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Have I shot myself in the foot? And what to do?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by McKenzie, Dec 10, 2020.


  1. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Elliot is a really, really good boy. It's hard to find much to fault him on, but there's one thing that's causing issues...

    Backstory - up until this time last year we had a cat, and McKenzie and the cat did NOT get along. As a result, the dogs spent most of their time baby gated in my kitchen/living area, or in my bedroom at night. They didn't have free access to other rooms in the house without me being present. And it's this that's making me wonder whether I've shot myself in the foot.

    Elliot is currently 4 years old. We're in a different house now, and the dogs are still baby gated in the living area when I'm not home, but when I'm out I'm more relaxed about letting them have the run of the house. However, Elliot really loves tearing up cardboard, and on a number of occasions now he has pulled books off my bookshelf (in my spare room) and chewed them up. He never chews anything else. When I find him in the act of chewing a book, I send him off with a flea in his ear (not literally - I just realised what a weird saying that is! :Hilarious).

    What are my options here? Removing all books from the bookshelf isn't very practical. I could put a baby gate on the spare bedroom door. I could go back to now allowing the dogs free run of the house. Can I do anything that's not just managing it? Neither of my dogs have ever been chewers (aside from the above example) so not quite sure where to go with this.

    TIA
     
  2. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums VIP

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    Can you not just close the door to the spare bedroom? (Or a baby gate if you prefer, but closing the door seems easier.) The dogs don't really need access to the whole house, when you think about it. If the only room causing a problem is the spare room, I'd just bar them from that. Problem solved (in my mind, anyway. :))
     
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  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I guess it’s hard to get him to distinguish between cardboard and books, so I’d just keep the door or a baby gate shut.
     
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  4. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Yes, I could. Was just interested to see if there were any other ideas. I currently have 3 baby gates up, what's one more.
     
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  5. SusieRainbow

    SusieRainbow Moderator
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    I agree with @Ian246
    Restricting their access to the whole house is perfectly reasonable IMO. Mine have access to the living room and kitchen only.
    The stairs are behind a solid door as it's an old cottage, the dining room is firmly shut as Reena used to push the door open and end up trapped when the door swung shut behind her, and the utility room s gated as Bobby showed a desire to pee on the clean laundry.:rolleyes:
    I thnk that's quite reasonable.( not the peeing on the laundry !)
     
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  6. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    I agree about gating off the room. Could you perhaps provide Elliott with some cardboard that he is allowed to chew so he gets the enjoyment of it? Perhaps a box with some treats in?
     
  7. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    B96A6F3F-1A48-413F-BBF8-0409C3060FCD.jpeg Loki used to do this but seems to have grown out of it thank goodness. Here he is one day seemed to forget I was there so helped himself. I can’t help he just seemed to stop and moved onto different naughties .
     
  8. DanWalkersmum

    DanWalkersmum watching the world go by

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    he looks like he's choosing a book to read it not destroy :p
     
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  9. Boxer123

    Boxer123 PetForums VIP

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    It’s hard to say isn’t it Loki bear so misunderstood.
     
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  10. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Thanks everyone, I'll just continue to restrict access to the room. He can be a bit of a thief on the odd occasion too so probably the best. I feel like I have more baby gates than people who actually have babies!
     
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  11. Torin.

    Torin. PetForums VIP

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    I do restricting access, and also @Sairy's suggestion of allowable gutting behaviour (that's what it is, and why terriers are often most prone) outlets. I use specific cues for the times when it's allowed, in the same way I set things up so it's very obvious when chasing stuff is allowed.
     
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  12. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
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    I can't offer much help, but Milly used to chew books when she was younger. Now she's happy with boxes. I actually use the boxes their dog food comes in, or Amazon boxes, fill with shredded paper and treats and let her go nuts on it.

    Living room looks like a small tornado has ripped through it afterwards, but she's happy. :D
     
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  13. ForestWomble

    ForestWomble PetForums VIP

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    I agree with giving him boxes he can chew and destroy.

    Bungo loves paper and cardboard and I save up both and sometimes give him his food in a box full of paper (some kibble scattered and some 'wrapped' in the paper) he loves it, makes a great mess and gives him a chance to practise the behaviour so he leaves my books alone.
     
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  14. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Can't you just shut the door so he cant get in. My dogs are not allowed upstairs, but in the holiday cottage they are allowed in the hall (no stairs) but not the bedrooms so the doors are kept shut.
     
  15. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Thanks everyone, he does get cardboard to shred but probably not as often as he would like.

    Putting a cue to it is a great idea, thanks.

    Oh I just don't like having doors stuff, just a weird quirk of mine.
     
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