My Pit Bull puppy is good most of the time, but he likes to destroy things. I try to get him out the habit, but it doesn't work. What do I do?
By Nacole from Seattle, WA
All puppies chew ... it's like a baby teething. I mean NO disrespect, but have you given him something like a rawhide bone? I just recently heard of someone that hadn't done that for their pup and was surprised at their pup's chewing. Just do NOT ever give them something of yours to chew! That signals that what smells like you is okay to gnosh on! Good luck!
The operational word is puppy. It does pass, but put up anything you might be upset about being chewed, such as legs of a nice coffee table.
Get large bone now and then, roast it and then give it to him for 1-2 days. They do get nasty. Rawhide chews helped our lab/b.collie mix.
Your "puppy" is teething. Make sure he/she has some chew toys and gets plenty of exercise.
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I have a 9 month old pit bull mix who is on the verge of being homeless. She chews my metal yard lights, dog blanket, lattice of my garden, wood on the corner of my house, you name it. I buy her toys, but nothing works. There's another dog, they play all the time. I need you to share some experience and wisdom. Thanks for any help.
Jim from Tucson, Az
When you are home, make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. Especially on a day when you know you will be gone for a long time, take your dog on a long walk or jog so it can use up some energy before you leave. (02/01/2008)
Don't put training off a day longer. Buy a crate and put your dog in when you can supervise him and at night to sleep; walk your dog twice daily; and get some help with obedience training. Good luck. (02/02/2008)
Do "not" give the dog something it is OK to chew right after he chews something that isn't. All you're doing then is rewarding bad behavior.
Crate training is shouted all over the place here, but crating should only be an interim tool; not as a multi-year crutch. If you have to keep closing the dog in a cage you haven't trained anyone to do anything. You are caging a problem instead of training. That is not what you want to do.
You do need to give lots of daily, consistent exercise whether or not you want to go for those walks. The behavior changes are usually pretty dramatic and fast. I've done rescue of really bad abuse cases for years. Trust me on this. Exercise is the #1 thing you need to do here.
With Pits, I really like to use one of those big rope bundles to play fetch. If the dog likes that; you can hang one of them securely in your yard and let the dog play by swinging from that in "addition" to your long, brisk morning walks.
Morning walking is key, because it helps tire the dogs so they sleep well while you are at work. The less boredom they go through, the less chewing they seek to do. You still need a good long evening walk after the dog eats his main meal, but the morning walk is essential.
Use the walks to properly socialize your dog as well. Go by the dog parks and places where others walk their dogs. You need to make sure your dog reacts positively to other situations by being calm and well mannered.
Provide as many interactive toys as possible for when you do go out. The Kong toys where you can hide treats inside that the dog has to bat about to get to the food is a great one. Pig ears and other digestible treats are good as well.
Keep your home very well picked up. The less temptation the better. You will lose a few items to teething while you get this under control. It's frustrating, but you're approaching the end of the terrible twos.
Try the bitter apple spray or there are several you can mix yourself posted on the internet if your dog happens to like bitter apple.
While "testing" the dog's control on chewing, don't just go from crate to full run of the house. Keep him out of the big damage rooms, like the living room where you can lose part of a couch. It's a process and takes consistency on your part, but it is very fixable.
Pits and mixes are great family dogs and pretty darned smart. Don't give up.
Good luck. (02/04/2008)
I have a 9 month old Red Nose Pitbull, but he is also mixed with German Shepherd. He is always chewing things up, mainly wood.