Help!!! Need FOOL-PROOF dog repellent!

Holeeeee Mackerel! I walked in the door from this morning's meeting to find a chewed-up lamp cord scattered all over the living-room floor! Mercifully, Ruby picked the lamp that's plugged into an outlet operated by a switch on the wall. That's all that saved her from being badly hurt or electrocuted.

She's been at large in the house since she learned to work the doggy door and so quit defiling the floors. She has never been a chewer, never been a digger, never been especially destructive at all. So I was  pretty horrified at this new antic. If she had to take up chewing, she couldn't have picked a worse target.

AND...now that she's chewed up one lamp cord without getting jolted into the next world, she quite naturally will think all of them are excellent toys.

So it's back into the crate with her, when I'm gone.

But I can't keep her locked up forever. Even now, sometimes I have to go to events that occupy more than three or four hours, which is as long as I think she should be confined without access to the backyard. And sooner or later, she's going to have to learn to live in the house.

I'm thinking it would be good to spray all the lamp cords with stuff to discourage her from chewing.

However, past puppy experience indicates that puppies, like children who get bad-tasting stuff smeared on their fingers to stop nail-biting and thumb-sucking, soon develop a taste for said stuff.

Has anybody found anything that ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY will repel a dog from chewing?

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Comment by Vicky Hay on November 15, 2014 at 9:21am

@ Anna: Thought about that. But the reason I chose to adopt Cassie the Corgi is that I'm getting too old to handle a large dog. If dogs are to live with me, they need to be small enough that I can pick them up. Replacing the dog door with a smaller one would take a brickmason. The exterior walls of this house are slump block and cinderblock -- it's all masonry. The doggy door is cut through the blockwork. Really, it would be easier and much cheaper to secure the door to that room by installing a double-cylinder deadbolt and secure hinge pins.

@ Holly: It's odd that an adult dog's behavior would change so abruptly. Have you thought of discussing this with a dog behavioralist? Or...hmmmmm....how about a dog dentist? I wonder if she has an irritated tooth that makes her want to chew?

Comment by Holly on November 15, 2014 at 12:59am

Since Sully started getting into mischief out of the blue whenever she is alone. She doesn't mind my leaving, but she may be bored, not sure. When I go out I have to remove anything dangerous from the room and shut the doors to the kitchen and bedroom as she will chew things, possibly cords, which I unplug and put out of reach. I even catch her chewing the remote while I am showering. It sounds like a pain to manage, but it only takes a second and it is worth the piece of mind. I have no idea why she is "acting up" this way now, but I don't want to go the crate route at this point as she is an adult dog and generally very calm. So glad your dog didn't get hurt!

Comment by Anna Morelli on November 14, 2014 at 7:24pm

How about a Rottweiler to go with that big dog door?  Seriously, can you take that one out and put in a smaller one that will just fit a Corgi?  It should not be hard for a handyman to do that.  Some lock automatically and only open if the chip on the dog's collar activates it.  Some friends have one of those.

Comment by Vicky Hay on November 14, 2014 at 2:45pm

@ Anna: The doggy door is SO huge that a grown, 6-foot-two man with a solid build can climb through it easily. I can get through it without even workin' at it. Really, it's about the equivalent of leaving the back door open.

An alley runs behind the house. Creeps wander up and down the alleys, often looking into people's yards by way of finding the best ways of ingress. One glimpse of that dawg door, and they'll be in the house straightaway. My office (which contains my very few possessions of any value, other than the dogs) is already secured with a solid-core door and a hardened deadbolt (if you try to drill it, the thing will break your drill!). As neurotic as that sounds, I was glad to have it when the home invader came visiting -- he couldn't get at me and Cassie before the cops managed to get at him.

@ Linda: Semi-Demi-Exboyfriend used to call Anna the GerShep "The Thousand-Dollar-a-Day Dog." Sounds like you had two REAL thousand-dollar-a-day dogs!!

Comment by Beth on November 14, 2014 at 12:03pm
My dogs consider Bitter Apple a condiment.... I like Anna's suggestion best.
Comment by Linda on November 14, 2014 at 11:09am

Nothing kept our 2 Irish wolfhounds from teething on wood or enjoying it as an adult snack.  Thankfully the female restricted her wood fetish to sticks outside, the male on the other hand....everything was fair game.  He ate the footboard off an antique bed in our daughter's room, 2 old wooden trunks, the feet on one fireside chair, the leg and crosspiece on the kitchen table, legs on a kitchen chair and when confined to the kitchen he chewed on the woodwork by the gate and manage to eat thru the telephone wire to the wall phone that was run up along the woodwork.  Our female did manage to eat a few odd things...my poor vet, I would call and he would just say what did she eat now.  A large cushion off the couch, several beeswax candles...she also ate a TV remote.  And we won't even go into the things that they could take off counters with all 4 paws on the floor.

Comment by Anna Morelli on November 14, 2014 at 9:26am

Not many burglars would go through a doggy door when a dog is inside, there are easier ways to enter a house and easier homes to target (i.e. dogless ones). I would save myself the trouble of all the extra work and just solve the problem at hand.

Comment by Vicky Hay on November 14, 2014 at 9:15am

@ Anna: Yeah, I'd had both those ideas. It would be easiest to let that room be The Dog Room -- as a matter of fact, that was what I envisioned when I had that door put into the wall for Anna the Gershep and Walt the Greyhound, but as it developed neither of them needed to be confined while I was gone. It would be easy enough to remove the lamps and just let her be in there with the dog door open. If I secured the hinges (I believe there are hinges that are hard to take apart) and put a deadbolt on the bedroom door, that would discourage the burglars, too.

@ Linda: Yeah, Anna the Gershep used to think TV remotes were special delicacies! Fortunately she never got at a battery. Oddly, this pup, now almost a year old, has never been much of a chewer. Except...ahem...for the lamp cord. If you're gonna restrict your chomping to one thing, I guess, you might as well pick a doozie!

@ Marcie: PVC pipe, eh? Decorative! Actually, slicing them longwise and slipping pieces over the dining-room chair legs is a way to keep your pup from eating the chairs. Works pretty well, and is even more decorative... ;-)

Ha ha! I had a cat that wanted to eat a particular pretty little plant, a thing called an umbrella plant, that resided in our atrium. NOTHING would keep that cat from chewing the thing up. I poured Tabasco sauce all over it: nothing. I think the cat appreciated the extra spice.

I've never had a dog that was fazed by Bitter Apple longer than a few days. They quickly overcome their distaste for it...if they ever feel any distaste at all.

This morning Pup still seems to be OK. She's running around, she's eating like a storm trooper. The vet said to watch for loss of appetite and lethargy...so far, none of that. I imagine that if she stays active and hungry until this evening, she'll be past the danger. I hope.

Comment by Anna Morelli on November 14, 2014 at 12:46am

If you are gone too long to crate her and wish her to have access to the outdoors, consider attaching an X-Pen on the inside of the doggy door in such a way that you can remove it when you are home. This worked well for me with a dog that needed that situation.  Alternately, if your house allows it, restrict her in the area where the doggy door is while also puppy proofing  it.

Comment by Linda on November 13, 2014 at 10:22pm

Glad she is ok.  The crate is still the safest place for her.  When I had a chewer he was in the crate when I was out of the house and that was daily since I worked.  Most days I could get home at lunch but not every day.  Arnie was fine with it, he and my possessions remained safe.

I hear you on the worry of what did she ingest.  Many years ago I didn't believe in crating..stupid me.  Our male Irish wolfhound, about a year old at the time, ate the remote to the TV.  Our biggest fear was that he ingested one of the batteries.  The 3 of us humans crawled all over the floor and under everything, thankfully we found the one that was missing.

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