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LOL not really. My 1 year old australian shepherd mix doesn't actually EAT the bed, but he's destroyed 6 (yes, six) of them. Here's the deal:

- Wesley needs A LOT of physical exercise and mental stimulation. Destructive when bored. He's also in the adolescent stage: knows what's right/wrong, but will test his limits when I'm not looking. He is the most obedient puppy I've EVER had (provided I'm not at work, and he's getting the attention he needs). All of this is what I would expect for his age AND his breed. Here's my problem...

- Wes was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 8 months old. FHO surgery one month later. Right now, he's 3 months into his recovery/physical therapy. The vet estimates about 6 more months until full recovery.

- He is noticeably more destructive and irritable (unable to get the full amount of exercise he needs, can't keep up with other dogs at the park, etc.)

- Current DAILY routine: 1 mile walk at 6am, 1/2 mile walk to the park at 6pm - 1 hour playing - 1/2 mile walk back. 1 hour of physical therapy at 10pm. Average time alone: 7 hours Mon-Fri.

Does anyone have any experience/advise on this issue? This is a picture of his new "room" with exercise pen. I'm also looking for some type of bed that might stand up to his chewing, because he's very uncomfortable lying down on my hardwood floors.

Thanks! :)

Yummy Bed.jpg Wesley's Room.jpg Heated Ortho Bed.jpg
 

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Sorry to hear about your pup's surgery. That's a tough situation to handle with an energetic puppy. The only suggestion I can offer on the activity aspect is to play puzzle games with him and to do extra training that gets his brain working without physically putting more stress on him. The Nina Ottosson puzzles are good. A bit expensive, though. You can come up with lots of puzzles on your own with stuff around the house, e.g. three cups or kongs to play 3-kong monty, rolling small treats in towels and having him find the treat, etc. Kyjen has some fun cloth puzzle toys, too - just can't let him use them unsupervised since he would probably chew the pieces. You can also teach him hide & seek (you hide, he finds you and gets a treat) or do some basic scent training. With our girl, this kind of activity is almost as tiring as regular play and she seems to enjoy figuring things out.

RE the bed, you might try this kind: http://www.amazon.com/Coolaroo-Aluminum-Extra-Large-Gray/dp/B0018C7GWE. We have a similar style. It's made of aluminum and a tightly woven material - pretty chew proof and takes the pressure off her frame more than the bare floor. I would ask the vet if this style would be ok for his recovery.

Hope he recovers quickly!
 

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I think you should see a friend or a neighbor that has a dog so that your dog can have a roll model.I think your dog will get used to this and act better.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Sorry to hear about your pup's surgery. That's a tough situation to handle with an energetic puppy. The only suggestion I can offer on the activity aspect is to play puzzle games with him and to do extra training that gets his brain working without physically putting more stress on him. The Nina Ottosson puzzles are good. A bit expensive, though. You can come up with lots of puzzles on your own with stuff around the house, e.g. three cups or kongs to play 3-kong monty, rolling small treats in towels and having him find the treat, etc. Kyjen has some fun cloth puzzle toys, too - just can't let him use them unsupervised since he would probably chew the pieces. You can also teach him hide & seek (you hide, he finds you and gets a treat) or do some basic scent training. With our girl, this kind of activity is almost as tiring as regular play and she seems to enjoy figuring things out.

RE the bed, you might try this kind: http://www.amazon.com/Coolaroo-Aluminum-Extra-Large-Gray/dp/B0018C7GWE. We have a similar style. It's made of aluminum and a tightly woven material - pretty chew proof and takes the pressure off her frame more than the bare floor. I would ask the vet if this style would be ok for his recovery.

Hope he recovers quickly!
Thank you - these are all REALLY GREAT suggestions! The interactive toys I've bought him so far are various treat dispensers (balls, kong wobbler, puzzle feeder, etc.), but he's not exactly a food-motivated dog. This is a very new thing for me (every other dog I've had would give ANYTHING for treats...and would eat themselves sick if they ever got "lucky" enough to break open their food bin). Wesley's reaction to the dispensers is usually a lot of excitement at first to try to figure it out, but he learns quickly...like within an hour...and gets bored once again (I've been donating a lot of these toys to friends lately). So far, he's shown a lot of interest in "hide and seek" type games. I bought him a cute little tree trunk that holds stuffed chipmunks with squeakers. He LOVES it, but can't have it unsupervised. I'm loving the idea of playing hide and seek with him, and maybe using a new Kong Wubba or something that is designated a "special toy" only for that game. He responds very well to clicker training, so I plan on finding some new tricks (even if they're silly) to keep him learning daily. I'm also going to take a look at the Nina Ottosson puzzles. The way I see it, if it's a little pricey BUT keeps his interest longer than an hour, it's got to be better than the trial-boredom-toy donation routine I've been doing!

I called his vet earlier to ask about the bed in your link, and she said it was fine for his leg and DEFINITELY a better idea than the "indestructible" ones that still have stuffing in them. She mentioned that Wesley probably considers the stuffing to be the "grand prize" of chewing beds - a puzzle itself LOL. THANK YOU so much for sending this. I hadn't heard of these, and I'm about to buy one now *fingers crossed*!
 

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My dog will de-stuff a bed that has stuffing, that's just fun; but he hasn't touched his thick foam pad. I used automotive foam (like for car seating) but the really dense mattress toppers would work also. Fold a twin size one in half (cut and stack). Covered tightly with an old bedsheet sewn on and then a second bedsheet made into a "pillowcase" to slid on and off for washing.

Maybe an additional option to the raised fabric bed if you want an inexpensive bed to put in another room or for him to lounge outside of the pen on.

I think you should see a friend or a neighbor that has a dog so that your dog can have a roll model.I think your dog will get used to this and act better.
Pretty unlikely that another dog will teach this one not to de-stuff a bed. It's not really about acting 'better"; the dog is bored and de-stuffing is fun; the action is its own reward so it is self-reinforcing. Plus, a dog recovering from surgery shouldn't really be playing with other dogs until he's healed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
My dog will de-stuff a bed that has stuffing, that's just fun; but he hasn't touched his thick foam pad. I used automotive foam (like for car seating) but the really dense mattress toppers would work also. Fold a twin size one in half (cut and stack). Covered tightly with an old bedsheet sewn on and then a second bedsheet made into a "pillowcase" to slid on and off for washing.

Maybe an additional option to the raised fabric bed if you want an inexpensive bed to put in another room or for him to lounge outside of the pen on.
Thanks for the suggestion! I'm not sure if he's ready for it (he's chewed blankets, sheets, towels, and pillows), but maybe!
 

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I had a similar problem with Caeda, and I've realized that there are particular materials she is more prone to suck, and then chew on. fuzzies of any kind, including only slightly fuzzy, like towels. Also anything that is stuffed tightly at all she will try to get into. I had a fleece bed that she started to pull the stuffing out so I took it away. I went to the thrift store and found some big insulated curtains, made a mattress cover out of it (complete with zipper) and put the fleece covered bed (with retrieved stuffing) in it. Its really loose fitting and of a non fuzzy material. She hasn't tried to chew it at all and its been about a month.

Anyway, just a thought, different materials/stuffing densities might make a difference. Hard to weed that out though, I just got lucky!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My dog will de-stuff a bed that has stuffing, that's just fun; but he hasn't touched his thick foam pad. I used automotive foam (like for car seating) but the really dense mattress toppers would work also. Fold a twin size one in half (cut and stack). Covered tightly with an old bedsheet sewn on and then a second bedsheet made into a "pillowcase" to slid on and off for washing.

Maybe an additional option to the raised fabric bed if you want an inexpensive bed to put in another room or for him to lounge outside of the pen on.



Pretty unlikely that another dog will teach this one not to de-stuff a bed. It's not really about acting 'better"; the dog is bored and de-stuffing is fun; the action is its own reward so it is self-reinforcing. Plus, a dog recovering from surgery shouldn't really be playing with other dogs until he's healed.
Thanks for recognizing that. He's actually a very well-trained 1 year old, and probably the only dog I've ever had that listens regardless of distractions (comes when called even while playing with other dogs, stops what he's doing IMMEDIATELY if I say no, walks within 10 feet of my side off leash, etc.) He REALLY IS just bored, and understandably frustrated with his handicap...
 

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I had a similar problem with Caeda, and I've realized that there are particular materials she is more prone to suck, and then chew on. fuzzies of any kind, including only slightly fuzzy, like towels. Also anything that is stuffed tightly at all she will try to get into. I had a fleece bed that she started to pull the stuffing out so I took it away. I went to the thrift store and found some big insulated curtains, made a mattress cover out of it (complete with zipper) and put the fleece covered bed (with retrieved stuffing) in it. Its really loose fitting and of a non fuzzy material. She hasn't tried to chew it at all and its been about a month.

Anyway, just a thought, different materials/stuffing densities might make a difference. Hard to weed that out though, I just got lucky!
That's a really interesting way of looking at it. Thanks for bringing it up! I never really stopped to consider how tightly-stuffed the beds are, and whether it is a trigger for his chewing.
 

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I hope the bed works out. And thx for the review of the tree trunk toy. Ive looked at that one about ten times. I think ill buy it if i can find it on sale.
 

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I hope the bed works out. And thx for the review of the tree trunk toy. Ive looked at that one about ten times. I think ill buy it if i can find it on sale.
No problem! I found it on Amazon for around $25. Wasn't sure if a 45lb. dog needed the "ginormous" size, but I'm glad that's what I got. Anything else would have been too small for him.
 

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Pepper has the chipmunk tree and the cube with the squeaky balls in it and he loves them. Once he got bored with them, I started hiding tiny treats in them for when I leave the house and that keeps him occupied while I'm gone.
 
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