Q: How can I get my dog to stop chewing and eating blankets?
My dog loves to chew up and eat blankets, socks and pillows. I really don't think she is lacking anything in her diet, she has done this since we got her. She is 19 months old. It seems to be more of a nervous, hyper or seperation issue. She starts doing this when it's time for bed or she is alone for a few minutes and no one is looking. She has chew toys and a bisquit or two but seems to prefer these items instead. Of course she injests them and so far she seems to be getting rid of it in her stools, but I worry. She gets plenty of exercise with long walks outside and we play games with her and she has plenty of fresh food and water. You can tell by her blanket in the photo that she eats quite a bit. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Aug 20, 2009
It sounds like she may have some separation anxiety. I would recommend speaking to your vet about an animal behavioralist. Here are some tips I found as well
1. Keep departures and arrivals calm.
2. Push the panic button; for example if there is something in the bedtime routine that seems to start her off, do this many, may times during the day without the separation affer.
3. Practice leaving; start short (seconds before returning)
4. Teach "stay" - you didn't say this, but if your dog tends to follow you, this will help her get used to being away from you.
5. Lots of exercise, as others have said
6. Dogs like dens; your dog may actually like a crate if she doesn't have one
7. Stay calm when you do find she has chewed her blanket.
I have also found that bitter apple sometimes helps with the chewing.
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Aug 17, 2009
What breed is she? Some breeds, such as the border collie, or other high energy breeds are more prone to this behaviour. It's due the fact that they want lots of mental stimulation. The second they got bored, they go into that destructive mode. When your not home, put her in a crate to make sure she can't chew up anything. Give her her own toys and everything in this crate, that way she won't be bored out of her mind. Try taking her on long walks, maybe a few times a day if you can. Walking is more than just excersize to dogs. They work their brains by sniffing around, they love it. And when your both at home, just keep everything she tries to chew, put up. I'd say invest in something like the "Kong" it's a thick plastic toy, in which you can put in treats, or these spray stuff they sell. It should keep her content for awhile. :) But the main thing to remember is. Dogs are like kids. 1 toy won
't really keep 'em happy for long. So invest in lots of them.
Thumbs Up: 1 |
Aug 17, 2009
sounds like she needs more exercise and some obedience training. it's imperative you train her the "leave it" command. although she's been passing it, the things she's eating is dangerous for her and exploratory surgery can range in the thousands of dollars. if she ever doesn't pass something, she will need exploratory surgery.
to train "leave it" - offer her an object and say "leave it" quickly substituting a treat in your other hand. repeat this several times and work on your timing. you will know when she's gotten the hang of it when she listens to your command instead of just following the treat. b/c she does sound like a nervous or anxious dog, you will want to say your commands w/a calm and happy voice. always say "leave it" when you catch her chewing something she shouldn't be and praise her for chewing her toys.
also teach her sit and stay and come and whatever you can throw at her. this will help mentally stimulate her, give her more attention and exercise, and build up her confidence. take her for daily one hour walks and find some way for her to happily vent her energy throughout the day.
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Aug 16, 2009
If it is a puppy it is more easily corrected than with an adult dog. Puppies usually grow out of the chewy nippie phase as they get older on their own. They get out of it faster with training and correction.
The first step would be to deny her access to any items which she chews if possible. The next step would be to take a harder look at the anxiety issues they may be having. Often times dogs will display anxiety or stress related issues because they are not provided enough structured excercise.
If the dog spends most of the time in the house, you may want to consider taking it outside more often or for longer periods. Long walks work very well to relieve hyperanxiety or stress. Fetch, frisbee or simply chasing a ball around for a while works well too.
This may help the dog to be more relaxed when they are in the home and less likely to be a behavioral problem. But for now the most immediate remedy is to deny access to the items they are chewing.
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