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I have a rescue Australian shepard mix puppy just under 11 months and she's been a handful to say the least. We knew the road with her wasn't going to be easy but we would give her our all.

We got her from a shelter that was less than pleasing and had kept using scare tactics with her telling us if we let her go outside before her last shot she would indefinitely pass on to parvo. Scared out of my mind I followed that protocol which cause a huge potty training regression with having her constantly use pee pads since they took too long to get her shots done.

After her shots we had free reign. We both worked full time but I still had time to take breaks and take her out on routine to try and trained her to go outside instead of inside anymore.

Her potty training has gone pleasantly well despite a few hiccups inside, my issue is with her behavior. She chews almost anything in sight and attempts to eat it. She got sick heating our heater cord she's torn through sock and she just recently tore into our mattress while I was shifting the groceries around. She goes into the cats litter box and eats whats there despite consistently being fed and food always accessible. She's just out of control and I'm not sure how to take control of the situation anymore. I feel like if I'm not consistently watching her every move she'll chew and eat into something else.

Anyone have advice on the steps, training anything to help me get back the power to keep her in check. I've been told I should give her away but it hurts my heart to even consider that.

Ps: I no longer work so im home 24/7 to be able to try new and different things to fix this out!
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That's great that you are home, you can give this your full attention.

First, make sure she has plenty of things she can chew - long lasting, challenging things like antlers, hooves, etc might work well.

Then keep a really close eye on her, possibly even on a tether so she can't sneak off - and as soon as she goes for something unsuitable to chew, replace it with something she is allowed to chew and praise her.

It may take a little time but in time she will just go for her permitted chews.
 

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That's great that you are home, you can give this your full attention.

First, make sure she has plenty of things she can chew - long lasting, challenging things like antlers, hooves, etc might work well.

Then keep a really close eye on her, possibly even on a tether so she can't sneak off - and as soon as she goes for something unsuitable to chew, replace it with something she is allowed to chew and praise her.

It may take a little time but in time she will just go for her permitted chews.
She's a very aggressive chewer when it comes to her toys so I've found a few good ones. I will for sure try tethering her when around the house. Problem is that I rarely do a lot around the house besides chores every now and then with my husband being deployed and I do school on the computer if its not her time to go out or on a walk, so I feel like she loses a lot of time to practice not chewing on things. Thank you for the help!
 

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I can! She can stay by me all the time unless its a proctor exam. I could attempt to try and catch her if she tries to touch my cords that are a little out in the open. What durable toys would you recommend?
 

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I'm not in the same country so I don't know what's available.

I would suggest food based chews like deer antler, cow hooves, bull pizzle. Can you get yak milk chews (very, very hard cheese)?
 

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1. Crate train her so that she can safely be in the crate when you are not able to watch her. Make sure it's positive so she enjoys being in the crate, it should not be used as a place for punishment or putting the dog in for hours on end.
2. She's 11 months so she should have basic obedience down already - sit, stay, come, leave it, out, etc. This is part of teaching structure/boundaries as well.
3. You can use a leash when she's in the house (supervised) so you can maintain better control if necessary.
4. Reinforce the behaviors you want. Give her appropriate things to chew, split antlers, cow ears, bully sticks, a kong, etc. If she grabs something she shouldn't, redirect onto an appropriate dog toy. Don't leave unsupervised with anything that the dog can choke on (including bully sticks, cow ears, etc.)
5. Make sure she's getting enough exercise. Bored dogs will chew and do other destructive behaviors. Work some obedience exercises into play time to make it even more fun and increase focus and engagement.

I can't stress the training part enough. Many people don't train their dogs or wait until bad behaviors have already developed and have been carried into maturity before they do anything about it. A really young dog needs to learn structure, boundaries and what is acceptable. Use short sessions and for puppies and beginning obedience, lots of positive reinforcement. Training treats or a high value toy are great for rewarding and reinforcing behaviors as well as building positive associations. There are some great online courses, some that are very reasonably priced also. I like Team Dog (Mike Ritland) and Michael Ellis. Lots of videos on Leerburg as well which are really helpful.
Don't despair, all dogs chew a lot during the puppy phase, but it gets better! It is overwhelming to many people, but it really does get better.
 

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Leerburg and Michael Ellis are not trainers the forum would recommend. Mike Ritland's website contains no detail about his method but his slogan ”Command Respect” is worrying - if you think of the people you respect in your own life, they earn that respect; they don't command it.
 

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IME dogs chew because they are bored, they are scared/frustrated or in puppies because they are learning.

When we adopted George we were told he was descructive (at least we had a warning) and he chewed my OH's reading glasses and a new bra of mine plus several other small items before he stopped..
What changed was his routine. Instead of being stuck on a long line in a garden with no structure to his day he got routine. Get up go walkies come back get fed, lunchtime more walks , playtime, evening meal, more walks and then bed.
At first we always kept him in a room with us so that we coual always see if he was about to touch anything and give the leave it command. (Any time one of my dog responds to that they are told good boy and rewarded .. it means dusters, books, socks, etc are much less interesting)

After a few months George was cautiously given free run of the house and I can honestly say he hasnt chewed anything , in fact he now indicate when we have post and will gently pull mail from the letter box. Not chew it.!


Another route is a muzzle, its got to be slow careful kind training to accept it but I know it can work for dogs who cannot be prevented from eating strange objects.
 
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