Our awesome chewer Annabel got out of her crate/pen today and ate a lot of things. Shoes, baby wipes, more shoes, carpet, whatever she could. My concern is that she is doing this because she is sick of being in that crate, and who blames her. She goes in at 8am, comes out at 7pm, and goes back in at 10pm till the morning. This is too long, don't you agree? Any tips or suggestions on what we can do to have a happier dog and not have all our shoes chewed up?
Suzi, by email
I've asked Suzi some more questions, here's her reply:
I appreciate your response! I am most concerned too! Now I am even more concerned because of this email! I promise, I love my dog and take very good care of her!!
Annabel is will be nine months old on the 7th of November. She is a 40lb Golden Retriever/black Lab puppy. We got her when she was four months old. She has been through some puppy training, and is great in all other aspects other then the chewing. She doesn't pee in the house, she just eats everything in sight.
When she was little she was in the crate for less time, only about four hours at a time during the day and then out, then back in for sleeping. About a month ago, my boyfriend and my schedules changed for work, and she's been in longer. Some days shorter, but I would say at least four out of five works days 8am to 7pm. What we did when the schedule changed, was to buy an attachable pen for the crate, and she has a little more space to run around. She has now figured out how to get OVER that pen, even though it is almost three ft high.
So she has been getting out and chewing and destroying anything she can find, that she shouldn't be chewing. Forget her toys, forget the bones we leave, she chews shoes, and pillows, and even her bed!
I have never had a dog before, but my boyfriend has had MANY over his life time and has never had a dog like this!
Right now we are investigating getting a dog sitter. The only issue is that my boyfriend is a federal agent, and it's a security issue with having someone we don't know in the house.
We would let her out if she didn't chew everything.
What else information can I give you?
I've asked Suzi where she lives to see if we can find someone to help locally - but I'm guessing Suzi lives in the US.
I've spoken to Suzi again and suggested Doggie Daycare. She is lucky to live somewhere with lots of choice as this concept is well established. I've suggested looking at http://www.dog-ma.com/ where they do some training as well as play.
I've asked Suzi to let us know how things go and what she decides.
Just wanted to send a long an update. We spent this weekend interviewing dog walkers as well as visiting doggy day cares. We are also revisiting our work schedules with our supervisors to find out if there is any flexibility. Furthermore, we bought an additional doggie gate. This gate allows for Annabel to have a lot more freedom within the house. AND we did a major clean of the house, being sure to get everything we could off the floor and out of doggie reach, as well as spraying bitter yuck on the things that can't be moved.
I think we are moving in the right direction. As I said before, I truly appreciate all the advice that was giving. The criticism given from some was quite unnecessary as I knew things weren't their best. Thank you for the think tank, for a new doggie mom it has been a blessing!