Destructive Dog(13 Posts)
We have a 15 month old puggle who is destructive. It's our fault really because we haven't given her the time she needs. When we got our first dog (also a puggle) we trained her loads and she turned into a really nice dog. But her younger sister is really naughty. She chews things in the house that she shouldn't. I've bought her all different kinds of chews and have tried redirecting her attention to the chews which seems to work for a while but if left unsupervised she will go back to chewing the doormat or the stairs. I've tried the bitter sprays to no avail. I have a 12 week old and from being 6 weeks pregnant could not stand the smell of the dogs and so couldn't go near them without wretching, this is partly why she isn't as well trained as her sister. She is getting to be such a nuisance that I'm thinking of putting her up for adoption. Maybe she needs more time than we can give her at the moment. Am I being unfair to her? Any advice on this would be most welcome. Any tips on how to stop the destructive chewing would be great. We have a crate that she sleeps in at night, should I crate her during the day with a chew? If I do that can I leave my well behaved dog out of the crate? Thanks.
You can't crate a dog all day and all night. Or even most of the day.
If you are going out, for brief periods she needs crating.
No idea if you should crate both.
But that's not going solve the problem, because you admit you don't give her anytime. That's the issue.
If you still can't stand the smell of dogs, I think you need to look at rehoming them. But doing it properly.
Do you have a partner or another adult that can help train her when they are at home?
It's sounds like a very unhappy set up for the dogs. And something needs to be done.
But I wouldn't recommend keeping the other one. Without interaction she will probably also start playing up.
She wouldn't be crated all day, as I said I have a 12 week old therefore I'm on maternity leave and in the company of the dogs most of the day. She would only be crated when unsupervised. I would like advice on how to stop the destructive chewing. I should've said in my post that both dogs get plenty of interaction and 2 walks a day. There has hardly been a day since giving birth when they haven't had 2 walks. I'm not sure what it is about this set up that would be unhappy for the dogs.
Try an antler piece for her to chew on. Anxiety is a big factor here and maybe she is not getting enough attention and love. Exercise is one thing, but human interaction is what makes or breaks them. I think you should rehome her and keep the well behaved one.
I really don't want to give her away unless we have no other option. I have been making an effort to play with both dogs more during the day recently but that isn't always easy with a young baby. If it is anxiety will it go away if we give her more attention and focused playtime? Are there any strategies we can use to help alleviate her anxiety? I feel that part of the problem is that we got lazy with her training when she was a puppy because of the pregnancy and now we don't know how to get her back on track.
Perhaps have a list of things the dogs need throughout the day (walk/food/training etc) but do it at different times each day. Feed at different times so the dog is not waiting by the bowl at 8 and 6 (or whatever times) this adds variety. Also stuff her meals into a Kong with pate or peanut butter (this can be frozen too) making meal times longer satisfying her chewing instinct.
Dogs love mental stimulation, what training/play do you do?
She sounds like she could well just be really bored rather than anxious. How much mental stimulation does she get? Beagles (I'm presuming she's a beagle x pug, yes?) can be very active, busy little dogs who very quickly make their own mischief without appropriate outlets for their energy and hunting instincts.
I'd try a two pronged approach with her.
Firstly get her brain working a bit more. Rather than just feeding her from a bowl try using a food dispensing toy (like a Kong Wobbler or Nina Ottosson Dog Pyramid) or, even better, scatter her food round the garden for her to find. Beagles are scent hounds so use that to your advantage, try playing scent games with her around the house. You can play these games on walks as well. Think quality not just quantity when it comes to walks, a shorter walk with more interesting things to do is better than a longer walk where there's not much to do other than just walk.
I'd also work on teaching her an off switch so she doesn't have to constantly be doing something. Kikopup has an excellent series of videos on YouTube which are a great place to start.
Great suggestions squiggly and trionic. She loves her Kong stuffed with peanut butter so I'll try the wobbler or another dispensing toy. In general and seems a happy little dog, she isn't aggressive and her little tail is always wagging so maybe it is boredom. She gets most of her play with us in the evening so I've been trying to do more with her during the day too. With regard to her current training we have gone back to basics to reinforce what she does know whilst trying to direct her chewing away from inappropriate object. She seems to love destroying things she isn't allowed to chew though! I'll try an antler Chew and see what she make of that. I need to be able to leave her on her own for half an hour to an hour without her destroying the house. I like the idea of an off switch, I'll check out those videos.
If you have time to play with her, can't you change that to training time?
You first post says that you haven't been able to go near the dogs since 6 weeks pregnant (so about a year, since she was five months) and you haven't given her the time she needs. So I assumed the dog doesn't really get much interaction. So the setup wouldn't be good for the dog.
But you say you play with her, so dog is getting some interaction. If you think training her will help, do it in short bursts where you would usually play. We do all our training in short bursts, a couple of times a day.
I do the Kong stuff with frozen peanut butter, but that only keeps out dpup occupied for about half an hour. I also second antlers.
And yes crate her if she is unsupervised.
Root chews (Anco Roots, Chew Roots, etc.) are a good option for dogs who have a predilection for chewing wood. DWhippet3 was a sod for nibbling the furniture and door frames when he was a puppy, the roots were a huge hit!!
I've never heard of root chews before but the look great! We have bamboo in our garden and she loves chewing any dead shoots she can find. I will definitely look into them.
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