Is Yours a “Chewer”?

23 Mon, 2010 § 1 Comment

Nearly every dog I have known has gone or is going though a chewing “phase”, devouring every thing in sight or at least constantly gnawing on something they shouldn’t be.

Knock on wood, but we either seriously lucked out or did something right.

Let’s assume the latter.  😉

Crate Training & Limited Roam-ability

We adopted Eisley at 5 months & immediately began “crate training”; though extremely difficult — more so on me than her — it proved to be a great approach in several ways.  One being she never had a chance to simply roam & lay claim upon the entire house; when she was out of her crate, she was always with me.  Keeping her within arms reach — or at least eye sight — made it possible for me to immediately interfer — or better yet prevent through distraction — undesirable behaviors.

Few Toys Lay About

Actually, only one.  Meet Hubert.

She knows where her toys are kept, how to ask for them & occasionally can streeeetch up to snatch one.  In order to get one of her toys, she has to perform a command such as “sit” [the one of main focus], “paw”, “down”, “spin”, etc.   Seem mean?  She never tires of these toys, left to search for something of more interest.  She also understands we are her source of “chewy & play things”.  Like all dogs, she thrives off of the attention she gets during this exchange.

We Trade

If she ever started to investigate or nibble on an off-limit item, I would gently, yet sternly, tell her “No”, then “Trade” her for a favorite, appropriate toy.  See why it is important she does not bore of these?

True Attention

Eisley gets oodles of attention, whether playing or just hanging out.  Because she is not neglected, ignored or left to her own devices, she does not need to seek attention through “bad dog” behaviors or find means of entertaining herself [i.e. more “bad dog” behaviors].  We also only play fetch, tug-o-war & such upstairs in the bedroom, so she has learned everywhere else in the house is a spot to be calm & content.

~

Some dogs are simply prone to chewing & getting into things & require extreme measures, but I would like to think our approach helped instill good behaviors.  We have never had a major incident, & I cannot recall the last time she even seemed to think about going for Dave’ slipper.  In fact, Bodhi [our cat] is more prone to eat my stuff; but that is a completely different topic.  Although, a couple weeks ago, she did snag something Bodhi had knocked onto the floor.  I turned to see her playing with a salt water taffy from Dave’s stash.  Can you blame her?  🙂

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§ One Response to Is Yours a “Chewer”?

  • Allie says:

    Ha, right after I posted this, a strange noise caught my attention: Eisley tearing into my new chapstick [from a cute, local company] 😦 . I guess she couldn’t resist the “stick” shape; my fault for leaving it out. Usually once she is scolded for this & we “trade”, she doesn’t go after it again.

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