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Destroying room while we are out. Crate?

(10 Posts)
8oreighty Wed 07-Sep-11 16:07:04

Rosie is just a year old, and really lovely, very good dog, but if we leave her alone in the house she chews things. At the moment we leave her in a room we don't use that needs to be renovated -- so not a huge problem, but she has eaten her horrible old sofa, completely destroyed it. We can't do this forever...have tried leaving her with lovely things to chew, but nothing works. She didn't get on in a crate as a puppy at all, really panicked in it. I tried for several weeks, but in the end gave up. Any ideas of what to do? I wondered about getting a HUGE crate but then will cost a fortune, and might end up being a mistake...

silentcatastrophe Wed 07-Sep-11 17:12:59

Huge crates don't have to cost a fortune, as we found out. We bought a crate that takes up most of our kitchen. The youngster doesn't like it, but our old girl and boy do. Dogs can take a while getting used to being alone. There are ways of doing this - starting with leaving them for a few minutes. Some dogs feel comforted by the sound of the radio or tv, or something else you have going on when you are at home. Have you spoken to a trainer about this wanton destruction? Apparently chewing goes on until the dog is about 18 months. Ha ha. Horror dog still gnaws for Britain and he's closer to 2 now.

8oreighty Wed 07-Sep-11 18:07:24

Thanks, yes have talked to our trainer...thing is I have to leave her sometimes, I can't always just leave her, come back etc...which I have done. But she is 1 now and used to me leaving her for a couple hours. I hardly ever leave her longer than that (can't remember ever leaving her longer than that)...she used to sit and stare out the window, never sleep...but then she started to eat the couch...and she seems intent on chewing whatever is there now. I am scared to leave a radio in the room in case she eats that! She has never been happy on her own...the radio never made a difference when we used to leave her in another room. But she didn't chew then, just tried to break the door down. Hmmm....don't really want to go to a crate, but then would help a lot when we are on holiday as I'm scared to leave her alone at all...if we leave her with her lead on in the car she chews through that!

8oreighty Wed 07-Sep-11 18:07:57

she doesn't chew our things at any other time...she isn't even a particularly chewy dog. We leave shoes around etc...but if we were to leave her on her own she would eat them all I'm sure.

silentcatastrophe Wed 07-Sep-11 19:03:32

My parents dogs chewed their car and wrote it off. They ate the steering wheel. Crate trainng is, in principle, very straightforward. You feed the dog in the crate with the door open, and make sure good things happen in it, with the door open. It sounds a bit as though your dog has you under her paws. Does she pay the bills as well? grin. The trouble with mega chewing is that it can become quite addictive. I hope someone who understands this behaviour comes along soon. It sounds like separation anxiety. This can be managed and overcome. Usually before you start any kind of behavioural modification it is a good idea to get the dog vet checked to rule out any medical things.

8oreighty Wed 07-Sep-11 19:15:24

I did all that with the crate training...all exactly how you're supposed to. She just panicked being locked in. She doesn't need a vet check, she's fine, she just gets anxious when she's alone. Is def. a sort of separation anxiety related thing, and think you're right she's become a bit addicted to it. Just really don't know how to break the cycle, if I was there to tell her 'no' as she did it that might help, but it's never in front of us.

Coca Wed 07-Sep-11 19:24:40

We struggled at first with crate training, he was fine with going in and being fed there. He occasionally went in on his own accord to sleep with the door open but if we shut the door he cried. We went on holiday for a week and left him at the trainer's house. He came back loving his crate. She wasn't emotionally attached to him like I am so stuck at it and he stopped crying really quickly. He now belts it through the house to his crate when he sees me getting his bowl and he sleeps there happily until we come downstairs. He has also starting running in when I pick up my handbag as he knows the chances of him getting a treat are good!
You might find that it helps with any seperation anxiety that he has as once you've cracked it it becomes thier safe place.

8oreighty Thu 08-Sep-11 18:23:10

Problem is she really panicked in it. She showed all the signs that the books say to stop crate training if your dog displays. I would leave it with the blanket over, toys inside, blanket inside etc. Would feed her in it, had it in the room where we eat, and mostly sit in...but she would just go in it and poo or go in it and wee, and if we locked it shut she would go mad. She actually chewed through a bar, and worked out quickly how to open it. In the end we were tying wire around the catch so she couldn't open it etc, but she would chew through that...it was awful. I fully expected her to be crate trained, it just didn't work at all...and coming in to find her coated in a film of poo and wee, exhausted and shivering just wasn't on! I am wondering now if she would be more relaxed about a larger one...although thinking back now I guess I have answered my own question!

glasscompletelybroken Fri 09-Sep-11 21:01:03

You can get toys that have food hidden inside that the dog has to work at to get it out. It's a good distraction technique and may halp you build up the time you can leave her on her own.

SparklyCloud Sat 10-Sep-11 20:12:42

She has bad separation anxiety. Do not crate her.

Buy 2 Kongs, one on the go, and one ready for next time you go out,and stuff it with any food like tinned food, peanut butter etc, if she empties it quickly try freezing overnight, take out the next day and it should take her a while to empty it.

Buy THIS cd and get her used to it by playing it when you around and the house is calm, she will connect hearing it to feeling calm, then make sure you leave it playing on repeat every time you go out, I mean EVERY time without fail.

Each time you leave her make sure everything is the same, always..never change her environment and what you leave out for her to do, so always leave a stuffed Kong, and plenty of large and small rawhide chews.

How long is she left for?

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