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Will I Always Have To Muzzle While I'm At Work?


Guest greytmiles
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Guest greytmiles

About 3 weeks (and one dining room set) ago I stared muzzling Miles while I'm at work. He never (so far, anyway!) goes for the furniture when I'm home with him, but he did some serious damage to the chairs and table in the gated dining room. I try to make sure he's always got bullys or antlers to work on when I'm there to supervise.

 

I guess my question is how do I know if / when I can stop muzzling him while I'm away? I could of course move the furniture out of his gated area, but then I fear for the window sills. Is there a way to condition against this? Bitter spray?

 

Just kind of thinking out loud, and would love to hear your personal experiences.

Thanks!!

Erin

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Guest twhitehouse

Bitter spray may work, and you'll have to unmuzzle and leave in small increments until you think he can be trusted not to chew anything. Sounds like the chewing is boredom and not separation anxiety. Do you leave him with a kong, or bento ball to keep him busy when you leave? You could try that.

 

But honestly, muzzling him is not going to hurt him. If it keeps him out of trouble and prevents you from buying new furniture, then why not have that peace of mind?

 

Lexi had SA and she was muzzled everyday we left. Now that we have two, they are both muzzled as a safety measure.

Edited by twhitehouse
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Guest aaspenwall

I've been curious about this issue as well. Just a couple of weeks ago I started muzzling my Duffy when I go to work. He's the 4th greyhound I've had in the last 8 years and the only one, so far, who DESTROYS things (furniture, books, remote controls, etc.) when left unsupervised. He's been on clomicalm for about 7 months for SA. When I crated him, he'd get explosive diarrhea. Leaving him with stuffed, frozen Kongs worked for a while, but he recently started back in on the furniture. I'd been trying to be patient knowing that this is the only home he's ever been in and he's young (just turned 4). I really believe he's going to be a wonderful pet as soon as he matures a little bit. He's got a very sweet temperament, is loving, yet self-assured, and a quick learner. Would be perfect if not for this "little" issue of destroying things. BUT, after he tore out the seat of a leather chair I was on the verge of admitting maybe we needed to find him a home where someone's home all day. Finally got the suggestion to muzzle from a vet tech and it's worked like a charm. I've wondered if there's a reasonable way to test him as he gets older to see if we can go without the muzzle, but have also made up my mind that if he needs to be muzzled whenever I'm gone for the rest of his life that'd be better than him getting hurt and/or destroying the house.

Edited by aaspenwall
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Guest sheila

I muzzle Billy every day because of his tendency to chew things to destruction. He wasn't doing it every single day, but doing it often enough that it caused problems. I decided that it would be easier on Billy if I just made his muzzle part of his daily routine. Now he waits on his bed in the mornings for me to put his muzzle on him and seems to actually enjoy the extra attention. He actually wags his tail and nuzzles me before I put it on him.

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Piper came to me as a 2 year old and, after an amazing array of chewed up items (books, blinds, boxes wicker, fruit, paper, pillows and on and on :eek), I started to muzzle him when I left the house. He's 8 now and a couple of years ago I experimented with leaving him home without the muzzle. He did fine! No chewing and no destruction. So, there is certainly hope that as your hound matures the need for the muzzle may end.

 

--Lucy

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Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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Something just occurred to me about destructive chewing and I wonder if it's happened with other dogs like with mine.

 

Perri decided to chew the welting on the arm of our new leather couch. I used Bitter Yuck on the furniture and she hasn't bothered it since. But shortly thereafter we discovered a bad, loose front tooth. We had it removed and she's been a lot better. (She wasn't even two at the time.)

 

Graham was perfect in the house and then started working on paper and books! He's got a big irritation, i.e. periodontal disease, over a molar that's remained that way even after two dentals.

 

Tucker once chewed up a door frame. Did it once -- but it was right before he had a stroke! He never did it again. Again, the chewing happened when a medical issue was brewing.

 

I have to wonder if tooth problems or other medical issues can cause destructive chewing. Has anyone noticed this or am I thinking too much out of the box?

 

We haven't muzzled them yet but have picked up things that they like to nosh on, like books and toilet paper. No wood chewing going on but I'll use more Bitter Yuck if it starts up.

Edited by MZH
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Guest kiana325

Our boy Tex needs to be muzzled when we leave. It doesn't hurt him and he doesn't mind that much, so I don't worry about it. He throws temper tantrums and chews things up in the process. He's fine most of the time, but then if I come home for a short period of time and leave again or do something he doesn't like, he'll get into something when we're gone. It's actually pretty funny. It's so easy to just muzzle them and prevent the accidents all together.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

When you get more hounds, you will find yourself using the muzzles more and more. Why be concerned with leaving him with is muzzle on? He can eat, drink, sleep, etc. in the muzzle. A muzzle is not crewl. Dont worry about it.

 

Chad

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Guest mcsheltie

Something just occurred to me about destructive chewing and I wonder if it's happened with other dogs like with mine.

 

Perri decided to chew the welting on the arm of our new leather couch. I used Bitter Yuck on the furniture and she hasn't bothered it since. But shortly thereafter we discovered a bad, loose front tooth. We had it removed and she's been a lot better. (She wasn't even two at the time.)

 

Graham was perfect in the house and then started working on paper and books! He's got a big irritation, i.e. periodontal disease, over a molar that's remained that way even after two dentals.

 

Tucker once chewed up a door frame. Did it once -- but it was right before he had a stroke! He never did it again. Again, the chewing happened when a medical issue was brewing.

 

I have to wonder if tooth problems or other medical issues can cause destructive chewing. Has anyone noticed this or am I thinking too much out of the box?

 

We haven't muzzled them yet but have picked up things that they like to nosh on, like books and toilet paper. No wood chewing going on but I'll use more Bitter Yuck if it starts up.

I think this is a very smart observation. One reason dogs chew to relive stress. And pain is stress. Especially for dogs, as they live in the moment.

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Thank yew. :)

 

I should probably start a new thread on pain and chewing since I sort of hijacked the original thread. Chad is right about using the muzzle. The reason we don't is b/c Perri and Graham love to bang their muzzles into the lower glass doors of an entertainment unit. I shudder to think of what kind of problem that could cause. One can always muzzle *and* confine though.

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Guest bluefawn

The bitter stuff never worked for any of mine. I eventually was able to leave them all unmuzzled (but I never had more than 3 still living with me at one time). Penny has never had a muzzle on in all of her 12 years until now, and she AIN'T LIKIN' IT I tell ya! But Candi, the new kid on the block, is a goofy, gangly, leggy, 11-month old puppy so full of herself and just too darn happy to be alive to suit Penny, so I had to start muzzling them both. I don't know if Penny will ever accept Candi, and I do feel bad muzzling Penny, especially since I can't find a muzzle small enough for her and this small one almost covers her eyes, her face is so tiny. I try to not muzzle them when I am sitting right here with them. But if Penny says one bad word at Candi, I muzzle her immediately. I have never had any of mine destroy any furniture or anything else in the house, but if they had, you can bet I would muzzle them in a heartbeat if it meant a threat to their safety, which would be my utmost concern. So don't feel bad about muzzling. It's not so bad after all smile.gif

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Carl had destructive SA for quite a long time, one of the things that has helped tremendously (along with a lot of alone training), was wearing a muzzle when I leave the house. Almost 3 years later he still wears the muzzle, for him, it's like a security blanket. You can actually see him relax when it goes on. I assume it will be this way the rest of his life. If it makes him feel better, makes him feel safe and, more importantly keeps him safe, I see no harm in it. In answer to your question, for some dogs yes, for some no.

Edited by ckruzan

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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I think it would be well worth investing some serious time in alone training for those dogs who chew because of SA. Certainly, muzzling in the meantime will save your stuff, but long term, my aim would be to lose the muzzle.

 

We were lucky with Sid, because neither of us go out to work, so we could take our time and work on his problem nice and slowly and gradually get him used to being left. But he came to us unwilling to be left for a single moment without 'singing' to the neighbours with his nose pressed against the front door, and I'm sure if I'd left him long he would have chewed. Now, after spending a LOT of effort in alone training, he can be left for three or four hours (the longest we're ever out, but I'm sure he would go longer) and he doesn't even bother to get up when we get home.

 

The bitter spray worked for Renie, but she chewed when she was stressed, not through SA. Offering alternatives worked for her too. SA is different, and needs to be treated differently.

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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