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Help! - German shepherd mix puppy

900 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Jen2010
Hi everyone,

My fiance and I both work weekday 9-5 jobs and we keep our 8 month old in his crate for most of the day because we don't trust him to roam around the house yet while we are away. My mom who lives around the corner stops by around lunch time to spend time with him for at least an hour everyday. I have a nanny cam with 2 way audio always on his crate so we can monitor him at work.

He has plenty of space and toys to play with but he always decides to play/chew with something he's not supposed to like his bed or the crate tray. We actually had to take his bed out during the day which I feel really bad doing, but he immediately goes after it as soon as we leave the house. We've gone through so many and all different kinds too. We originally had the crate attached to a play pen so he could at least roam around in a bigger space, but he destroyed our hardwood floor by grinding his teeth into it.

I just need advice on keeping him happy and satisfied with the toys he has and eventually getting him to the point of no crate while we are gone. I don't know how to train him since the problem exists when we are away. I'm assuming he's going after every other thing out of boredom. I'm also lost with what kind of toys I should be putting in his crate. I'm reading it's not good to leave him unattended with any kind of toy, yet that's the first thing that is suggested for this kind of problem. I've read a lot of horror stories about dogs choking.

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You did the right thing taking the bed out. Until he can be trusted not to chew on it, he gets a bare crate. When you do put bedding back in, though, use fleece blankets. The way they tear makes if far less likely that threads will wrap around their intestines if they swallow them. They usually pass right through. Also, if you use blankets it's easier for the dog to move them. Sometimes they get hot in the crate, so they'll move the blankets so they can just lay on bare plastic.

Try Kong toys or Nylabones in the crate. They take a long time to destroy, and they are destroyed in small pieces so if they are swallowed, they'll pass right through. Soft stuffed toys are defiantly a no-go, but hard rubber toys are usually fine. You can stuff the Kong with food and treats, freeze it, and give it to your pup as a special treat that will take him 20-30 minutes to finish. Nylabones are very hard, flavored plastic or something (I'm not even sure what exactly they're made of) that really only comes apart in small, rice sized pieces.

I would give these toys to the dog under supervision first just to make sure he doesn't have some sort of iron jaws that can destroy anything.
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