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Unread 08-30-2006, 01:20 PM   #1
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Default Dog has started chewing again

Sorry for the long message but we're going to try and answer as many of the inevitable questions at the start.

Our usually adorable and well behaved 1 year old Lab has just chewed our new kitchen Table AND chairs .

Although she chewed skirting boards and Door frames when she was a puppy she hasn't chewed anything for several months .

She is left on her own all day whilst we are at work. We walk her for 45mins in the morning before leaving and spend 45 minutes with her at lunchtime. She then gets a walk of at least an hour in the evening.

We leave her with various toys/chews/.

Since we have had the table she has been using as a den, dragging her bed under there.

Is she just being naughty when she chews? is it just boredom? or do you think there is another underlying reason that she has started chewing things again.

We have thought about putting her in a pen when we go out (3-4hours seems like a long time to leave her in her pen)?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Unread 08-30-2006, 01:57 PM   #2
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my puppy likes to lay under our table too while we eat.
we crate our puppy all day long (for like 8 hours). she does fine.
i dont know what to suggest... just maybe dont allow him/her to go under the table anymore- then the temptation wont be there.
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Unread 08-30-2006, 02:11 PM   #3
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It is boredom and loneliness.

Dogs need to chew on SOMETHING but I assume she has enough toys to chew on. Maybe even some stuffed animals that she can shred.

Can you give her something to occupy herself? One of those toys that she has to turn around and around to get the treats out (like a buster cube)?

Can you leave the TV on? (don't laugh, it is better than nothing.


If you put her in a pen that will just make her more unhappy and won't relieve her boredom. My opinion, others may have better ideas.
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Unread 08-30-2006, 03:43 PM   #4
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I also think your dog is bored and lonely. dogs are pack animals and she hasn't got her pack for long. Have you thought of getting her a companion dog, or even a cat?

Do you know a retired neighbour or a dog walker who could take your dog out during the day?

The more active breeds which have a recent history as a working breed, of which your labrador is one - find it hard to spend time alone with little activity to fill in the hours. They were developed to be on the go, both physically and mentally, and are likely to become destructive if left alone for long periods. These breeds are best for the owner who can spend time with the dog and who is prepared to take it for long walks several times

I hope you find a solution soon

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Unread 08-30-2006, 04:00 PM   #5
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Have You Thought Of Different Activities? Purhaps Throwing A Ball Or Frisbee For Fetch, Or Have You Jogged With Her, Or Is It Always A Walk? Leaving A Dog In A Crate For 8 Hours Or So Is Not Uncommon, And It Is Not Cruel
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Unread 08-30-2006, 04:20 PM   #6
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Thanks,

I think I will try to find a dog walker to take her out during the day. I've never had the courage to trust someone else to look after her properly before!
For tomorrow I will have to cross my fingers that the new toys I've bought her will keep her happy.

I know crates aren't cruel but I agree with skunkstripe, if my dog is bored then a crate won't help. It would good for my table but my dog and she is definitely more important.
Thats why I'm worried/frustrated that she has suddenly started to do this again.

I'll let you know how I get on with the dog walker.
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Unread 08-31-2006, 12:48 PM   #7
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if she is anxious about being alone (separation anxiety) than a crate might actually help. She is obviously feeling a need to "den". All dogs do but if it is this destructive and consistent it's possible she's having some anxiety problems and not just boredom and loneliness (though probably those emotions are there also.) There are ways to treat this in addition to exercise and attention. I'm not a trainer but I have seen (but not retained much about) various methods you can use to reduce their anxiety when you leave for the day. For most dogs, a crate should be their safe haven. If she has never been crated, then it might take a few days for her to recognize it as such, but you might find it actually relieves her anxiety and makes her a happier pup. Just a thought. I don't like crating for long periods of time but as long as it is balanced with affection and play the rest of the time, I think it's a useful tool.

First though - I'd talk with her vet about this shift. There are supplements (not "drugs" per se) that can help with anxiety and your vet may be able to direct you to other behavioral methods and can give you a yay or nay on crating in this particular case.

One thing I recall being told was not to make a big production out of leaving. This is true for kids and dogs. The more you fuss over them and get into the habit of what you think are reassuring comments, (it's okay, mommy will be home soon, i'm sorry I have to leave, etc.) the more you signal to them that you are leaving for what is to them, a looong time. This is what I was told. I can't swear to it for dogs, but I can for kids!

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Unread 08-31-2006, 03:29 PM   #8
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You can put a playpen around the table and tabasco or bitter apple on table and chairs that should help with biting. I would also exercice her more like bicycling or jogging.Something more active than juste walking.l

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Unread 09-01-2006, 07:11 AM   #9
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Great idea, the pen fits round the table so that milli can still have the whole kitchen to stay in.

After doing nothing but thinking about this for days, I think the change in behaviour could be to do with a change in my husbands working habbits.
He has had most of the summer off and has recently returned to work 9-5. This will change in a couple of weeks when he goes back to shift working. Milli will only usually be left alone for two days a week then.

I will be taking extended lunch breaks for the next couple of weeks and will see how it goes on Husbands return to normal working patterns. If there is no change I will consider the other optons you have suggested.
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Unread 09-01-2006, 01:16 PM   #10
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This could easily be the reason.Dogs like company.Do you only have 1dog?.
Maybe your dog needs a new doggie friend

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