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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:28 am 
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Location: Bedford,TX
I have two Australian Shepherds who chew all the plastic they can find. They live outside and on the enclosed patio. We have lots of plants in plastic containers that have been destroyed. The only toys I can give them are Kongs, which limits my choices.

I have tried spraying the product from the pet store and I have sprinkled cayenne pepper on the dirt in the planters. The pepper works okay, but I need to spray something on the shades covering the windows before they are completely gone.

I have also spent several $$$$ on dog bedding - commercial as well as homemade. My padded cover for the swing set looks like vandals have attacked. They simply tear the coverings open and pull out the filling inside. The fun part is cleaning up the mess.... They now sleep on the bare floor.

I love my dogs, but I am at my wits' end!!! Can anyone help?

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 11:49 am 
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Have you tried giving them rawhides? I don't think I'd use the ones with knotted ends because they might try to swallow a knot, but what about the ones that are sheets of rawhide rolled up? Big thick ones, not the little sticks.
Julie


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:09 pm 
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I don't know anything about your breed of dogs, but some of their problem behaviors could be a function of the breed characteristics and what type of life they are bred to have. You might get some good info if you contact other persons who have that same breed of dog. Try searching on Google for a dog club or association for Australian Shepherds.

Mary Ann


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 8:10 pm 
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I don't know anything about your breed of dogs, but some of their problem behaviors could be a function of the breed characteristics and what type of life they are bred to have. You might get some good info if you contact other persons who have that same breed of dog. Try searching on Google for a dog club or association for Australian Shepherds.

Marlyn


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:44 pm 
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Location: Bedford,TX
Thanks for the replies, Julie and Marlyn. I sprayed pepper juice on the window shades. It bothered ME to smell it, but it may have to be sprayed more often. It seemed to work for about 4 or 5 days and then I found pieces of the shades scattered about again.

I have had Australian Shepherds before and they DID chew on wood, but they never tore up their toys like these dogs have done. Maggie, the full-blooded Aussie is deaf which may be one reason for the behavior. Perhaps stimulation that other dogs receive from noise is replaced by the chewing.

Thanks again. I may have to wait a few years for this to stop.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:45 pm 
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Location: Bedford,TX
Thanks for the replies, Julie and Marlyn. I sprayed pepper juice on the window shades. It bothered ME to smell it, but it may have to be sprayed more often. It seemed to work for about 4 or 5 days and then I found pieces of the shades scattered about again.

I have had Australian Shepherds before and they DID chew on wood, but they never tore up their toys like these dogs have done. Maggie, the full-blooded Aussie is deaf which may be one reason for the behavior. Perhaps stimulation that other dogs receive from noise is replaced by the chewing.

Thanks again. I may have to wait a few years for this to stop.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:46 pm 
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Sorry, I clicked on "submit" twice...

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PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2005 3:31 pm 
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Bored dogs can be destructive. Playful dogs can be destructive. The trick is to find an energetic form of solitary play that lets them chew without being destructive. Whoever figures out the answer to this will get rich quick. :)

We have a newly adopted stray Staffordshire Terrier (pit bull). She was injured when she arrived, but as she feels better she is showing more energy and play. Burying the mostly-chewed rawhide in my porch planters is a great treat for her, and she plows through that dirt again looking for her buried treasure as efficiently as a pig rooting out truffles. I think I'll have to keep a planter just for her and not bother trying to plant anything in it.


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 6:51 am 
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There were several episodes of a program on PBS called the dog whisperer. The trainer, Cesar Molano (sp) was able to correct dogs with difficult problems and behaviors with several basic techniques. Go to PBS and do a search, you will not believe the success he has with his methods.

From what I can tell from his program, your dogs need a job. They have excess energy and are using it the only way they currently know how to. I think Cesar would say they need work. Try a 30-minute walk each day with you in the lead, not the dogs, and do this with a backpack on each dog filled with water bottles or something heavy. Keep them in the backyard with the backpacks on for three or four hours. This releases their excess energy and gives them a purpose in life.

If you don't have time to do something like this, Cesar would say that you have the wrong breed of dog for your lifestyle.

I like the way he thinks because it is similar to what an organic gardener does. Instead of trying to kill every bug in the garden, an organic gardener steps back and tries to understand why the bugs are attacking this plant.

Tony M


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 9:50 am 
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Thanks for the tip. It took a few tries to locate the program. It's on National Geographic channel, not PBS (or at least, this is how it stands now).

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/chann ... sophy.html

I'll look into this.

Northwesterner


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 2:17 pm 
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Thank-you for getting us to the right source. I watch PBS and NG and apparently got them mixed up. It will be worth your search to see this guy in action.
Tony M


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 3:08 pm 
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As it happens, tonight's program is about a pit bull, which is perfect! Two programs in a row, one to do with a pit bull, the other with a stray that hasn't been trained. Both fit our new pooch, so this is a good evening to start watching the program. Thanks again for the recommendation.

This dog routine may also help me lose a few of the pounds that weekend gardening hasn't been vigorous enough to shift. We both can use the vigorous walk that Cesar Millan advocates. :)


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PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2005 8:56 pm 
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He is also coming out with a DVD.
Tony M


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 7:28 am 
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Tony is right - Cesar Millan is remarkable - well worth the time to watch his programs. I have a 200 lb. great dane who also enjoyed being destructive - the pepper sprays worked for only a few days at a time - but doing just what Tony mentioned and giving her a job - and a daily routine - has stopped her destructive behavior completely.

With such a large breed - it doesn't take much to wear her out and a walk twice a day - with a backpack - has worked wonders for her. It has given her a routine as well as socialized her to where I can now walk her without a leash and when camping, can take her hiking and she helps to carry some of the load in her back pack. Taking the time to do this has made our experience with her just wonderful - and has helped tremendously in all of the other training aspects as well.

In terms of toys - we too are limited only to the Kongs...we've tried pretty much everything and it was all a waste of money. Now we simply have a variety of kongs and they keep her plenty busy. Especially when you get the one that has a hole in the middle and hide a treat in it - that provides HOURS of entertainment. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2005 9:26 am 
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What is a "kong?"

I went looking for rawhide chews for the dog and in the process I spoke with a clerk at Petsmart who commented that a lot of them are filled with chemicals and aren't really rawhide. He recommended some of the bones and the dry pig's ears. Does this mesh with what you more experienced dog owners know about the food-like chew objects?

Northwesterner


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