My lab mix puppy just turned a year old and has been out of her crate without any issues for the past 4 months. Beginning yesterday, she has been knocking everything and anything off of my kitchen counters and tearing them to shreds while I'm gone. She's used to being alone for several hours a day so that's not the issue. I don't know what started this, but I hate to drag out her crate again when she used to be soooo good!
She's tearing apart newspapers, my cookbook, tissues and tissue boxes, pens, pencils, you name it. It's not food she's after because that's all put away. Here's a pic of what I came home to today after being gone an hour and a half.
Any help or suggestions you may have are appreciated!
Chima0692 from NJ
Sounds like discipline is in order. Either tie her up or crate her each time you leave the house...or put her outside in a kennel run while you are gone.
Our cocker gets tied up each time we leave. She is 14 years old now and knows that her chain goes on for night and each time we go away, even if it's only for an hour. She curls up in her basket as we leave and waits for us to come home. We leave water and food beside her. We started to do this when she decided that she couldn't wait until we came home and would poop in the house. Now, no accidents ever and also no items pulled apart (she loves stuff in garbage cans). Much simpilier for all of us. Try this. It won't harm her to be tied up for a little while.
By Eileen (Guest Post) 12/05/2005
This is caused by either anxiety or boredom. Since she's used to being in a crate, I would crate her when you're gone. Put her favorite toy in there with her, or a treat. This is what I do for my dogs: I bought marrow bones at the grocery and cooked them. They ate them outside cleaning off all the meat and marrow. Now, I put Cool Whip in them and freeze. When my dogs see me putting on my lipstick, they get all excited and go to the freezer. They each get a frozen "cream"-filled bone and the "problem" dog goes into her crate. They love for me to leave now! ;-)
By Louise (Guest Post) 12/05/2005
You have a PUPPY hon,they dearly love to hear paper shred and anything else they can tear up...Labs are real active dogs,I've had about a dozen and yes they did tear paper.loved the toilet paper roll also.we solved our problem by putting dog toys all over the house..squeekers ,old socks,a tennis shoe,a real beef bone etc.anything that would keep their minds off of paper!!a good scolding works wonders because they hate to be told they're a bad dog.we wouldn't chain a dog up because they don't know that what they've done is wrong.we had to tap our puppies with a rolled up newspaper to get the idea across to them that paper fights back.leave a tv going so it won't be so lonesone for them.hope the tips works for you.they did for us.
By Barbie (Guest Post) 12/05/2005
The only way to train is to catch and or divert the bad behavior.....a kennel is not a bad thing indoors or out....it gives them security and freedom...and gives you peace of mind....usually when a non chewer starts chewing it is boredom......or anxiety.....give her toys and bones to chew when you are gone....start by putting them in her kennel with her locked in and then gradually for short periods let her out while you are gone with access to her kennel and her toys and treats.........hope this helps......
By mary wallace (Guest Post) 12/06/2005
oh, that is so funny. i can relate to your problem but mine is not that bad. i have a golden retriever that waits till we go to sleep at night to do her damage. i have just been waiting to see the christmas tree on the floor. i even avoided putting on christmas balls for the fear that she would eat them. so far, nothing but christmas is not over, either. ha ha
it seems like some of the readers here have good advice to crate your little puppy....just hang in there and things shall get much better. it is , so worth it...good luck.
By Claudia-MD (Guest Post) 12/06/2005
My, my, she did create quite a mess! My 5-year old rescue dog does the same thing with the newspapers I leave on the kitchen floor when I leave. Sometimes, I think he's taken up origami to cure his boredom! Seriously, I do think this is an issue of boredom in a very active puppy. Hopefully she will grow out of this. Wouldn't hurt to have lots of toys around for her to play with. Also crate training is the best. It's not a form of punishment, as some folks think. My dog goes into his crate 'den' when he wants to get away from it all.
By Vic (Guest Post) 12/06/2005
Definitely don't chain the dog. That's just cruel. It's also the easy way out instead of curing the problem & training the dog. Chaining an already bored dog could lead to mental problems. That's like taking an active human & locking them in a closet. Talk about going nuts. I agree with the other comments though. The dog is very young & active. Being left alone in a house is BORING. She will grow out of it. I went through it with 2 of my dogs. I lost a lot of stuff but I can barely remember what now. If you leave toys around make sure none are small enough for her to swallow. Also rawhide can be fatal if they swallow to big of a chunk because they choke on it and it swells in the bodies. I don't even give them to my dogs any more. Also play with her as much as you can when you're there. I even play ball in the house with my youngest. Look for way to stimulate her brain too. If you do a search on-line you'll get good ideas.
Wal-mart did sell a hard rubber hollow dog toy, I think it's in shape of a fire hydrant that you put dog treats inside, something not too small so that the treat doesn't fall out. The idea behind this is the dog will be occupied trying to get the treat out. This might keep your pooch busy. My son had one for his Rottweiler and it kept him out of trouble. He only gave it to him only when they were going out. I think your dog will grow out of this problem. Another idea is to play with her or walk her if you are going to be out for a long period of time. At times, my son used a laser pointer -- it shines a red dot wherever it is pointed, and he would play with his dog with this. The dog would chase it and get tired. A combination of ideas may solve your problem until she settles down. You have to keep in mind, that some dogs have more energy to burn that others. We had two dogs, one was very energetic and required more attention while the other was just content hanging out with us.
By Ruth Counter (Guest Post) 12/08/2005
Labs are great dogs but they have a lot of puppy in them, especially the first two years. Congrats on crate training your dog- they are denning animals after all. Never tie up your dog, choking a big risk! Crate her during the day. she will just sleep. Make sure she gets her excerize. Don't leave water in the crate as she will spill it and lie in the wet and you will have skin problems. Get indestructable chew toys- BLACK "Kongs" are good. Red are soft. Put a little cheese in it, microwave kong to melt cheese, it will harden when cool and keep your Lab busy for awhile in the crate. MAKE SURE IT IS COOL BEFORE GIVING TO DOG.eventually, you will be able to trust her during the day- when? Depends on the dog.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I put her back in her crate today each time I left the house and I think we're all happier now. She's not getting in trouble and getting yelled at when we get home and we're happier to see her and more willing to play with her because we're not mad at her. Hopefully she'll outgrow this stage quickly and she can roam the house again while we're out, but until then....