Thank you all for the input on our puppy who chews everything and ingests too much. We have ruled out the muzzle and he is now almost 6 months old and doing slightly better with not ingesting everything (a bit more selective) but chewing is still a problem. Today we had his most property-destructive event: He bit into the leather couch cushion and tore an inch long triangular hole into it. I am wondering Morewags612 and everyone else what specific techniques to discourage chewing on a particular item were most effective. Now that he bit a hole in the couch he keeps coming back for more. We have been on constant defense with him today.
so much of training is about setting the dog up for success. From the above post it sounds like you are likely giving him too much freedom way too young. If you cannot actively supervise he should either be crated or in a fully dog-proof area with nothing he can damage. If you are not there you cannot do any behaviour modification.
So I recommend:
- crating (start with crate training, then crating) when you are not home
- if you are home, keep him to the rooms you are in via baby gates
- if you cannot supervise even if you are home, crate
- another option if you are moving around is to tether him to you so he follows you as you do your stuff
Make sure he gets lots of age appropriate exercise. at that age they need like an hour or more (over a day not necessarily in one go) of free off leash running around. walks are great but not exercise. ALSO make sure to work him brain via mental exercise like training, working for his meals (via games or toys) or other.
Make sure he has plenty of appropriate chew toys. When you catch him chewing something inappropriate, interrupt, gentle correction "no chew", and give him something appropriate to chew on.
Thanks for your reply. Our puppy is crate trained and has a pen (kind of a circular baby gate) that I put him in when I want him to have more space but I/we can't watch him as close. I work from home and that works well when he is not super active but needs more space. Most of our issues with him occur outside; he can be almost running at a full clip and swoop down and pick up an acorn. Those are fewer and farther between but the couch biting event happened when our three kids were "watching" him but apparently paying more attention to the t.v. while I was on a work call. We have had some horrendous weather including days of ice that make normal outdoor exercise impossible. He has been slipping and sliding for days so I think that is part of our more recent problem. I do think the mental excercise has slipped a bit in recent days. He starts puppy school again in another week which will help. He loves playing with other dogs and the bad weather means his playmates don't come around as much.
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This I know for sure..a tired dog is a happy dog..
yes the weather keeps us from being outside more..so we play ball in the house..I throw it and Marley chases it..again and again.. she has so much energy..and when she gets tired she is content..
and she has many toys to chew on and I to have to watch her like a hawk..so she does not chew the furniture..
patience my friend with yourself and your puppy..I hope puppy school makes her the best dog.
and yes my puppy likes to eat rocks she finds..as we have a very long driveway and she eats as she goes..running so fast..