidently. Crate her as long as it is needed and that is OK as long as she doesn't try to chew herself out of her crate. In that case you need more help. Chewing from anxiety is not solved with chew toys; boredom is.
 

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We went through trial and error stage with our boy. Let him out of crate and if he chewed something back to crate. After couple more trials and 5 months later he had his freedom.
 

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Scolding the dog for chewing when you return home is not affective because the dog may not know why you are scolding him/her. You must catch the dog in the act, and you must prevent them from committing the act when you are not around to correct it.
bunk beds for kids
 
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