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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I recently moved into a new house along with our 1.5 year-old female Italian Greyhound, Minnie. We decided to adopt a friend for Minnie, something we had been discussing for about 6 months. Approximately a week and a half ago, our new baby, Bugsy came to live with us. He is an 8-month-old mix between a Miniature Pinscher and Boston Terrier. We have had minimal issues with him until the last few days. He is doing fairly well with potty-training (which we were told we would not have to worry about) and he and Minnie have become best buddies quickly.
Yesterday, while home on a snow-day from work, I happened to catch Bugsy chewing a hole in the top of our (brand new) couch cushion. I firmly told him no, and he immediately got off the couch and pouted for awhile. My husband and I then left later that night to get some salt for our driveway. We were gone maybe thirty minutes. We always leave the TV and lights on for the pups as well as plenty of toys out. When we returned, Bugsy had destroyed an entire couch cushion. As soon as we walked in the house, he ran away. My husband took him to the couch cushion and showed it to him, as well as firmly told him no a few times. Bugsy then (somehow) crawled his way under the couch! The couch is very low to the ground...and Bugsy weighs 18 pounds. I was horrified to see him do this. He just crammed himself under the couch. We have not spanked him. We believe he was abused previously. The adoption agency did not mention any abuse...but we have seen many signs of it. Any time someone stands near him, or leans down to pet him, he sprinkles a little. Even if he brings up his tennis ball for you to throw it...when you reach down to get it, he sprinkles. Now this hiding under the couch after being minimally disciplined.
We are at a total loss as to what to do. We can't leave him out to roam freely anymore, as we cannot afford to replace all of our furniture that we just bought less than a month ago. He has also eaten the corner off of an entertainment system. We have to be careful about what toys to give him as well. Any toy that is stuffed (which are his favorite) he cannot have without close supervision as he tends to chew off pieces and eat them! We are considering putting Bugsy in a crate during the day.
Any advice at all about how to help this poor guy adjust would be great. We've fallen in love with him and so has Minnie. I just want what's best for both dogs. Most of all, I want Bugsy to feel safe.
 

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Crate training would likely be beneficial for you!!! It seems that despite the toys and another dog, Bugsy may be bored and making his own fun.

Also, the dog attention span is quite short. Unless you catch him IN THE ACT of chewing a wrong item, corrections won't make any sense to him. Your husband bringing him back to the cushion and telling him NO was a confusion and over time may make even bigger problems.

Try crate training....not only for when you are not able to be home, but for when you are asleep or simply unable to give adequate supervision to Bugsy.

I don't have the links, but someone here will. There are a zillion on the boards alone, and a few zillion more outside of DF.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you! I agree that crate training seems to be the way to go.
Thankfully I was able to catch him in the act earlier in the day, but he didn't get the memo I don't guess.
I'll be getting a crate on my way home today.
 

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Definitely crate train him. Kikopup has at least one crate training video and crate games is another good exercise.

He may not have been abused, but it's obvious that he is a timid pup. Punishing him is only going to make things worse and is unlikely to have the effect you desire. Your best option is to prevent him from chewing inappropriate items by watching him closely, crating, or using ex-pens and/or baby gates to restrict his ability to move freely around the house. Kikopup has a video on training a positive interrupter - that may be something you can try with him. Give him appropriate chew toys and reinforce him for playing with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advice! We introduced him to his crate last night and this morning he went right into it, laid down and went to sleep! We are so thankful for that. Thank you all for the advice. We will try the Kikopup videos!
 
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