What stops dogs from chewing wood?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Sep 10, 2009.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I have just gotten a great opportunity to get a new dining room set to go on the new Pergo floors that are being installed this week. The value is super...yeah.

    Somebody here mentioned "something" you put on furniture that repels dogs from chewing. Brand names anyone? I know that cider vinegar stops some things but no way can that go on wood. Help. DDD
  2. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Bitter Apple makes a product specifically designed for wood, but some really neurotic dogs will chew anyway.

    What other steps are you taking to manage Ace's issues?
  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Does Ace have something of his own that he likes to chew on? Mandy loves to chew, and did have a problem when we first got her. She likes the Nyla Bones, and they are virtually indestructable.


    Also, if I am going to be gone for any length of time, Mandy is in her crate. It's not a punishment, and she likes it. In fact, if I have been gone several days in a row and then I am home all day, she will go take a nap in her crate. If Ace isn't using a crate yet, you might want to start enticing him into thinking that it's a good thing by leaving small treats in it until he goes into it and stays to eat the treat. It's a godsend.

    Other than a crate and a favorite chew of his own, I can only recommend lots of exercise (Mandy jogs on the treadmill 1.5 miles a day) and basic training every day. "Sit", "Stay", "Down". It gives them a sense of who the boss is, and a sense of purpose.
  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I don't have any advice past what witz says. Bitter apple was something our idiot lab LOVED. At one point we put a teeny bit into her FOOD because she stopped eating. With the bitter apple she would scarf it all up! Even GRAVY and roast beef didn't entice her.

    Giving Ace a sense of purpose is a good idea. It really makes a dog feel like part of the family. Give him a job, even if it is just to follow instructions ten minutes a day. Seems silly but it works.

    also, you can pick up some metal flashing for roofs and bend it into tubes. THen you can put this around the table legs to protect them. I would go about 20 inches up with it at first. Also teach teh dog that being near the table is a no no. A trainer taught us that and it also keeps a dog from begging at the table.

    Be watchful with the nylabone. Several of my dogs, including the dachsund, destroyed these. There are bones made by greenies that are good for the teeth and can be destroyed with-o hurting the dog. Sweetie ate the ends off of even the large dog size nylabones. Our family lab/setter mix ate nylabones in less than an hour. Even the biggest ones only lasted that long. It was weird.

    Good luck with the new furniture. The crate training is a really good idea.
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I agree, just with the nylabones - keep in mind that "virtually indestructible" is true to the letter. My Samoyed used to EAT them. I am not joking - she went through about 6 a year. The big ones.

    KONG toys are good too - they carry those at PetSmart.

    Just my $0.02.
  6. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    There have been a LOT of choking/obstruction incidents with Greenies. You can search the web to get reports. I wouldn't feed them on a bet.

    The best chew of all is a heavy RAW knuckle or femur bone from a steer. You MUST supervise the dog while chewing one of these and some dogs do get constipated from them.

    I am a big Kong fan, myself. You can stuff the hole in the center with peanut butter or similar and it will keep many dogs busy for ages.

    Do NOT use the 'stuffin' in the spray can with your Kongs; it is basically liver flavored shortening and is bad for the dog and in some cases may cause outright digestive upset.

    There's also a toy called a Buster Cube that you can fill with small treats. The dog will push it around with it's nose and the treats fall out as he does so.

    One thing that needs to be remembered is that Boxers are actually working dogs. They were bred to be city guardians around cattle stockyards and the the like.

    They need a real job to do and a lot of exercise. In fact, in Germany, they are still used for police and security work and it is not that uncommon to see them working as guide dogs.
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Why not get a baby gate?

    I echo everything that Going North said. I have never heard of a buddy cube but we are HUGE fans of the KONG and super value peanut butter. Despite that, the knuckle bones and our complete dislike for greenies and rawhide treats? Pootie STILL ate my dragon claw and ball wood table feet. :mad: (but you WUF her) is all I heard. lol.

    I still think maybe a tread mill for his high energy level would help.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ace is improving as he settles in. Actually he has been downright good since there has been action going on in the house with the painting and updating before the family reunion/birthday party/Canoe Challenge. He is an absolute angel at night sleeping in the corner of our room.

    I just thought that there was a bitter tasting spray that turned dogs off
    that I would spray on the legs of the new furniture just to be safe. The bitter apple was recommended, cider vinegar was recommended and red pepper flakes (yikes).

    Ace devours those nylon bones and his face actually gets all messed up from the relentless gnawing he does. Once I found him with a knuckle and realized he could choke, I tossed them out. He is getting more exercise
    and I am "almost" determined to take him for a walk each night. DDD
  9. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    When I babysat difficult child 1's dog last year, she chewed my woodwork, the lip off the stair, a door, some furniture, etc. I had used the Bitter Apple stuff with other dogs and it worked but it didn't work with her. What did work: I rubbed Tabasco sauce on the spots when she started chewing. That took care of it right away. It might work discolor blonde wood but it's still better than chew marks.
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Gryphon, my big German Shepherd, absolutely destroys Nylabones. He hacks off chunks and bolts them.

    I get him a raw knuckle per week and he gets it 3 times a week for an hour at a time when I can watch him.

    Keeps him busy and at seven he's never needed his teeth cleaned. Another thing I do is to get whole chicken backs and freeze them. One of those makes a nice doggie 'popsicle' and the bit of extra animal fat is good for the coat.

    Again, you much supervise.

    Even if you get the "super" Kongs, you still have to watch them. I get a few months out of a Kong before I have to replace it.

    It's a PITA, but until his back went bad (spinal stenosis) Gryphon was a very active working dog (tracking and obedience), and he just wasn't coping with the enforced lack of activity.

    He didn't become destructive in the house, but he started licking and chewing his paws and the like. Poor guy was just bored to tears.\

    A very wise dog-trainer in Germany once said to me, "What do you expect them to do? They can't drink or smoke, and they can't take up knitting!"

    If you want to go the treadmill route, talk to your vet about it. Your dog should be checked out before starting an exercise program just as you should. My niece has a pitbull kid that does wonderfully on a treadmill.

    Gryphon is too weak in back to use a treadmill safely. Remember that if your dog is of a working/herding breed, that they are designed NOT to let you know when they can't handle exercise.

    Boxers are actually darned good tracking dogs given the pushed in face and some of them do very well in agility. Ace might really enjoy that sort of thing. Another thing to look into is whether he is calm enough to do therapy dog work.

    Gryphon's GSD predecessor was both trained in protection (Schutzhund) AND had a therapy dog certification.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Is your backyard fenced in? Does Ace enjoy a good game of tennis ball?

    You talked about walking him but that would be very hard for me so maybe you could do what I used to do with my rottie. I would sit on my front step and toss the tennis ball and she would bring it back. She would run around the yard awhile and play with it before she brought it back sometimes but eventually when she wanted me to toss it again...back she would come.
  12. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    You can actually get a mechanical device that will throw tennis balls for you. We don't do tennis balls here because Gryph peels and eats 'em. He loves the fuzzy covering, chows down on it, and barfs it up all over the house.

    I use one of the "retriever" dummies for him. Can't imagine him ever working as a retriever as he by no means has a "soft mouth" and anything he brought back to you would be full of holes, but he likes the dummies.

    He also loves to swim, and that is REALLY good exercise for dogs, especially older ones that might have some joint problems.
  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    We've only had one chew toy that has lasted through two Bostons and my mixed breed. I found a bone-shaped Kong toy that they just love and so far, it's lasted almost two years and doesn't even show any tooth marks! It's black, about 6" long, and has little zagged holes on either end that you can stick little biscuits in if you want.

    In the Kong toys, black is the hardest and is made for the big dogs and the determined chewers (Bostons!). The red ones are a medium density, and the little blue/white ones are softer and made more for puppies.

    I haven't had a chance to read all the replies yet, but is there some reason you're not crating him?
  14. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    The bone shaped Kong toy is great so long as your dog doesn't throw it all over the house. I use the black jumbo Kongs for Gryphon.

    He both likes to chase them, and to work out on one when it is stuffed with generic peanut butter.

    Oddly, he prefers the Aldi's housebrand PB to the namebrand stuff. I am not sure if it is because it is sweeter or what.

    Another thing I do is the get the "processed cheese", like WalMart's house brand version of Velveeta. You can cut that into strips and stuff the Kong with that.

    Kongs come in several shapes. The original version works best for us, but if another shape works best for your dog, there is no problem with that.
  15. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ace loves to play. His favorite toy is "his baby" (yes, he'll go get "his baby" upon request). ;) Actually he had two babies but one, sad to say, that baby #1 "bit it" after losing his ears and getting a neck puncture. Poor doggie "baby".

    His mouth is too too big for tennis ball play. We tried. I bought one bigger ball at the pet store but it ended up punctured pdq.

    His "destruction" is done when he is alone and bored. We have decided to close off the living/dining room when we are not home. He has done well in the family room......and his crate is there for his comfort. He has never been closed in his crate but he does like it.

    by the way we have one Kong toy and is has straps on the end (in case you guys have the same toy, lol). When ace grabs that toy but the straps and starts swinging it side to side, a human could be :faint: if too close. DDD
  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like you have a good plan.

    I had no idea about the problem with Greenies. I just know that Gracie is addicted to their cat treats. They did send me a sample of a dog thing made for "dental health" but it looked like you were supposed to brush their teeth with it. Since it was made of hard plastic I could see it really hurting them if you brushed their teeth with it. Their teeth are made for chewing, not for being scrubbed with a hard plastic thing.

    But the cat treats are loved. We had to be careful because Gracie gave one to Goldi by putting it in her mouth and somehow getting it through the wires on the bird cage. (She is a really smart cat, even turns light switches and the fan switch on and off in the living room. husband resorted to lamps because she kept turning the light off on him when she thought it was his bedtime, LOL! We have a key shelf just below the lviing room lightswitch and she sweeps it off when she wants up there, LOL!)

    Cat treats are not good for birds. Esp with cat spit on them, LOL!

    Enjoy your new table and chairs!
  17. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Greenies dog chews are actually made to look and feel like hard plastic. They are actually made of compressed, processed wheat gluten, which dogs can't digest anyways.

    The "toothbrush" shape is an advertising ploy, nothing more.

    The cat treats are basically little biscuits with 'chips' of greenie material mixed in. The active ingredients in both products are primariliy chlorophyll.

    Dog's and cat's breath should not smell of anything more than what they are eating. If the breath is foul you are dealing with some sort of disease process. Nearly always that is tartar and plague buildup on the teeth combined with gum disease.

    That should initially be addressed by your vet who can clean the teeth and treat the gums.

    If the gums and teeth are good and the breath is still nasty, you need to look a bit deeper. Both kidney and liver disease can cause bad breath, for example.

    Garlicky food and the like can cause garlic-breath (sometimes at both ends).
  18. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    haha...don't mean to laugh, but it's a weird side effect of having a pet. $700 later after my one parrot systematically chewed her way around my leather sofa set I wanted to heat up the skillet and fry her.

    How about getting some pieces of scrap wood that are their play toys?

  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    ;) I don't think slivers of wood are good for the digestive system, lol. DDD
  20. Abbey

    Abbey Spork Queen

    ha...probably not, but if they want to chew wood...they'll find wood. Might as well not make it your furniture.

    In my experience with birds, they LOVE to chew wood. Heck, in Australia they shoot them for destroying their decks. They're not actually eating the wood...they're just in shred mode. My birds will shred nearly everything they can get near. I go to Goodwill and buy all the old baby toys such as the alphabet wooden blocks and toss them one or two each day. They don't eat them...just frantic shredding.

    Not sure about dogs, but I'm guessing it's just something they've found an interest in to help them not be bored.