Bull Mastiff Puppy Eats Everything

I have an 8 month old bull mastiff and he is eating everything! I recently bought him a bed for his crate and he destroyed it. I know puppies chew and what not, that's not what concerns me. I am concerned that he will become impacted from eating the stuffing and sticks and what not. When we clean up his poop its nothing but stuffing from toys and his bed. He has destroyed 3 comforters, a sheet, a pillow case, socks, shirts.

We buy him toys for him to chew on but he seems to like to destroy our things. What do I do? It's getting to the point where we want to sell him because he just won't stop no matter how much we try to teach him not to. Crating doesn't work, I would need to crate him 24/7. I need real help here, we love him and don't want to get rid of him.

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Candace from Hamlin, NY

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July 24, 20080 found this helpful

When you are at home have him leashed to you at all times. Get one of those clips and clip it to then end of his leash and then thru your belt loops. When it wouldn't be feasible to do this, crate him. But try this for about 2 wks. If he goes to chewing on something while leashed to you, tell him in a very strong and firm voice,"No, Bad Boy." Then try giving him something else. If he gets to where he stops chewing when you speak to him like that telling him no, then reward him with a small treat. (don't holler at him though) Eventually, he will see that he is rewarded for good behavior and that bad behavior goes unrewarded. It does work. Dogs are very smart. Alot smarter than we realize at times. Good Luck!

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July 24, 20080 found this helpful

Please do not rely on lay people to provide you with the information you need. You are absolutely right that there can be serious health repercussions. In fact, a neighbor's dog was eating carpeting and had to have emergency surgery. Besides making an appointment with your vet to check out that all is well internally, you should also find an excellent dog behaviorist, who can evaluate your puppy and help you set up your home properly.

Behaviorist, Victoria Stillwell, featured on Animal Planet's It's Me or the Dog, often finds that a pet that is getting into trouble is not being walked enough, played with enough, etc.

I know that behaviorist, like Ms. Stillwell, who are well trained, can help you "diagnose" the situation, and redirect the puppies need to chew (and destroy), using kind (and smart) methods.

Because of the potentially life threatening consequences of your puppy's chewing, etc., plus the fact that you are talking about giving him/her away, time is of the essence.

Get referrals from your vet, ASPCA/Humane Society (NYC's ASPCA is on TV many nights a week on Animal Planet--they have behavior specialists), the yellow pages, etc. for someone who is truly trained in dog behavior rehabilitation, etc. I think the problem is quite fixable and can be done with appropriate, loving and completely non-harsh methods.

In addition, read up (library or on line) about your dog's breed (especially because Mastiffs become very large and you need to know how to be the loving "pack leader"), and find out when he/she was separated from his mother and puppy mates. (This may be valuable for the trainer, as separation that is too early can be detrimental to the early development--but it's not unsurmountable!!)

Don't give up on your wonderful puppy. You sound like you love it so much, but are, understandably, at your wits' end. I have seen amazing work done to remediate a problem with a dog, in a very short time--always, of course, without hitting, humiliating, or otherwise mistreating the dog. (These include: clicker training, training with treats, providing appropriate toys, increasing play and walk time (jog time), socialization with other (safe) dogs, etc.

Best wishes to you and your hopefully forever "best friend."

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July 25, 20080 found this helpful

I agree w/Elissa. You must be willing to do the work. You owe it to your dog. It's never the dog's fault, it's the lack of training the people have. I love Victoria Stillwell's show. She's written books too that you can purchase. Her methods WORK, period! She can make a difference in minutes! And it's nothing most people can't do w/her instructions.

I'm glad you're concerned for his health instead of just being concerned about the material things. I lost a lot of stuff, some valuable & some irreplaceable & I can't remember most of it today. Dogs have issues too, they aren't born perfect any more than people are.

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July 25, 20080 found this helpful

I meant to say also that confining a healthy active dog to your body is just going to frustrate him to the max. He needs MORE exercise, brain stimulation, play etc.

He may stop but it won't be out of loving training it will be giving up from depression. No isn't a word you should use in training. You get the dog to do a desired behavior & you quickly reward him w/a treat Little pieces of cool boiled chicken is cheap, healthy & easy. The food is not given when he is not doing the appropriate things. Go on Victoria's site. She's your answer.

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July 26, 20080 found this helpful

I appreciate your feedback, but it is not at all feasible to leash the dog to me. I am a house wife and I have a child. I have never heard of such "training" before either. And not to mention the dog is over half my weight, ten times stronger than me and not to mention extremely hyper.

How would this work if I am trying to do house cleaning (when the noise of the vacuum scares him), taking care of my child, cooking dinner, etc. How is this training feasible for anyone?

How would anyone feel if they gave someone this advice with a small child to care for and they where holding the child and the dog saw something that got him riled and knocked the mother/father and child to the ground? I'm sorry it just does not make sense to me.

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July 27, 20080 found this helpful

A TIRED PUPPY IS A GOOD PUPPY. Is there a park for dogs in your town where he could run and play with other dogs? A daycare for dogs that lets them play as a group? Maybe you need a second puppy, because they constantly play together instead of chew. His chewing is a result of his slowly losing his mind due to no exercise and no fun with other dogs. I have the same problem with my dog, and she has become fat and sleeps constantly. Obviously I did not succeed in meeting her needs, but I have a neighbor now who takes her out. My own heart problems prevent me from walking her.

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July 27, 20080 found this helpful

We watch hours of "The Dog Whisperer" and others who have responded here are right. Your dog needs to be walked regularly. As Caesar will tell you, YOU must be the Alpha in the dog's life. Right now, the dog rules you. He has covered this topic many times. He is patient and firm. And the problem takes time to correct. It didn't happen overnight and it doesn't go away overnight, but with your patience and firmness, he will learn not to exhibit behavior that you do not like. He will want to please you, because you are the alpha. If you can, watch Caesar's show, even once, and you will be heartened. He has changed some WILD behavior. I have never seen Victoria Stillwell, but it sounds like she has the same idea. Excercise is key to helping your dog and making your home happier! Good luck!

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July 28, 20080 found this helpful

Don't have a dog park and don't have the money for doggie day care or another dog (not to mention in our neighborhood we can only have one). There is only so much you can do to exercise a puppy. He is played with all the time and he runs on his lead (it's like 100 feet long) because I cannot walk him because I have to take care of the home, a child, and whatnot. My fiance cannot walk long distances period due to a bad injury. We play catch with him, wrestle with him, give him chew toys, he plays with our daughter and our cat. Nothing is working. As for the alpha thing, he knows that I and my fiance are the alphas because he will listen to some commands and when using a ferm voice he will stop whatever he is doing wrong, but he will go right back to it once our backs are turned, when he knows we are not watching.

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July 28, 20080 found this helpful

Hi Candace,

A Bull Mastiff is a huge dog and with your limitations, not being able to exercise him regularly and your fiance not being able to either, he really might do better in another home. Puppies are puppies, especially big dogs, until they are about 2 years old. I agree that he can be trained out of it but it will take time and a lot of work on both your parts. Because he is eating lots of things that he shouldn't, a lot of things can go wrong. I know it is difficult to give up a pet but you could look for Bull Mastiff Rescue groups who might be able to find him a home that will give him the exercise and training that he needs. Quite often you can keep the dog until they find a good home for him.

Just a thought, I hope you can find a good solution to this problem soon.

Susan

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July 28, 20080 found this helpful

We have has rottweilers in the past, so him being a big dog is not a problem. And we are going to try puppy classes. I don't get rid of them because they are big, I'd only sell him if he doesn't become well behaved. I just want to know what to do to get him to stop chewing. I stated that we exercise him regularly. Just not long walks. He still plays outside and runs outside. We do everything else with exercise but walking.

Candace

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