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Thread: Dog is eating furniture!!

  1. #1
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    Dec 2003
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    6

    Unhappy

    I got a 2 year old Australian Shepherd mix on halloween. He is a bit of a pup. An absolutely wonderful dog whenever he is around me or other people. But when he is left alone in the house he rips up furniture -- Three pillows so far!

    He usually sleeps in my room by the bed. Never causes any trouble when he's around me. But last night around 5am I got up to use the bathroom and he went into the livingroom to sleep. I awoke this morning to find another pillow shredded all over the living room floor!!

    And then this evening I went out for a few hours and left him in the garage. He ripped up some head phones!!!

    I always leave him with a hide bone to play with.

    I've tried scolding him, yelling at him, rubbing his nose in it, and today I was so mad I even smacked him. I felt horrible after hitting him because he is adorable and just wants to be a good dog. I know I should never have to hit him. Like I said, when he's around me, he's really well behaved!! But he doesn't get it!

    How do I teach him what is off limits? I know that he just wants to be good ... but at this rate I wont have any furniture in 6 months.

    This is my first and only dog. I dont have a crate, should I get one?

    Is this behavior because he's lonely? Would it help ifI made a tape recording of myself talking to him and looped it??

    Help, thanks!

    Frizzo

  2. #2
    Senior Dog Member
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    Sep 2003
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    Jefferson, WI
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    Post

    First thing - get yourself a crate! They are wonderful - because they will kepp your dog out of trouble when you're not around.

    Aussie Sheperds are very intelligent dogs. The reason he's probably doing this is boredom. You can only play with a bone for so long until you get sick of that. And dogs will find whatever they can to keep themselves busy.

    It may also be a little bit of seperation anxiety. Some dogs have a hard time dealing with their owners leaving them - and become destructive. I don't really think that making a tape of yourself will help that.

    I know what you are going through - when I got my first dog - I was really naieve. I thought I could just leave the dog when I left - and he would sleep on his bed and wait patiently for me to return. Boy, was I wrong. He chewed up EVERYTHING! I got a crate for him - and he's been a little angel ever since. And it's so nice to come home and find my home not ripped apart.

    Also - don't yell at your dog when you come home to find a mess. Chances are, he's already forgotten about it (dogs have short memories). Best thing to do is to put him outside while you clean stuff up - then take a couple minutes to cool down before you let him back in. It helps when they're not around to watch you pick it up (I just mutter to myself - by the time I'm done - I'm OK again. I use this method when cleaning up accidents too)

  3. #3
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    When I walk into the room to find the mess, Baron looks up at me with a totally guilty look - He crouches down, sad face, tail down, etc. This leads me to believe that he knows exactly what's going on.

    I will look into a crate. Will I eventually be able to wean him off of the crate? Will putting him in a crate when I'm not around somehow teach him to not eat the furniture?

    I can't catch him in the act and scold him because he never tries to chew on anything he's not supposed to when I'm around.

    Thanks for the advice
    Frizzo

  4. #4

    Post

    He most likely does not know what he did wrong. Or maybe a better way to say it is you're the last thing in his mind while he's doing it. It's probably more your reaction and demeanor that causes the reaction from him. IMO, most dogs need to be crated while they are alone. They will find stuff and get into it no matter their age. Cushions aren't that dangerous (as long as they're not eating the stuffing which can cause major problems), but there are wires, electric cords, chemicals, you name it to get into. Really it's for his safety more than your convenience.

  5. #5
    Full Member Full Dog Member
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    I leave the TV on sometimes when my husband and I are gone, this helps the dogs(sometimes), then again, I have toys for Cowboy and Jake to lpay with.
    I have to agree, crate your dog.
    Good luck!
    Darlene Brownlee

  6. #6
    Full Member Full Dog Member
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    One item to play with or chew on is not sufficient for Freckles! She has a whole basket loaded with various stuffed toys, chews, kongs, etc. She will play with one for awhile, then she will go get another...sometimes she has her entire "herd" gathered in the middle of the floor. One time she wants to play, other times she wants something to chew.... so you have to give them a variety of choices. Some dogs become very anxious when away from their "person" or family..their chewing when alone is almost like someone biting their fingernails when they are anxious. I know the look when they have done something they know is wrong....I know the minute I come home if she has turned over a potted plant in the yard, or found one of my gloves or garden shoe to chew on. I had a friend with two poodles that were total house dogs....paper trained (not a real good plan...but). They were so good about never going anywhere but on the paper. But, if she left and was gone for any length of time they would go all around the edge of the paper, never on it! Their way of protesting!! This was way back 40 yrs. ago, when crates were not a common thing. They are clever little buggers..we don't give them enough credit for how smart they really are.
    Lou in Texas

  7. #7
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    thanks for the replies!!

    I've been hammering away at a custom cage for Baron. Building him a cage myself has been quite theraputic

    Frizzo

  8. #8
    Full Member Full Dog Member
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    Well I hope Baron, isn't chewing on your pillows any more!
    Jake had a problem chewind on shoes, until I stuck my husband's cowboy boot near his nose
    that stopped him from chewing on shoes!
    Darlene Brownlee

  9. #9
    Senior Dog Member
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    Chance has the guilty look too when he's been naughty. But part of this is a reaction to me. He can just be laying there - and if you say "were you anughty" - he immediatley gets his guilty look.

    We were able to get Chance out of a crate (not my decision - if it were up to me - he'd still be there). He does pretty good now - but he's only alone for 15 mins a day.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Junior Puppy Member
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    I can hardly wait till the crate is finished. That's a great idea. I feel like I can't leave him alone ... and if it's pouring rain outside I can't just put him out in the yard .... arg!

    I have caught him in the act of chewing on things the last couple of days ... his bed, and then a rug ... and I grab him by the scruff and yell at him, and then give him his rope bone and encourage him to chew on that. He hasn't chewed on the SAME thing more than once in my presence ... so maybe it's catching on.

    Is that the best way?

    frizzo


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