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Old 11-20-2006, 02:55 PM   #1
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Default Chewing

I could swear I read a post almost exactly like this one, but I can't find it. In fact, I can't ever seem to find anything using the search on this site. Anyway, I apologize if this has already been answered.

We have a 5 1/2 month old Mini Australian Shepherd named Abbie. My husband and I are gone 10 hours/day. Initially, we had sectioned off the kitchen using baby gates for Abbie while we are gone. About a month ago, Abbie starting breaking out. We tried all kinds of different things, but we just couldn't keep her in the kitchen anymore. So now she has free reign of the kitchen, hallways, and living room while we are gone. We shut the doors to the other rooms of the house while we are gone. Since she is potty trained, this had been working just fine until about a week or so ago. She has started chewing the furniture, walls, and floor. For example, we came home one day, and she had chewed at the edge of the carpet enough so that she could then grab it and tear it away. She pulled up about a foot of the carpet. There were little pieces of carpet and padding all over the house. Another time, she chewed a 6 inch hole in the skirting around the bottom of the skirting around the couch. Another time, there were little paint chips all over the house where she had chewed the paint off a corner of one of the walls. These are just some examples.

Can anyone offer some advise as to what we can do? We have Bitter Apple and spray it on things we think she might chew, but we can't spray every square inch of the carpet, walls and furniture. She has soft toys, hard toys, plush toys, rawhides, a real raw bone, toy balls, and a food cube to play with/chew on. She gets exercise before we leave in the morning and when we return in the evening.

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Old 11-21-2006, 03:58 PM   #2
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Unfortunately it is very natural for puppies to chew, and at five and a half months she is very young to be left for such a long time alone each day. She may well just be getting bored now she doesn't need as much sleep as she did when she was tiny, so is making her own entertainment with nobody there to let her know what is ok to chew.

Are either of you able to get home and walk or play with her during the lunch hour? If not perhaps you could employ a dog walker to break up her day. Is she getting out for a good walk both before and after work? This will be vital in keeping her quiet and happy. Have you spent time teaching her what she can chew? Can you give her her morning feed in a stuffed kong and leave her with it when you go to work? Also, I think it will be important for the time being to find a way to restrict access to the furniture she has started chewing.

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Old 11-21-2006, 04:45 PM   #3
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Adult dogs should not be left alone for anymore than 6 hours a day! Puppies should not be left anymore than three or four hours a day. Otherwise, they display anxious behaviour, which is why your puppy is damaging your property. At 5 months, puppies generally have stopped chewing so much, mu puooy stopped chewing at three months.

I don't mean to be rude to you but quite frankly, it is cruel to leave this dog alone for so long. I suggest getting a baby sitter or doggy day care, otherwise I'm afriad it would be kinder to find your pup a new home with people who have time to care for him.

I work only 4 hours at a time but I take my puppy to my parents to be looked after when I am not there. She is rarely left alone in the house and when she is its only 4 hours and she is given chews to keep her occupied.

On a positive note, you were right to let your pup have more space in the house to run around in. If a dog is confined to one room they get bored and thatgs when they damage.

Please for your dogs sake get him looked after when you are at work, because it is cruel and isnt fair on him to leave him alone for so long.
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Old 11-22-2006, 05:03 PM   #4
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I don't agree that all puppies stop chewing at three months, many will simply get stronger jaws and become more destructive. Even my adult dogs have an ongoing need to chew, as dogs were designed to do, and appreciate being fed bones and given stuffed kongs as 'legal' and appropriate outlets for this need to chew.

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Old 11-22-2006, 06:47 PM   #5
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[quote=Kaos;33499]I don't agree that all puppies stop chewing at three months, many will simply get stronger jaws and become more destructive. Even my adult dogs have an ongoing need to chew, as dogs were designed to do, and appreciate being fed bones and given stuffed kongs as 'legal' and appropriate outlets for this need to chew.[/quote

I didnt say all puppies stopped chewing at three months - I just said mine did! Nothing will get better, however, till the poster gets better care for her puppy. All dogs pine for their owners and get distressed when they are left too long.
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:54 PM   #6
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It is not my experience that a majority of puppies have stopped chewing by 5 months either, but of course you are correct Whiskeys Mum that the puppy would be better off with company, hence my earlier suggestions for a dog walker or other arrangement.

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Old 11-22-2006, 07:04 PM   #7
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It is not my experience that a majority of puppies have stopped chewing by 5 months either, but of course you are correct Whiskeys Mum that the puppy would be better off with company, hence my earlier suggestions for a dog walker or other arrangement.
Ok then, we have had different experiences then but we are both right really

I dont mean to sound rude or harsh in my replies to this post its just that I keep thinking of this poor puppy and I get upset coz its just so cruel to leave her for so long. Of course the owners arent being deliberately curel but it might have been better if they read up on how long it is ok to leave a dog or got some care for her when they are away before they got her home. a dolg walker is a good idea but it would need to be a very long walk.

Hope we can be friends coz i hope I didnt offens=d you.
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Old 11-22-2006, 07:15 PM   #8
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Of course we can be friends - no offence meant here either. We are both just trying to help out the OP who is now in a somewhat tricky position.

Unfortunately many people receive conflicting or simply bad advice about what their puppy will need in terms of care and training. A growing number of people seem to think that crating a puppy for a full working day is ok - not so in my book and I am happy to hear that this puppy has more room (unfortunately at the expense of the furniture and carpet).

The op sounds like a caring owner, and I am sure they will look at making some alternative arrangments for this pup.

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Old 11-23-2006, 10:03 AM   #9
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Of course we can be friends - no offence meant here either. We are both just trying to help out the OP who is now in a somewhat tricky position.

Unfortunately many people receive conflicting or simply bad advice about what their puppy will need in terms of care and training. A growing number of people seem to think that crating a puppy for a full working day is ok - not so in my book and I am happy to hear that this puppy has more room (unfortunately at the expense of the furniture and carpet).

The op sounds like a caring owner, and I am sure they will look at making some alternative arrangments for this pup.

Yes I hope so too. Youre right though, some people do just recieve bad advice about the caring of their pet. Leaving a puppy alone all day is unacceptable especially if it is locked up in a crate. I dont like crates and my puppy was only in her pen at night or when she was alone ion the house till she stopped chewing and toileting in the house. Now she gets the run of the house and she has been looked after during the day when I am at work by my parents, who dote on her nearly as much as I do!
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Old 11-25-2006, 02:13 AM   #10
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I don't know too much about mini Aussies, but I think I heard they are a working breed- if you don't give them a "job" they will become destructive from boredom. They are a breed you need to spend a lot of time with. Agility classes would probably be a good thing for them, keeping them focused and using up energy.
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