You all were such a big help with my Lab mix puppy's new chewing habits so I thought I'd try again. Now that we have her back in her crate, I need to find something indestructible for her to lay on while she's in there. We tried towels but she rips them to shreds. At night she sleeps on a doggy bed in our bedroom and she's fine so we bought one more for her cage. It lasted all of one day. She absolutely ripped it to shreds, stuffing and all.
I hate to have her sleep on the cold metal of the cage, but I don't know what to give her that she won't rip apart. Any ideas?
Thanks in advance for your help! :-)
Chima0692 from NJ
By Kathy (Guest Post) 12/20/2005 Flag
Let her sleep on the shreds? It's not like it can get any worse and I'm sure they're soft. :-)
Also, does she have chew things in the crate with her? Maybe if you engage her in other ways, she'll be less likely to shred.
Honey...just re-read your post...the pup is chewing the stuff in the cage because she is frustrated at being in there...see she is not chewing the one in the bedroom!!
Don't give her anything to lay on and just hope the
"cage" training is over soon!! I knew a person whose dog slept in the bare cage because he just didn't THINK of putting anything in there and the dog was fine...I set him straight and he put something in there, but the dog was out of the chewing by then anyway. Not even sure why he was in the cage at this point...I am assuming with this post that you are "cage" breaking the pup regarding "potty" and acceptable "house" behavior.
I did this with my Shih Tzu because he was so little, I was afraid he would get under table and chew wires, but love his little heart, he NEVER ever put his mouth on ANYTHING except his little dog toys. He was one good dog and is sadly missed even after 8 years.
By Rachel (Guest Post) 12/20/2005 Flag
I am also going through this same thing with my dog (an 11 1/2 month German Shephard). We have had him since he was 8 weeks and he is crate trained. He sleeps in it at night and we keep him in it during the day while we are at work (he gets a lunch break too).We cannot keep him out of the crate during the day or night because he will chew on everything. He has went through 2 beds and also towels, sheets, blankets, etc. He also rips up the carpet underneath his crate. He has numerous toys and gets more than ample exercise. He just likes to chew. So if anyone can find a solution, please let me know as well. Thanks!
I'd be shredding my matress, too, if it were the only thing available for mental stimulation.
This dog is spending too much time in a crate.
By aardvark (Guest Post) 12/20/2005 Flag
An old Army surplus blanket or old towels, thrift store bedspread/sheets have always been fine. And crate training is a good thing. Do provide safe chewing items.
By Irish (Guest Post) 12/20/2005 Flag
I am a huge proponent of crate training and firmly believe that my dogs need their own private space as do I ; )
Find a rubber toy that you can fill with treats, or as we did, with peanut butter. Freeze it then give to your pup as a nighttime treat. This alleviates anxiety and is a great teething device.
Just remember that crating is no substitute for love. Think of it as a playpen for your child, a place where they can safely play or rest; NOT something to be left in all day.
By Claudia - MD (Guest Post) 12/21/2005 Flag
I think this is just a phase. My rescue dog (He's 5 and I got him a year ago) stays in his crate at night and sometimes just wanders in for a little quiet time. I put in an old bed pillow with a pillowcase on it. If that doesn't prove indestructable, you can make a simple pillowcase with something heavier, like an upholstery remnant, whic tends to be quite durable. I make a simple case with the fabric overlapping in the back- just two seams (or 4 if you want to finish the edges.) The pillow just tucks in, and with the opening face-down, she won't really be able to get through to the pillow. Keep at it- crate training really pays off!
My dog did the same and eats everything along the way. I'd be careful about letting your pup sleep on the shreds if she might eat them. Would she tear apart sheets or a hardy blanket like an army-type one? Maybe stroll through the fabric department at Wal-Mart and see if there is any durable fabric. You could get that fabric and sew it together (no stuffing) and if the stiches are tight enough, maybe she won't get through. I did this with my lab mix and it lasted until she peed on it and it got too gross to wash. Also, can you try spraying the bedding with the no chew spray?
Just don't give up on the baby. Even if she has to sleep in the kennel without padding, maybe it won't be but for a few weeks. Good luck!
Oh, and here's a tip for puppies/dogs that chew and eat things they're not supposed to. If it's glass (or a Christmas ornament) give it a cotton ball or two, a couple more for a big dog, to eat. (Soak it in something that they like the flavor of.) The cotton picks up all the glass shards and gets it out of their system without cutting them up. And if she gets into something bad for her and you need her to vomit it up, give her a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide.
For those that think my dog is spending too much time in her crate, let me just explain that she is only in there for about 3 1/2 hours a day. It's not like we're gone for 9-10 hours. She has toys in her crate (nyla-bones and strong rubber balls) but she tears up her bedding. If she destroyed her dog bed, I'm sure she'd destroy a pillow with a sheet over it. I hadn't thought of an army blanket. I'll try to look for one. Other suggestions are welcome! Thanks!
Try a hard plastic crate...we have a yorkie and a jack russell terrier who are great but when we fall asleep the yorkie will pee or chew on anything...
we can leave him in the car when shopping and he loves it but the bedroorm he is wild he sleeps then
gets into TROUBLE so now they both get to sleep in kennel it is big enough for both and they go in when I start turning out lights and sleep well...we are home all day with them so they get attention and some time outdoors but they prefer to be inside
on hubbys lap or playing...
Oh the chewing stage is usually up to 2 years when
they are puppies....
By JenniferWA (Guest Post) 02/16/2006 Flag
Try taking the pup on a serious walk BEFORE you leave it in the crate. When they are exercised, they sleep for hours! I have a golden retriever. 9 months, also crate trained. Goldens and labs are notorious chewers and quite energetic So they need a lot of exercise. (The backyard is not enough!) We call it her "house" and there is nothing wrong with keeping them safe there while they can't be supervised. As long as it is never used for punishment, they have no negative feelings for their house and even go there voluntarily for some quiet time.
Also, try a rubber mat, like the kind you would put in the back of an SUV bed or car mat, not squishy like a yoga one.
By Living in the Woods (Guest Post) 02/20/2006 Flag
I have the same problem with my lab retriever. He is almost 6 years old and has done this his entire life. He has many chew toys and the door to the crate is never, ever closed. He may come and go at will, but he still chooses to chew up his bedding. His body provides resistance, so it is fun. He is walked about 3 miles at least 3 times a week. He plays Frisbee on most of the days that I don't walk him. I am home with him almost all of the time. The issue is not lack of attention or lack of toys.
We have used very heavy tarps from Home Depot which we wrap around his bedding. While they last longer than anything else, he still destroys them. We are looking into trying an outdoor lawn cushion in his crate. No fabric and easy to clean. We have hard wood floors, and he shows signs of discomfort upon rising, so he needs a soft place to rest.
By the way, he is well trained in obedience as well. Directing anger toward the owner is not the solution. Some dogs are more powerful chewers than others and some are more high-strung than others. Ours came to us with a high-strung personality. With patient loving training he has come a long way from the puppy who ripped every screen off of our house.
By NIKKI (Guest Post) 08/29/2006 Flag
I have lab puppies also and they are extremely well taken care of, exhausted each day with tons of exercises and for some reason we seem to be buying new beds every month because they think it is tons of fun to pull the stuffing out. Its like kids coloring on the walls! I have read about the cots that you can buy that are a type of vinyl material and no stuffing at all. I am planning to order the cot from www.solutions.com and hopefully they will prove effective. Just thought I'd give you an idea if you are still looking for effective ways.
By Heather (Guest Post) 11/08/2006 Flag
I have a toy Poodle and he is 2 yrs old. I have had him since he was a baby and we are still having chewing problems. He is only about 6 lbs but you would think he was a monster! We have him in a crate during the day when we are at work and he is out the rest of the time. Recently we had our downstairs tiled so we decided to try and leave him out of his crate thinking if he had an accident it wouldn't be a big deal plus he has puppy pads he uses, sometimes. He has managed to chew up every verticle blind on the sliding glass door, the door mat leading to the garage and a corner of carpet on one of the stairs. Mind you we just had this house built in May. He has chewed up a number of beds, blankets, towels and shirts since he obviously lost his privledge of staying out of his crate while we were at work but he hates it so much! I feel horrible leaving him in there, he cries and gets so anxious but I don't know what else to do. I am not getting that this is a norm for Poodles? Any ideas or suggestions? I don't want to leave him in a cold plastic crate but I can't buy him a new bed for every day of the week either. Toys are plentiful as are treats... He is the sweetiest and most loving dog ever but his anxiety issues are just killing me.
By kat (Guest Post) 08/02/2007 Flag
I take my hat off to everyone on this post who crate trains his/her dogs. I had a Great Dane Lab mix puppy many years ago and she was crate trained and did very well. I made the mistake of thinking that when she was 2.5 years old she was ready to use the front bedroom and my Stearns and Foster Queen sized couch as her new "den/house". That worked for about a week ... and then one day at midday everything was fine ... and when I got home from work she had torn up all six of the cushions on the couch. Now, in the USA we have about 9 Million families a year that take their dogs to the pound where they are put down for such infractions. But anyone who has bred a litter of puppies knows the female shreds whatever you give her to make a nest for the pups - so some of this distruction is instinctive - I am not saying it all is - just some. Teddy went back to a more confind environment during the day ... and she and I walked every day but Sunday for more than 2 hours at least once a day ... I lost 18 pounds simply by being committed to that wonderful dog ... and the Stearns and Foster got "rehabbed". :-)
Canvas beds can be very durable and the ones with the PVC pipe may have a sufficiently unique shape and off the floor motif to make the dog love it. Whatever you do ... check the crate everyday to make sure the dog is not ingesting any cloth or any string like plastic material. If this gets stuck in the GI tract the dog could die ... and those long stringy plastic fabrics appear to be very nasty in the GI tract. A wonderful 5 year old Canaan Dog from GB was being shown in the US and was terrific ... but the last show weekend before he was to go home ... he chewed his towel in his show crate and it got caught in his GI tract ... he'd never done this before in his life. He died because the section of intestine where the towel piece got trapped essentially died and had to be removed but such an operation often ends in the dog dying anyway ... and this dog did die. The point is that even a dog that you think is totally reliable is not ... it is only a dog ... and lives in the moment ... and does not have a clue what a "consequence" is. Think of all the human beings you know that understand consequences attach to our actions ... and still do stupid things!
Bless you ... bless your dogs.
By Molly the destoyer (Guest Post) 09/27/2007 Flag
"I'd be shredding my mattress, too, if it were the only thing available for mental stimulation. This dog is spending too much time in a crate."
What about dogs who only spend about an hour in their kennel/crate at a time? My four year old female, who only has to stay in her kennel for an hour at a time during agility training my other dog, and ANYTHING she can get her teeth onto, she WILL destroy and shred to pieces.
I have a kong toy with peanut butter inside and several chew sticks for her in the kennel, but the kong toy only distacts her for at most two minutes, then the peanut butter is gone.
Any suggestions for me?
By K (Guest Post) 11/27/2007 Flag
I am going through the same thing with my one year old hound/lab mix. We live on 4 1/2 acres of which he is free to run around at least half the day if not longer. When we are not home we leave him and our other two dogs in a kennel run which is 9 x 24 feet along with numerous chew toys. We have a dog house in the kennel run, and he has since shredded the comforter style blanket, followed by a sleeping bag, followed by heavy duty moving blankets which we left for bedding in the dog house. I assure you he has plenty of exercise and entertainment. I came to this website looking for a solution similar to yours, and while it was refreshing to know others had the same problem, I was disappointed at the many criticisms. Certainly just because a dog gets lots of exercise and entertainment does not mean the problem will be solved.
By Karen (Guest Post) 12/05/2007 Flag
I, too, have a rescue lab who thinks she needs to chew everything. I have purchased Tuffies stuffed toys which are rated for toughness. She has chewed through the number ten! I also purchased a virtually chew-proof bed cover. She chewed through that on the first day. I read somewhere that this behavior is anxiety and not anger. I have yet to figure out how to address this. She gets plenty of exercise and love. I will keep trying.
By Kayla (Guest Post) 12/09/2007 Flag
I am having a similar problem with my beagle/pug mix. He is 6 months old and DEFINITELY teething. We've been finding his baby teeth all over. We crate him because of his chewing habits and because he seems to find clothing to eat, no matter how clean our place is. We try to rotate his availability to his 4 or 5 favorite toys ,so that they are always stimulating. He goes for hour long walks almost every day and if we're home, he's allowed to run around the house. He has completely destroyed 3 beds already, including one that was "indestructible".
He figured out how to unzip the cover (I checked it, there were no holes chewed) and shredded (but thank god didn't eat) all of the egg crate foam inside it. I took out the foam and let him sleep on the cover and he ripped off the zipper. He loves fuzzy squeak toys so we bought him a gigantic one for him to chew on and its big enough for him to snuggle up on it like a bed. We also found a fleece throw blanket that is at the bottom of his crate to keep him warm. This has lasted the longest out of all the options we've tried.
Sometimes they just want to chew, all you can do is give them good stuff to chew on.
By Denise (Guest Post) 01/08/2008 Flag
I just had to comment when I read the remark that this dog was spending too much time in her crate. Our dog has a crate at home, and free roam of the house at all times. We only close her crate door on the rarest of occasions, probably once a month, and when we do we're home usually having a meeting. And even with all this freedom, lots of toys, love, exercise and company, our dog will inevitably always chew up her bedding. So before people post mean remarks that suggest the owners are doing something wrong, they should be a little more kind!
By Billy (Guest Post) 02/12/2008 Flag
I have used several different dog beds in the market, including some EXPENSIVE ones but Primo Pads is the only one that has held up to my dog's jaws. Plus, they guarantee that if your dog chews it up, they will replace it for free. Here is their website: http://primopads.com/
By Kara (Guest Post) 03/11/2008 Flag
My dogs are in agility and exercised and messed with a lot and they still destroy their crate pads or beds. One is a Sheltie who is not that destructive of a dog, but if you put ANYTHING with a zipper in his crate, he will have it destroyed within 30 min. The other dog is a Border Collie and is extremely rough on everything. So I have been going crazy trying to find crate pads and beds. If you don't let them sleep on pads at night, whenever they shift their position at night (my BC tends to be a toss and turner when she is asleep at night) you hear this AWFUL scratching and scraping noise from the plastic (of course I live in a loft where every tiny noise carries). I will probably be trying these beds out. Yes, they are expensive but they look like they will work.
By (Guest Post) 12/12/2008 Flag
I had the same problem with my lab but have found a solution! I bought a plastic basket which I then filled with straw - you can buy this from your local pet store. It keeps her warm and cosy and because she can't rip it to pieces it doesn't hold the same attraction that cloth or stuffed item do. It also has the added bonus of making her smell nice and fresh! Before this I tried everything and had resorted to not allowing her access to her bed unsupervised.
By (Guest Post) 01/07/2009 Flag
All these dogs that chew, or tear up their bedding, and other things are probably going through a classic case of "separation anxiety". It's a panic mode that dogs go through, out of fear of their owners not returning. I have an 11 year old chow mix, and have had her since 8 weeks. I crate trained her ASAP when she was still a puppy. I'm single, and she sleeps in the crate only when I'm not at home. When I'm there she's fine.
She still tears up her bedding sometimes though. I usually find old carpeting that people are throwing out, and put down a couple of pieces in the crate. Separation anxiety for the most part gets better the more you leave the dog alone. The dog will tend to be more anxious after long periods of having its owner around, ie: a long vacation. There are simple steps an owner can take to help a dog with it's separation anxiety problem, but its usually a long process. The owner needs to crate the dog, and gradually extend the time which its left alone.
Putting chew toys (Kongs), stuffed with peanut butter, or a treat is a good idea, as well as leaving something with your scent, like an article of clothing (something that you wont mind if it tears up of course). There are quite a few web sites to lead you through the steps to help your dog with "separation anxiety", and if you're not having success, and are affluent, there are trainers that deal with dog behaviorism.
By Maryanne (Guest Post) 01/21/2009 Flag
Has anyone else tried "primopads" posted by billy on 2/12/08 or "cushionguy's titan bed posted by Kara on 3/11/08? I have a 9 month old foxhound/catahoula leopard dog mix and he lives to chew things. He has dog bones all over the house and is always chewing them, I don't know how his jaws don't get tired. He is also crate trained and he often goes in the voluntarily.
We have yet to find a toy he can't rip apart and most things won't even last an hour. He has many bones in his crate with him and would have stuffed toys too if we could keep them alive and in on piece. We can't even leave kong toys for him to play with.
I think he spits all the plastic out but just in case. I am home all day and he does get exercise but with a home daycare and his chewing habits I can't trust him if I can't keep both eyes on him! He even chewed apart the bottom of his crate so we had a steal tray made. It is actually quieter then the plastic but I feel bad for him and just wish I could find something soft for him to sleep on. I have already tried fleece blankets, rug remnants, bath mats, towels and regular dog beds!
In the UK you can buy stop-chew beds, which have a 6 month guarantee.
www.orvis.com Amazing customer service, product is guaranteed, and they have a Toughchew product that is extremely durable and the zipper is heavy duty. The zipper is covered and doesn't have a pull so they can't swallow it. My dogs did get to the zipper but they weren't able to rip it out or ruin it. However, Orvis sent me new ones when i sent them an email explaining they ripped out the stuffing- no questions asked and I didn't have to send the beds back. With the second beds I secured the covered flap over the zipper with a 6 "stitches" down the side that can easily be pulled out with a seem ripper when you want to wash the cover. I then put the bitter orange no chew liquid along the seams and zipper to discourage biting. So far so good! I've tried everything else mentioned above with my two Bernese Mountain dogs and nothing has worked. The only solution is a bed with minimal seams (a round bed), no zipper (or a zipper on the bottom of the bed), and a tough material. But then you cant wash the cover and a round bed doesn't fit in a kennel. I am very interested in the straw idea though- what a cheap and easy solution!
I found something called a Kuranda dog bed. It is like a cot with chew proof legs. I believe it comes with a chew proof guarantee and is supposed to eliminate elbow callouses too. It seems like it would work very well but it is expensive.