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Thread: chewing household objects

  1. #1
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    chewing household objects

    My lab puppy is 7 months old. When she first came to me, she wouldn't chew toys. It was as if she had been trained not to. Then, as I showed her it was okay to chew toys, she came to believe she could chew household items, as well. It started with cables and cords, and now it's tearing the stuffing from comforters.
    If I don't let her chew toys and frisbees, she won't chew other things but then she is so bored. I know it is important for her teeth and development to chew.
    I guess what I'm asking is how can I teach her it is okay to chew some things but not others?
    Religion is a smile on a dog.

    It's raining cats and dogs!!!
    SPCA HOUSTON
    HABITAT FOR HORSES
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    IL
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    I have 2 labs and one of them is currently a 6 month old pup - so I can relate. At first he only chewed on his toys - recently he has started w/ teh shoes and which he didn't do before. What I do and it seems to work is when he has something he's not supposed to I give him a firm "NO" then put the item out of his reach...then I get one of his toys or rawhides and stick it in his mouth and he chews away at that. It seems to work, eventually they'll catch onto what they can and cannot chew...just takes time and patience!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoey
    My lab puppy is 7 months old. If I don't let her chew toys and frisbees, she won't chew other things but then she is so bored. I know it is important for her teeth and development to chew.
    I guess what I'm asking is how can I teach her it is okay to chew some things but not others?
    What are you doing to help your pup expend some of it's energy so it's not bored? Lab pups are very high energy and if you don't provide proper stimulation they WILL be destructive. You need to be prepared to exercise this pup a good hour every day (minimum). As they get older the energy level increases until they are around 3 or 4 years old and then it somewhat slows.

    As for teething... Pup should never be left alone unsupervised at this age. If you can't supervise play then you need to contain the dog to a special area that is more or less baby proof. Only acceptable chew toys should be present. A good chew for pups teething is ice cubes. They not only help with the irritation but also help with the swelling that sometimes occurs when teething. Another one is plastic pop bottles that they can sink their teeth into chase around on the floor trying to catch.

    Obedience training is also a good thing to do to help pup understand your commands of what is expected of him.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Lescoop77,
    Yayy for lab pups !!
    I had another lab before, (the one in my avatar), but she came to me as an adult, so we never had this issue.
    Yes, you are right. I should say a firm *No* everytime.
    I have been guilty of letting her get away with chewing on the comforter a few times, (that was before she dug out the stuffing, lol.) So no more of that! And in time she'll learn the *no*'s for sure. Thanks for the advice.

    Dixieland,
    Hey, thanks for the ice cube trick. I just gave her some lg. crushed ice chips and she seemed to enjoy that. Gosh, it didn't occur to me that her gums might be a bit swollen, but it's possible.
    Daisy and I walk or run/walk everyday 2 or 3 miles. We have a couple of different marinas close by and a fantastic park by galveston bay with trails in the woods.
    We toss a frisbee or ball (I've taught her to catch and retrieve.)
    The next activity I'd like to try with her is swimming. She's got little webbed feet like a duck, so I bet she'll be good at that. Also, when she gets a bit older I'll take her on bike runs, (she running, me on a bicycle.) Then we'll be able to get some real distance in.
    Daisy also goes to work with me everyday. I've only left her alone twice. My boss owns a home next to the business, which is on 6 acres. One of the acres is fenced in where Daisy frolics and plays with 3 male dogs, most of the day-2 lab mixes and a golden retriever. (I'll post pics of them all soon.)
    So she runs around chasing them and getting lots of exercise and socialization with them. It's good because she does have some dominance issues.
    But you are right. After we do a 3 mile run, she is very, very happy. The combo of being outside and getting lots exercise is key.
    I think she'll understand in time. With these pups, I think you just really have to repeat yourself hundreds of times with some things. But eventually they do get it. When I think of all she's learned since I've had her around, I beam with pride.
    *goes off to get Daiz some more ice chips.*
    Religion is a smile on a dog.

    It's raining cats and dogs!!!
    SPCA HOUSTON
    HABITAT FOR HORSES
    When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Upstate NY
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    You have received some great advice. Dixieland dancer always gives excellent advice.

    Lack of activity & brain stimulation is the most common cause for destruction. A tired dog is a good dog. lol I

    I would like to add though to make sure the objects he is allowed to chew do not resemble any household objects what so ever. For example many of the rope toys are colorful & fringy, they may look similar to a trow rug, blanket, etc... Anything wood resembles furniture, old socks & shoes resemble new socks & shoes.
    You say it's mainly cords & comfortors now. Do any of her toys have any rope or rope trim or even anything similar that looks and/or feels similar to cords? Does she have any stuffed toys at all?
    I suggest removing all the toys that resemble items you do not want chewed.

    I also suggest removing all rawhides & the like until she learns not to chew your belongings. Rawhides & the like only teach a dog to chew. They have to chew, chew, chew to make it tasty & edible which may lead the dog to believe that if she chews something long enough it too will become tasty & edible.

    I wish you luck!
    Soar high & free my sweet fur angels. I love you Nanook & Raustyk... forever & ever.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Thanks Iv4dogs.
    It's funny you'd mention the look-alike objects.
    Daisy did have a favorite toy that looked like cords, (a tubular rubber piece with a rope running through it),
    shortly before the incident with eating through the electrical cords. That was also on an occasion that I left her alone at home while I went to work.
    I really agonized over whether I should leave her alone. but she was sick w/ a sinus infection and kennel cough, and theres a lot of dust that blows into the shop where my office is. At that time, I had a bed for her in my office b/c she was newly adopted and had to be quaranteened from other animals. So my place was cleaner and quiet for her to heal.
    The first day she seemed fine, but the second day - the cord incident. But yeah, she doesn't play with the look alike toy anymore. And the important thing is, she healed just fine. It was so hard to see my baby cough and gag like that, though.
    Your take on rawhide makes sense. I'll quit giving her those until she's a bit older.
    You guys are great. You've helped me pinpoint some key ideas.
    Daisy & I spent the day outside walking and playing ball.
    It was about 75', though it's been like 90' everyday lately.
    I'm taking vacation days off, so I get a 4 day weekend.
    Religion is a smile on a dog.

    It's raining cats and dogs!!!
    SPCA HOUSTON
    HABITAT FOR HORSES
    When it's in your best interest, practice obedience.

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