This week we have a question from a reader for celebrity dog trainer, Inger Martens about a destructive german shepherd.
For the most part, my year and a half german shephard is a good dog. However, she has a couple of problem habits that lead her to be not trust worthy while we are at work or sleeping, having to be in a kennel.
My dog will go for a significant stretch of time (2week+) with no incident, then she will suddenly chew up a shoe she managed to get a hold of, or the corner of a large pillow on the couch. She once got a hold of a leather leash that was dangling from the coat rack a bit too low and literally shredded it.
I give her the large dog rawhide bones to chew on, but sometimes she will ignore the rawhide and destroy something else. Recently it was a couch cushion while we were sleeping.
I can try to remove shoes, leashes, pillows, etc from a room but I can't put her in a room with no couches,etc, so I need a way to correct the behavior when rawhide just isn't cutting it?
How can I try to correct this behavior?
Here's Inger's Paws for a Minute™ quick tip:
Chewing is a function of a dog NOT a behavior.
What they chew on overtime becomes the behavior. Get it?
Part of the problem is that often owners don't correct the behavior. So, you need to calmly go over to her and put the leash on and guide her over to the chewed item. Now you can show her and say no!
The leash helps you guide her over to the chewed item and helps her not to have a misunderstanding by being able to run away. What you are saying no to is her saliva on and the scent of the chewed item.
Dogs sense of smell is crazy strong, what your saying no to is the pillow or whatever else. Remember, the reprimand has to have a positive ending. After saying no, walk her over to the chew bone and say o.k (in a really happy voice) then take off the leash. You might want to try bully sticks as an alternative chew bone. Dog's LOVE them.
They're kind of pricey but they rock!
all my best,
For more of my training tips and bully sticks! Check out www.pawsforaminute.com