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Author Topic: How do you keep dogs from eating things?
pH
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My puppy likes to chew everything. He eats wood. I have a built-in bookcase that he has repeatedly tried to consume while my back is turned. On top of that, he thinks my hands are chew toys as well, which is more and more of a problem because he's getting very large (50 lbs. and 7 months right now), and although I know he's not TRYING to hurt me, his jaws are very strong, and the last time he tried to nibble me, he broke the skin a little.

I'm told there is some kind of sour apple spray you can put on things so that dogs are repulsed by the taste, but I also heard that some dogs LOVE the taste, so it can backfire. What can I use? Is there something I can put on my hands that will keep him from nipping them while I'm trying to walk him?

-pH

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Amanecer
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Bitter Apple Spray worked great when my dog was little. While some dogs do love the taste, it's rare. The best thing to do is spray it on a peice of paper and then put it near your dog's nose. If the dog is repelled by it, you should be fine to use it.

As for the hands, I don't know. Anything that will taste bad to him, will taste bad to you and probably won't wash off easily. One thing I tried when my dog was little was buying a ton of water bottles and distributing them throughout the apartment. When he bit me or an object, he got sprayed. It worked well for him, but I've heard that some dogs come to like being sprayed.

Good luck! That's a rough age, but they do grow out of it eventually.

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orlox
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I suggest training.

The command is 'no biting'. It should be firmly and consistently applied and the dog should immediately be offered a toy he is allowed to chew.

For my dogs, this is even more fundamental than 'sit'.

You have a responsibility to the dog and to the public to ensure your dog is conditioned against biting. Not all hands will come with applesour.

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pH
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Um, that was unnecessary.

-pH

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orlox
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I didn't mean to offend or sound flippant. I type slowly so am often terse sounding. I should put smilies after everything. [Smile]
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pH
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[Smile]

He's much more respectful of men than women. My trainer has been trying to work with me, but he says that the best thing to do for biting/jumping up is to look away and ignore the puppy while he's doing it (and praise him when he's good). It's really hard to do for me. I'm getting better at ignoring the jumping, although the dog is massive, so it's hard for me to not put up my knee or try to get away from him, but the biting is well nigh impossible to ignore.

-pH

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Qaz
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If he's a Labrador, good luck keeping your hands out of his mouth!
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orlox
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There are many training philosophies. I don't agree with positive reinforcement only and neither do any mother dogs. Dogs need to be corrected. You shouldn't hurt them, but you should correct them. Voice is perfectly adequate if used well.

The trick is to be consistent.

Have you ever watched the Dog Whisperer?

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pH
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quote:
Originally posted by Qaz:
If he's a Labrador, good luck keeping your hands out of his mouth!

He's a Staffordshire terrier.

He's fierce!

-pH

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Synesthesia
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You could snout him the way a wolf would do and say NO really firmly.
Advise from me is useless. I can't train my rabbit...

(and no, rabbits are not stupid, just the opposite! He keeps stealing my apples right from my bag so my bag stays in my room)

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rollainm
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quote:
Originally posted by orlox:
Have you ever watched the Dog Whisperer?

No, but I have seen this.
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Kelly
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*Waits for someone to dobie this thread*
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BlackBlade
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I second the Dog Whisperer suggestion. I have learned so much from that show about how dog's minds work.

Dog's are hardwired to respect a "pack leader" by assuming that role you can control your dog's behavior very efficiently. The downside is that they also need that role to be filled so if their owners do not fill those shoes they will assume the role themselves and then you've got a potential nightmare on your hands.

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scholar
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We tried to do positive motivation only, but it didn't work. After he ate a pair of flip flops, I yelled at him. Since then, he has avoided them. I haven't yet figured out a good way to keep him from licking the baby though (he loves to lick and he tastes like milk, what could be better?). Yelling at him doesn't seem to do much good there. He stops but then he comes back as soon as we turn our backs. He doesn't hurt her or anything, just licks. And when she cries, he rushes over to lick her, like he is trying to comfort her.
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porcelain girl
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Dude, pH. The Dog Whisperer. Amazing. Wilshire the firehouse dog was my favorite!

If you don't have the National Geographic Channel, there are DVD's available.

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Qaz
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I would agree that this dog looks like he needs to not put his teeth on people.
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Amanecer
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quote:
It should be firmly and consistently applied and the dog should immediately be offered a toy he is allowed to chew.
Oh yes, this point can't be overemphasized. Offering a substitute is so simple and it works incredibly well. If the dog isn't immediately interested in the toy on his own, you can hold it till he does get interested.
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theCrowsWife
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Not to downplay the training advice, but sometimes excessive chewing can indicate a mineral deficiency. Does your dog receive a mineral supplement? My understanding is that the kelp based ones are the best, because the minerals are in forms that are easier for the body to utilize.

It wouldn't hurt to try a mineral supplement, if you don't already do so, and see if it helps the situation. It's very difficult or impossible to train away behaviors that stem from nutritional deficiencies, so it's something I would look into if I were in your situation.

--Mel

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Zeugma:
We also tried positive-only training, and at 7 months our Boxer puppy was starting to get frighteningly aggressive, biting too hard and sometimes lunging at me. We were really dedicated to the training, but it just wasn't working, she liked biting at us more than she disliked being ignored or redirected. So we talked to a different, old-fashioned trainer, who told us to keep a short leash on her at all times, and whenever she lunged or bit too hard, to pick the leash up and give her a hard jerk on the neck (called a "leash pop", I think). We were really reluctant at first, but Boxers grow into very powerful dogs, and we weren't willing to unleash a poorly-trained increasingly aggressive dog onto the world, so we gave it a try... and yeah, after a couple of "pops", we suddenly had a respectful, loving, non-aggressive dog, who to this day knows it's never ok to put teeth on a human, and seems all-around a much happier and carefree dog.

Interesting.
There are some people who apply these principals to children. But they don't seem to get dogs and children are not completely the same... Dogs and wolves do things like this to teach proper behavior. they might snout the other wolf that is being out of line or something like that...
I wonder why these folks can't see why such things are not totally appropiate to kids...
*rambling*

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sarcasticmuppet
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I think pretty much everyone understands that leash pops aren't appropriate for children.
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Synesthesia
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Not the writers of To Train a Child.
Plus they do not use a leash, but switches, belts and various branches...

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Synesthesia
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I wish someone would tell them that and their acolytes.
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Nighthawk
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My dog is a purebred Beagle.

My dog has eaten all my wife's plants.

My dog has eaten the wheels off my BBQ.

My dog has bitten my garden hose in half. Twice.

My dog has eaten my cellphone.

My dog has severed the satellite TV cable going in to my house. Twice.

My dog has eaten the zippers off my laptop bag. He also cut my shoulder strap in half.

My dog has consumed the lower restraining bolt of my toolshed, preventing me from opening it.


So, if you have any suggestions, I'm all ears. 'cause, frankly, I've tried *everything*...

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Lyrhawn
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Training is kind of a no brainer, I would think everyone would know that.

But I'd also consider a mixture of cayenne pepper and water. The smell alone will drive them away from a lot of things, and the taste will do the rest. I've seen it work extremely well outdoors on plants and other outdoors things, but I imagine it works just as well inside. You'll have to play around with the mixture.

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pH
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We've been working on pack dominance a lot, especially since I spend the most time alone with him, and he seems to respect me the least of the people around him. He's gotten a little better with some things (like fixing his food, putting it on the counter, and then eating something myself before giving him his), but some of it is really hard to look out for, like making sure he doesn't sit/step on my feet.

Apparently, it's a very good sign that he lets me use him as a pillow though (he's not allowed on furniture unless we invite him...which is something he's slowly learning).

I bought a bottle of that apple stuff....it does seem to help with the bookcase. I sprayed it all over the leash, and he pretty much left it (and my hands) alone until we got to the end of the walk, so I'm wondering if it doesn't stay on that long or something.

-pH

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steven
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I was going to say "put poop on it", but...no, that'd be the dog equivalent of a sign saying "big money to eat this".
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