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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Chewing Destructively

My sister has a 18 month old border collie mix who is destroying their house. Everytime he is left alone, even for as little as 10 minutes, he chews something up. They have given him a ton of his own toys, but he still tears up their stuff. They can't leave him outside, as he barks constantly. He's a wonderful dog except for the chewing (and the fact that he nips you hard when you are playing with him--running around and stuff), but they are getting extremely frustrated with him. They don't have the money to put him in obedience classes. I told her I would ask all the wonderful people here. Any advice would be wonderful. Thanks so much.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 10:31 AM
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What do they do with him when they see him chew things?
Do they give him commands and show him what he is doing is wrong?
My 5 month old puppy got into the habit of chewing my shoe. Every time he did it I would say NO and after about a week of this he has not done it since *fingers crossed*
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 10:56 AM
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Awe, hun, I never had that EXTREME problem until I got Brittney. This is what worked for me (she's 5 years old now, and it took 2 years to break her of the problem): I ended up putting her in a large crate when I was away from home and even while I slept (crate was beside the bed), tended to her the entire time I was at home (watching her every move - saying "no" when she did something bad). If you don't teach them the "no" command and keep it consistent, they don't understand, but you also have to praise them when they do good, constantly! She cried and barked for long periods of time after crating, but it's expected. Patience is the key here. Within 1 week, she didn't cry when I was asleep (don't give into the pup - I just said "No, go Nite-Nite", which worked eventually - now when I say that, she heads straight for my bedroom, wagging her tail). It took 1 month before she stopped crying and barking when I left the house. Yes, she was a difficult dog to control at first, but she's such a good doggie now. She does still like to tear up toys, but not anything else (except for a recent situation - she pulled the cartoon character lion-shaped heaf off the top of my hair detangler ... I had just been shopping, and laid it on the floor in the bag with other items. She thought the "head" was for her, because I bring toys home all the time for her and my big boy, Hercules. I didn't scold her for tearing the lion head up, cuz she really thought I brought it home for her. Anyway, that was the only incident for several years. I have faith that almost all dogs can be trained to suit the owner, but it sometimes does take a lot of discipline and regularity, as well as praises when they do good (so they learn the difference in right and wrong), AND lot of love.

One other thing I'd like to throw in, don't teach a dog to do anything you don't want it to do later. For instance, my ex-fiance taught Brittney to jump up, thrusting her front paws on his stomach so he could leash her (he had back problems), well after I broke up with him, it took me 2 years to break her from it. Anyway, every dog is different, but that's what I did to train my Golden Retriever. Hope this might help.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 11:37 AM
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Sounds like extreme seperation anxiety to me. I would definately work on the crate training for when they leave the house.

As hard as it is, you can't scold or punish the dog in any way if you don't "catch" them doing it. They don't know what they've done wrong otherwise.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-23-2005, 12:08 PM
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I would have to agree with Chrisanne...they should look into crate sounds like it could be the solution to the problem. Harlie and Max are both chewers...they are crated when we are away...that way, they are safe from blockages from eating things they would have chewed, and my house is safe too.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-24-2005, 04:58 PM
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Bach Flower Essences- 38 in total The one for destructive chewers- is Snapdragon. For animals who are only destructive when left alone- Heather. 5 drops on some moist food as needed- even every five minutes to start because it's non toxic. You can also drop the drops on the tongue as needed. 10 drops in the water bowl( small) along with a water change daily. Highly effective. You can get them at health food stores.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 03-25-2005, 07:12 AM
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have you read the "sticky" on crate training? it would be a good idea. i think your sister needs to:
crate when gone/sleeping.
give the NO command when CAUGHT IN THE ACT and replace the bad item with a good one (toy, bone, etc).
exercise the crap out of the dog.

how much exercise does this dog get? border collies need tons of it. i would recommend a good hour long walk twice a day if possible. if not, at the least one walk and a few hours of play time at home. also, they are recognized as the smartest breed of all dogs (or one of), so they need tons of brain stimulation. if your friend can't afford the classes, she can simply go on the internet or buy a book to learn lots of tricks to teach him. he'll learn super quickly!!

sounds like two things are wrong here:
the dog is bored and has too much energy
the dog needs correction in the form of a crate and commands when caught in the act.

i hope it works out!

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border collie, border collie mix, collie mix, crate training, golden retriever, health food store, water bowl

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