Hi all.. my baby Morna (about 5 months old now) has been singlehandedly taking our house apart! She chewed the corner off of our TV armoire, chewed the end pleated flap from one of our sofas, chewed up some of my grandson's toys including a library book, and I don't know what all else.

I know she must be teething; I can see her back teeth coming in, and we have provided her with multiple chewy toys that are hard rubber and a bone we bought at PetSmart that we fill with peanut butter and after the peanut butter is gone, she chews the bone.

We have had a lot of disruption here; my daughter who has rheumatoid arthritis fell and broke her upper leg and had to have surgery for that, and then was sent from the hospital to a rehab facility about 1.5 hrs from here. We were going to visit her in the hospital every day, and now with her so far away we are going 2x a week. When we know we are going to be gone for a long time like that we put Morna in her crate and everything is okay when we get back. We even found a dog-sitting service and left Morna there one time that we went away b/c we felt badly about keeping her penned up. This is costly on a twice a week basis, and with both my husband and I retired, it gets expensive for us. We took my daughter's dog and Morna with us at the beginning of this week so my daughter could see them (they are allowed in the out door garden part).

The problem is when we are home, and give her the freedom to roam the house, if we are not following her around we find all of this distruction. My husband wakes up really early and takes her out, then comes back in and plays games on-line. I suspect that much of the damage gets done when out attention is on other things, like the games. When I got up this morning, I found the remains of 2 of my GS's toys and a partial book. She had chewed the cover off of the book (paper) and chewed a lot of the pages.

I am stressed by my daughter's illness and this is something else that she probably senses, but I don't know what to do except keep her penned except to take her out for potty. I really hate to do that because I don't want to break her spirit. If anyone has suggestions for me I would greatly appreciate it! It feel at my wits end... I love this little girl...she is so bright and so funny and has so many loveable traits! I just don't know how to approach this problem. Any help would be appreciated.

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I heard a dog behavior specialist talk about using "bitters" (used in drink mixing) in a spray bottle on items that a dog might work on. Being destructive is not to be tolerated, try the bitters and see if it works supposedly the bitters will not stain but I would test it on whatever you are going to spray it on. I am sure she has become accustom to having so much of your time that is feeling a little left out!

Edie I did have trouble with Annie (momma) when she was little, chewing on Wyatt's toys and just chalked it up to her not knowing the difference between her toys and Wyatt's. Luckily, this was a good way to make sure he picked his toys up and put them away!

Let me know how it works. Kerri
Hi Edie, I feel your pain! At least as far as the dog chewing goes. I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter....home all is well soon with her.

As far as this little stinker of yours goes.....I have a couple of suggestions.

First, I think one of you has to actually walk her outside for a nice long walk, at least once a day. Just letting them out to pee is not long enough. I realize with all you have going on it's hard to find the time, but you need to tire her out and get rid of some of that energy. It'll be good for you too, think of it as time to clear your head.

I only let my little guy be in the house 'free' for about a half hour, then he goes in his crate. When I let him out of the crate, we go immediately outside to potty, then he's allowed to be 'free' again for a half hour, then back in the crate. I realize a lot of people think this is mean....but in the wild....puppies are treated this way by their mom's. The stay in their dens....and are not just allowed to run wild. You can put his toys in the crate so he can relieve his teething pain, and some crates have a dish fo water. I did this with my 2 year old corgi, and never did he ever chew my things....only his toys. It seems to be working well with my little guy too. He's quite happy in his crate.....I move it around the house so he can be in the same room as I'm in and doesn't feel left alone. I definitely think he needs to be in the crate overnight....way tooo much temptation when everyone's asleep!

Good luck!

Lynda
Hi Kerri and Linda... Thanks so much for the advice. We have started over with Morna in terms of housebreaking (she got lax with that as well as becoming my own personal 'chewer').

We keep her in her puppy playpen in the office end of our kitchen unless we are there, and then she is permitted out of the playpen, and use the pen as a way to block her access to the rest of the house. We take her out frequently, and play with her as often as possible. Boy, do those little legs MOVE! In the time it takes us to walk from one end of our yard to the other, Morna can run figure 8's around us about 5 times!!! She just looks like a little black furball streaking through the yard!

We have also gotten some bitter-root to spray on furniture where she had chewed before and other places that we hope she doesn't chew in the future. So far so good with the chewing.

We are also using a large crate in our bedroom at night, and she will frequently let us know that she wants to go to bed earlier than we do.

It seems like going back to the beginning of training is working, and we will be slower to give her more freedom. We have gotten her rawhide chews and give another to her as soon as the first one starts to look "ratty"... don't want to take a chance on her choking on a piece.

We took Morna and my daughter's dog, Bear, with us to visit the rehab facility today. They have a nice garden area with a number of tables and chairs and part of it is covered, so we were comfortable and out of the sun. Sharon was glad to see Bear, of course, and also happy to see the little one. We looped their long leads around the supports of the shaded area, and while we spent quite a while untangling them from each other and the chairs & table, it was a very nice visit for all of us.

On the way home, both of the girls started fussing, and we decided to pull off of the highway to walk them and see if potty time was the problem. They both did their business, we got back in the car, and came the rest of the way home with two tired soldiers...sleeping the rest of the way.

An interesting part of this was how eagerly the other patients who were outside asked if it would be okay to pet our dogs. Of course, both of the girls particularly loved that part of the visit.

We are just going to continue as we are doing now since it seems to be working really well, and gradually give Morna a little more time out of the playpen or office or crate. It may be that we expected too much of her too soon.

Thanks again, both of you, for your advice.
Hi Edie,

Sounds like things are looking up for you! I'm glad to hear you're having a better time of it. I have become quite frustrated myself with my puppy, Wilson. He's becoming a little agressive toward other dogs. So, I'm patiently waiting for our appointment to have him neutered, and working on socializing him with other dogs. Also, I've become a bit lax on the obedience training, so we'll be resuming that with more committment. I'm so happy to hear you were able to bring the dogs with to see your daughter, what a lovely day for you. And it sounds like the other patients got some smiles out of it too. Good for you!

Lynda

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