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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Bloody dog, am i going to have to call in a dog whisperer?

(17 Posts)
Marne Fri 24-Jul-09 13:56:33

I love my dog to bits but she's destroying every thing angry, So far (since we got her) she has destroyed a new trampoline (chewed up the netting), a dinning room table (chewed the legs), 2 rugs, 1 carpet, a pair of dd's new trousers, she's scratched the hell out of the conservatory door and now she has eaten dd2's jigsaw puzzle (her best one).

Oh and last week she tore a hole in dd2's mattress and tore up her pillow.

She's costing me a fortune sad.

I know she's only 1.5 and still a pup but i though she would have grown out of it by now.

I rarely leave her for more than an hour and if i do i have to shut her in the conservatory as thats the only room with nothing left in it for her to destroy.

She seems to chew things up if i leave her for more than 5 minutes. I just went upstairs for 5 minutes and left her in the sitting room, came down and she's torn up a jigsaw puzzle that dd2 was doing.

She has her own toys, gets walked once or twice a day and spends the rest of the day asleep or in the garden.

She has a great life sop why does she feel the need to destroy every thing?

I'm worried that dh will make me get rid of her as we can't afford to replace the things she is destroying. She's a lovely dog and the children love her to bits, what can i do to stop her chewing things up?

Rubyrubyrubyislosing7lbs Fri 24-Jul-09 13:57:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

twoluvlykids Fri 24-Jul-09 13:58:40

put her in a doggy crate when you have to leave her.

it's not cruel and might just save your sanity

bella21 Fri 24-Jul-09 14:04:29

Separation anxiety.

Either get a good, qualified behaviourist in (your vet can recommend) or get the book: Think Dog by John Fisher, which has a whole chapter on curing this.

Good luck.

Marne Fri 24-Jul-09 14:06:58

She only chews when i'm not there (sometimes dd2 is in the room but dd2 has ASD and doesn't notice the dog chewing things), sometimes i'm only out of the room for a couple minutes. I have a stair gate so she can't get to the rest of the house but she trys to chew the bars.

We tried a cage but she gets so upset that she either hurts herself, barks enough for the neighbours to moan and exhausts herself to the point that a few weeks ago she got heat stroke.

I put her in the conservatory but she sratches the glass to the point that she has ruined on of the doors. She hates being on her own, she would happily sit on me all day if i let her.

bella21 Fri 24-Jul-09 14:12:48

Spearation anxiety. A crate won't cure it. She needs to learn, in tiny incremental steps, that you can go away but you will come back. Start just by shutting the door and immediately re-opening it. Think of a baby when they first learn peek-a-boo: your dog needs to learn very very slowly that you will be back.

A behaviourist would probably charge you £40 or so - much cheaper than the damage! Otherwise, the book is really good.

spugs Fri 24-Jul-09 15:59:00

Is she showing any other signs of separation anxiety? Pacing, barking,panting generally stressing out?

I was under the impression that SA generally manifested itself with more then one symptom. I'd tape her and see what she does. If i leave my pup in a room he'll chew things though hes gradually learning whats his and isnt.

spugs Fri 24-Jul-09 16:01:18

oops just saw your last post, that does sound more like SA, mine barks if i leave him, scratches etc but I try to leave him by himself for short periods of time and ignore the barking. Weve sorted it over night (apart from after we took him camping and he slept in with us for two nights) but hes still not great during the day taking 5 mins or so to settle.

Marne Fri 24-Jul-09 17:00:31

Thanks for your posts, she doesn't even like going in the garden on her own even though she can see me through the door. She pines a lot and paces, when i walk out the room she cry's like a baby.

Alambil Sat 25-Jul-09 12:22:18

do you tell her off for it?

my mums dog ate her dining table leg; mum went bananas at her (got her by the scruff, took her to the table, got her head and made her look at it and yelled "NO!" (much like you would if dc were running about on a motorway). She did thaton the hour every hour for the rest of the day (for 6/7 hours) and then ignored her completely inbetween times

The dog's NEVER chewed anything it shouldn't since.

You need to make an impact...

bella21 Sat 25-Jul-09 15:59:17

Can I just say, Lewis, that if this is proper separation anxiety then telling her off when you come back is only going to increase the dog's stress levels, isn't it?

I know we often don't see eye to eye on things but I do respect your views.wink

However, we both know it's hard for a dog to connect a telling off to something that's happened a while ago and so this could make the dog even more anxious.

Marne Sat 25-Jul-09 17:24:08

I often tell her off, she knows shes done wrong, when i come back in the room she has her head down and tail between her legs. After 2 minutes she seems to forget and will go back for another go.

bella21 Sat 25-Jul-09 18:28:55

Can you see how telling her off can make it worse, Marne? She knows she'll get told off when you come back, so you leaving her alone is even more frightening because she knows what will happen when you return.

It's a vicious circle but dogs don't 'know they've done wrong' - the look she's giving you is not guilt but fear at what she knows will happen next. She doesn't know it's happening because of something she did while you were away - they can't think like that. She just knows when you come back she gets told off.

bella21 Sat 25-Jul-09 18:29:36

..and they chew not for enjoyment in these situations, but to relieve stress.

hatwoman Sat 25-Jul-09 18:45:51

agree with Bella - you need a good book and a plan. it will take time but with positive reinforcement and persistence on your part I'm sure you can do this. from what I've read in general about how dogs learn I would think that bella's trick of leaving her for - literally - seconds, and then building it up - combined with lots of fuss and praise and maybe a treat when you "return" would be the basic way forward - but get a book and have a good read

FabBakerGirlIsBack Sat 25-Jul-09 18:48:25

I have NO idea about dogs and all I can suggest is to take her everywhere with you until she gets less clingy.

<realises this is a stupid idea>

beautifulgirls Sat 25-Jul-09 20:28:05

I am totally in agreement with Bella - your dog has separation anxiety and this really need professional help to deal with it. There are things like DAP and zylkene that can help the dog to chill out a bit during these stressful times, but she will need to be desensitised to the situation gradually and in the right way. Screaming and shouting at her like some people have suggested is not going to do anything useful and might well make the situation overall worse for her as Bella said. Please call your vet and ask to be given the contact info for their recommended behaviourist about this.

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