I have a 2 year old pink nose Pit. He is your best friend until he is alone. He will chew any thing that's in his reach. I'm tired of yelling and putting him in his kennel. He has a best friend he plays with so it's not that he's bored or any thing. He also likes going under my bed. Please help.
By Brian Galloway from Orting, WA
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Your little friend is not just being a brat. He's suffering from a common syndrome known as Separation Anxiety. He is not trying to upset you, he is just trying to find some compulsive way to calm his anxiety. You will have to work consistently for weeks to break him. Stay calm yourself, as he will pick up on your anxiety or frustration. Begin by calmly getting your keys, briefcase or whatever you normally leave with, telling him one time "I'll be back," and then calmly leave. Do not stay gone more than 1 minute. Come back in and do not over-greet him. Expect him to behave normal. In about an hour, repeat. After 2 days, stay gone 5 minutes, 2 days later, 15 minutes, 2 days later 20 minutes, you get the idea. He can be taught that you will come home, but you must remember he is a dog and his memory isn't as good as yours. :)
Ditto on blackbeararts suggestion... and I would add...
Every dog is capable of behaving.
To have the dog be less of a 'hassle' for you, you need to put the time in when you first get the dog to teach him good from bad and teach him manners.
It may not be separation anxiety, per say, but it could simply be that he IS bored and he is not able to burn off his nervous energy. Terriers, especially Pit Bulls, are known for their high energy. A playmate and/or a big back yard are no substitute for exercise (physical/mental). I suggest adding the next few suggestions to your daily routine along with blackbeararts's suggestion.
EXERCISE then DISCIPLINE and then and only then AFFECTION. We need to remember one very simple truth: Dogs are not humans. Now matter how much we want them to be they do not see the world and express themselves in the same way that we do. Not understanding how a dog thinks is detrimental to the dog.
*Note, it is counter productive to pet or caress your dog when it is nervous. That only reinforces the behavior. Dogs, unlike humans, don't need to be coddled when they're upset, they want and need to be able to look to a leader that they trust to make the decisions and to take care of them. It is calming to a dog that is not alpha dominant to be directed in some way, THAT is what calms a dog down. If there is a time when the dog is starting to get nervous, try distracting her w/ commands. A good distraction is to command the dog to sit or lay down.
To help build your bond and at the same time exercise your dog, I would suggest that you walk with the dog a minimum of 5 days a week. The 'walk' is very therapeutic for dogs mentally and it will also help build your bond with him. The catch is that the walk is only useful if it is done correctly. The dog cannot be pulling or distracted. He needs to be focused on you and moving forward. This will take time, patience and determination, but is vital to having a happy dog.
*Note, there is a misconception that a big backyard is as good as a walk. This is so very untrue. The dog sees a backyard, no matter how big it is as a big cage (Unless we're talking 'on the farm'). Yes, they can play and have fun, but NO it is not a substitute for walking with your dog. The walk is about more than just exercise.
Make sure he has plenty of safe, chewable things (I buy rawhide from Sam's Club - all natural, no flavoring and long lasting). If she has one bone, she should have another, b/c dogs do get bored w/ one thing and will happily start another bone).
Lastly, I would defiantly invest in a large kennel (wire or plastic). For now, until he's calmed down when you're gone, he NEEDS to be kept in a place where he cannot chew anything he's not supposed to. Crate training would be very helpful and then gradually let him out (using blackbeararts's suggestion). Then try for longer periods of time to keep him not in kennel and see how he does.
If you dedicate yourself crate training him, and to walking him properly every day and taking him to the dog park to run and play, then he'll be much less nervous at home when you're gone and probably will sleep the whole time!
Good luck and I recommend to watch the Dog Whisperer on The National Geographic Channel!
EXERCISE - DISCIPLINE - AFFECTION (in that order!)
**Kudos to all of the ppl out there that have a shelter pet!!
(If you need some suggestions on how to crate train or any obedience training, feel free to message me)
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I want to know how to get our 11 and a half month old dog to stop chewing everything. He will chew anything he can get his mouth on. We have lost thousands of dollars worth of stuff. He is a Bichon shihtzu cross.
By Angela from Drayton Valley, Canada
I read that dogs who are compulsive chewers are bored and need an outlet to spend their energy and attention on. Giving the dog long walks, a lot of play, or another pet to entertain helped ours. We had one dog and after he chewed up a number of items, we got another dog and the chewing ended. His attention focused on the other dog and playing. The second dog did not have any destructive chewing problems. Good luck! (11/02/2009)
Before we domesticated dogs, they had jobs. In fact, many of today's breeds were bred to do specific work. So dogs get bored when they don't have enough to do, not to mention, chewing is just something dogs do.
With all that in mind, the best thing to do is to get your dog several Nylabones or Kong toys. Many Kong toys have a hole in the middle for kibble or treats to be placed inside. The dog has to "work" to get the kibble free. Several trainers whose work I've read about suggest giving a dog all of their kibble for the day in 3 or 4 Kong toys. They love this! Something to keep them occupied and feed them at the same time. We have to remember that dogs used to have to work to eat, now they only have to go to a food bowl. There's nothing wrong with the way we feed our dogs, but if he's chewing everything in sight, Kong toys are worth the initial investment.
After you have bought your Kongs, anytime he chews on other things you can substitute what you'd like to keep with the Kong.
One other thing, Kong toys are kind of pricey, but so is having to buy another pair of shoes because the dog chewed up another one. Its far more cost effective to budget in a Kong toy a week for several weeks than to have to replace all that a bored dog will tear up. Hope this helps. (11/04/2009)
Try a large variety of toys. They get bored with the same ones all of the time. (11/04/2009)
I rescued a stray dog, we really love him, but he chews everything in sight. Need help to cure this so we can keep him.
Elizabeth in FL
Get him a variety of good things to chew. There is a line of dog bones called Nyla-bones that come in different flavors and hardness. Every time he is caught chewing the wrong thing, take the bad thing and replace it with a dog bone to chew. He'll learn that he can only chew certain items that way. You just have to train him to chew the things you want. Dogs chew.
You shouldn't try to stop that behavior entirely. Just praise him when he chews his dog toys and bones. And say "no" when he chews the wrong things. He'll catch on fast. I promise he will love Nyla-bones. You can find them at any pet supermarket. (08/20/2009)
By Lee Taylor
Go to the local Farm and Fleet store, or Feed store and buy some Bitter Yuk, or a product like it. You can put it on your furniture and it will not stain it. Keep it away from the dogs toys and eventually he/she will not attempt to chew on anything, but what you give him. It will only take a small amount after the first few doses. Just catch the dog chewing something, spray it and let the dog go back to chewing. You will be surprised at how quickly the dog will break itself. Also works great if the dog gets an infection or mites, is skin safe. (08/20/2009)
Has your dog got a crate to go in when you are out? I have 2 staffs that share a crate when we are not there and they have never chewed and love their bed. (09/08/2009)
By Chrissy Rose