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How to fix behavior problem when not home

1879 Views 15 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  deege39
I have a 10 month old Boston Terrier who we leave alone in our apartment for a few hours at a time. He is not created or penned currently. He generally behaves himself well but if we forget to hide the toilet paper in the bathroom when we leave, he will always shred it all over the apartment. He never touches it when we are home. I know we cant yell at him after the fact for this as he wont know why he is being yelled at but is there anything else we can do? I really dont want to crate him because of this small problem. I was thinking about maybe trying to put a roll of toilet paper in the middle of the living room while we are home as bait to see if he goes for it and then I can teach him he is not to touch it but Im not sure if that is a good idea. Looking for suggestions.
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Shut the bathroom door. Seriously - that's not snark. It may not be necessary to teach him any rules regarding toilet paper if you can just manage the behavior. No need to crate if he's fine otherwise (although there are other reasons that crate-training can be a good idea, such as if he needs to travel or go to the vet, etc.). Why not just shut the door?
I was thinking about maybe trying to put a roll of toilet paper in the middle of the living room while we are home as bait to see if he goes for it and then I can teach him he is not to touch it but Im not sure if that is a good idea.
It's not. It's setting your dog up for failure. You'd be tempting him to do something wrong just so you can punish him, and it's ridiculous.

Seriously, just shut the bathroom door, or put the toilet-paper away before you leave. It is really that simple.
Why would you crate him or punish him instead of just shutting the door? If you fail to shut the door, well, whoops! the dog had a good time and you get to clean it up. I guarantee you won't have to clean it up too many times before shutting the door becomes a part of your routine.

Dogs, like people, can be a bit inconvenient at times. Sometimes you just have to adjust your own habits for them. It's what dog owners do.
My dog LOVES toilet paper. It's self reinforcing to just rip that soft thing up!!! I don't put the toilet paper in the roll holder as she can reach it from there. I keep it on the bathroom counter. That's the only place it's safe lol.
Anything my dog gets that he shouldn't have it's my fault. I can tell him to drop it, trade up, mourn over the loss of my possessions, but in the end, it's my job to keep unsafe/messy/problematic things out of my dog's reach. It's not my dog's job to know not to touch it.
You mean like this :-

Either remove the toilet roll or close the door. I still forget from time to time but at least she chewed the toilet roll and not the furniture.
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had a problem with Lucifer ( again lol ) chewing up phone books , OMG that was a mess to clean up but after the 1st time it was my fault for leaving the book out ( he tried to blame it on the cat) Remember dogs are like having a toddler in the house all the time
Heh, I have a cat that is obsessed with toilet paper....Caeda likes paper towel, but its always been kept over the sink, so she only gets to it if I'm cleaning (and leaves it if I catch her at it and tell her to leave it).
With the cat I got (well....made) one of those things like you see in some public bathrooms that have the flap over the toilet paper. Only thing is you have to make sure it isn't sharp, otherwise you'll end up with a bleeding dog potentially (the cat just pawed at it). Before making that I also tried covering the roll in double sided tape, (silly but I tried it) which prevented the cat from being interested for about a week....but it didn't last, and I got home needing the bathroom, forgot to hide the "real roll" for me to use and realized that it only SEEMED like a good idea lol. You could also leave a roll (in its usual spot) covered in bitter apple, just remember that you did it! it "might" deter a second try, though I doubt it would be a long term solution.
Best advice is what you've had so far.....close the door (or at least find a doggy inaccessible spot for the TP).
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IN addition to closing the door, give him a Kong and a hard rubber bone to chew on.
IN addition to closing the door, give him a Kong and a hard rubber bone to chew on.
I don't quite understand why the door isn't closed if this is the only problem but along with closing it, give him something to do.
OP here. Closing the door sounds like a good idea but his absolute favorite place to nap and stay calm when we are not home is under the vanity in that bathroom. So instead we have been doing the next obvious thing which is moving the TP and trash can out of reach. Problem solved.
That'll work, LOL! When my cats were in a TP-shredding phase I put the roll into an empty coffee can. But a dog might be able to open that. So out of reach is the way tto go, I think.
Funny enough after reading this thread I went in my bathroom and saw that my rats who were free-ranging in there had pulled toilet paper off the roll and made a lovely nest behind the toilet LOL!
The way to fix a behaviour when you're not home is to prevent it from happening. That means closing the door, crating, playpenning, tethering etc. When you are home you can work on it in a controlled way and supervise every response and teach the dog to do the right thing. That way the dog is never able to practise the unwanted behaviour, and will be rewarded for doing the right thing.
I keep all bathroom doors and closet doors closed all the time... Especially since having a puppy in the house. Donatello has never been a chewer, and has never gone into a room he's not accustomed to frequenting, like the closet or a bathroom.

I was told Miggy isn't a chewer, but I don't like to tempt fate... It's too easy for them to get to the toilet paper, get into the trashcan, or like my father's dog did on numerous occasions, pull a disposable razor out of the bathroom trash and chew on it. :eek: Fortunately he came out with only a few minor lacerations to his tongue and lips, but could you imagine had he swallowed it? ::shivers::

So I just always close the bathroom door, and the closet door. It's easier for me to pull a door shut, then to remember to make sure all things are out of a little mouth's way while I'm not home.
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