So utterly fucking sick to death of this dog chewing stuff up.

(27 Posts)
MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 20-Oct-16 10:44:36

He's been up at my kitchen worktop again and eaten the wrap that I made up this morning to have for lunch later. It was right at the back of the worktop in a lunch box. I fucking give up.

Every time I go out I come home to find something chewed up. Newspapers, a book, anything he can get to. Stuff you just have lying about, nothing valuable.

I can't keep shutting him in a crate every single time I have to leave the house. It's a massive bloody crate, he's a big Labrador, and it takes up half of the end of my kitchen. If I shut him in the utility he chews the doors and cupboards and I've got my fridge and freezer in there.

I leave the tv on, he has special toys that only come out when I'm not there, yet he has to find things that belong to us and destroy them. Yesterday it was nearly dds brand new slippers, thank god I arrived home in time and he'd just worried at them.

Am just so sick of coming home to another bloody mess and him having my fucking lunch away is the last straw.

Has anyone got any tips? Please don't state the bloody obvious and tell me to put stuff away, I can't put the entire contents of my house into a cupboard.

GinAndOnIt Thu 20-Oct-16 10:50:50

How old is he?

GinAndOnIt Thu 20-Oct-16 10:51:51

And is it only when he's on his own? Or does he try it when you're home but you're able to stop him?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 20-Oct-16 11:01:53

He's 20 months and yes it's only when he's left. Never, ever seen him attempt to touch anything of ours when we're here. It's separation anxiety but I just don't know what else to do short of shutting him in the crate every time I go anywhere. Even just for ten minutes to pick the kids up from school. I was really hoping to get rid of the crate by now. It's too bloody big and I'm sick of not being able to use my kitchen table because the crate is in the way.

Never had this with my old spaniel. He never chewed anything.

MaitlandGirl Thu 20-Oct-16 11:14:48

Labradors are well known for this - a friends lab completely ate her kitchen (cupboards, kickboards, doors and half the work bench) in just under 4 hours when he was 2 years old!!

The crate really is the way to go, but I fully get why you don't want to keep it up all the time so you're going to have to get creative. I know a lot of people have success with metal oven tins balanced on the work surface so when the dog jumps up to counter surf the tray crashes down. Labs are fairly bright (but very good orientated) so hopefully it won't take long for him to understand counter surfing = scary noise, although he may learn that after the tins are in the floor there's nothing to stop him from trying again.

We've got a dog that chews, and climbs - nothing is safe, towels/his bedding/clothes on the airier inside, he will get it and chew it up. I caught him climbing up the inside of the clothes aired the other day so he could get to a sock that was on the top! Luckily he's a toy breed so didn't bring the airer down on top of him!

Rumtopf Thu 20-Oct-16 11:20:05

Do you wear him out before leaving him for any length of time? Not just a walk but mentally too so training, or toys he has to figure out to get a treat? He's still a puppy really so I think you'll have to persevere with the crate if you want him not to chew.

Leopard12 Thu 20-Oct-16 11:39:42

How long are you walking him I find mine only chews when he's bored, if he gets lots of exercise he sleeps instead most of the time. kongs are good because you can put food in it, peanut butter is great because it won't fall out and they spend ages trying to reach all areas with their tounge.

takesnoprisoners Thu 20-Oct-16 11:45:32

How much exercise does he get? And how many times is he walked? How much time do you spend with him, one on one, playing or interacting?

Wonderflonium Thu 20-Oct-16 12:02:40

I have a chewy dog too. Have you tried stuffing toys with treats, (we use a Kong), before you go? That way the dog is occupied with getting the treats out/being mouthy and it also reduces the SA because the dog associates humans leaving with getting a wonderful snack.

SausageDogGeorge Thu 20-Oct-16 12:05:06

My labrador is exactly the same - NOTHING can be left out at all - he has lots of toys etc just as you've said yours does but he only wants things that are not his (and usually MINE not anyone else stuff). He is only 7 months old and I keep thinking he'll grow out of it so it depresses me to hear that yours is still doing this at 20 months! sad

I have no idea what to suggest - just want you to know you're not alone in being absolutely sick of it. flowers

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 20-Oct-16 12:07:33

Thanks for all your replies. It's separation anxiety. It doesn't make any difference what I do with him when I'm here, once I'm gone he panics.

Liking the sound of the metal trays. I've already removed anything lower than the worktops so it's just that area at the moment.

Maitland oh my god. I dread to think what I'd do in your situation.

WatcherOfTheNight Thu 20-Oct-16 12:18:00

Great suggestions already mentioned,just wanted to add that the stronger kongs stuffed with a mix & frozen last ages,hopefully could keep him busy until you get home?
If he's a chewer does he have strong chew toys? My lab has a few large antlers,they have helped.

TrionicLettuce Thu 20-Oct-16 12:43:28

I really wouldn't use any methods designed to shock or frighten him into not chewing, particularly if he's doing it because he's anxious. It's not going to reduce his worry about being alone if scary things happen when you're not there.

You need to work on the cause of the problem, not just the chewing itself. If you don't fix the anxiety over being alone then he'll just display it in other ways like barking/howling constantly or similar.

Separation anxiety can be notoriously difficult to sort out, I'd recommend getting in touch with a decent behaviourist through either the APBC or the CAPBT to get some help.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 20-Oct-16 12:55:29

Thanks Trionic I'll give them a call.

GinAndOnIt Thu 20-Oct-16 13:11:28

I find 2 years is the magic age for labs to snap out of it a bit. I would continue with the crate until this age if you possibly can.

Our labs aren't left alone very often as they've gone off to work on the farm if there's not going to be someone home, but our current lab cross is being left alone a bit more now. He's very lab-like although I appreciate he is a cross so this technique may not work.

When I leave, I say in the same tone and with the exact words everything 'you're staying here'. He's now started stopping getting excited as I put my shoes on, and sits down or wanders off. I give him a big cuddle and then say 'you're staying here' once more and off I go. He's happy to be left now for about 4 hours. He doesn't chew inside at all now, but will carry a shoe, sock or slipper and sit with it until someone's home. I then make a big fuss when I get home.

Are you leaving him consistently, or is it sometimes ten minutes for a week, and then a random day of a few hours? This may be stressing him out. Try and build a routine of what happens before you go out for a while, so he knows what's going to happen, and can start to grasp how long you'll be gone for.

kilmuir Thu 20-Oct-16 13:14:36

Put him in crate , leave him for a few mins and come back. Try not to make a big fuss.
Increase the time

MrsPMT Thu 20-Oct-16 13:16:42

My dog is about 18months and I just assume I can't leave anything, she goes in crate when I'm out. As long as she gets enough attention/exercise the rest of the time I don't see it as a problem.

If she can reach it, she will eat it/chew it.

MaitlandGirl Thu 20-Oct-16 13:30:03

Ah - didn't see the SA but until after I've posted. Def don't try the trays as it'll upset him even more. SA needs different handling so best bet is to speak to a good, experienced trainer about it.

We manage with the little sod (and he is little, 9in to the shoulder and weighs in at less than 6.5lvs) by making sure everything is put away and bedroom doors are closed. He's only allowed in our room on a lead when he first gets up (very early riser) otherwise he's straight into everything. We've got an ensuite so he'll happily pull the towels down and rip bits off them or climb into the laundry basket and rip up the dirty washing. I haven't worked out how to stop him chewing fabric so we stop him having any access to anything we care about. I don't much care if he rips his blankets/towels in his crate but I'm not having him rip up anything that's not his.

BabyGanoush Thu 20-Oct-16 13:34:44

How long do you leave him for?

How much exercise does he get before being left?

A friend of mine has a dog who does this, but he gets left for 6-8 hours and only gets his walk in the evening (not saying this is what you are doing!)

lk26 Thu 20-Oct-16 13:38:55

I knew it was going to be a Labrador as I was reading through your post. I don't crate mine now as over a year old and can be left in the utility usually without causing any damage.
He is still quite high needs when we are about and always wanting to be as close as possible. Not always easy with a 35 kg black lab.
Could you leave a radio on ?
As for indestructible toys the only thing I have found that he can't destroy is a buffalo horn. He loves it.
Good luck and they do stop eventually.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 20-Oct-16 14:46:30

He can be left from ten minutes up to four hours. The damage is not consistent with the amount of time he's left. It's usually one item, shredded, in the hallway, like he's just sat and worried after we've gone. I was out for two minutes the other day, I came straight back because I'd forgotten my work pass. There was a shredded leaflet all over the hall floor.

He gets one long walk a day, usually in the morning. I have a part time job two minutes down the road which is only a couple of hours occasionally. He's only left for a few hours perhaps once a week or so.

He has a buffalo horn. He's been through several antlers, they don't last long.

Perhaps I need to go back to basics with the kong and treat ball and crate.

SometimesPeopleAreDicks Thu 20-Oct-16 17:21:26

I sympathise OP we have a boxador who chews things unfortunately this isn't just limited to when he's home alone, we've come to the conclusion he just really likes chewing things.

winwhizzer Thu 20-Oct-16 17:30:28

He is still very young to expect him not to chew. Dogs need to chew, for several reasons, it is a stress reliever (hence why he does it when you go out), it helps with development of muscles, and also teeth development. So he will chew - you will not stop him chewing BUT you can encourage him to chew the correct items.

If you are going out for just 10 minutes then do crate him with a safe chew or as you say a Kong. Fill a kong with his tea (frozen) will be harder for him to remove and feed him like this when you leave him.

You have managed with crate for 8 months so prepare yourself for a few more months. Over time you will be able to leave him with a kong and not need to crate him but this will take time.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 20-Oct-16 23:56:05

Eighteen months. Eighteen months I have had that crate in my kitchen. Was so looking forward to getting rid of it. Never needed one with my spaniel, he was good as gold.

Wolfiefan Thu 20-Oct-16 23:59:09

Maybe two shorter walks rather than just one long one? I would focus on the SA rather than the chewing. Found out tonight that labs are one of the most likely breeds to suffer from this. Had no idea!

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