View Full Version : Advice needed

18-Apr-11, 21:40
I have an 11 month old puppy that I have had since she was 8 weeks old. She has been exceptionally well behaved but about a month ago decided to start gnawing the wallpaper off the kitchen wall. She sleeps in the kitchen overnight and yet has never chewed the walls during the night. She has removed various different bits of wallpaper during the day when I am at work. I am aware she may be bored but she has her own toybox, bones, kongs etc. I can't understand why she has just started to do it now after all these months. She has never been caged but I am wondering if this should be my next move. Is she too old to be introduced to a cage? Does anyone have any tips for me please as apart from the wallpaper episodes she is a lovely wee thing.

19-Apr-11, 06:34
She is not too old to be caged as long as you introduce it gradually. It does sound like she is bored. Is she alone long hours? Is there any way someone could even pop into her during the day? Does she ever do it when your with her? If she does you could treat her for stopping when you tellher to and be consistent, as soon as she stops tearing at it immediately reward her with treats. She is at the adolescent stage in life but hopefully she will pass this stage. Sorry im not much help as never had to deal with this. What about stripping the walls and painting them? x

19-Apr-11, 10:08
If you cage her you run the risk of her boredom and frustration manifesting in other ways like howling, barking or constant leg and feet licking. She is chewing and stripping the wallpaper because the constant chewing and licking releases an opiate into the brain which in turn makes her feel calmer.

I'm sorry to say that your dog is frustrated and bored. She is a bit young at 11 months to be classed as adolescent, that is normally around 18 months old and she has finished teething, so the only other diagnosis would be boredom and frustration.

A dog needs interaction not just to be left with a toy to play with by itself.
Do you stuff the kong with treats or peanut butter to keep her interested?

19-Apr-11, 12:10
The dog needs out. They don't like being shut in all day. Simple.

19-Apr-11, 13:02
Use something bitter tasting (pretty sure you can get spray stuff ) on the wallpaper so it doesnt taste nice to deter her from doing it.
How long are you out at work for?
If you cant get home to take her out for a walk at lunchtime etc, it would be worth taking her for a long walk before you go to work, and/or looking into getting a dog walker if you are out longer than 3-4 hrs.
Leaving the radio on as well cant hurt...and filling the kongs and other toys with treats or meat paste...

19-Apr-11, 13:33
Like the others have said she's needing attention. Also consider that she may be approaching her first season, if she hasn't had one already, or is she spayed? Bitches can act up at least a month before their season is due and she may be needing reassurance. Also it's a good idea to go back to basic training for a short spell, get her brain working as well as, it's not always about loads of exercise. A experienced dog behavourist always said that you will tire a dog out mentally before you will tire them out physically.

19-Apr-11, 16:36
Agree with the others with boredom... Not just physical stimulation - mental too. A good one to keep them occupied is to get a 2 litre pop bottle and cut a small hole in it, fill it with half of her evening meal for her to browse on during the day. They last much longer than kongs. The puzzle balls from P@H are good too - slowed release.

It could also be a teething issue with her back teeth - P@H do bags of frozen bones. Give her a bone still frozen to gnaw on to ease any pain :)

19-Apr-11, 22:18
Thanks for all the advice/comments.
Unfortunately I can't reprimand my dog as she never does it when we are there. I have also caught her chewing holes in painted wall so no point stripping the wall paper off and repainting. She is left alone for 2 hours in the morning and then another 2 in the afternoon. She doesn't attack the walls every day just maybe once a week. If I take her for a walk at lunch time that seems to get her in the playful mood so you can guarantee the wall will be eaten that day but if I omit the lunch time walk, then she doesn't touch the wall.
She has not had her first season yet, so Crusty Roll, this may run with your theory.

19-Apr-11, 22:36
Hi Jenni

Sorry to hear she is having a wee phase! My girl went through that phase too when she was younger and we did go through a period where she was crated when we were out to prevent her damaging stuff. It used to happen once in a blue moon when we thought all was well - the crate was absolutely fine - just make sure it is well kitted out with comfort and plenty of chew & stimulation toys. You can gradually introduce her to the crate by encouraging her to go in with door staying open first, rewarding with treats for going in, shutting the door for short periods, keep rewarding. gradually increasing times etc.

Our experience was that our girl eventually stopped this about 18 months but she remains happily crate trained and we can use it when required.

Also a good long walk in the morning and evening should also help. I dont think that two hours twice a day is excessive time to leave your girl - dogs can adjust to your routine and can live quite happily with working parents! Good luck im sure you will get there.

20-Apr-11, 11:27
It might be loneliness/boredom/anxiety. I am not sure that a cage would not worsen this, if she is not used to it. I suppose you could try. Try leaving a radio or tv on softly when she is left alone during the day. Also take a little tabasco sauce, check if it stains, then paint onto the areas where she is chewing. Most dogs will not like the taste and stop chewing those areas. The problem is if she moves on to chew somewhere else, and you will just have to follow with the tabasco. Try rotating the toys, so that even if it is not a new toy, it might be one she has not seen in a while, making it a novelty. There are also puzzle balls which will entertain smart dogs. You hide a treat in them and they have to figure out how to get it out. Maybe before you leave her alone during the day you could walk here, and walk her again on your return, so that she has something to anticipate.
Good Luck. :)

20-Apr-11, 23:05
Thanks guys. I don't think it is anxiety but probably just boredom. She never does it overnight when we are upstairs in bed so today I left the radio on to let her think we were still in the house and there were no attempts at the wall today. Obviously early days for this. I am going to persevere for a week or so and if no improvement then it will be the cage.

25-Apr-11, 11:57
Very simple ,dogs basically do get anxious when left alone(although some may not) . Yours is obviously not comfortable when left too long on its own.
Putting it in a cage will only frustrate it more and cause even further anxiety and distress!
Find someone to be with it in the times it is left on its own,like a dog walker ,or take it with you when you go out.Dogs should not be left on their own for more than 3 hours.This is even one of the basic dog welfare societies' conditions
for adoption , that applicants are not going to leave the dog for more than 3 hours a day on their own.So there you have it .

Your dog does need more mental and physical stimulation but it seems also to be needing less time on its own.

25-Apr-11, 12:05
Exercise ,exercise, exercise, that is all this dog needs.get down to the beach with a ball for half hour.