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Thread: I need help {super long and ramble-y}

  1. Lime breakfast foot
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    #1

    I need help {super long and ramble-y}

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    I am losing my mind.

    Ghost is 7 months old-ish. He's a good boy. Fully potty trained, goofy, friendly and the best snuggler I've ever met. The problem? He eats EVERYTHING.

    When Elliot was a puppy he had this problem too. We got him a toy box, and whenever he had something he wasn't supposed to be scolded him, took it away, then redirected him to get something from the toybox instead and praised him like crazy. Took maybe 3 days and he hasn't eaten anything since except for clothes if we left them too close to his crate at night - he likes to drag them in his crate with him, rip them up, and snuggle. It's adorable and also the reason we have a laundry hamper now.

    Now, Elliot isn't a smart dog. He's still not fully potty trained, he doesn't know any tricks or commands -just assumes everything we say means sit. But he leanted the toybox concept fairly quickly.

    Ghost is a genius. Potty trained at like 9 weeks old within a couple days of training, knows a crap ton of tricks, can open doors, everything. He's a genius! We keep him occupied best we can with walks, play time and a crapton of awesome toys. We have a bunch of the Kong toys so he has to work for his treats and we try to teach him something new everyday. We have been working with him lately on only chewing toys from the toybox. We have, in fact, been working on it for weeks. He's not getting it.

    I am a consistent trainer with this. I spend the most time with him and I watch him lol a hawk. The minute he picks something up I make him drop it, then take him to his toybox for an appropriate toy immediately. My husband is not a good trainer. When he is alone with the dogs he just leaves them to roam while he watches tv, naps or plays video games. I've tried telling him to leave the dogs crated til I come home but he thinks that's mean so he doesn't listen and let's them out then ignores them. Clearly this is my husband's failing and not the dog's. Unfortunately I am at the end of my rope and loosing my shit.

    Today I caught Ghost eating yet another shoe and I'm just so fucking sick of it. I snatched it from him then had to leave the room to go scream and punch my pillow because I was just so over the top pissed off and I obviously don't want to take it out on Ghost because he's just a puppy. Then tonight i come to bed to find that my husband decided not to crate them but slept through ghost opening my closet door and kicking over my shelving thing then tearing up my birth certificate and EATING AND ENTIRE MECHANICAL PENCIL. Well - all but the eraser and some graphite. Rest of the pencil is long gone.

    By the time I caught this it was obviously too late to scold him so I just cleaned up and crated him and Elliot for the night but this leads me to my list of questions I need help with.

    1) Any advice for what to try to stop him from eating everything that's different from what I'm doing?

    2) how do I get through to my husband about the seriousness of this when $1200 of vet bills on two weeks wasn't enough to get through to him!?

    3) should I take ghost to the vet tomorrow or should I just keep and eye on his eating and his poop for now? I feel like I should get him X-rays in case he really ate that pencil but if he's acting normally does he need them?

    4) how can I stop him from opening doors? I thought about those plastic child proof doorknob cover things but I can't open doors with those on them so I would be trapped forever.

    5) the town will probably let my mom get my birth certificate replacement for me right? I mean, she was a pretty important part of that day, after all


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    #2
    you will probably get a menagerie of responses on how to handle this depending on the pet parent, but here is my two cents... the chewing thing as a 7 month old? Normal. If they can get their paws on it and are still under a year old, they will get it. My first dog destroyed a lot of things as a under 1 puppy... sandals... socks... cell phones... remotes... furniture legs... rugs... but it went away completely as she passed one. And my second dog would take things off of counters if they were too close to the edge. But he doesn't do that anymore as an adult either. Really the secret is to get in the habit of dog proofing your house for a lifetime, much as you would for a child. It is a completely ingrained habit for me to shut all doors (bedroom, bathroom, closets etc) as we exit the room, making sure nothing drops on the floor, everything is high enough up a shelf or pushed back far enough. Sometimes I forget that this habit isn't something other people don't have like when we have people visit and I ask them to shut the doors after they use the bathroom and they never do and I always have to have an eye on that You want to set your dog up for success, not failure. My dogs generally leave things alone now, even on low end tables or coffee tables, but I am still careful about things on the floor and always shutting doors. Oh! especially making sure that the door to the garbage under the sink is shut. All shoes go in a closet. At 7 months old he is still a little guy, so it is normal that there are relapses happening with chewing things. As long as you are consistent, it's really just about waiting until he is older. He will get it. He's still a baby.

    It may be too late now that your pup is older, though technically it's never too late to do anything! But I just did this with my second pup when we first got him at like 2 months old, and the motivating factor was more to create harmony amongst my two dogs and prevent resource guarding though... but my puppy did not get free range of toys until, goodness I don't know, it's hard to remember that many years back... but probably at least a month or 2 after we got him. The only time he got to chew was when I would hold the bone for him, and he'd chew the other end. It taught him that I own the toys and it's his privilege to get it from me. He had some food/toy aggression when we first got him, and this helped eliminate that.

    In one of our houses at our old base the kitchen had a pantry that had a sliding door, so no latch. I was worried that the dogs could easily learn to slide that open and get into garbage and food. So there is a mechanism that like is a hinge that somehow makes it immobile... I totally forget how it works exactly, but i'm sure you'd find it at any Home Depot and whatnot. There are more ways to lock a door than just those handle covers.

    It really depends on how you feel about taking him to the vet or not. That's up to you. Personally I do not run my dogs to the vet at every turn like some people do, I have a method of duration and severity. Meaning if a symptom crops up and it isn't gone in 3 days (or if it's a more mild symptom than a week) then I take them in to the vet. I've found that the majority of things clear themselves up in that time period saving stress for my dogs to have to go to the vet, and then also vet bills. Now with consuming something like is your issue here, the key is watching to see if he is still eating and drinking properly AND able to poop. Basically looking for a blockage. This is what I would do everytime my dogs ate something of significance. However, it was usually that they ate socks or a ate off pieces of a rubber toy... so I just would watch that they could still poop for a week afterwards and called it good. However, a pencil is more hard of a substance being plastic or whatever, so it is up to you. I wouldn't blame you if you brought him in tomorrow, depending on if he chewed it up into small pieces or swallowed it whole could make a difference in severity. But if you are erring on the side of caution as far as spending more on unneeded vet bills, you could wait a few days and see if he passes it. Which he probably can. Is he a large dog now, or small? If he's small i'd feel more of an urge to go in to the vet as the ratio of pencil to intestines is smaller and there could more easily be a problem. But if he's larger you could wait if you want. Doesn't mean you have to though. But dogs all over the world eat crazy things and are fine. But then some have issues. Just watch him

    yep, I wrote a lot Sorry It's early in the morning and i'm bored...
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by alice04 View Post
    you will probably get a menagerie of responses on how to handle this depending on the pet parent, but here is my two cents... the chewing thing as a 7 month old? Normal. If they can get their paws on it and are still under a year old, they will get it. My first dog destroyed a lot of things as a under 1 puppy... sandals... socks... cell phones... remotes... furniture legs... rugs... but it went away completely as she passed one. And my second dog would take things off of counters if they were too close to the edge. But he doesn't do that anymore as an adult either. Really the secret is to get in the habit of dog proofing your house for a lifetime, much as you would for a child. It is a completely ingrained habit for me to shut all doors (bedroom, bathroom, closets etc) as we exit the room, making sure nothing drops on the floor, everything is high enough up a shelf or pushed back far enough. Sometimes I forget that this habit isn't something other people don't have like when we have people visit and I ask them to shut the doors after they use the bathroom and they never do and I always have to have an eye on that You want to set your dog up for success, not failure. My dogs generally leave things alone now, even on low end tables or coffee tables, but I am still careful about things on the floor and always shutting doors. Oh! especially making sure that the door to the garbage under the sink is shut. All shoes go in a closet. At 7 months old he is still a little guy, so it is normal that there are relapses happening with chewing things. As long as you are consistent, it's really just about waiting until he is older. He will get it. He's still a baby.

    It may be too late now that your pup is older, though technically it's never too late to do anything! But I just did this with my second pup when we first got him at like 2 months old, and the motivating factor was more to create harmony amongst my two dogs and prevent resource guarding though... but my puppy did not get free range of toys until, goodness I don't know, it's hard to remember that many years back... but probably at least a month or 2 after we got him. The only time he got to chew was when I would hold the bone for him, and he'd chew the other end. It taught him that I own the toys and it's his privilege to get it from me. He had some food/toy aggression when we first got him, and this helped eliminate that.

    In one of our houses at our old base the kitchen had a pantry that had a sliding door, so no latch. I was worried that the dogs could easily learn to slide that open and get into garbage and food. So there is a mechanism that like is a hinge that somehow makes it immobile... I totally forget how it works exactly, but i'm sure you'd find it at any Home Depot and whatnot. There are more ways to lock a door than just those handle covers.

    It really depends on how you feel about taking him to the vet or not. That's up to you. Personally I do not run my dogs to the vet at every turn like some people do, I have a method of duration and severity. Meaning if a symptom crops up and it isn't gone in 3 days (or if it's a more mild symptom than a week) then I take them in to the vet. I've found that the majority of things clear themselves up in that time period saving stress for my dogs to have to go to the vet, and then also vet bills. Now with consuming something like is your issue here, the key is watching to see if he is still eating and drinking properly AND able to poop. Basically looking for a blockage. This is what I would do everytime my dogs ate something of significance. However, it was usually that they ate socks or a ate off pieces of a rubber toy... so I just would watch that they could still poop for a week afterwards and called it good. However, a pencil is more hard of a substance being plastic or whatever, so it is up to you. I wouldn't blame you if you brought him in tomorrow, depending on if he chewed it up into small pieces or swallowed it whole could make a difference in severity. But if you are erring on the side of caution as far as spending more on unneeded vet bills, you could wait a few days and see if he passes it. Which he probably can. Is he a large dog now, or small? If he's small i'd feel more of an urge to go in to the vet as the ratio of pencil to intestines is smaller and there could more easily be a problem. But if he's larger you could wait if you want. Doesn't mean you have to though. But dogs all over the world eat crazy things and are fine. But then some have issues. Just watch him

    yep, I wrote a lot Sorry It's early in the morning and i'm bored...
    All of this And honestly, reading your whole story, it's not the dog that is the problem, it's your DH not watching them. If he doesn't want to watch them, ok, they need to be crated or put into a completely puppy proofed room or area. You could possibly look into getting a play pen for the time between when he comes home and when you come home.
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    #4
    Also, a lot of destructive chewing comes from boredom as well. Try feeding him his dinner in a food toy like a tricky treat ball or a buster cube or tug a jug. They all would keep my guy occupied for about 30-60 minutes and help mentally wear him out. If you combine that with a walk (probably walk before and then feed), he should be content to just lie around or chew on a toy since you have physically and mentally exercised him.
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    What breed is he? Some are just more natural chewers than others, and it will be harder (but not impossible) to change the habit.

    Exercise is always good. Since your DH is the one with the problem, perhaps he would be willing to go for a hard run with the dog for 20-30 minutes every evening.

    Does your DH love the dogs? Does he want them? In my mind, he'd be putting the dog's life in danger with his behavior so I'd flat out tell him that I owe it to the animal to make sure he's in a safe home. If DH wasn't willing to be that safe home for him, then I'd look into re-homing him with someone who isn't going to be negligent in ways that get an innocent animal killed. Since the vet trip hasn't brought home the seriousness, I'm not sure what else will. He needs to understand that he could very well kill your dog by allowing him to eat something poisonous or something that causes physical damage to him. The fact that he refuses to crate, which take almost zero effort, suggests he just doesn't care.
    Science always wins over bullshit. ~Dick Rutkowski
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    Quote Originally Posted by BiggyBiggs View Post
    All of this And honestly, reading your whole story, it's not the dog that is the problem, it's your DH not watching them. If he doesn't want to watch them, ok, they need to be crated or put into a completely puppy proofed room or area. You could possibly look into getting a play pen for the time between when he comes home and when you come home.
    Quote Originally Posted by villanelle View Post
    What breed is he? Some are just more natural chewers than others, and it will be harder (but not impossible) to change the habit.

    Exercise is always good. Since your DH is the one with the problem, perhaps he would be willing to go for a hard run with the dog for 20-30 minutes every evening.

    Does your DH love the dogs? Does he want them? In my mind, he'd be putting the dog's life in danger with his behavior so I'd flat out tell him that I owe it to the animal to make sure he's in a safe home. If DH wasn't willing to be that safe home for him, then I'd look into re-homing him with someone who isn't going to be negligent in ways that get an innocent animal killed. Since the vet trip hasn't brought home the seriousness, I'm not sure what else will. He needs to understand that he could very well kill your dog by allowing him to eat something poisonous or something that causes physical damage to him. The fact that he refuses to crate, which take almost zero effort, suggests he just doesn't care.
    with both - this isn't about the dog, but about the human - which is generally the issue with these situations.
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    #7
    Sorry to hear you are going through this. I also train differently than my husband and it drives me nuts too. My suggestion, focus your training efforts on your husband. Can you clicker train him?

    Also, I think you mentioned getting Ghost was your husband's idea. Make him responsible for cleaning up after him and taking him to the vet. Or at least make him go to the vet with you. Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekeoboe View Post
    Sorry to hear you are going through this. I also train differently than my husband and it drives me nuts too. My suggestion, focus your training efforts on your husband. Can you clicker train him?

    Also, I think you mentioned getting Ghost was your husband's idea. Make him responsible for cleaning up after him and taking him to the vet. Or at least make him go to the vet with you. Good luck.
    - reminded of the BBT episode where Sheldon is training Penny with the chocolates

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