Help with chewing

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Stevat50. Show Stevat50's posts

    Help with chewing

    My female mastiff (11 mos) will not stop chewing. She is crate trained but destroys her bed. We have tried leaving toys, sprayed with bitter apple spray even vinegar but she won't stop. Any ideas?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from bigpuppy. Show bigpuppy's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    I can sympathize Stevat50 - I have a 20-month old chocolate lab that was a champion chewer. I tried everything to no avail - he actually liked the bitter apple spray! Basically, Bosco just grew out of it at about 1 year old. As for the beds, Bosco ate 4 of them before I hit upon this thick area rug (it's about 2 feet by 4 feet) at Target that I just tried as a hail mary and he loves it. It's the only rug in the house he hasn't chewed on - the rest remain in the basement.

    I don't crate Bosco any more, but while he was still crated, I used old sheets on the bottom to soften the bottom for him to lie on. He munched a little on those, but it wasn't as bad as eating the beds. I could also just throw them in the washing machine and replace them cheaply at a discount store.

    As for the toys, try a Kong or hockey puck. Both last for quite a long time before they get broken apart and Bosco likes both. I don't waste money on soft toys any more - he doesn't just chew them, he eats them. He does get one rawhide chewie a day, which for him seems to satisfy his chewing need.

    Sorry I don't have the magic answer - hopefully your mastiff will grow out of it as well. If she is only chewing in her crate, it might be that she's just bored and needs a little more exercise.

    Good luck!
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    bitter apple is a joke, you might as well dump it down the drain...or, better yet, return it and try to get your money back.  I also made the BA mistake with our lab.

    Until he's out of the chewing phase, he can quite comfortably be in his crate without anything underneath him, just the crate pan.  Or, you can put an old towel in there if you want.  Honest, they don't need a bed to be comfortable in there.  When I'd be washing Gracie's bedding she'd curl up quite happily in there without it and nap away.  She also lays on the bare floor quite often even though she has a very luxurious L. L. Bean dog bed always available.

    Is chewing anything else a problem?  If so, try the stuffingless "long" creatures.  They are awesome.  They can be chewed to death and no stuffing to choke on.  Oh, there is a plastic bag in the head that holds a squeaker.  I cut that out before I give it to Gracie because of the choking hazard AND she hates squeakers. 

    Eventually, if you instill "leave it" and replace what he is chewing with something they are supposed to have, he'll learn the difference between his toys and everything else in the house.  Gracie is a lab, known for chewing like Bosco, and did learn this.  She is extremely trustworthy, now, at 18 months.

    Just take out the bed.  Keep the crate.  When he's out of that terrible chewing phase, reintroduce the bed.  It's not mean - dogs really don't need a dog bed to be comfy.

    GL!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from AngellVets. Show AngellVets's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    Answer by Terri Bright, M.S. Ed., BCBA, Behavior Analyst and Training Coordinator at the MSPCA-Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center:
    It is important to discern the cause of her chewing in her crate, as well as exactly what she is doing. Is she anxious? Does she bark or pant when she is left alone? Is she ingesting the bedding when she rips it up, or just ripping? Put the pieces together and make sure they are all there. 

    If she is ingesting bedding (what goes in should, hopefully, come out) leave the bedding out for a while, or use shredded newspaper. If she appears to be anxious, she may have mild separation anxiety. Absent these issues, it is normal for a dog of this age to chew - a lot. 

    You can enrich the crate, as well as fulfill her age-appropriate need to chew, by giving her meals in a giant black (hardest rubber) Kong. Fill the Kong halfway with kibble, then put a plug of wet food on the top, and freeze it. She will become accustomed to cleaning out her Kong while she is in her crate. 
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from JustQ. Show JustQ's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    The most important thing anyone told me when I had this problem with my dog was that at 11 months, your dog is still very much a puppy.  Our dog was crate trained but at 11 months or so, we decided to try leaving her out during the day.  Big mistake - she ate a bed, a couch, a plant, ripped wallpaper off the wall and - to my absolute horror - ripped off an outlet cover and ate that too.  (When I think of how close her teeth were to the outlet - !!!)

    In the crate, you can control what your dog can chew and keep her safe.  I agree with the above - limited bedding and appropriate toys.  And then just stick with the crate!

    Our dog grew up to be fine with being left alone, out of her crate - but I do invest in a constant supply of safe chew toys for "aggressive chewers."  She actually demolished one of those black Kongs! 

    By the way, as Kargiver notes - Bitter Apple did not work AT ALL for us - in fact, our dog loves apples! 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from grandboysnana. Show grandboysnana's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    I noticed no one asked how often the dog is taken out to run, run, run!  I don't mean a 10 minute walk to relieve herself, I mean a high intensity exercise EACH day to help release the tension.  Yes, young dogs need and like to chew but excessive behavior is usually the result of not enough strong, heart pounding exercise. 

    A mastif is a large, working dog.  They can't be crated for the better part of the day and be expected to be docile and calm.  Dogs are social creatures and need companionship and playtime, lots of playtime. 

    I'm not being critical because I do not know the conditions of the dog's everyday activity, but a gentle reminder especially to those insisting on having a larger dog, please get them outside to run and explore.  Otherwise, you'll have a neurotic dog on your hands, one you'll constantly blame for bad behavior. 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    Puppies chew.  I had one that used to destroy his bed.  Stopped putting a soft bed in his crate.  He eventually grew out of it.

    I would suggest leaving different things in the crate on different days.  One day might be a kong filled with kibble.  Another might be a bully stick.  Another day might be a raw knuckle.  Another day a huge bone.

    Mix it up so that the dog doesn't get board.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    a lot of exercise goes hand in hand with proper crate training. a good, long, walk before leaving your dog for the day will do wonders. large breeds and energetic breeds need at least two long walks a day. unless you've got a big yard, just letting them outside isn't enough.
    And I agree that a kong full of food is sure to keep them busy while in the crate.

    my mom has a high energy beagle mix, and she goes out for a long walk in the morning. as soon as they come back in, she goes right into her crate all on her own to take a nap.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Skipgirl. Show Skipgirl's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    we had the same problem with our puppy, he chewed all the blankets and towels we put in his crate.  We ended up getting him a Kuranda bed (www.kuranda.com) that is indestructible, it fits in standard wire crates and it keeps them off the ground which is better for them.  He loves it.  Aside from chewing outside the crate, I agree with Grandboysnana and you can't beat exercise. 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    I do not care for Angell Vet's response at ALL unless it's qualified by saying you  have to BE AROUND within the next hour to let the dog out and go #2.  Eating triggers that response, usually within 15 minutes for dogs.  Feeding a dog a whole meal in its crate and then leaving for a few hours is asking for a big mess and a VERY unhappy dog.

    They also neglected to say that you don't NEED bedding in a crate for it to be comfortable.  Gracie was plenty happy to go in and nap when I was washing her bedding and there was just the crate tray in there - the door was wide open, I didn't "encourage" that behavior.  She didn't seem to mind at all.  She often sleeps on the floor, choosing it over her very expensive cushy bed (outside her crate).
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Novembride. Show Novembride's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    Feeding a dog a whole meal in its crate and then leaving for a few hours is asking for a big mess and a VERY unhappy dog.

    Not necessarily, Kar.  In the morning, my dog will eat his full breakfast out of the crate, or eat half and get the other in his kong in the crate, and then not do a #2 he goes for his midday walk.  Even on the weekends when he isn't crated in the morning, it'll be about 3 or 4 hours before he goes.  He's never p**ped in his crate.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    Gracie was like that until she was full grown.  Then, the 15 - 30 minute rule kicked in.  So, maybe puppies are different?
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    Feeding them whole meals in a crate is what I'm against.  There's no reason whatsoever to do it.  Treats upon entering and lying down do the same thing from a training perspective.
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    I think Angell was suggesting a way to enrich the crate experience and give the dog something to do.  I think it is OK to load up a kong with kibble and stick in the crate.  But I would add a variety of things such as bully sticks a bones.  One item at a time and mix it up.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Help with chewing

    I did understand what they were getting at, but I think they should have qualified their suggestion with the warning that feeding a whole meal can trigger the p00 response.  It's controversial, I know - Katz on Dogs also recommends feeding meals in the crate to make them associate it with good things.  I didn't care much for that book, in general, though.  But, it was highly recommended to my by my brother so to each his own and his own dog.
     

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