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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

5 Ways to Help Curb a Chewing Dog

Chocolate Lab Chewer
We adopted a black lab 3 1/2 years ago. She is wonderful and only chewed the dinning room rug when she was a puppy. She is fully house broken and doesn't chew. She had full run of the house when we are not home. Well we just adopted a 2 1/2 year old chocolate lab. The first three weeks she was a lot like her older sister. No problems. Went to work, came home there was Nelly sleeping. Well now that she is comfortable we are realizing she has some separation issues. We might come home to destroyed kids toys and dog toys (stuffed). The other day we came home to bm & urine accidents. Another day pulled items off the counter. So I put her in a crate today (1st day of crate) came home to destroyed crate floor. I left her with a nylabone, a raw hide and a kong. I am going to try the banana/kibble. When we are home she is layed back and very relaxed. I'd like her to eventually be free in the house. Any suggestions for ''busy" toys and do you think that will help.

Getting a Lab to be free in the house can be tricky as one solution does not fit all. If this were my Lab, I would do the following:

1) Take the dog for long walks several times a day. (2 is good – 3 is better) Just make sure it is always around the same time each and every day so you pup gets on schedule and knows when some much needed exercise is coming.

2) Have at least 1 major outside play sessions per day to tire the pup out.

3) Stimulate the brain when home by playing games of Find It. Labs are hunters and retrievers – let them use their skill on something other than your personal belongings and furniture.

4) Work on obedience training to not only curb bad habits but also build a relationship between you and the pup. The animal hierarchy needs to be addressed and you need to be in alpha control.

5) Use a wire crate and remove the bottom when crating or crate training your dog. Also use a frozen banana kibble treat in the crate when you leave. Note that you should use a black Kong for more aggressive chewers as these seem to hold up the best. Also, make sure you remove the pup’s dog collar to prevent her from getting it caught on the crate – which can lead to strangulation.

Training a new pup is a long process and consistent training is crucial – no matter what the age of your canine companion. You must remain diligent in your pack role and training at all times.

In our own house, nothing is free. Treats are given for good behavior and tricks. Meals are given only after they have shown us respect by sitting by their bowl and waiting for our command before eating. This type of hierarchy as allowed us to set boundaries. Each brat has only chewed one thing each in their entire lives… Dakota was her bed when she was a few months old and I left on business… Cheyenne was an extension cord when she was a few months old and we just put up the Christmas tree (she did not know it was off limits yet). Today they have full run of the house and nothing has ever been chewed and they stay off each and every piece of furniture!

Don’t discourage as it will take time but most certainly can be done! :)

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Blogger Priyu said...

Hi There,
We have a 2 month old puppy at home as they are said to be he is extremely friendly but his chewing habits are very scary.gave him chewsticks, tried rubber ball and the list continues but still he is pretty happy chewing the papers and slippers. Any thoughts on how to make him stop these.Otherwise he (Rufus) is perfect.


April 23, 2009 12:19 PM  

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