Blanket Chewers!

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Blanket Chewers!

This is a discussion on Blanket Chewers! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello! A Couple of months ago I bought a five month old puppy, Her name is Norah and she is an Australian Shepherd. She had ...

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Old 01-16-2009, 03:45 PM
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Blanket Chewers!

Hello!
A Couple of months ago I bought a five month old puppy, Her name is Norah and she is an Australian Shepherd. She had a few problems with biting and potty training and such, but I have trained her pretty well. One thing that I am having serious problems with is her knack for destroying my blankets! She chews holes in them then rips out all the stuffing! It's a sad sight when you walk into your bedroom and think that a blizzard has hit it. I've tried everything! Smacking her nose, squirting with water, nothing! Any suggestions?
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:15 PM
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As much as a five month old is fun, she will also be just as much a of handful.

As far as she is concerned, she's not doing anything wrong. She doesn't have a clue that your blanket is not just another toy to play with. That sometimes also goes for shoes, slippers, socks, underwear, etc. Hitting her, or screaming your brains out isn't going to accomplish much beyond raising your blood pressure. All that hitting may do is to eventually create aggression.

Your job is to distract her from your personal belongings and get her to become interested in her own toys. Realize that at this age she is also probably beginning to, or about to start losing her baby teeth, so she needs things to chew on.

The best way to get her to get her interested in her own toys is to use stuffed chewtoys. I wouldn't suggest plushy toys. There are a number of these on the market. The most popular ones are the Kong Toys. If you are not familiar with them, what you do is put treats or kibble into them in order to keep her interested in the toy and keep trying to get at the treats. I would suggest several of them at the same time.

In addition, the Nylabone's are also excellent chews. Use rawhides only under supervision in case a piece get stuck in her throat.

The more occupied you keep her, the less she will think about your blanket or even your furniture as chewtoys.

This will be a good start. If you have any questions let me know.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:31 PM
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Hi Norah

Quote:
Originally Posted by norah01 View Post
Smacking her nose, squirting with water, nothing! Any suggestions?
The above statement concerned my a little, you never want to use physical discipline with a dog when training, it quite often causes more harm than good, even just a light tap can cause issues with aggression later on.

Also, punishing after the fact will provide nothing useful as they live in the now, you need to catch them in the act to be able to provide useful discipline.

You may want to try crate training to keep the dog secure when you are not able to provide supervision, and ensure that she is always within site.

This alond with the advice given above should hepl you lick the problem

Good luck
Adrian
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Old 01-18-2009, 02:24 PM
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There are many opinions on the use of punishment/correction. Dog Whisperer often says if you are angry or emotional when doing it, then it is punishment and it's a bad idea. If you are calm and under control of your mind and using reasonable methods, then it is correction. Make sure you are doing correction and not punishment. I personally disagree that ALL forms of physical correction will be bad for the dog but you do need to be careful and I also always advocate you use the minimal amount of force needed. I personally find that squirt gun IF USED CORRECTLY can work well for some stubborn aggressive dogs and most cats. Many dogs will listen out of love and respect but some dogs need a bit more incentive from time to time and many cats need incentive. In the wild, if dogs/animals do something and then some unpleasant consequence occurs, that is how they learn not to do it again. Unpleasant consequences are a natural part of life and learning for all animals and humans. THey are not bad by nature, only bad if the principle is not applied correctly and fairly and reasonably and effectly. Since most methods are often incorrectly applied, that causes most of the trouble.

Now as for the blanket chewing, sounds like you are just letting the puppy have free range alone in the house and then you come along later and see your blanket chewed and get all peaved and try to inact punishment way after the fact. This way will never work. In order to discourage a dog, you need to catch the dog in the act and THEN tell the dog NO! right at that second and make the dog stop. Usually for a puppy, they will listen easily enough. Say no and if the dog does not stop, pull the dog away. If the dog tries to bite it again, say no. If the dog doesnot listen, pull away. You can also give the dog other stuff that is good to chew on and then praise. When you are ready and feeling patient, then put that blanket out deliberately as 'bait' and then watch for mistakes and then train the dog. What you need to do is let the dog know the second it does unwanted behavior and also praise the dog and encourage all wanted behavior. But it only works if you make your response at the instant the dog is doing the behavior.

Some dogs just need 5 or 10 or maybe 20 times in a row in which you catch and stop the behavior every single time. If you can't watch the dog at that time simply close the door to the bedroom and don't let the dog in! Let the dog in only when you are watching. You do the same for any problem area in the house. If you let an untrained puppy wander unattended, then the puppy will develop bad habits cuz you are not there to train. Then you try to punish 20 minutes after a bad behavior and the dog has NO IDEA why you are mad. No type of training will ever work if more than a few seconds have past. All you will do is teach the dog to be scared of you.

This stuff will be covered in most basic dog training books of which you should avail yourself in order to train your dog without traumatizing it. Or take a puppy training class and bend the ear of the trainer. Beginner classes are typically cheaper than buying lots of new blankets. Start your dog out right from the beginning and you will save yourself a lot of grief and hassle later on down the line.
-Eva
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Old 01-18-2009, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poochpatrol1 View Post
There are many opinions on the use of punishment/correction. Dog Whisperer often says if you are angry or emotional when doing it, then it is punishment and it's a bad idea. If you are calm and under control of your mind and using reasonable methods, then it is correction. Make sure you are doing correction and not punishment. I personally disagree that ALL forms of physical correction will be bad for the dog but you do need to be careful and I also always advocate you use the minimal amount of force needed. I personally find that squirt gun IF USED CORRECTLY can work well for some stubborn aggressive dogs and most cats. Many dogs will listen out of love and respect but some dogs need a bit more incentive from time to time and many cats need incentive. In the wild, if dogs/animals do something and then some unpleasant consequence occurs, that is how they learn not to do it again. Unpleasant consequences are a natural part of life and learning for all animals and humans. THey are not bad by nature, only bad if the principle is not applied correctly and fairly and reasonably and effectly. Since most methods are often incorrectly applied, that causes most of the trouble.

-Eva
Hey Eva and Norah,

I feel that maybe I should have explained myself better but Eva did a great job of covering what I should have said.

Sorry if my statement seemed over the top but I more often than not see individuals misuse discipline and often out of anger, due to this I tend to advise against physical punishment unless the individual is experienced or working with a trainer.

When used as Eva has suggested can it be effective yes, but I would suggest caution.

Good Luck
Adrian
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