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 The house is his new chew toy!

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BeBopBandit
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PostSubject: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:12 pm

Oh dear god i really hope you guys can give me some hope!

Bandit has suddenly developed an interest in tearing the outside of the house apart. He is literally tearing the siding off the house and has already ripped out a ventilation grate (and working on destroying a 2nd grate). We've been doing time-outs for his punishments since he was about 6 months old, but these days time-outs hardly bother him. Spanking does nothing; his butt is too furry to feel a smack. We've also tried using the Bitter Apple bite deterrent, but its not a good solution as it comes off when it rains AND any area that isn't hosed down with the Bitter Apple stuff immediately becomes his new "spot". We've also heard it recommended to use hot sauce, but Bandit is all Mexican and LOVES hot sauce.

I don't think I'd be as mad if this was a house we owned, but we're renting and moving next year. I do not want to spend my money fixing shit that he's ripping apart but I don't know how else to get it through his head to not chew on the damn house! He gets PLENTY of exercise and we play with him all the time. He also gets bones a couple times a week.

I'm at the point right now where I'm considering using a belt, only 3 or 4 swats next time I catch him but I really don't want to resort to this. Another frustrating aspect is that its hard to catch him for punishment, literally. When he knows he's done something bad, its like he gets all amped up and starts running around the backyard all crazy. He won't come near us while he does this, so we'll have to stand still and wait for him to come closer so we can grab him. I can't even describe how maddening that is!

He's gotten to be a much better dog as he's gotten older, so I know part of what we're doing is working but I feel so lost on how to handle this without resorting to physical punishments. Please, if you've had to deal with this before, let me know what worked for you! I would REALLY appreciate it!
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:16 pm

I would not use the belt. When does he have time to make this mess? If he is chewing while he is in the back yard, then do not allow him out there when you aren't there. You are giving him the opportunity to do this, it sounds like. I hope this doesn't come off as rude, its just how it is. I know my dogs would chew up the house if I wasn't looking, so when I can't be watching them, they get to be in their crates. You should not leave him unsupervised around the things he likes the most, and then you won't have to worry about punishment, because he won't be able to make that mistake. Or if he has to be in the yard when you aren't there give him high value treats, and then he won't use the house as a distraction.


Last edited by siku&nikolai on Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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simplify
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:17 pm

Hitting him is not going to do any good. Definitely do not start hitting him with a belt. You're just going to create more issues.

Do ya'll just leave him in the backyard by himself? Because if so, then it's boredom. They are not backyard dogs to just be left out to their own devices. They WILL get bored and they WILL destroy shit. Outside time should be supervised and if you can't be with him then he shouldn't be left outside for long periods of time by himself. I know it's a convenience thing but when I let my pup outside if he doesn't come back in for 5 minutes I go check on him. Sometimes he's just laying down and sometimes he's digging another hole. He has the option to go in and out as he pleases so our situation is different. I never just put him in the backyard and leave him out there because he will find something to destroy.

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BeBopBandit
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:27 pm

these suggestions suck so far
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:28 pm

Seriously? Would you want to get smacked with a belt? I don't think so.

Don't leave him in the backyard unattended. Simple solution.
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:29 pm

@BeBopBandit wrote:
these suggestions suck so far
I seriously hope you're trolling and not serious. That's all I'm going to say anymore on this thread.
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simplify
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:31 pm

If you think the suggestions that were provided suck so far, then I seriously doubt that any solution that requires you to actually put any work into it will suit you.

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BeBopBandit
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:39 pm

ok look I'm actually looking for specifics on how to stop it. Have you ever used a different bite/chew deterrent? How well did it work? Are there different deterrents that aren't sprays and might cling to an area longer? Are there chew toys that you've found that really challenge the dog? Is there a different way I can do time-out so its more effective?

All you're doing is telling me I'm a negligent pet parent.

And let me be clear, no i don't WANT to use a belt. jesus, what kind of person do you think I am, that I just love to beat my pets? i'm trying to think of ways to halt this immediately, and in thinking about it I considered physical punishment as a deterrent.

man you guys get pissy pretty quickly.
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:45 pm

I'm not telling you that you are being a negligent parent, I'm just telling you the reality of a husky, and I don't appreciate you saying that we are getting pissy, when its good advice.

Because you are not open to what we really have to say. I've heard of one of my co-workers using Murphy oil to make her labs stop chewing on the garage door wires. I don't know how good that is for their systems, but good luck.
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BeBopBandit
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:54 pm

all you're saying is "he's bored" and "don't leave him alone" when I've already explained that he gets plenty of exercise, play, and treats everyday. I don't see how thats helpful. We don't just shove him outside and call it a day; we know what he's capable of and for the most part we have done well in curbing other biting/chewing behaviors. we watch him very carefully but he's doing this quick and dirty. its like if we were telling a 2 year old, "don't touch this" and then the second our back is turned the 2 year old reaches out a finger and touches.

thank you for the suggestion on murphy oil, i'll look that up.
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siku&nikolai
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 4:58 pm

I honestly, have NO IDEA how the murphy oil affects them and what it can do, all I'm saying is that is what my co-worker did and it worked for her dogs, so do this at your own risk. I would not do it for my husky but to each their own.

I understand things can happen quickly, but like I suggested, if you give him high value treats (bully sticks, honest kitchen catfish skins, marrow bones) that he can only have outside, that will take his attention off of the house and on what he should chew. Until he realizes that he can't chew on the side of the house, its best to be out there with him, thats all anyone is saying. Just distract him, until he gets the idea and eventually he will grow out of it.
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simplify
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:03 pm

There is nothing pissy about stating that a husky is a dog that does not usually behave well when left in a backyard setting. That's just truth. It may not apply to 100% of the husky population, but it's a very common issue.

Everything Erica has said is true. There's not a ton you can do other than try to get him interested in something other than the house to distract him or just supervise his outside time.

And when you make the comment "all these suggestions suck" with nothing more to back up your response, of course people are going to come back with a similar attitude.

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BeBopBandit
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:19 pm

there's not a ton I can do? i thought this was a Training forum. you know, for training purposes.
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simplify
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:30 pm

Unless you're issuing a correction within 30 seconds after the incident, you're not going to right the behavior. Corrections have to be issued immediately after the "bad behavior", not 5 minutes or longer after. Does he ever try to chew on it when you are outside with him? Giving verbal corrections or trying a spray bottle with water to spray him with when he's going for the side of the house may help as well. Unless he enjoys that, which some dogs do.

It's hard to correct a behavior that's happening when you aren't there to witness it. Dogs do not have the ability to connect this bad behavior with this physical or verbal correction well after the fact.

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BeBopBandit
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:36 pm

ok great, now we're getting somewhere. yes, he does try to go for the chew spots when we're out there with him, but he's a quick one and the second I make a move to stop him he goes tearing across the yard like a bat out of hell. so then i have to either try to catch him, or i have to pretend like i wasn't just about to correct him until he thinks everything is ok and comes closer to me. should i even try to correct the chewing then? it seems to me like he knows he's not supposed to, but he's going to do it anyways because its fun when Mom gets mad.

Also, its not constant chewing. he can be out there with and without us, and be a good boy.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:42 pm

Words of advice: you're looking for quick fixes and they don't exist. Work on your patience and your discipline. Your dog sees right through you.
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:43 pm

I think you are correcting the behavior to late. If you are out there with him and he is going to that spot, and you get up and he runs away then I would leave it at that, and not try to pursue it further. You don't want him to be afraid of coming near you (especially if he were ever to get off his leash by accident) that will not help you catch him when you really need too. When he does it an you aren't out there to catch him, that will also be to late because he won't associate the correction with the bad behavior, like Ashleigh said. So either find something and put it on the house (like a deterrent like you suggested), or you really have to 100% catch him doing it, in order to correct him appropriately.

I don't think he is fully understanding that the chewing on the house is off limits, and might of made a game out of it when you are outside watching him, because you are chasing him and for him thats fun!
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:49 pm

Oh yeah if you try to chase him, then it's just become a game. At the point he's running off, I wouldn't even bother correcting him because it's too late. You have to throw a verbal correction at him when he even shows the slightest interest in chewing on it. You can work on leave it and use that verbal correction with the siding. Anytime he shows interest in chewing the siding, use the correction and when he pays attention to you you can treat him. It's a process and will not work overnight, but you have to not let it frustrate you. You have to work on it consistently.

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BeBopBandit
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:58 pm

yea thats a good point, i don't want him to learn to NOT come to me. i guess me trying to wait him out comes off as a game; i knew that chasing him came across like that.

as far as deterrents, he's not too fond of citrus but are there other smells or tastes you've noticed your dog not liking? i was thinking maybe i could make a spray or paste out of citrus and cinnamon?
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 10:09 pm

Honestly it sounds like he's trying to engage you in a game (like others mentioned). 'Ha ha, I chewed the house, come chase me,' or 'come outside and see what I did!' It's probably a lot of fun for him. Or, he gets bored and thinks maybe chewing the house will get him attention (sounds like he wants both positive and negative attention), like it has in the past. I'm not saying you're a terrible/negligent pet owner, or he doesn't get enough attention/exercise (although I'm not convinced that's true), I'm just sayin, huskies play games with us, and they continue self rewarding behaviors. You want it to stop? Give him something better to do. He's not a German Shepherd, he won't stop something because he knows you don't like it.

Here's the thing, if you find a deterrent to keep him from chewing the house, don't you think he'll just find something else that's new and exciting to work on? Case in point, my pup started chewing on the rug in the area I leave him while at work. I sprayed bitter apple there, he stopped, but started on the other side of the rug. Sprayed bitter apple there, he found a new target, crated him, he pulled the crate cover in and started working on that, sent him to daycare a couple days a week, increased his walks and time outside, boom done. Yes, a deterrent may help you for a day or two (or maybe only a few hours), but I think you need to look at the bigger picture and limit his access to stuff and do a better job of fulfilling his needs. Like it or not, the only way to keep him from doing crap like that is to keep him with you when you're home, and confined/crated when you're not.

Would it be possible for you to invest in a dog run/kennel area? That way he could have unsupervised outdoor time. You could also possibly just buy some chicken wire and cover the side of the house. Again, these might work for now, but as Jeff (seattlesibe) mentioned, they are only quick fixes and bandaids, and something you will have to continue no matter where you live in the future. Isn't it better to tackle the issue with training and effort, rather than continually half-assing it?

Also, you're the one who mentioned the belt and sheesh, FYI, sarcasm doesn't really come across in this medium (if you were being sarcastic), so you can't really blame other members for being horrified at the thought of you pulling out your belt. Believe me, there are still plenty of people that think that's the 'right' way to train a dog.

Btw, this is a training forum, and the folks above offered you TRAINING advice. Smearing something on the side of your house that tastes icky to your dog is NOT training.
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Fri Oct 18, 2013 11:06 pm

The bitter sprays never worked on my lab. I do not even bother with it with my puppy. Luckily loki's only games right now are dish towels, tools, and remotes. He knows drop it and leave it. So I will issue command once, walk towards him, and if he drops or leaves what I want I click and reward. I have washed treats in my pants a few times but it seems to be helping. I also never chase him as it only makes it fun for him. He is no where close to perfect at all but these steps seem to help me.

The most physically I do is tap him if he does not listen to watch me command. I think being calm and patient has best training outcome and the reality is for most people spanking easily allows you to lose that calm energy.
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Sat Oct 19, 2013 12:33 am

@BeBopBandit wrote:
He gets PLENTY of exercise and we play with him all the time. He also gets bones a couple times a week.
Can I ask you to be a little more specific around this? It would help narrow down the amount of training advice to helpful solutions (if you haven't found one already). Also, how much time does he spend outside (both with and without you)? Are there any time-consuming projects for him to focus on (some people have mentioned some of these already - marrow bones etc)? If you have all your bases covered with those three, then I'm sure people could pinpoint the advice that you're looking for. Without the information, unfortunately, the answers would be a little too vague and is possibly misconstrued.
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:42 pm

When Luci is in 'tear up the yard' mode, she gets a few days of out on a leash only.
(long enough for her to forget whatever her obsession was)

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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Sun Oct 20, 2013 12:43 am

This can be managed using tethering. Bandit will now "lose the privilege" of going outside to free roam. He shod never be outside unsupervised, really. He is much too bored without playing the fun chew and run game with you!

If Bandit needs to pee, you take him out on leash. If he needs to play, put him on a long line. Simultaneously, you can teach a leave it command. If he approaches his favorite chewing spot, say "Ah-ah! Leave it." And reel him away from there. Reward him with lovins and tasty snacks when he moves away and comes to you.

He should not be outside unsupervised until you are 100% confident he won't chew on stuff. Even then, he can't be expected to entertain himself for hours. Any time outside should be supervised. Can't supervise him inside or out? Crate him inside or get a kennel for outside.

Give him MORE appropriate chews. A few bones a week just won't do, it seems. While you say plenty of exercise... It may not be enough for Bandit as an individual. Mentally exercise him by teaching him fun tricks. Physically exercise him. Runs, dog park, hikes, walks... He might just need more attention. It might seem like you give him a lot right now but it seems like he just needs more from you.

Huskies tend to do that. They are pretty needy in the exercise and attention department. Hope this helps. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: The house is his new chew toy!   Mon Oct 21, 2013 6:45 pm

@UndarthAngipoo wrote:

@BeBopBandit wrote:
He gets PLENTY of exercise and we play with him all the time. He also gets bones a couple times a week.
Can I ask you to be a little more specific around this? It would help narrow down the amount of training advice to helpful solutions (if you haven't found one already). Also, how much time does he spend outside (both with and without you)? Are there any time-consuming projects for him to focus on (some people have mentioned some of these already - marrow bones etc)? If you have all your bases covered with those three, then I'm sure people could pinpoint the advice that you're looking for. Without the information, unfortunately, the answers would be a little too vague and is possibly misconstrued.
He gets 1-1 1/2 hour walks every other day; we don't take the same route everytime. We play fetch and tug-of-war everyday too. There are also children who live next door and they play fetch with him too. He enjoys being outside and the chewing isn't a constant issue so yes, he does spend time out there by himself; 95% of the time he is fine by himself but its the 5% where he does something naughty. He has 3 treat balls: one kong, one bouncy ball from Whole Foods, and one Everlasting Treat ball. He gets a bone every Friday, and they differ; some are leg bones, some are those big knobby ones (they look like a hip socket). I don't give him rawhide anymore because it blocks him up. He also has 2 rope toys.

I can appreciate that this breed is high-energy and needs to be tired out, but it gets frustrating when the only advice people are giving me is to 1) exercise him and 2) give him bones. To me, thats not training. Thats giving snacks and taking him for walks. How does that teach him to NOT do something?

I am not looking for a quick fix, like somebody said. If I was looking for a quick fix I'd have just bought a muzzle or tied him up somewhere in the yard away from the house. I also wouldn't have come here asking for help. I'm wanting to know what kind of TRAINING did anybody use to stop their husky from tearing stuff up.

I don't really think the issue is boredom. He lays around a lot on his own accord.
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