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Need help with dog chewing objects

  1. #1

    Need help with dog chewing objects

    I adopted a dog 2 weeks ago, Labrador Retriever, 2 years old. When he is alone for extended times (all 3 people in home are asleep or at work), he will chew up a lot of things. His favorites are shoes and his own mattress, but he's also gotten to socks, cardboard boxes, and empty water bottles. Punishing him for these actions has not helped at all, and it's the only commands/punishments he has not learned from. He only does it while we are away for a while, so we cannot catch him in the act. We gave him some large bones with a meaty substance inside for him to chew on and although he mostly leaves it alone while we're around, he will ensure it is entirely eaten while we're gone. They are supposed to last much longer than that and it's messing up his diet, both the amount he eats in a day and the color of his feces.



    I got Grannick's Bitter Apple deterrent spray and sprayed everything he may chew, and he hates the spray and avoids it a lot. However, he hasn't associated objects with the spray. Some objects that held the spray better, such as socks, he will leave in their place, while others he will move but then leave alone since they taste bad. As soon as the spray wears off, especially on shoes since we wear them outside, he will chew on them the next time he's left alone. He's not learning, but I do not want to put him in a kennel. I'm very close to my dogs and I do not like the idea of caging them up. How can I get him to learn?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    5,909
    Classic signs of separation anxiety, not at all uncommon in rescue and shelter dogs, he is stressed, he feels abandoned when you are out so his anxiety makes him chew. You need to crate him when you are not home. Punishing him will do no good. He doesn't know why he is being punished even if you catch him in the act. Get him a large antler to chew on in his crate, that will keep him occupied until you return. If he does it at night while you are sleeping, again put him in the crate. Some dogs actually like the crate, its their own little room where they can feel safe.

    Another thing you can try is to leave for say five minutes, come home and see what he is doing, He fears when you leave that you may never return causing stress and making him chew things. If you try the five minute thing and lengthen the time by five minutes each time and he sees you are coming back that may help. Until you can fully trust him not to chew he needs to be crated.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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