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Help with two destructive dogs.

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posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 05:28 AM
reply to post by JohnySeagull

Tried this also, we even bought DVD's that were specifically designed for dogs but they didn't help. They just had a soundtrack to their destruction.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 06:01 AM

Originally posted by Sentience365
reply to post by Logman

Cool that you have a Bernese mountain dog, they're really friendly. The older one (2 years old) is a black lab/golden shepherd mix and the younger one (5 months old) is a black lab/miniature collie mix.

To be honest you probably have a year of pain ahead of you so be prepared to suck it up. I would say the old Lab is too big to cage unless you have a lot of space and a really big cage. I did buy a big cage for the Bernese and it really is massive but ended up taking up too much space so it's now in the attic. The Bernese did pretty well in the cage because they are pretty chilled dogs generally and I used it alot in teh first year - I think it definitely helped.

But like you found out, some dogs don't do well caged. They get nervous, they crap and then they jump around in it (not by choice). Our Dachs was like this and only responded well to the cage age 3. I heard if you put them in a smaller cage they won't crap because no dog likes to crap where it lies. With a bigger cage they feel they can crap on one side but then they get nervous and start running around.

Seems like you've gone to great lengths so far so don't give up, there's always a solution. Put the smaller dog in a small cage - just large enough to stand up and turn around. Cage the older dog if possible, if not then just keep them both in one room/hall with minimum exposure when you're out and at night. You might find you need to put a few locks on a few doors as they tend to jump up onto handles and open doors if they open outwards.

If you have some success with the above methods the younger dog won't need to be caged from 18 months and the older one definitely won't at 3. Right now you can cut out on the stuff it chews by simply not giving it access to stuff to chew. No dog should have free roam of the house when you're not present, just encourages bad behaviour.

Biggest problem we have with the Bernese is socks. Kid's socks. Kids come home from school, take off socks, throw them in the bathroom where the washing machine is, or throw them in teh washing machine and don't close a door and he just loves to eat them. Normally they pass straight through but one time a sock got stuck in his gut. Couldn't crap, eating led to throwing up, and cost $1500 for surgery to remove. Kils me, man. But I love that dog.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 07:07 AM
reply to post by Sentience365

Remember that they're Dogs and not People

Dogs are working animals and you are feeding them but they've no work to expel that energy and are now simply acting out out of boredom.

Remember that in the wild they had to work for their food we feed them and expect them to sit around on the couch like we do.

Remember when we were kids we had recess at school ?...It is the exact Same concept.

Purchase a good sized well ventilated crate for each dog.

Crate the dogs with all the material items you've purchased for them in the crate while you are away.

Feed them in their crates so they have a positive association with the crate.

Make sure that they get at least an hour of vigorous exercise per day.

Plain and Simple.

edit on 17-9-2011 by nh_ee because: typos and additions

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 07:56 AM
Ive got 2 dogs and they done the exact same don't worry its easy to fix I done it myself and 2 other people who tried what I did worked for them too, it takes less than a week.

Social dogs (labs, rhodesian etc.) freak out at the prospect of being abandoned what you need to do is make the fact that you are leaving something exciting for them and its easy peasy...

You probably have a word for dog treats, my word is "biscuits" it doesn't matter if its chews, denta stix or actual biscuits I call everything "biscuits" if I even say the word my dogs ears perk up.

What you need to do is pick a word or phrase for the fact that you are leaving the house mines is "going to the shops" and what you are basically trying to do is get the dogs to understand that you are:

"going to the shops" to get them "biscuits"

You can do this 2 ways, you can actually go to the shops and get them biscuits or what I did was sneak biscuits out with me.

You know the dog poo bags that you tie shut? well in a room away from the dogs put a handful of treats into 2 bags (1 bag for each dog) make sure they are tied shut properly so the dogs cant sniff the treats.

Keep the treats in your pocket and make sure the dogs cant see them or sniff them, now you need to leave the house before you go say to the dogs "going to shops, going to the shops" dogs can pick up phrases within a day so it wont take long, just keep saying "going to shops to get you biscuits"

Now leave the house for a few minutes, walk around the block or something when you get back before you go back in get the dog bags out of your pocket, open the front door and wave the bags infront of each dog saying "got you biscuits, got you biscuits"

This enforces that you left with nothing but came back with biscuits!

Do this about 5 times over the course of the day and by the end of the day the dogs will have learnt the phrase "going to the shops"

People don't realise that dogs are like people they get anxious when they don't know what's going on, think about a time where you have been anxious about something, did you find yourself pacing around the house unable to sit down? dogs are the same only they get destructive...

Everytime you are about to leave the house for longer than 10 minutes simply tell the dogs "going to the shops, to get you biscuits" this does 2 things:

- The fact that you leaving isn't scary anymore, the fact that you are "going to the shops" to get them "biscuits" is exciting!

- The dog understand that you are leaving for a period of time, they are not confused or left in dark they know what's happening.

After about 7 days the destruction should stop, just make sure that when you are going anywhere, work, pub or visiting family or friends etc. just tell them you are going to the shops.

After a few weeks you should be able to stop bringing back biscuits when I get home now I give them biscuits out of the cupboard but you should always use the phrase "going to the shops" or whatever you choose to use from now on.

The important thing is to ONLY use the phrase "going to the shops" when you are leaving for a considerable period of time, don't say "going to the shops" when your taking out the trash for example, this keeps the phrase separate and specific to the fact that you are leaving.

Good luck!

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 08:25 AM
Just to add to what I was saying about the dogs being anxious...

Imagine your at home waiting on a phone call about a job interview, your anxious and nervous because you don't know what happening, you start wandering around the house to the point you wife says "sit down! stop wandering about your doing my head in"

You sit at your desk and start tapping your feet, your now drumming your fingers on the table, you've picked up a pen and you are now chewing the pen lid...

This is what's happening to your dogs, from their point of view...

He's opened the door, he's left, where is he going, is he coming back, the dog starts wandering (pacing) around the house cant sit down or stay still, he's jumped on the couch, now he's on the floor chewing a cable (pen lid) they are just anxious because they don't know what's happening.

If you get a phrase that lets them know you are leaving they will understand what's happening and wont be nervous because you are "going to the shops" to get them "biscuits".

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 08:54 AM
Always crate or cage your dogs indoors when you're not at home. No exceptions.
If you have outside fenced yard you can leave them to roam free - in the yard.
Your dogs are in charge at your home the way things are now - YOU NEED TRAINING then the dogs.

I have five dogs all over 50 pounds - each has an indoor cage and an outdoor kennel. The two bitches need to be segregated at all times so they don't kill each other, but both get along fine with the 3 males. All feeding is done in cage or kennel. The puppy (6 mos) chews on stuff besides his chew toys - he gets reprimanded some and doesn't go back the forbidden item after correction. Bottom line is consistency, you must be consistent so the dog can adapt to your behavior.


edit on 17-9-2011 by ganjoa because: added comment, splieling

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 10:44 AM
I had 3 dogs years ago, that chewed everything when I wasn't home. I even lost a couple of house doors (3), and part of a kitchen floor

They were all shepherd/husky crosses.
Other than that, they were so well behaved around people, and I had total control over all of them when out, without a leash.

Now, I have 3 dogs that I cannot control out of the yard, only one will walk nice on a leash, or come for truck rides. The larger 2 go into protection mode, and think that they should look after me, so I can't take them hardly anywhere.
That said, I can leave meat thawing on the counter, and they won't touch it.

Inside the house I have total control, and if I'm not home, absolutely nothing is out of place when I come back. The oldest of the 3 is a shepherd/husky/coyote cross, and if the lab even knocks something off the table by accident, she comes running over and pins him by his nose to discipline him
She is a brilliant dog. Almost too smart.

I've never even tried to crate a dog, I think a lot depends on the oldest dog - they will teach the younger ones both good and bad habits. My shepherd always thinks I should stand at the cookie jar feeding them for being so good, now she has my shihtzu demanding cookies too, and he doesn't even like them much. He puts his on the floor when he gets it for her to have...

If you can get the oldest dog to behave, you'll have less trouble with the younger one.

They need to want to please you, and know when they have. Smother them with hugs and kisses every time they're good.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 03:47 PM
good advice from roughlycannon .
and as for the chilli idea you dont have to cover everything they chew in it forever , and if it works for the cables it will work for the doors and carpets too.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 07:55 PM
reply to post by Sentience365

Used to groom dogs for 15 years, I had a dog that was a 'chewer' myself. Took him for training and asked the trainer about it.She told me to crate him when I wasn't home. I thought that was cruel at the time and said so, she then said which is more cruel? to crate your dog when your not at home to watch him? Or to come home and find him dead cause he chewed on an electrical wire that was plugged in?
After that I bought a crate and crated him till he got old enough to grow out of that phase, and had 'proved' he could be good. Most dogs aren't mature till about 2 years of age, so you have to be patient. They are still in they're 'teen' years right now.
I think that's alot better solution than getting mad and punishing them, or getting rid of a dog due to his behavior.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 07:56 PM
reply to post by Logman

Thank for all of your suggestions man, I really appreciate it. Pretty harsh what happened to your Bernese but I'm glad you got the problem taken care of even though it cost you an arm and a leg.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 07:57 PM
reply to post by roughycannon

This has got to be one of the best ideas I have ever heard. I will be implementing your method starting tomorrow. Thank you so much for your help.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 08:01 PM
reply to post by nh_ee

We did the positive association crate practice with our older dog, she just never took to it. I employ the "nothing in life is free" approach when it comes to my dogs so they definitely don't have a lot of discipline problems. They get exercise but I feel like they may require more because of their destructive tendencies.

Thanks for your advice.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 08:09 PM
reply to post by snowspirit

Shepard/husky/coyote, that is one high energy cross you have there. I've ALWAYS wanted a husky but I've also always heard about their destructive tendencies when they don't get enough exercise and workload. My dogs get enough exercise but some breeds just need something exhausting to do or they get anxious.

I agree with you on the oldest dog teaching the younger dog things. My younger dog actually picks up on tricks my older dog knows and could perform them by observation. Extremely smart dogs are both entertaining and perplexing aren't they?

Thanks again friend!

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 08:10 PM
reply to post by Sentience365

Hi! Hope you have some luck with your dogs. I have dog issues too, though mine are more serious and harder to fix. But i gave your issue some thought, and I guess the best thing is to do what the dog whisperer does, lol. That guy rocks. Google Dog whisperer crate training and i bet you will get the right vid. I saw him do a show where he crate trained a dog. it was brilliant. basically you will have to crate train the dogs at a time when you are home. make the crate a place to be! And never let them out when they are anxious or nervous or excited. when you walk in the room, wait until they lie back down again and give up on you, then open the crate door and walk away. Once they lose the anxiety of being in the crate you can go to work and not have to worry about them.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 08:24 PM
I love my maltese. We recognise her as a family member now. When she was little she would run into my room and chew through all my cables. Headphones and anything electronic she could get her hands on. I dabbed chili on a pair of worn out wires and deliberately left it so she could chew on it. She stopped doing it after that.

Plus to the OP. You should think about leaving your dog outside if they have some form of destructive tendancy. Dogs will grow out of it. Plus take them to puppy training if you can. It'll be worth it for the sake of them being able to communicate with other dogs.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 08:26 PM
reply to post by chrissiel123

Haha I also tried this, and I tried ignoring them for 10 minutes when I walked in the door after work everyday as was suggested. It never worked though, these dogs get to tearing things up almost immediately. I know because I leave a laptop camera facing the living room and I can see them through an app on my phone. This way I can witness the destruction and do absolutely nothing about it.

Here's something funny and sad at the same time. A few minutes ago I went to go talk to my girlfriend in the bedroom I left some ice cream on the table. I was in there for only about one minute and when I came out my older dog had ice cream all over her face. That was the only funny part though, the sad part is that I have a very strict diet and that was my only cheat meal for the week.

posted on Sep, 17 2011 @ 08:33 PM
reply to post by Sentience365

Perhaps i can help...i used to rehabilitate vicious dogs.

What you need to do is crate train your dogs. Crates are not cruel, and if its done correctly they rather enjoy them. Its similar to a den for them, as long as you make it comfortable... give them enough space to move around a bit, and leave the door of the crate open for them to go in and out freely. You only lock them in the crate when you have to go out, and yes they can stay in the crate for 8-10 hours, but thats not recommended unless necessary.

Keep up the walks to drain their energy, make sure you take a long walk before locking them in the crate as well.

This takes about a week, maybe two....but they get used to it very fast

Good luck

posted on Sep, 18 2011 @ 09:27 PM
3 things to help, plenty of love--tremendous amounts,always give the dogs complete freedom of the house, never ever confine them,never,Give them extreme amounts of rawhide.Once your dogs feel comfortable in your presence,they wont chew anymore.Remember--you are what is making your dog nervous,not them.

posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 04:03 AM
How cold do your winters get? Your dogs have fur, so unless its a blizzard they would probably enjoy playing outside even in the snow. Snow and cold weather doesn't really phase my collection of German Shepherds. Maybe if you put a kennel with blankets on the porch? They can stay outside and use that until you come home?

The other options:
1) hide anything chewable until they get older (3-4 years)
2) catch them in the act and use a spray water bottle on the dog or whatever it is you did when you house trained them?
3) confine them to one doggie proofed room.

good luck.

I have a puppy that has eaten half my pot plants, run off and eaten (literally - it came out the next day) socks, chewed the carpet, dug craters int he garden, chewed through fences we put in the garden and demolished the hose pipe.

posted on Sep, 19 2011 @ 07:30 AM
This is a great case for adopting older dogs.

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