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11-Month old Boxer Chewing Furniture When Left Out

1086 Views 7 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  LeoRose
My wife and I have been trying to train our boxer to be able to not have to go into his crate when we leave the house. Sometimes he doesn't touch anything. We get home, cushions are on the couch and nothing is destroyed. Other times he rips apart the cushions or finds something else to chew.

My wife and I want to leave him out of his crate while we are at work like we do for our 10-yr old puggle. But his behavior is too erratic for us to feel comfortable, even for an hour. Sometime we can leave for 3-4 hours and he's good. Other times it could be an hour and things are destroyed. We would fill their kongs but my older one has been alone for so long she gets territorial with anything concerning treats and other dogs.

We feel HORRIBLE putting him in his crate while we go to work. We had our puggle trained to be out of her crate when she was younger than him at his age.

Any tips or advice on what we can try?
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I agree with everyone else. My boyfriend is also someone who 'hates' crating, but luckily for me Atlas is my dog so I get to make the call. The family dogs they had when he was growing up obviously never chewed up anything (they also weren't puppies either), so it was an adjustment for him when we brought Atlas home. My dog does not love his crate, but I think that's more because he assumes he should come with us when we leave at a non-scheduled time (ie. any time other than for work) because he quite often is able to come along. But pretty much every time I come home he's often stretching and waking up from a nap when I walk in, so he really doesn't 'hate' it either. We have compromised with the crate - he's in a huge great dane sized one, with an attached x-pen. (He's a pretty warm dog, so this gives him options to find a cool floor space as well.)

Atlas is still crated because while I 99% trust him if someone is around in the house (even downstairs and he is upstairs), he also hasn't been given free rein for 8+ hours by himself. I'd rather keep him contained and not have to worry than come home to a disaster one day. I know for a fact that if I came home to something like that I would be pretty upset at him, and that's not a good situation - so this stops that from being an option. Because he is generally so good, I can see Atlas being allowed freedom at some point, but for now, this is what we're (ok, I am) doing.
(And then if the Labrador who lives downstairs manages to get upstairs and eat all of his training treats... we know who the guilty party is, and it isn't Atlas! This is a true story... twice... :/)

I know this isn't what you might want to hear, especially since your other dog has been such a good dog, but I think we can all agree, this will make your boxer a better pup in the long run! :) Maybe if you have the space increase the crate size, or add an x-pen of some sort.
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