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Pet People

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Need Advice: Rocky Knocks out Couch in One Round!

Remember this sweet picture of boxer Rocky on top of newest boxer Gracie on Shannon's couch?

Well, see Shannon's couch after Rocky got done playing with it! Bad Boy!

Shannon says: "My boxer Rocky is a horrible chewer and really destructive. I know it's in some boxers nature to be this way. He has pretty much destroyed my couch which is ok because I hated the couch and wanted a new one (haha). But, seeing as I will be getting a new couch I don't want him doing the same to the new one.

"I bought some stuff from Petsmart called "natures miracle" bitter spray. I sprayed it all over the couch yesterday to the point of it being wet. I closed all the bedrooms doors . To test them, I left Rocky and Gracie out for approx 1 hour alone while I ran to the store. When I returned....welll, just look at the picture. Yes, he pulled all the cushions off the couch and chewed them some more. He also knocked my daughters door open (it doesn't stick when you close it) and retrieved several items from her room. One item was one of those pillows that has one hundred gazillion microscopic beads...that is what appears to be snow on my floor.

"Upon moving the couch cushions, I found several beanie babies murdered beyond recogniton-only small piles of beads and shredded pink fabric. Another beanie victim was found in the hallway. A couple of softball socks were also chewed. So, I just counted this as failure, put them in the fence and vacummed for 45 minutes. Needless to say there are still tiny beads rolling around...probably will be for weeks.

"I am wondering if anyone else has a suggestion for a product that stops chewing. Also, what about a super large gate? I just hate putting him in his kennel if I am going to be gone for 3 or 4 hours. I saw a gate on PetSmart's website that is very wide (I need one that will expand to 70 inches and be tall enough for him not to jump over) but its web sales only. I would rather see it in person before I buy it.

"I know this will pass in a couple of years as he is only about 18 months old. But he is driving me to drinking. HA! ANY suggestions will be appreciated."

My advice for Shannon (and please add yours too!):I can tell you this happened with
Scooter when he was adopted by my friend first to be a companion to her first dog. She came home from work and found the same thing. A few times. That's why I took him, as I wasn't working and could work with him.

When he first came here, I was here to catch him in the act. The minute he
started chewing on a rug or miniblind cord I said NO in a harsh voice, made
him move away and gave him a chew toy. It didn't take long for him to stop.

Peanut chewed up all the cushions on the deck when he was younger. It looked
like a snow machine exploded all over the place. First he did it to lounge
chair cushions. Then all the wicker furniture cushions. I went and got new
stuff and he did it again. The third time I tred to find the exact same
cushions so The Boss wouldn't know, but couldn't find them, so I bought
others and covered them with pillow cases. And then it never happened again.

I would try to be home and leave them alone when you can see them from a
window without them knowing. Then if he starts doing it, you can march in and discipline him. You have to catch them in the act for this to work. Do this
several times.

I don't think he has separation anxiety, or he'd be destroying more than
couches. A couch cushion is like a big soft stuffed animal to some. I can't
give my dogs plush toys any more because Scooter unstuffs them in 20 seconds
flat. (all the other things Rocky chewed were soft, material things).

You can get leather furniture because that doesn't have removable cushions.
I've never heard of a dog destroying leather. Anyone else ever hear of a dog destroying leather?

A gate is also a good idea and they do make big ones. Brett and Jeremy have
one to keep the dogs in their bedroom if they want to. It's from almost top
to bottome of the door frame and is one piece and is a swing type that can be locked. It's brushed metal or aluminum. It looks nice. You should ask to come by their house to see it and ask where they got it. You can check out the Dr. Foster's and Smith Web site. I get a lot of pet stuff from this site and they have the gates and everything under the sun for pets.

And Shannon is right about the age thing. Dogs usually "grow up" after the age of two and stop a lot of that kind of thing.

As far as spray products, I never heard of any of those things working excpet on wood, like chair legs.

So, share your advice!

posted by Sandy at 3/16/2008 12:23:00 PM


Blogger Adrienne said...

Wow Shannon, He'd be a dead dog in this house. I know you said you do not want to kennel him, but you may not have another choice. I kennel all my dogs because of chewing and seperation anxiety. They are kenneled 5-6 hours a day during the week. It's not as bad as you think. Use it as a positive thing, never use it to punish and he will learn to like his kennel. As he becomes more trust worthy, you can leave him out. Start with quick trips, less than 20 minutes. Then build on it. Until you can leave him out alone for more than an hour at a time, I would continue to use the kennel.

I have gone through every thing you can think of from bitter apple to mouse traps. I use child gates, but only when I'm home. They have knocked them over and ripped the mountings out of the wall. We have 3 floors and the lower floor is the dog floor. I have put a gate at the bottom of the stairs and come home to find the dogs in the livingroom and carpet chewed.

Do not feel guilty for using a kennel. It's better for him to be safe and contained, than worrying about what he might eat while you are gone that could kill him in the end. Feel free to give me call if you want to talk about it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008 5:59:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

can you muzzle him? will that prevent the chewing?

Sunday, March 16, 2008 9:01:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

You can't muzzle him, then he couldn't drink water or lick himself. LOL.

And I doubt he has separation anxiety becuase dogs who that go nuts on everything, doors, windows, whatever. He is only chewing up soft things. Those things you can keep put away, BUT for the cushions.

If she can keep him in the kitchen with a gate, that gives him more room than a crate. Nothing wrong with crating for short periods, but it doesn't sound like he's as destructive as yours have been.

We used to put the dogs outside on the covered deck/yard when we went places and that was when Peanut ate the cushions. If he had been in the house he would have got the couch.

I think Rocky will outgrow that behavior. Scooter and Peanut did eventually! He's still a pup!

Shannon, you might want to search on the Internet too!

Sunday, March 16, 2008 11:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Amy Bennett said...

I think I finally found someone like me! My two dogs Nala and Reese chewed the hell out of my TWO couches and one chair! I love my girls more than my furniture, but I have to say it is easy when they get out of the chewing stage, now they just sit on the couch.

Monday, March 17, 2008 5:55:00 AM  
Blogger B said...

Shannon--do you have a rea of the house that the dogs can inhabit without destroying anything? We have a gate that seperates the rest of the house from the two room we live out of --yes we live like old ladies with part of the house reserved for company use only-LOL. The gate hang like a door, with enough room off the floor for Pearl to slide under and have her haven from the mutts. I guess its like a stall door--but its metal rungs that you can see thru. Any of you that have been to my place know what I am talking about. I'm sure with some brainstorming, or maybe a little mechanical help (HELLO BERNIE) you could rig one where it could be put up and taken down with no problem.
I got mine when my store got new fittings one year. Those metal grates that you see clothes hanging on sometimes in stores, thats what it is. I just put hinges on it and screwed it to the door frame. Now it si just like another door, but if I want to keep the babies in their rooms, they can still see me and hear me while I'm in the living room. May not be a solution for you, but it's been great for us.

Monday, March 17, 2008 7:35:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Hi Amy,

Glad to "see" a new face. You must tell us more about you and your pets. Seems we've all gone through the same problems!

And the picture with Shannon's destroyed couch probably looks worse than it is, as its the microbeads from one pillow all over the floor that make it look like such a mess!

Monday, March 17, 2008 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I am sorry about your couch Shannon, but that picture is too funny! I am laughing with you and not at you! LOL It looks as though you had a freak snowstorm in the middle of the living room! Bad Rocky, Bad Boy... Now why dont you think that Gracie had anything to do with the death of your couch and the Beenie babies?

Sorry, I cannot be of any help in your solutions. All my pets are perfect! ha, you know that aint true! Sheba just broke a glass panel out of a candle holder over the weekend. One made in a castle in Germany at a Renaissance Faire! Argg...

Hello Amy. What kind of doggie are your Nala and Reese? Send Sandy some pictures of them to share....

Monday, March 17, 2008 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Alice said...

Niki is a chewer too. I have tried the Kings and Kong look-a-likes but she gets the treats out so fast and I don't want to give her TOO many treats. I let the cats play in the cardboard soda boxes and Niki will usually end up chewing it up so I have lots of bits of wet cardboard to clean up and the cats have lost their play house.

I give them all rawhide chews designed for St. Bernards... they're HUGE and that has helped a little.

The vet says she will outgrow it... fingers crossed. She is the youngest dog we have had at 2 years old. All our other dogs have been at least 4 years old or older and much less energetic.

The professor thinks we could make millions if we could bottle Niki's energy...

Monday, March 17, 2008 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger O'Malley said...

Actually Sandy, the room looked worse than a picture could capture-haha-you had to see it in person to believe it. I walked around for a minute dumbfounded. Those little beads have lots of static cling and the dogs were just jumping and smiling at me with hundreds of those things attached to their faces. It was such a disaster that I couldn't even get mad.

Adrienne I might have to do as you say and just be content with kenneling him. At least until he outgrows this. I am just worried with ball season coming up. Sometimes we will be gone all day long. I have a neighbor who will let them out for me but then he would have to go right back into the kennel. I too am scared that if I got a gate he would rip it from the wall.

B-I just might have to come by and check out your gate. Please have some diet coke and rum ready for me...hahah j/k..I was truly ready for a drink when I came in and found this mess.

Amy- Welcome! I would love to hear more about your doggies. What kind are they and how big? I am hoping this is our one and only couch ruined by Mr Destructo AKA Rocky.

Skeeter- Gracie is absolutely perfect. Not trying to be mean to my Rocky...she probably got in on the fun once the pillow was busted-as she did have the incriminating beads on her face(but so did the coffe table, walls, tv, etc)but she is very content to lay on the couch and appreciate its comfort. Maybe I need to set up a camera and catch all this on film. If I could have gotten this fiasco taped I think I would win the AFV grand prize...

Monday, March 17, 2008 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

"Incriminating beads on her face" LOLOLOLOL.

Did either have a guilty look on their face? Ya still gotta love them even when they do such things!

Monday, March 17, 2008 12:56:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Shannon, You do not have to feel guilty about kenneling! Like I said, child gates are good, but if they want over, around or through them, they will get what they want. Seperation Anxiety comes in all forms and just because he only chews soft things, doesn't mean he doesn't have it. Stella doesn't chew, but potties in the house when we leave, Hunter eats carpet, Mattie gets in the trash, Oscar barks. They all do different things and only when we are gone. When they are kenneled, they behave.

I understand how you are feeling about leaving him kenneled for so long, but if you have a neighbor or can afford a dog walker to come by and let him out, maybe throw a ball for him, he will be fine. If your guilt is too much for you, think about how you would feel if he ate something that caused his death because he wasn't confined in some way.

I recommend the wire cage kennel not the hard plastic ones, since I have had a dog break out of the plastic kind. And if you still do not want to kennel, maybe consider doggy day care for him. Socialization is good too for behavior problems.

Monday, March 17, 2008 6:08:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I was thinking about Doggie Day care also!
Incriminating beads on her face. I got a kick from that one too Sandy....LOL...

Alice, What is King and Kong look alikes?
Mean doggie taking the cats play house away. LOL... Sheba could probably fit into a 12 pack box but Monkey girl Cheetah could not!

Monday, March 17, 2008 9:00:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

Skeeter... mis-typed... should have said Kong and Kong look-a-likes. You know those indestructible dog toys that you stuff treats inside and the chewer dog spends hours trying to get them out. Or they are supposed to be indestructible and take hours... Niki has destroyed a couple of area rugs by chewing the edges of the carpet and biting off parts of the rubber toys.

It's hard trying to out-think this little girl...

Monday, March 17, 2008 9:25:00 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

You can assume it's separation anxiety, though. Scooter and Peanut both did things like that, I was just home more with Scooter and was able to address it. It's harder when you work. Rocky is still young and in that state. I've never heard of dogs just peeing or doing just one thing if they have separation anxiety. Any dog will go in trash if he can get it and that's not separation anxiety, that's just Dog. Peanut would eat everything in the frige if he could get it. It's something to talk to the vet about though.

And the kind of gate B has is one a dog can't go under or around or over as it's not a baby gate, it's a floor to ceiling type.

I don't think there's anything wrong with crating a dog, but I don't think one should be crated 8 hours a day every day. That often causes more problems because then when they get out they are a lot of pent up energy, especially a young dog.

Monday, March 17, 2008 11:59:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

I agree about the seperation anxiety (even if I can't spell it). I had a bad time with Lucy in the beginning, and Charlie is always near tears when we leave of a morning. But Lucy was by herself back then, and Charlie has two others to keep him company.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 7:46:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

Okay Alice. Never heard of them and since we dont have a dog, that is probably why. Next time we are in Petsmart, I will check them out so I will know what they are when you talk about them.... Pups are a handfull and if we ever decide to get a dog for our brood, I think it may be one with a personality already intake such as a 2 year old!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Wow, and here I get upset about the girls tearing up our carpet,ha. Oh well, like Sandy said you love them in spite of thie bad things they do.

Thursday, March 20, 2008 1:09:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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