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Chewing on everything, what should I do?

981 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  jam4ar
Well, I need help folks.. or at least I'd like to hear other stories.. I'm getting worried.

I got a (mostly) red heeler from a rescue shelter. He's about a year and a half old, and jumps like a kangaroo, could probably do some awesome frisbee tricks if i could train him good.

Now, I've only had him a few days (since Friday)... He has to stay outside all the time.. at least for now.. he's just not behaved enough to be inside with the 3 cats and my 2yr old son. Plus, the rescue shelter told me they had him inside for a few days (don't remember why) and he really didn't like it. He likes being outside. He's on a 20' tie-out.. I take him for a daily romp around the yard and walk down the street and I do some clicker training with him.

So here's the problem, he chews EVERYTHING.. EVERRRRYTHING. Day 1, he chewed the pull cord off the lawn mower. Day 2, he chewed the baby's inch worm ride toy, Ok.. so DUH, I figure I need to move everything out of his reach. So all he has is his House, his water bucket, a few rawhide bones, etc.. Well today I get home and he had destroyed his water bucket, destroyed it.. probably in 10 big slices laying around the yard. Ok.. I can get a metal water dish for him.. but then I found a piece off of our heat pump. Not cool. I don't care about buckets, toys, etc.. but when it comes to expensive household machinery, that's where I draw the line.

Now, I'm not going to keep him on a 20' tie out forever, That's not OK in my book. I should be able to finish the invisible fence installation this weekend and then training for that will start. I'm just afraid that once he has full run of the place that nothing will be safe. Now maybe he's just bored with nothing to do all day in his little 40' area, I understand that, or maybe he's just not used to his new setting yet and he's nervous or something..

I just can't have a dog that is going to chew on everything he can wrap his teeth around. Is this something that can be "fixed"? Will it go away on its own? I really want to keep him, I'm already attached to him, but I just can't have this kind of behavior, If he were to really damage something like the heat pump that would be bad if the repairs were expensive.. times, they are tight.

What are your opinions? I got him from a rescue shelter who said we can bring him back if we need to, I don't want to do that.. not really, but if I think it is going to come to that I would rather do it sooner than later.

Just don't know what I should do.. any advice, similar stories, etc.. would be appreciated.

Edit: BTW, I searched and didn't really find much similar to this, saw other stuff about puppies biting people, etc.. but nothing about a dog that just wants to chew on everything. if I've missed something please share links, but I'd still like to hear stuff from other dog owners on this subject.
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How about giving him a few Kongs to chew on. They do make chew toys for dogs and that will redirect his chewing on stuff he is not supposed to.
Were he my dog I would not be turning him loose as that's tantamount to a area smorgasbord, he could eat and chew on siding everything he can get to. That's the bad news. Then he could be turned loose and not eat anything because that's just the way of dog fickleness possibilities. I added that in case somebody jumps on and says their dog did not have problems once he was loose. I would not trust him loose though. I also would not trust a brand new dog to a brand new invisible fence situation. There are only two fool-proof solutions to your problem, 1. return dog. 2. a 9-gage 4 ft wide by 12 to 15 ft long by 6 ft high chain link kennel run on concrete pad with a roof. My opinion only.
Kongs are AMAZING! Shadow is currently trying to get out all the Canidae Snap Bits I just stuffed in his. I also tried Merricks Bitter Apple spray from Petsmart and it worked to deter him chewing on things in the house.
I got him a real bone today, a big ribeye bone. I just don't know what to do. I hate to return him to the shelter, he was there 8 months, I don't know why. He really is a good dog, except for the chewing thing.

I guess I would just feel guilty about returning him. I feel like I've not really given him a chance.

I just don't know :-(
Chewing is a stress reliever and I suspect he's really stressed right now with his new home. But, chewing alone won't take care of the stress. This is a dog that needs lots and lots of exercise.....we're talking 12-15 miles of running. This dog is built for farm work and needs a job with alot more exercise.
So, are there any ways to give him a "job" to do instead of chewing my place to shreds?

I don't want him to be unhappy and bored with nothing to do.. The rescue shelter said if I didn't take him, she was looking into moving him to a shelter in florida or texas.. perhaps he could have a better environment there. I really don't want to give him back though.

Is this common of most high energy dogs? Do they just want something to do so when they have nothing they get destructive?
Part of your breed standard reads, "Gets easily bored if they have nothing to do".
And, yes, it turns to destructiveness....digging, chewing, barking non-stop. That's one reason that Agility, Obedience, Hunt, Tracking, Herding and all the other dog sports are so popular....to keep the dogs engaged in something on a regular basis. Some folks go jogging or biking every evening with their dogs....that's another outlet.
It's recommended that high energy dogs run 12-15 miles a day. Medium energy dogs 5-10 miles and low energy dogs 1-5. Mental stimulation is just as tiring as a long run. My guys are zonked out after 1 hour of Obedience work.
Well.. I'm not going to give up on him. I really like him, he's a good hound. :)

I got a high energy dog because I want to do frisbee or/and agility. I guess I need to focus on getting him to the point that I can start that training with him. I'm having a little trouble getting started training myself. He goes around sitting for me all the time, but I'm having a hard time teaching the Cue. I'm trying to find some training classes but it looks like my options are either a petsmart 1 hour away or another trainer 2 hours away.
Just be careful not to reward him for any sits that you don't specifically ask for.
Just be careful not to reward him for any sits that you don't specifically ask for.
Yea.. I haven't been. Though I wasn't sure what I should do there. I was going to post and ask about that later. Thanks.
With training facilitators/facilities so far away, here's a link to a fabulous trainer with step-by-step instructions, including downloading training plan sheets, the latter of which is beneficial in so many ways. If you're motivated, the sky's the limit!

Best of luck!
With training facilitators/facilities so far away, here's a link to a fabulous trainer with step-by-step instructions, including downloading training plan sheets, the latter of which is beneficial in so many ways. If you're motivated, the sky's the limit!

Best of luck!
Hehe.. I think you forgot to post the link..

I do that stuff all the time.
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