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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I am in desperate need of any advice! My 7 month old shepherd used to be allowed to roam the house when he was younger and I was away because he never chewed anything.

I gradually increased the time I was away, and he was still an angel. Then, once he hit 5 months old, whenever I left him in the house I would come home to a MESS! He chewed the walls and the staircase out of nowhere!

So, I started putting him in a large wire crate when I left because I can't afford to have him chewing the walls. He gets a kong full of peanut butter and goes in the crate no problem. He enjoys it.

I left him at a boarding kennel last week for 1 night just to test out how he would do since he'd never been boarded before. He stayed in this room in a woman's house with another dog that he got along with, and all was good she said. This week, I left him there (same place) for 2 nights. This time he stayed in a large hut (the size of a small master bathroom I guess you could say) in the backyard with the same dog. When I came to pick him up the owner said "he was terrible", "he doesn't listen for anything", and she showed me the hut which he chewed up all over! He chewed the corners and the food bowls and the rug!

I find it extra strange because he was with another dog for company, and during the day they play out in the yard all day long! So he was not "bored".

I am planning on leaving him there over Christmas for a couple weeks, but she said she will not take him if he continues to destroy her property (uuuugh). If I can't fix this issue, I will not be able to travel home for Christmas because no one will take my dog!
 

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This is a people issue not a dog issue.

Your "boarding kennel" sounds like some silly home business run by a person that doesn't know dogs. Any dog that age should be supervised when it has freedom and in a crate when it isn't being watched.

The 5 month mark coincided with teething or chewing to set teeth in the jaw. They go after harder objects during this time and that includes walls staircases and pretty much whatever else they can get their teeth on. It isn't necessarily a boredom issue although that can contribute to it. Any destruction done to her property if she boards as a money making business is pretty much on her because she is supposed to be watching for stuff like that.

Find a boarding kennel that knows what they are doing. A crate with a kong of peanut butter is a great solution to hold the dog when you aren't around to watch him. It is what most of us would do. It is the right thing to do.
 

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I agree with the others - dogs will chew stuff - commercial boarding kennels know that is part of the business and accept the risks. You can board him in a regular kennel - he'll be fine. I would also never board my dogs with another dog - my two dogs are completely fine together, the younger dog defers to the older dog and never challenges her position, they are fine spending the day together in the house, yet I still separate them when I'm gone, just in case, for their own safety, and if I were to board them, despite the two being best friends, I would still pay for each to have their own kennel.

There is no reason you can't board him - none of that behaviour is deal breaker. Don't be afraid to use a place where he gets a kennel/run to himself, and bring your own dog bed, blankets, food bowl for him so he does not chew the equipment that belongs to the kennel owners. Many places will take your dog for a walk for an extra fee, and/or give them daily play time with one or two other dogs, so it's not like he would be stuck in the kennel the whole time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you, I suppose you are right and I should look into other places to board him.

When he and I are both home together I do exercise him, he just gets crated when I leave the house now.

I found a boarding place that specializes in shepherds so I will try there :)
 

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I didn't trust my older dog (and her littermate, RIP) alone in the house during the day until she was approx 3 (and then I started doing it in small increments). At around 6-7 months (I forget exactly - it has been awhile) they were allowed outside of the crate at night only...but they were shut in our bedroom so we could hear if they did anything. I have a feeling that my new puppy won't see outside of the crate at night until muchlater.
 
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