Strange, unexpected destructive behavior from Puff
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Thread: Strange, unexpected destructive behavior from Puff

  1. #1
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultStrange, unexpected destructive behavior from Puff

    Puff (age 11) is showing some recent VERY atypical behavior.

    During the last year, Puff and I are spending more nights at my
    girlfriend's (B's) home in Lawrence, 35 miles east of Topeka.

    Puff has a large dog bed (from Costco, like a 2.5' x 3.5' soft
    mattress) next to the bed in "my" room. I put that wherever
    she's most likely to want to be in our absence.

    Whenever B. and I leave for a dance or movie, Puff's previously
    been taken out for P&P and she's also been fed and has water.

    When we come home, Puff's often gone in to several bedrooms
    or B.'s downstairs rec room and tossed all the pillows from beds
    or couches onto the floor, along with the coverlets, blankets,
    couch cushions, etc. Sometimes these are ripped past the point of
    reasonable repair. She recently decimated a foam rubber insert
    for a couch seat, scattering small and large hunks of rubber all
    over the floor that took some time to collect.

    Puff seems to love B. and seeks her out to be petted by her & to lick
    her appreciatively, or to finish off B's yogurt cups. She stays with B.
    weekly several hours, usually on several days, while I'm attending
    activities of the local KU group for retired faculty. And B. and I have
    been leaving Puff like this for a year when we've gone to KC for
    movies, dinners, dances, etc. This destructiveness has just started
    the last couple months.

    Puff's never done anything like this at my/our home in the past.
    It's as if she's suddenly angry at not having been included with us,
    left alone, and is retaliating -- but I find that reasoning uncomfortably
    anthropomorphic.

    I'm going to buy a baby/dog gate to restrict her to just a few "safe"
    rooms in B's home when we're gone.

    Anyone have similar experiences, suggestions, or ideas?

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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  3. #2
    Belles mom is offline Senior Member
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    I have not kept up on your living situation recently. Is this a a live in situation? Is it Puff's first live in? I know you have had other lady friends, did Puff behave similarly to them?


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  4. #3
    Sophiesmama's Avatar
    Sophiesmama is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Pr. View Post
    Puff (age 11) is showing some recent VERY atypical behavior.

    Puff's never done anything like this at my/our home in the past.
    It's as if she's suddenly angry at not having been included with us,
    left alone, and is retaliating -- but I find that reasoning uncomfortably
    anthropomorphic.

    I'm going to buy a baby/dog gate to restrict her to just a few "safe"
    rooms in B's home when we're gone.

    Anyone have similar experiences, suggestions, or ideas?

    I think this is what is happening. She is feeling left behind and more than likely, bored. We had a dog that would get up on my son's bed and pee everytime he went back to college. We figured out he was feeling deserted. Also, Baby gates only worked for Sophie till she was a few months old, till she got big enough to jump it, or eat it!
    ~Pam



    Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo


    8.5 mo.

    Sophie 15 months, with Skye

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  6. #4
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Puff & I spend 2-4 days & nights/week at B.'s in Lawrence. Puff's diet remains exactly the same and our exercise routine nearly identical.

    When B. and I are out, Puff always has her favorite classical music radio station tuned in (as at our home). I put her bed next to a floor-to-ceiling window wall so she can watch any street activity (joggers, walkers, &c.--it's a quiet, suburban neighborhood) and see our return (usually we see she's standing & wagging her tail, alertly watching us as if she recognized the sound and appearance of the car, as we pull in B.s driveway).

    I should add that Puff's destructive rampages have begun only recently, the last couple months, after at least a year of being left by herself when we went to shows or dances when she showed no misbehavior. Since Puff's usual evening P&P times are 10:30-11:30 PM, we make sure we're always back by then.

    And, her rampages do NOT occur every time we've left, only 1/3rd or 1/2 the times.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

  7. #5
    Jefferson'n'Ted's Avatar
    Jefferson'n'Ted is offline Senior Member
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    Sounds like she is bored and finding new ways to entertain herself.
    Have you tried one of those doggy puzzles? I'd try some new toys in addition to confining her to one room.
    Last edited by Jefferson'n'Ted; 09-01-2012 at 11:27 AM.
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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    I have no advise. Erns has always done that, but recently added a few odd things to the mix. We say he is becoming a senile old man as a joke. At one point I wondered if it was having Tessa, but she has been here a year and he has been fine. He loves her so who knows what goes on in their minds.

    If Puff is determined to rearrange bedding a gate may not stop her, or she will find another distraction to keep herself busy.

    Perhaps block off the rooms she is attracted to so she isn't tempted. We have gates on all the doors and Erns is in one room if we go out.

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  9. #7
    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    I think gating her off would be a start, but you could also give her one of the doggy puzzles as already suggested.

  10. #8
    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    Since these "episodes" don't happen every time you leave Puff, I'm wondering if something happens outside that kind of over stimulates her- something in the yard, or on the street or something she hears. I think the idea of gating her off is a good one. Maybe think about keeping her away from the floor to ceiling window, just in case it's something she sees that sets her off. Also, I'd start keeping her bed in one place (preferably a quiet one).

  11. #9
    Sams Mom's Avatar
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    Bob, you've got some 'splaining to do. Which lady was "B." again? The nice lady with the questionable taste in flower planters, the one who could really dance but wasn't sure of a relationship or is this yet another lady?

  12. #10
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for your suggestions. We'll try using the baby/doggy gate, restricting her to several rooms where she could do the least damage & moving her water supply into that area when we leave.

    I'm reluctant to invest $50 in a doggy puzzle because Puff (quite unlike most--90%? of--Labs) is not that interested in food until 5 PM and her usual supper time.

    And even at that, she's not that interested in plain kibble -- that's always available in her bowl many hours a day and very rarely touched (it's there sort of as parachutes are for flyers). She is highly interested--between 5 & 6 PM--in her personal Chef Robért's particular dinner recipe of a slice of turkey breast diced fine, added to 3/4 cup water & simmered for 20 minutes to create a flavored stock, then poured into the dry kibble, thoroughly mixed until all the liquid is absorbed, then served when it's cooled to luke warm. But, after she's eaten her set amount for supper, she has no further interest in food -- (unless, of course, it's a share of any snack I'm eating).

    I think the doggy puzzle would be a great distraction and probably workable for most Labs but I can't think of any food for its hidden treasures other than maybe peanuts or raw salmon that would spark her interest sufficiently. (But then either of those two might be too intense and so the doggy puzzle very probably would meet the same fate as the destroyed bed coverings and couches.)

    So we'll try the baby/doggy gate and let you know what happens.

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 09-03-2012 at 12:40 PM.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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