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Thread: Dog question

  1. #1

    Default Dog question

    I have 2 chocolate labs. They are brother and sister, just over a year old. We leave them at home during work and my wife goes to check on them at lunch. They are getting into things and chewing on them. Any words of wisdom to stop this? They do not stay outside, so I can't put them out during the cold weather. Would love to hear any suggestions to why they are chewing and what could be done to stop it.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Hmmmm. It's like leaving two young teenagers at home. Plus if the inside of your home isn't the normal place for them to stay they are going to explore. I recommend a hardy dose of exercise before you leave your home. By that way you are leaving a tired dog at home instead of an energetic one. I know exercise is hard to do in the winter, but you are going to have to make some adjustments if you want these problems to go away. I don't know what your normal regimen is but I would continue supervising them in the home and teach them what is acceptable behavior in your home. Set the house rules. Don't get in the garbage, stay off the kitchen counter, get off my bed, don't run around with my underwear while I bring in my friends at the front door. Once you have established some rules and you can trust them while you are there then try them individually. Leave one crated and leave the other out. By this way you can tell who the instigator is. Some training and patience is all you need.
    The quick fix way to solve the problem is to put them in crates while you are away. This still doesn't alleviate the fact that exercise and training is needed.

  3. #3

    Default Wetland

    Thanks for the insights. They are people dogs for sure and love the attention. I know it is like leaving 2 kids at home. I am pretty sure I know which one it is doing the damage. All of the damage is done by chewing on something. Whether it be a shoe, etc. Seems that most of it occurs after the wife comes home for lunch. They get all excited to see her and then she has to leave and then they are all jacked up. I will try getting them out early in the morning for some exercise to see if that helps.

  4. #4
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    Mike,

    I had to chuckle a bit when you described your situation because it brought back memories of my chocolate and her sister (owned by my buddy). We'd keep them in the back of our trucks during the work day and if there was even the slightest thing they could get their teeth on, it would be TOAST by the time we checked on them at lunch time. We quickly learned never to trust them while they were in that "puppy phase" which seems to last a couple of years. If they were apart, there was never a problem. Something about being together would make them mischievous!

    Crate training as Wetland described is really the best answer until they settle down a bit. Certainly excercise is important too...they are labs after all!

  5. #5

    Default Thanks

    Austin,

    Thanks! Together they are hell on wheels! By themselves, pretty darn good. I am hoping that they will outgrow this phase sooner than later! If they weren't loved so much, I may have "offed" them already! I need to get a kennel for inside the garage to keep them in versus having full run of the living room.

  6. #6
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    We too have a year old choc lab. We crate trained right from the beginning calling the crate her "house". Saying a command "house" and she has no problems going in it and we can leave the door open and she will not come out until we "release" her.

    We had a small issue wiith the chewing problem. What we did was bought a basket, that was her basket, and filled it with chew toys. From bones to Korgs, stuffed amimals, rope and everything in between. If it was in the basket, it was fair game to her. Everything else was off limits. We continue to add new things to the basket every week or so to keep it interesting for her. And just like a little kid, plan on picking up the room once a day as she will drag everything out of the basket. Treat them just like a little kid. Buy them one toy and they bored fast......it only last so long and they lose interest. Buy the kid several toys and they are content for a much longer time. Inject a new toy now and then and they are happy as a lark.

    Labs love to chew, one just needs to give them and teach them what can be munched on and what can't.

    Along the same lines, and we have done this with the last 3 dogs, we do not feed them tablle scraps but we do have an open container of dog food where they can eat all they want. The first couple of weeks they will actually over eat in a big way. After that, they tend to settled into their own routine and actually will eat a normal amout as if you measured it out. I think having a ready supply of food available does cut down on those other bad habits like getting into the trash and tempers the chewing of things that they should not.

    Just my 2 cents, it is working for us and we are on our 3rd dog, a golden and 2 labs, under this style of upbringing.

    Mark

  7. #7
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Adjusted3 View Post
    we do not feed them tablle scraps but we do have an open container of dog food where they can eat all they want. The first couple of weeks they will actually over eat in a big way. After that, they tend to settled into their own routine and actually will eat a normal amout as if you measured it out. I think having a ready supply of food available does cut down on those other bad habits like getting into the trash and tempers the chewing of things that they should not.
    I don't know about leaving the food out like that. Well over half of the labs seen by vets nowadays are overweight. I manage my dog's intake far better than I do my own, which is probably why I'm overweight and he isn't! Exercise is a huge component, and with the weather we've been enjoying here lately, I know my lab is not getting all the exercise he needs. I'll defer to the "experts", but I don't feed table scraps, and he gets 3 cups of Science Diet once a day, and that's it. He's well behaved, and in great physical shape. My $.02 . . .

    I do subscribe to your toy philosophy - it works very well for us. We went through the chewed baseboard phase . . . .

    Cheers,

    SH

  8. #8
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    Default

    SH, I agree, some dogs will not take to the unlimited food. Some will. I think you hit the nail on the head though, Excerise!!!

    We are blessed to live next to a lake and every day we go for a swim and a walk. Winter is posing a problem, we now go for a walk. But we make it a point to do it every day. (and It is good for me)

    We have not had an overweight dog. Libby is currently at 92 coming from a ***** that was 95 and a sire that was 128. I think she is right on pace.

    You mentioned baseboards........We had one that gained entrance into my man cave.....She proceeded to chew, and I mean CHEW, 2 sage fly rods, 2 rigger rods and a casting rod.

    We had a serious talk.....

    mark

  9. #9

    Default Chew toys

    I think I will try investing in some of those. If they would be content with them, then all would be good!

  10. #10
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    Northway

    I have a 6 year old lab and she was in the kennel inside the house "crate" for the first two years of her life when I was gone. She is the best dog in the world, but when I would leave she would get into everything. I lost 2 cell phones, gps, hunting boots, and coutless other things. Once she got use to going into the kennel she was fine. Every morning I get up she would go outside and then right into her kennel. It was her home to say. She is a little older now and doesn't get into stuff much anymore. She still likes to be on the furniture when we leave. She knows that she is not to be on there, but she always jumps off when we come home and acts like nothing happened. Now her favorite thing is lay in front of the wood stove. I think that if she could, she wold jump in the dang thing.

  11. #11

    Default Trying things

    I will try some of the suggestions posted. I appreciate the help guys. I know part of the problem is that the dogs are spoiled. They are my wife's kids. They know their limits with me. If I can fix this solution all will be good. Can't wait to this cold breaks and can get them out and running a bit.

  12. #12

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    You might also try a kong filled with peanut butter. Our old girl stresses out when we board her, but if we leave the kong and some peanut butter with the kennel it keeps her mind off missing us and she is calm at the kennel.
    "It's the journey that's important, with experience and knowledge to be gained along the way, in the company of our faithful dogs and our good friends."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  13. #13
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    . Now her favorite thing is lay in front of the wood stove. I think that if she could, she wold jump in the dang thing.
    Swapdonkey, I'd want to jump into the woodstove if I was living in North Pole!

    Your weather is making our -20F look downright WARM!

    Huddle up and stay warm . . .

    SH

  14. #14
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    My yellow lab loves to be outside in the morning.. Before work.. she has never wondered far and knows commands to come back and loves to obey.. she just over a year, command training w/ labs is fun and quick... as far as food.. Our lab doesn't eat anything (inside) that has "fallen" to the floor but will patiently wait for you to pick it up to give it to her, or give her the 'nod to have it .. it's really amazing how fast they learn. Good Luck.. our pet family includes 2 cats and a chew toy for our lab- a toy poodle/****zu mix that likes to think he's alpha male. The lab is also kenneled during day when were at the school. he spends about 3 hrs outside/day at this temperature..

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

  15. #15

    Default toys

    I get stuffed animals from Value Village or goodwill for a few bucks for my lab. She doesn't know the difference!

  16. #16
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    I had your same problem with every lab I have had (On dog #'s 6,7 & 8 currently). Best to keep garbage put away. Keep counters clean. Keep bedroom doors closed. Give plenty of exersize. Have plenty of toys like stuffed animals etc. My dogs destroy them in a few days but they still like them even though they are torn to pieces. I also like giving the chewer's raw hide type bones. Some do not like this tactic for bird dogs, but it does keep them from getting into other trouble like chewing up the remote control (@#!$*) I have also in the past left something out on purpose knowing that they will find it. We recently moved into the perfact home for our dogs. It has a doggy gate to keep them out of the great room & kitchen but allows them into some parts of the house and garage. The best thing is the dog door in the garage that goes out to a big kennel. They enjoy being able to go in and out throughout the day!

    Good luck

    JJ

    P.S. Punishing them does no good - Exercise, chew toys & clean house.

  17. #17
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    Default Ditto

    If you punish when you come home it is indeed pointless no matter how pissed off you are. In their doggie brain they are getting in trouble for greeting you at the door.

    Catch em in the act or completly try to avoid the act occuring. **** dogs!

    I type that lovingly......

  18. #18
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    Default Leaving dogs alone- I know

    What one doesnt' think of the other will. We live with crates with our rehomed dogs. If you get the big kongs or there is another blue ball thing that you can stuff some cheese in and it will keep them busy for a long time. Then they fall asleep. Work is always getting in the way of time with our dogs. Since I work at home its no problem now. We also rehomed a sled dog (looks like a saluki) who cannot be left alone for very long inside or crated yet so we are enjoying our home time until it gets warmer.

    ret25yo I just cringe at comments like this.
    "she has never wondered far and knows commands to come back and loves to obey"
    Ask any vet when a dog comes into the vets office having been hit, attacked by an animal, in a fight , or the family that came into the Mat-Su Shelter complaining about their dog being incarcerated, and the owner will say "they never wander off" .
    I just had this "conversation" with my brother in law about this. It is all so risky to let a dog loose and not be with them.

    www.alaskadognews.com

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