So...Wonder Dog Eats Arm Rests....

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, May 4, 2009.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    We were SO happy that we had gotten past the eating magazines and paper stages during the night. our puppy chewed off about a quarter of the arm rest on an upholstered chair. Yikes. The chair was redone about five years ago. No way to replace that now, darn it! (I don't mean the arm of the chair, lol. I mean the fabric that protects the arm from stains etc.)

    So...what to do?
    1. Put him in his crate when we go to work and when we are assleep? That is alot of hours in a crate that he feels comfortable visiting.
    2. Remove all hear/arm rests from the upholstered furniture? He might eat the darn cushions!
    3. Leave him outside in the fenced yard when we go to work? That is a long time and he is so beautiful that he's apt to be stolen.
    4. Find a doggie day care?

    got to find an answer, people. DDD
  2. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    Ohhh, DDD...what a bad pup. I know I had to fork over $700 when my one parrot got down and like a can opener and chewed across my sofa and otoman.

    BAD DOG!!

  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    D3, crate training is not torture. He'll be fine.

    It took Chloe 2 years to be reliable out of her crate. I'd crate her during the day when I was at work. At night she slept on my bed with me (Ace is probably too big to share your bed- lol)...but those nights when she misbehaved, YUP, she spent the rest of the night in her crate.

    Little by little I'd try her out of the crate unsupervised. If I went to the store, that kind of thing. I would extend it a little at a time.

    It sounds like Ace was bored or anxious and the armrest was the victim. He will be much happier if he's crated and you come home to tell him how handsome and wonderful he is instead of coming home and finding the destruction...

    If you haven't watched it "Turner and Hooch." :D

  4. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    Crate the dog or you will come home and find more than the armrest gone. I had a dog one time that ate my linoleum floor---that's right a big 4 X 5 ft. section of floor in one day!
    My little Pinky (an American Hairless) is also a chewer. She is crated most days, especially is husband is short at the store and can't get home for lunch. She does much better on long days when she is crated.
  5. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Seriously, Suz. If he likes his crate, won't using the crate as a punishment undermine the positive aspects of crate use? I'm no dog expert but noone has said "oh yeah, my dog opens and closes himself in the crate". The reaction is more liake "WHAT? That's AWESOME!"

    What to heck would he do in his crate that many hours? Seriously.

    We get up at 7. He would be let out then. Trip to the yard. Fresh food and water. By 9 everyone would be heading out and he would be in the crate again. Chances are great that nobody would be home til 4 or 5. Out of the crate. Trip to the yard. Fresh food and water. Play. Maybe a walk. Lots os pats. Then 10 or 11 back in the crate for the night after a trip to the yard.

    That doesn't sound warn and fuzzy. I'm not trying to be funny. Does that sound like the way to go? Really? I trust your judgement. Maybe it's my claustrophobia. It just sounds like a major bummer to me. DDD
  6. mom_to_3

    mom_to_3 Active Member

    I vote for crating the dog too. Oh my goodness! I'd almost be afraid to even come home or wake up after what you've written. I do think that dogs do these kind of things because they are bored. Without being there, I don't think you could come up with enough entertainment to occupy your "puppy". I hope you get this resolved soon!
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Well, I think the crating option is temporary until you can train him to behave. And that's just a matter of how much time he'll take to learn and how much time you have to devote to teaching him. If you look at it that way, it's not so bad. It's either that, or you confine him to one part of the house that he cannot damage... or keep him out of certain rooms. There are gates you can put up for that. I think, though, that temporarily crating during the training process is the easiest for everyone.
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I use the crate for both "time out" and for sleeping, ect. My dogs never mind it at all. Seem to know the difference.

    Molly and Betsy have had plenty of Time Outs in the crate of the years......and Betsy willingly goes to hers every night to sleep. Molly hasn't slept in a crate in years, but still will go into it on the rare occasion she feels overwhelmed or afraid.

    Personally, since he has a major chewing issue.......I'd crate him when you can't be there to keep an eye on him. As long as you give him plenty of love, exercise, and attention when he's not crated he won't mind it. Over time you can take the next step and "crate" him to a single room with baby gates and see how he does with more freedom. Once you're pretty sure the chewing is under control you can let him have the house.

    Molly was 3 when she finally no longer needed the gate. Betsy is 3 now, but prefers to sleep in hers so I haven't put it away yet.

    Until this past school year, Betsy was crated when I was gone at school, went we left the house for some reason, and at night. She also loved to chew. She still loves her crate. :)

  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    He could be chewing, too, out of anxiety. It's not uncommon for dogs to exhibit destructive behavior because of separation anxiety. Crating makes them feel more secure.

    My dogs favorite spot is under my desk. It feels crated. When we got a new TV, difficult child turned the box into a playhouse and we couldn't keep Jewel out of it.
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  10. MaryB

    MaryB New Member

    We got a dog from the shelter...a chocolate lab. I got a big crate. When we left in the morning, 7-8 am, he went in the crate. However, I had someone come over around noon or I would do it to let Shilo out and play for a few minutes. (This was for about a month.) Then, back in the crate. We moved on to the shorter time left alone (as someone else mentioned) but we made sure to close a lot of doors so that there was not a lot a rooms he could damage. It really didn't take long for Shilo to know what he was allowed. Now, we leave early in the morning and not home till about 5 but with the exception of the bathrooms, kitchen, and difficult child's room, he can roam as he pleases. It's been about a 1 1/2 years. It's funny cuz the darn dog will still go to his crate to sleep when we're not there. It's his comfort zone and it's also where Shilo goes if he's misbehaved. By the way, we got one of those kiddie gates for the kitchen. Have you considered that? A gate to keep him out of rooms you don't want him to go?

  11. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Our beagle spends the night in her crate. We've never used the crate as punishment - she just too goofy to trust unsupervised. She's hound dog through and through - will eat anything. She has some toys in there and her food and a couple chew toys. Her favorite toy is a cow that moos when it's thrown down - we hear mooing all night long, LOL.

    We got a lab puppy many many years ago with the intention of training him to be a service dog for oldest. I fixed the kitchen floor he chewed, repaired the holes in my wall that he chewed (don't know *how* he did that), but when he started chewing on oldest's wheelchair tires.... well, we decided that perhaps old Champ wasn't meant to be a service dog, LOL. :pet:

    Puppies chew. I think you have to crate them when you're not able to supervise them until the habit is broken.
    Last edited: May 4, 2009
  12. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Here's the thing, D3---he doesn't know that being crated is punishment! :rofl:

    YOU are thinking it's punishment but even you admit that he loves his crate so he won't perceive it as being in trouble unless you're yelling at him as you put him in there.

    Toss in a treat and tell him what a great guy he is as he clamors in there while you lock the door behind him. :D

    Is the crate big enough for him to stand up, turn in a circle and lay down? If yes, you're fine...and so is he.

    From what I've read, dogs have the (at best) mental ability of a 2 year old human. Now there are many who would dispute this about their particular Fifi or Fido but it really helps to understand the psyche of a dog if you can keep this in mind. 2 year old human kids respond more to tone of voice than sentences (although they can identify words). Dogs are exactly the same- think about it!

    Another thing to remember is that Ace just moved in. He's confused as heck! He doesn't know what your rules are so he'll try anything to see if it's acceptable. He's scared, even though he won't openly admit it.......or maybe the chewing IS openly admitting it. At any rate, he's trying to figure out what's going on, who's in charge and all of those house rules.

    I hire a middle school kid to come over after school to let the girls out every afternoon. Mine aren't crated anymore but they are confined to 2 (good sized) rooms.

    Crating Ace isn't what you want for the rest of his life...just for now as he learns the rules. Just like with our difficult child kids, freedom is earned.

  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    I have mixed emotions on the crate thing - but will interject this much.

    You said he's USED to being in a crate - even closes the door behind him. I think he's very accustomed to being in a crate for long periods of time. I think anything more than six hours is excessive. To back up how I feel - put yourself in a room that is just a bit bigger than you are with no tv, and no companionship? This MAY be the reason he's doing what he's doing now - he's used to being locked up and now is free - and it's all fun and new and OH BOY look what they left for me.

    I'm not anti-crate. I'm anti-lifetime in a crate. Just my personal feelings. I do not think he sees it as punishment, but being out is equivalent to a kid in a candy store left unattended. You can give him alternative things to chew - Kongs filled with pnut butter - but he's BORED. Put him in a cage 8 hours a day? And then let him out and don't walk him for at least an hour? BIGGER problems are on your horizon. LOTS bigger - like entire couch bigger. (I know I brought home a foster dog that I was told was housebroken - left him out with the others and came home to a sectional that had NOTHING left - but springs - even ate the 2x4's - and we were gone 1 1/2 hours. Jeep is still a touchy subject in our house. lol ahem.

    IF you are going to consider the crate - consider getting a professional dog walker to come at noon and let him out - play for 30 minutes of hard, running, wear me out play - and then have him recrate your pup. Doggie day care sounds like an excellent idea - but what to me sounds like the absolute best? Take him to a trainer that keeps him for 8-10 weeks. At this point? If I were your breeder? And you came back to me with these problems....I would say you love him - but don't have the time for a puppy - that a puppy needs. Boxers are BIG HUGE BALLS of energy and if you crate him for 8 hours a day - you had better be ready for an HOUR a night or more of fast walking, roller blading, bike riding, or treadmilling - ball fetching in a field where he can wear himself down.

    Maybe there is a win-win situation - where you take him to doggy day CAMP instead of doggy day CARE - and he gets the necessary 10 week training he needs to come back to your home as a well behaved member of your family.

    If you DID put him outside? I'd have a kennel/run built for him and do things like freeze toys in blocks of ice and leave them for him in teh coming hot months, or KONGS again - great stuffers....automatic ball throwers that you can put in your yard or mount on a cage wall - outside pen.

    He would do very well if someone played with him and wound him down for a couple hours a day - it will NOT wear him down either. Boxers are durable little creatures of boundless energies.

    My bet is on the doggy trainer camp.
  14. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    Am only going to comiserate - Dannys pit has eaten not one but TWO sofas, two plush chairs, two complete sets of Dining room chairs (and is working on the 3rd set), chewed the wall in the dining room, along with the baseboards.

    I tried putting her in Dan's room - she chewed thru the bedroom DOOR and got out. Putting her outside - forget it - she started to chew thru the door of the den, or starts to chew on the fence to get to the yappy little dogs nest door. If I lock her out of my bedroom at night she starts working on THAT door - put her in the bathroom, Dan's only comment was at least she gave me a headstart of pulling up the linoleum. Garage is not an option - two wooden doors and all kinds of "stuff" in there. The only good that has come from her chewing is the boys no longer leave their clothes anywhere except their room - I left my new Big Dog sweater on one of the dining chairs the other day - its history.

    I have to take her with me if no one is at home - she will sit quietly in the car, not chewing anything, and patiently waits for us to finish shopping, which is ok as long as it is not hot. If its hot, only one of us goes shopping. She has even chewed off the other dogs collars.

    I can't give her chew toys around the other dogs she gets extremely territorial - even if one of the other dogs has their own toy, it automatically becomes hers. Am hoping she grows out of it soon (shes two years old already) but have a feeling I will have to wait till she grinds down her hugh honking teeth.

    I have to laugh - I used to buy what I called "disposible" furniture when the boys were little - cheap sofa's at yard sales that I didn't care if they got trashed - now they are grown, I am back to disposible furnture because of the dogs. It would be easy to crate her, but shoot, I feel bad my birds are in cages :(

  15. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Am I the only one that doesn't crate there dogs? Gating him into a room or two is my suggestion. But my furniture is so far gone at this point it doesn't matter what they would chew on.

    Good luck.

  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Oh, my... You need to tune in to Cesar Milan - "The Dog Whisperer" - on the National Geographic Channel ASAP! He's new on Fridays, but he's on more often than that.

    I'm not sure where you got the idea that you should punish a dog, but punishing a dog is useless. Dogs live in the now. If they are doing something bad right now you can distract them and redirect them. But they can be standing in the middle of a room full of furniture and electronics torn to shreds, and they seriously will have no clue whatsoever as to why it is that you are mad at them. He'll feel bad, but he probably finished tearing up your house hours ago and all he knows is that you come home and yell at him. You can't reason with a dog, you have to give a dog opportunities to behave well. Eventually that habit of behaving well becomes their usual behavior.

    If he's in the crate thinking "THIS IS AWSOME!" and not tearing up your house, that is a win/win situation. Give him a chew toy, and make sure that he's been potty before you leave. The crate should not be a punishment, ever. It should be a safe place to be, a comfortable place that he can stay both when he wants to and when you want him to. When I am in the shower getting ready to go somewhere, more often than not, I will find Mandy laying down in her crate ready for me to leave the house when I get out. She's happy there, and I'm happy that I don't have to worry about her tearing up something that she shouldn't.

    Your hours away from the dog do seem to be a bit long, but it can be dealt with. Dogs are an awful lot of work, but it can be very rewarding. You have to remember that at his age, he is about as mature as a 9 year old, and you have no real history on him other than what the people you got him from told you. They probably wouldn't have given him away if he wasn't acting like a puppy. You wouldn't let a 9 year old that you didn't know stay alone in your house all day.

    Dogs are nocturnal by nature, so he's not going to automatically want to sleep when you do, but he will eventually. We put Mandy's crate in our bedroom at first. She was totally freaked out by the idea that she might have to sleep on a dog bed. She paced the room all night long and kept us awake with her toenails on the floor. We started with the door to the crate closed, then left it open after several nights. After a week or so, she found her place outside the crate on the dog bed and slept through the night. She was 8 or 9 months old when we got her and we had very little history to go on, so we had to do what was safe and comfortable for her.

    If someone can come let him out to potty during the lunch hour, that would be great. And he should be getting a walk before or after work.

    Good luck with this, and tune in "The Dog Whisperer"! It's all basic stuff that will make you slap your forehead and say "Duh! I knew that!":redface:
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Crates simulate caves from what I read. Your puppy seems happy and feels safe too. It doesn't have to be forever if you don't care for it. I don't use a crate now but until I was sure they wouldn't ruin the house I used it. My guys aren't chewers but I don't want them to have free rein when I'm not home. They never mind being confined to the kitchen. My boy dog really only needs to go out 2 to 3 times a day.
    I wouldn't leave my toddler human children to have free rein or expect them to not destroy something. It's their nature at that age. Once they grow a little and learn the rules of the house, they get more freedom.

    Anyhow, that's how I understand those who know more about dogs than me and how I want my house. Crating is very much a common tool. It's not a punishment at all. Remember it's your house and he needs to learn the rules. He is smart. It won't take him long.

    I always figure if something's not working, I'd get expert advice, research and do something different. Good luck.
  18. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    I'm thinking he just needed some fiber in his diet.

  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mine must need fiber, cellphones, plastic and chocolate in his

    I had never used a crate either before this current pup came to us already using a crate. He adores his crate. We leave the door open during the day and he just goes on in. I am sure if he was big enough to close the door on it, he would but he isnt that big. His six pounds isnt strong enough to grab the

    DDD...where is easy child/difficult child? Can he come home and take the dog out? Or maybe difficult child could come home from school and do it. If either of the boys could get involved with the dog at some point in the day it would be good. I cant see using the baby gate to have him in the kitchen because a boxer will just either chew the gate or just jump on over it. I do like using the kongs filled with pb.

    I did see these automatic toy dispensers on Its me or the dog. They would be good. You just set one up really high and put a chew toy in it and set it for several hours later and a new toy pops out for the dog to play with. Keeps them from being bored.
  20. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Another vote for the crate ...

    Mine are in the crate all day while I work, and Katy sleeps in her crate too. She prefers it. Mine get their breakfast in their crates just as I'm leaving for work so they don't mind at all getting in there.

    Sometimes they destroy things out of sheer boredom too! I don't trust Katy to be out of her crate at all if I'm not there. She's a very busy girl and she'd be in to absolutely everything! With Ragan, I can leave her out for a short while, like a quick trip to the grocery store and she does pretty well, but I'd never leave her out all day while I worked. If I go somewhere and leave her out, she KNOWS that I will be right back so she doesn't get in to anything. But if she were out all day, she'd be getting bored and she'd go looking for something to amuse herself. The last time I tried that, she attempted to chew the big plug off of an unplugged window air conditioner! This is NOT just 'puppy stuff" that she'll grow out of - she's almost seven! A bored dog left on their own with nothing to do spells "TROUBLE"!