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Thread: At my wits end

  1. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #1

    At my wits end

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    My dogs seem to be incapable of behaving when they are home alone lately and I've completely had it. Every single day I'm coming home to a gigantic mess all over the living room. My dad's dog takes anything and everything left on any counter or surface he can reach (pretty much everywhere, the dog is probably about 5'7 on his hind legs) and brings it within reach of my dog, Teddy who shreds whatever it is into a million tiny pieces. Jake knows not to put his feet on the counters. It's something we trained him against a long time ago and he NEVER does it while we're home. I know he's the one getting all the stuff down because Teddy is too short to reach. I'm sure Teddy is the responsible for most of the shredding because his favorite thing in the world to do is chew stuff.

    I know the obvious solution to this is to lock them up in their cages while they're home alone. This sounds really stupid and insane, but I'm terrified of leaving them locked up all day. It's completely unreasonable, but all I can think is if there's a fire they'll roast to death in there with absolutely no chance of escape. So I'm looking for training suggestions for breaking them of this behavior all together. Since they don't do it while I'm around, I really don't know how to handle it. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    I Eelizah
  2. Justice Beaver: The Crime Fighting Beaver
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    #2
    Can you block off trouble spots in the house?
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    #3
    I have a friend whose dogs were actually killed that way, so I totally get that fear

    But I agree with lepus, can you block off areas? We don't let my dog upstairs alone because that's where all the trouble inducing stuff is....

  4. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #4
    Blocking isn't really an option. We have an open floor plan, the kitchen, living room, and dining room are all wide open. Both of them could jump any barrier short of 5ft tall.

    I Eelizah
  5. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #5
    Do you have a mud room or something where they could stay and it could be shut off by a door?

    Training is going to be difficult because you're not there to correct/redirect the behavior. You could try providing them with toys that are more attractive than whatever it is they're pulling off the counters? The only other thing I could think of is to "dog proof" the house by making sure nothing shred-able is in reach but if the dog's that big, depending on how minimalist (or not) you are that could be a tall order.
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    #6
    Would you feel better locking them in a room than a crate?

    What exactly are they getting into? Is it stuff that could just not be left within their reach? Maybe some dog proofing is in order.
  7. Pour a little salt, we were never here
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    #7
    I have the same fire death fear, and my two dogs are free roaming (our pup we are watching is kenneled). They still wouldn't be able to open the doors

    The dane was a counter surfer and garbage grabber. He even raided the pantry once when we first got him. Basically, we started acting like we had left and DH (usually, sometimes me) would sneak up on him when his head was in the trash or doing something he wasn't supposed to tell him no. I guess I'd work on that aspect of it and see how them being alone progresses
  8. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #8
    Another thing that might help if you're really concerned about fire (because someone did correctly point out that without being able to open doors they could have a hard time surviving a fire) is to get an alarm that detects smoke as well as changes in temperature. Our security system has that and if there's a big change in heat it will automatically call the fire department and send them out. I don't know if that's an option for you or not but it does make me feel better knowing it's there.
  9. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #9
    They get into literally thing that that is within reach. Like today, it was a stack of my dad's mail that I've been collecting for him while he's out of down. It was stacked up behind the sink, so not even readily within view. Yesterday they ate the handle off a pot that was sitting on the dinning room table, waiting to be returned to my brother's house next door. They've gotten into bottles we let dry on the counters before putting into recycling, dishes drying in the dish rack. Literally anything.

    Locking them up in a room is something I've considered, though it's still not something I'm entirely comfortable with. We have one spare room (about the size of a large closet) that acts as storage more than anything. It could be dog proofed, but it would require a ton of rearrangement and finding other places for stuff (my house has like ZERO storage). I'd really like to solve this through training though, if at all possible.

    ETA: My thought process on the fire thing is if they are in their crates there is pretty much zero chance of survival unless they are rescued. If they are free roaming, there is a small chance they could get out if part of the house collapsed or something. Far-fetched, I know. I just hate locking them in a place that will absolutely be a death trap, KWIM? I don't want anyone that does crate during the day to think I'm hating on them or anything. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, it just doesn't really work for me.

    I Eelizah
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    #10
    Also I know this is probably not helpful to hear, but I feel like it's less likely for a fire to break out in your house than it is for your dogs to get into something really harmful. Personally if my dogs were counter surfers, I would feel better about leaving them in a crate than out in the open where they might chew up a bottle of pills or something, kwim?
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