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Destructive Behavior And Eating Things


Guest DeniseL
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Guest DeniseL

Hi guys! After 4 1/2 months our boy, Miami, is finally starting to really come out of his shell. He is so silly and playful! We have never had any problems leaving him and our girl at home alone with run of the house. We did some alone training with her the first week or so and had no problems. Our boy didn't seem to care if we were home or not in the beginning so we didn't have any issue leaving him home either. We put the crate away for both of them after the first few weeks becasue neither seemed to really like it and it wasn't being used. No problems and they get along great...

 

Last week while we were at work, Miami knocked down the coat tree near the door and ripped my winter coat apart. He also knocked over our bag of "poop bags" and ingested a few plastic bags and possible some coat stuffing. (He has eaten a brillo pad in the past that was left out accidentaly so he has a history) Knowing he likes to eat things, we keep everything put away and close most doors of the house. I really thought we puppy proofed the house. I guess not. He threw up twice and started with the very runny poop. $850 dollars later after a trip to the EVet (thank god they didn't have to operate) he is recovering from some tummy upset and has passed the bags.

 

We took them both for a very long walk yesterday before we left for Thanksgiving dinner. When we came home last night, he had eaten a hole in our blinds (the cell, honeycomb type) and ripped out some decorative garland hidden behind it in the window. I am not sure if he ate any of the garland, it doesn't look like it and the blinds are so soft I am not really worried about them....but we are both frustrated (at him and ourselves). Obviously, I should have anticipated that and not had the garland in the window...it was NOT puppy proofed.

 

Does this sound like developing SA? Or is he just mischevious? He is getting more attached to us so maybe he is getting upset that we leave?

 

Should we try muzzling him when home alone? He hates his muzzle but I don't want him to hurt himself by ingesting anything...or maybe bring the crate back out? I hate to start crating him after he has been without it a while...but its not about what I want , I need to protect him..if so, how do I reacquaint him with the crate?

 

I can't really isolate him to one specific area unless it is and upstairs bedroom because we have an open layout...

 

Any experiences would be helpful...I thought we were out of the woods with the SA and possible chewing/destructive bit after the first few months, but apparently not...

 

Sorry for the long post...I haven't had to ask for advice on here in a few months cause everything has been going so well... :)

 

Thanks!!

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Not really sure it's SA or not as many dogs get restless when you're not home and decide to have a little 'fun' themselves. My recommendation would be muzzle him and your other pup when you are away. This is not only for chewing issues but potential injuries which have occurred with pups that have known and lived together for years. Some may not agree with muzzling because they think it's uncomfortable for their Greys however for us, we would rather them a little discomfort, than a lot of discomfort after an ER visit. Both our angel boys did not 'like' their muzzles, they always turned away when we brought them out but they did not put up a big fuss. While a muzzle is not 100% guarantee, as some pups came remove them if they are not attached correctly, it's easy on you and them.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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It could be SA or it could be boredom. Some dogs have a really strong urge to chew, especially when left alone.

 

Would it be possible for your to restrict his access to just part of the house? You could work on 100% puppy proofing that area until you get to the bottom of what is driving him. I'd also recommend getting a Kong, filling it with kibble, sealing it with wet food, and freezing it. Give it to him before you leave. That should keep him occupied for a while.

 

Does he chew at other times? Maybe a big nylabone he gets every night will give him something to do.

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Guest jaws4evr

Honestly it sounds kindof like mischief... winter coats have lots of fluff so that sounds mischiefy, and so does pulling garland down off of things.

 

Does he seem anxious when you leave or when you come home? Without seeing his reaction and state, he could either be showing SA, or just be bored and full of mischief.

 

Can you try taking him for a run or long walk, or even a bike ride to get him super tired before you go, and see if that improves it?

 

In the meantime I'd try containing him (or both if neither of them guard objects/space?) in a smaller area, with a few "approved" chewing objects (peanutbutter kong?).

 

Does he pace and pant? Does he seem alert to you leaving for the day? Is he overly exuberant when you come home? If not then I'd bet on "mischief" and try to restrict him to a less damageable part of the house, and work on tiring him out more.

 

Maybe you could try a "puzzle toy", that you can put some dog food in, nd they have to move the thing around to get the food out? Might sooth his need for mischief :)

 

And pics please :)

 

Add: Also make sure to continue your "home alone" training by ignoring him for a significant period before you leave, not saying "goodbye", not greeting him when you get home, etc, and even doing some very fast "leave/come home" practices exercises on the weekends (for us this happens naturally with errands and shoveling the show or whatever so probably easy for you too!), just in case :)

Edited by jaws4evr
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Agree with keeping them occupied while your gone with toys, kongs, frozen marrow bone. You could also try a pen if you want them to be more contained but don't have doors, I know my house only has door to bedrooms so a pen is better for me.

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Since it is happening by the doors and windows it could be S/A.Can you pretend to leave and sneak by a window outside to see if he's whining and pacing and looking for you? S/a usually happens within the 1st 1/2 hour after you leave, so you might get a better idea if it is S/A or not.

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Guest grey_dreams

It's probably SA. Some dogs won't exhibit SA in the first weeks because they are not attached to you yet. They have to develop an attachment to you before they will display anxiety when you leave. You mentioned that you keep doors closed and blinds down. Many dogs will panic when the doors are closed and they are "trapped" in some part of the house. And better to leave the blinds open so they can look out.

 

You probably need to start all the way back at ground zero and do alone training. Make sure to do the incremental steps technique, where you start with only putting on your coat, getting your keys, going to the door, and then coming back in, taking off your coat, doing something else. Then the same, but go through the door, close it, turn around and come right back in. Then spend 10 seconds outside the door. The first day, you will have left and returned about 50-100 times, and worked up to maybe 15-20 minutes. Plan to spend at least three days on this training. If you search the forum, you will find a lot of posts on the subject of "alone training". Good luck.

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I think for his safety (and your pocket book) you have to muzzle. I know some dogs, that even as seniors, always had to be muzzled when left alone. They were clever dogs that just loved to occupy themselves with mischief. Muzzle is better than crate IMO.

Edited by KickReturn
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It's probably SA. Some dogs won't exhibit SA in the first weeks because they are not attached to you yet. They have to develop an attachment to you before they will display anxiety when you leave. You mentioned that you keep doors closed and blinds down. Many dogs will panic when the doors are closed and they are "trapped" in some part of the house. And better to leave the blinds open so they can look out.

 

You probably need to start all the way back at ground zero and do alone training. Make sure to do the incremental steps technique, where you start with only putting on your coat, getting your keys, going to the door, and then coming back in, taking off your coat, doing something else. Then the same, but go through the door, close it, turn around and come right back in. Then spend 10 seconds outside the door. The first day, you will have left and returned about 50-100 times, and worked up to maybe 15-20 minutes. Plan to spend at least three days on this training. If you search the forum, you will find a lot of posts on the subject of "alone training". Good luck.

 

I agree!

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Guest DeniseL

Thanks for the great responses!

 

Here is the culprit:

 

IMAG1094-1.jpg

 

 

IMAG1139-1-1.jpg

 

He is so cute. We just love him so much. Yes, he is VERY mischevious, although he doesn't really chew things when we are home. He likes to "get into things", knock stuff over, collect things on his bed (which is just the cutest thing EVER). But no destruction when we are home. We will try the alone training this weekend. We left for an hour and left his muzzle on and it was in place when we got home so that might be the solution. the only problem is my girl. She HATES the muzzle and will do anything to get it off, rubbing, banging on things, etc. I don't want to muzzle her all day. I can't image her fighting with him she is sooo gentle and timid and defers to him at every oppurtunity. Is it really necessary to muzzle them both?

An xpen is out, there is just no room in our little house. I wish I could....

 

One more of my little princess Thyme:

 

IMAG1136-1.jpg

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Beautiful pups! And yes, he looks like he is full of it. My personal feeling is if you muzzle one you should muzzle them both. If something should happen (and it can with the best of pups) he would have no way to defend himself.

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Guest greyhound515

I agree with the muzzle one/muzzle both theory. My Diva has managed to destroy several pens, pencils, markers and books (one of which was $135. and took me two months to put back together). She has gone through several pair of sunglasses, a disposable razor (the handle, not the business end, thank Dog), a TV remote, a school project of 230 pages (yes, I saved it on a zip drive or she would have had to rewrite it for me). I did "selective muzzling" with my first Grey when I came home from work to find her chomping on a giant extension cord. Daph would not kennel, but I was very concerned about her destructive chewing and due to stomach issues had to be very careful about what she COULD have. We did many frozen Kongs filled with all-natural peanut butter (little to no sugar so better for her and us to eat)-kept her interested and calm. Did the muszzling for 30 days and re-evaluated the situation. My Diva likes to pick out crunchy treats from the cat box, so I had been muzzling her, now I have a baby gate up by the cat's food/restroom area.. Basket muzzles RULE, and you can always duct-tape around the bottom part to keep them from having total access despite muzzling-I have heard of dogs biting despite muzzles as well as poop eaters-the duct taping works pretty well for both instances.

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Very sweet and very beautiful houndies! I personally don't think it is sa. In my experience some dogs just are destructive when we leave. I think really its mostly just boredom and then they have access to so many fun things to tear up. And believe me I realize how expensive it can get-coming home and finding the end of your sofa chewed off(among other things) is not fun either. I think as some dogs age they get over it-others never do and just have to be protected from themselves. I couldn't care less about what any of my dogs think of their muzzles. They are only used for their own safety and in my world have been one of the best inventions ever made by man. None of my dogs -including the belgian malinois-have any issues with wearing them-they naturally play, drink, and eat in them at will if necessary without even thinking about it. Just leave it on them and they'll get used to it- they're playing you now to get you to remove them. In fact the truth is they bother me more than the dogs. Minny used to have to wear his pretty much 24/7-even when he slept- because he had something wrong with his brain and would randomly attack/bite people or dogs but it honestly never bothered him. He even played ball with it on. I have pictures of him carrying a ball and running. It'll work out. It just takes awhile to get all the stars lined up so to speak for things to run smoothly when a new pack member is introduced.

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yes, he has developed some BAD habbits and retraining will most likely be your saviour. i agree, it sounds like mischevious behavior not SA. i would even consider a crate, but that's me. my dogs LOVE their crate and i have always made sure it's a positive place. crated w/ enterainment- kong, etc can be your best friend. then very very short excursions with him loose- to the garbage and back and really repremand descructive behavior. a stern - WRONG is usually all a gh needs. they get it pretty fast- but remember when he is good- and you have walked thru the house to check things over w/ him at your side- praise and treats and a super happy - GOOD DOG NO MESS!

 

exercise, running and playing and mind games(training) will be your best friends as well. it's consisitancy and love that will get all of you thru this. child proof locks might be in the picture as well- DON"T leave a dish towel on the fridge handle(been there- dogs can open the door and clean it out!).

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How old is Miami, and how much exercise does he get per day? Some dogs, especially younger dogs, do become destructive out of boredom. I say this because my 14-month-old went through a phase when he was constantly into everything (stealing and "rearranging" household items, chewing, taking our belongings out the dog door). I started taking him to run off-leash for about an hour a day, and there was significant improvement. Also, make sure you're giving him something everyday to satisfy his need to chew, like bones, rawhide rolls, bullysticks, etc.

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Guest DeniseL

How old is Miami, and how much exercise does he get per day? Some dogs, especially younger dogs, do become destructive out of boredom. I say this because my 14-month-old went through a phase when he was constantly into everything (stealing and "rearranging" household items, chewing, taking our belongings out the dog door). I started taking him to run off-leash for about an hour a day, and there was significant improvement. Also, make sure you're giving him something everyday to satisfy his need to chew, like bones, rawhide rolls, bullysticks, etc.

 

He is two. We take them to run twice a week (we have to drive to a fenced in run since we are in the city). He gets walked twice in the morning before work than once after work and once before bedtime. The walks are about 1/2 hour each, sometimes longer. He has a much lowere energy level than our girl. She NEEDS to run...but sometimes even when we take him to run, he just likes to trot around and explore and will only run for a minute or so. Sometimes he doesn't want to walk either. This morning for his second walk before I leave for work (my husband takes him a couple of hours earlier, when he leaves) I had to coax him out and he wasn't interested in going further than around the block for a potty. Some of this may have to do with his corns, which are somewhat under control, even though he doesn't limp and wears thera-paws on the sidewalk. As far as I can tell, he doesn't like the cold weather much, since he is very hesitant to walk when it is really chilly, as it has been the last few weeks. Inside the play, wrestle, jump around in the moring after breakfast and at night after dinner. Other than that, he likes to sleep. Just seems to be a lower energy hound. The time he ate our blinds we had just gotten back from an hour walk....

 

Right now he has been wearing his muzzle when we are at work and we haven't had any problems...

 

As for things to chew, I have been hesitant becasue the last time I gave him a bully stick he chewed in for a while and then swallowed it whole...and looked very uncomfortable afterward. He did that once with a rawhide, too. He does like the kong, but is it ok to give a kong everyday? What can I fill it with that is good for him? I am sure that peanutbutter everyday would be a lot of fat and calories...

Edited by DeniseL
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How old is Miami, and how much exercise does he get per day? Some dogs, especially younger dogs, do become destructive out of boredom. I say this because my 14-month-old went through a phase when he was constantly into everything (stealing and "rearranging" household items, chewing, taking our belongings out the dog door). I started taking him to run off-leash for about an hour a day, and there was significant improvement. Also, make sure you're giving him something everyday to satisfy his need to chew, like bones, rawhide rolls, bullysticks, etc.

 

He is two. We take them to run twice a week (we have to drive to a fenced in run since we are in the city). He gets walked twice in the morning before work than once after work and once before bedtime. The walks are about 1/2 hour each, sometimes longer. He has a much lowere energy level than our girl. She NEEDS to run...but sometimes even when we take him to run, he just likes to trot around and explore and will only run for a minute or so. Sometimes he doesn't want to walk either. This morning for his second walk before I leave for work (my husband takes him a couple of hours earlier, when he leaves) I had to coax him out and he wasn't interested in going further than around the block for a potty. Some of this may have to do with his corns, which are somewhat under control, even though he doesn't limp and wears thera-paws on the sidewalk. As far as I can tell, he doesn't like the cold weather much, since he is very hesitant to walk when it is really chilly, as it has been the last few weeks. Inside the play, wrestle, jump around in the moring after breakfast and at night after dinner. Other than that, he likes to sleep. Just seems to be a lower energy hound. The time he ate our blinds we had just gotten back from an hour walk....

 

Right now he has been wearing his muzzle when we are at work and we haven't had any problems...

 

As for things to chew, I have been hesitant becasue the last time I gave him a bully stick he chewed in for a while and then swallowed it whole...and looked very uncomfortable afterward. He did that once with a rawhide, too. He does like the kong, but is it ok to give a kong everyday? What can I fill it with that is good for him? I am sure that peanutbutter everyday would be a lot of fat and calories...

 

If the muzzle is working, then that might be your solution!

 

Also, my younger boy tries to swallow rawhide strips whole. We give him rawhide rolls (made in the US) and knee bones. Those keep him busy for a long time, and I don't have to worry about him choking. Kongs are good for keeping them occupied, but don't offer much in terms of teeth. Greyhounds are notorious for bad teeth, so the more you can get them to chew, the more it helps in terms of dental health.

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