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
Chewing and similar destructive behavior may also be a sign of boredom. If you come home to a house with trash, plants, clothes, or shoes all chewed on, then this is a very likely sign your dog just has nothing better to do. Making sure your dog gets plenty of exercise when you are home and enough toys for when you aren't is most often the solution.
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.
Have you considered crate training her? My dogs are in their crates when I cannot give them my full supervision. (02/01/2008)
Try a large Kong toy; fill it almost full with food and top it off with peanut butter. Take this toy and put it in the freezer overnight. Give it to your puppy when you go to work. These toys hold up pretty well. (02/02/2008)
Crate training is a must if you cannot supervise a chewer. Leaving a dog alone that is destructive can lead to a potential fatality, ie. ingestion of toxic materials, choking, etc.
It is also possible that your dog suffers from anxiety which leads back to the crate training.
Used properly this can be very comforting to any type of dog when left alone. Leave plenty of nylabones for the little one to gnaw on when you are away and maybe think about a pet sitter to pop in and play with your pooch for 30 minutes to an hour. (02/02/2008)
It's time to start training your dog. There are good books out there by Cesar Millan (Be a Pack Leader) and an excellent website by Ed Frawley, a very experienced trainer of German Shepherds leerburg.com. His site contains much information and his training DVDs are great, well worth the money.
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)
When your pup is chewing on something it's not suppose to, please tell her/him no and give it something that belongs to it that he/she may chew. My little Pit Bull mix chewed and this is how he was trained. (crate trained also) He chews his own toys especially those that squeak. I buy him safe stuffed toys at Goodwill and he loves them. Please be patient and loving with her. Also if an older dog that understands not to chew starts again, try a little salt in their food once in awhile. They could be craving salt. A vet told me this years ago. Good luck.
Rub the juice from lemons on whatever he/she is chewing up. Worked for me. Good luck. (02/04/2008)
Your dog needs exercise. A large yard is not enough. He needs at least 40 minutes of a long and very brisk power walk or jog daily. Ideally in the morning.
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.
My neighbor has a Blue Pit and after reading, on this site, about the music for pets thing, I sent her the link. She ordered it and it works great. The dog stopped all chewing and is much calmer.
Angela from SC gave this information so I am passing it along again.
It's called "Mood Music for Dogs" (And Dog Lovers) "Gone for a Walk". cherylchristine.com (03/02/2008)
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