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
Your "puppy" is teething. Make sure he/she has some chew toys and gets plenty of exercise.
By PENNY K04/23/2010
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.
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!
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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. I try and put hot sauce, water, and vinegar, and peanut butter on things to get him to stop, but he is loving all of them.
Someone did tell me to try sour apple sauce or to try a muzzle. The person said to put it on him when he chews on something or to put it on him when he is in his kennel when I am gone. I just didn't know if anyone has tried that or if they think that will or will not work?
My mom said if he chews up one more thing he is gone. I adopted him, he was a stray at 3 months and I got him when he was 8 months. I really would appreciate any help someone has to offer.
Leerburg.com is a great site, full of dog training articles, free articles, ebooks, and podcasts. Here is what I found there: leerburg.com
Also it would be wise to put it in a wire crate when you are not around, so it cannot get to the wood. Putting things on the wood is not going to help deter the dog, but redirecting it will. This will take a lot of watching the dog, and giving it toys and treats and such and keeping your eye on it all the time. When you are not home or are not able to watch the pup, then put it in a wire crate. There are videos on leerburg.com about crate training that are free.
Again, don't feel too bad if you have to get another dog, sometimes behavior problems are hard to correct if they are really entrenched in the animal. Blessings.
By Robyn Fed
Also give her one of family's old shoes in cage only. Keep it in cage. Keep all other shoes up out of her reach. I wouldn't give her a piece of wood because of splinters, but rabbits are sometimes given a 4 x 4 piece which has been soaked in salt water to wear down their teeth. So animals need to wear on something. I'll bet she needs harder than normal chew toys to work on, maybe something really hard rubber and smear it with a little meat juice from a hamburger or roast, just to keep her interest until she considers it her toy.
A word of caution on other bones. Bones that show the porous side get chewed quickly and produce very disgusting poop the next day, a lot, that's why the knuckle type is better. Harder for them to get a grip, but keeps them entertained.
You might Google and see if there's a teething gel for dogs, but the more she chews on something, the sooner her teeth will break through. She's trying to make that happen.
It's not a choice between one puppy and another, for the most part, it's a choice between puppy or no puppy. The only way to have a dog who doesn't chew is get one already grown, but then you miss the puppy part of their life. Pups teeth just like kids, only their teeth are much more impressive. (12/17/2009)
I was against kenneling them, but after I got over it, our relationship got better. I have learned that my oldest is better at staying out when I'm not home and the youngest must be kenneled, but this is something that you have to learn about your pup.
Try giving him a plastic bottle after your done drinking it, try putting a few treats in the bottle to keep them entertained. I hope that you and your mom can overcome this, and learn to love your pup. (12/17/2009)
Please check out Ceaser Milan and how to train yourself to be with your pup. All of you will be happier, you, the pup, and Mom. Good luck. (12/20/2009)
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