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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have owned our sweet beagle for just over a year. She is the newest to our family, and we have two cats and another dog (german shepherd/great dane mix, we think). No matter what we do, however, we can't stop her destructive behavior. She gets plenty of exercise with her big brother (and from chasing our boy kitty... he loves to play with her), so it's not as if she's got SO MUCH ENERGY that she should be taking it out on our stuff.

She's crate trained during the day, so when we're not at home she can't destroy anything. She doesn't seem to mind the crate during the day. The only time she's really destructive is at night when we're asleep. We used to let the dogs sleep in the bed, but it was so cramped and everything smelled like dog. Plus, their nails were ruining the comforter. When we stopped letting her sleep in the bed, she started destroying the house at night, especially my things.

My husband leaves his shoes out in the open, but she typically leaves them alone. Instead, she opens my closet door (it doesn't latch properly) and digs my underwear out of my hamper or pulls my shoes out of their over-the-door storage. She's ruined probably 15 pairs of my shoes at this point, and I've had to replace almost all of my underwear. Because they are crated during the day while we're at work, I would hate to have to crate them at night, too. Plus if you put her in a crate when people are home, she freaks out and barks like crazy.

Aside from letting her sleep in the bed again, is there anything we can do to get her to stop this behavior? We tried spanking her a few times, but I read that that's bad for dogs and they won't understand, so we don't do it anymore. Do you think she just has severe separation anxiety? Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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You're right that dogs don't really understanding physical abuse or "no", so definitely don't go that route. :) It only makes you a scary-bad human. If I don't keep the closet door shut, my dog likes to run around with dirty underwear as well. Take it as a compliment. She LOVES you and your scent. ;)

As far as managing the behavior, if it's only the underwear that she's going for, put them in a out-of-reach location. You could also try giving her something with your scent on it, maybe an old t-shirt that is wrapped around a ball or something. Crating at night and in the daytime isn't that big of a deal. If she hates the crate, you could work on better crate training so that it isn't a bad experience. Personally, I'd probably work on crate training, and until she is fine going in the crate, hide your underwear. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not just underwear

Thanks for the advice. Actually, it's not just my underwear... she also loves my shoes. This is a big problem (worse than underwear) because she's ruining all my favorite pairs and I can't afford to replace them. I don't buy crazy expensive shoes or anything, but $20-30 a pair at 15 pairs adds up to a lot more than I can spend on shoes right now.

I do try to keep my things where she can't get them, but like I said, the closet door doesn't latch well and she can get it open.

I like the idea of giving her something with my scent...maybe the hubs and I will rub our feet all over a bone or something.

My main concern is that she's going nuts during the night when she's not in the bed. Last night she ripped up two pairs of shoes, my husband's wallet, two pairs of underwear, and a small grocery bag filled with pet hair that I'd swept up before bed but forgotten to throw away. The only thing "left out" where she could get it easily was the grocery bag.
 

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The crate is your friend. ;)

ETA: you shouldn't feel guilty for putting your dog in there because she should love it. I know you said you are giving her enough exercise, but you can also do some mental stimulation to help with that. Get some puzzle games (search for Nina Ottosson on amazon), do clicker games (101 things with a box), etc. That might help as well.



 

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Other than fixing the closet door or putting her in a crate or ex pen, I would reconsider the exercise end of it. If she's up all night destroying your stuff, she may not be getting enough exercise. How much walking is she getting? How much time spent in training? I'd definitely increase her mental stimulation and interaction with you, mostly through lots of short, positive training sessions. I would also invest in some puzzle toys and feed her from a kong or buster cube to engage her mind.

Be sure to keep her chew toys in the bedroom and praise her greatly any time you see her chewing on her toys at any point during the day. This will reinforce her chewing on appropriate objects.

Look up kikopup on youtube to learn how to use a clicker.

As to "spanking" her, please don't. Punishments don't work at all unless you catch her in the act. If you punish her later, she'll just learn that you are unpredictable and dangerous. Even if you do catch her in the act, she'll likely learn that you hate chewing, not chewing specific objects. Dogs need to chew, so that would be bad.

Oh, and I'd seriously consider getting one of those plastic tubs with a lid from walmart for your shoes. I had a very destructive dog and to this day, everything in my closet is either out of a dog's reach or in tubs with lids so a dog couldn't get into it.
 

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This is an anxious behavior. Not boredom. Thats why stimulation isnt working. Som'thing about your relationship is amiss and shes chewing your articles to comfort herself. These are the same type of dogs that pee on human clothes and beds to "scent mix" and calm themselves
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