Toby tore up Living Room and Kitchen. What Happened?

Hey everyone, we decided to let Toby our three year old Pembroke out during the day. We put up anything he could get into so he couldn't do anything. Well the past two days he was just fine. Didn't have any accidents or anything and he was in there alone for about 10 hours and was just fine.  Today he was in there for about 9 hours and my roommate got home and he had taken the bag out of the trash can and tore it apart and threw all the trash out all over the kitchen, and our leather recliner had the top half essentially tore open with fluff everywhere. So my roomy put him in his crate and we picked the place up. I guess I just don't know what to do. I don't want to keep him in his crate all day because he won't be very happy, but I can't risk him tearing up more stuff. What do you guys think we should do? We thought about getting a gate and keeping him in the hallway where there's nothing he can tear up during the day and just give him food and water and such. Does this seem like a good idea?

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Hi Zach, I used to think crating was cruel, but I have 2 two-year old cardigans, and they are always crated when we are not home or not able to watch them. They are both chewers, and leaving them unattended could be dangerous for them. I do have two older dogs who have free reign, but they are 11 and 16 years old. I used to keep them corralled in the bathroom (it was a decent size bathroom) for many years before they were given free reign.

See I don't know if he's a chewer, we gave him toys but he doesn't seem interested in them at all so I wasn't sure if we could leave him out or not. I think I may have found my answer after today.

You will get some good advice from some of the more experienced dog people on here, but I think if you want to try to give him his freedom, you may want to start w/ smaller time increments, and slowly increase his free time if he is able to behave. You will probably also hear that more exercise might be helpful.

He may have been bored or he may have been stressed.    The thing is, when our dogs are loose and we are there, they don't get into much mischief because we can stop them, but even more so because we are constantly giving them something to focus their attention on.  They are not left with long spells of time to think up things to do because they pay so much attention to what WE do.

I agree that it's best to keep him confined for now.  You say there is nothing for him to get into in the hall, but is there any wood trim? Drywall? Door frames? Vinyl or wood flooring?  I've heard of dogs destroying all those things.

I have two that are ok loose all day.  Maddie came to us that way.  Jack we got as a puppy.  Here's what I did: first we started leaving him loose alone for maybe 10 minutes while we were outside but still around the house area.  Then we got him used to us leaving.  I got him a long-lasting chew (Busy Bone, though I no longer use them), timed about how long it took him to eat it (about 15 minutes at the time), then gave him one and left for less time than the bone lasted.  Got in the car, drove away for ten minutes, and came back while he still had the chew.

After doing that a couple times, we then went away for 20 minutes, so he had the first 15 with the chew and then 5 to wonder where we were.

When he was good with that, we started leaving him for an hour or so--- say if we ran to the store.

Then I started leaving him out half days.  I'd lock him up in the morning, come home at lunch and take him out to potty and play for a few minutes, then leave.  I figured by afternoon he'd be napping a lot. 

It wasn't until he proved himself ok this way for a couple weeks that I started leaving him loose all day.  And for those first days I came home at lunch to check on him.  

If you don't want to crate him all day, you can try an x-pen.  Honestly I wouldn't worry about him shredding garbage; that's easy to prevent.  But I'm not sure I'd ever trust a dog who'd eaten furniture to be loose alone.  Besides doing a lot of damage, he could badly hurt himself, or worse.  

Good luck with your decision!   Certainly not all dogs are up to being loose by themselves.  Usually the ones who relax and sleep while you are gone are the best candidates.

Hi Zach, make sure Toby gets his daily on leash walk, 45-90 mins rain or shine. A herding dog needs a purpose, they need to be challenged mentally and physically. Inside playtime / prison backyard free roam doesn't count.

LOL... Sounds like what I came home to last night!!! Jeremy and I made an effort to clean out all the trash, including what was in the fridge and kitchen, and left the bag on the floor when we left for work.  Mistake.... We usually baracade Scout (who may I say, has never gotten into the trash before) in the living room.  Well, yesterday, she somehow found out how to get the door open and she had her fun.

-Came home to see pickles and black olives by the front door (leftover subway--Guess she doesn't like veggies)

-Pop tart package, flour bag, paper plate in the living room

-And in the kitchen:  About 10 - 15 various items right by the trash bag

Luckily, she didn't tear too much up.  Kept it contained to one room mostly.  I made her pose for pictures by her artwork.  (Pictures to come later)  Shows the difference between corgi owners and "regular" dog owners:

Others might yell at the dogs for the mess.  We take embarrasing photos of them by the mess to show "dad" and other corgi people!

LOL.  Isn't that the truth.

I just think that 9 hours in a crate is too long if it is everyday. Is he getting a very long walk before you leave? Is there any way to have him let out during the day? This is a working breed in his prime so he is in need of some serious stimulation. His need can turn into life threatening habits that will also cause a lot of damage. If I have to leave my dog (the one that must be crated due to the bad habits she developed out of boredom before I got her) she gets a nice long walk of at least 45 min before. Also, this is not every day. Another thought would be a doggie daycare a couple times a week. If there is lots of play time, he will be worn out the next day.Try frozen kibble and peanut butter in Kongs if you decide to use the hallway.

As for trash, be sure it is confined out of your corgis reach (closet or heavy container with a lid). One of our dear mycorgi pals died a horrible death due to getting in the trash and getting a bag caught over his head.

If you want to give him more freedom I would start with smaller time increments first. 9 hours is a long time for a dog that is not used to being free in the house. What I personally would do is get an xpen and keep him in that when you're gone. Maybe give him a kong with some peanut butter when you leave to keep him busy for a while. Most dogs won't play with toys unless you're actually there to play with them.


I'm not a big fan of keeping a dog in a crate for 9 hours straight but I know some people have success with it.

Frosty went through a stage like this.  He would be good for a month or two, then start destroying things again.  We started restricting him to just a few rooms in the house.  I always make sure that all our shoes and other items he would like to destroy are picked up.  I leave the TV on an animal channel for him to listen to.  I always make sure he has a chew something to keep him occupied (usually a 12" triple braided bully stick).  He usually does really well, although every now and then he goes through a week or two phase of tearing stuff up.  Then we just crate him for a couple weeks before letting him out during the day again.  Good luck!!

I was looking forward to Rufus turning 2 (hoping that’s when he will be more trustworthy)…until I read your discussion


Anyways, my Rufus did the same thing when I trusted him with the whole house while I was gone, and he tore holes in the leather couch in the living room while I was gone..Actually it was ALWAYs after I left and before my Roommate woke up. I got him a doggy gate ( a tall one) and since then it’s been almost a miracle...He has access to half the house except the living room and kitchen. He’s gotten to a couple things, but mostly my fault for not closing something all the way. Could you use a doggy gate and keep him in a few rooms? I think it helps with the stress of being home alone when he's more confined (but not as confined as in a crate 10 hrs). Weird I know.

By the way, I walk him maybe 2 hours in the evening with a group of other owners and their dogs, and I was walking him in the morning too.. and he was still destructive. The gate really did help. Hopefully he will be able to have the full house again


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