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Question DetailsAsked on 9/5/2011

I have a springer spaniel, 18 months old, that cannot stop chewing. She does not chew shoes, but rips though toys and rawhide chews. HELP

She has ripped the leather seat off my recliner,but has not bothered anything in the house. She has a litter mate, her sister, and she is as calm as can be. We are beside ourselves as to what to do. We have purchased training books, videos, collars, leads, chews, you name it, we have it.

One other problem we have is pulling on the leash when we walk. We have talked with a triner about constant pulling on the leash when we walk her, used training collars, I take them to an open area (3 acres) to run off some of the energy, but by the time we get back home she is ready to run again.

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Chewing is a very normal behavior for dogs and, at 18 months old, she's still a youngster, so these "puppy" behaviors aren't unusual. (As a matter of fact, I have a 12 year old in my little pack who will still decimate any toy he can get his mouth on in very short order - some dogs just love to tear stuff up!)
It's also not unusual to have two dogs with completely different personalities from the same litter. They are all individuals, even though they share some commonalities of breed.

My best suggestion is to "puppy-proof" as best you can, then offer her tough toys, like heavy duty Nylabone type or Kong type toys - stuff some peanut butter inside, she'll love it! - to give that chewing urge an safer outlet. Avoid hard bones, as they can break off teeth or splinter, causing an obstruction if swallowed. (We recently lost a pet sitting client to this - very sad for all of us who loved her.)
And, as you already know, exercise, exercise, exercise! It's true that a tired dog is a good dog. :)
In short, offer her a more appropriate means for her natural urge to chew, since, in my experience, you really can't "train" a dog not to chew - just redirect them to more acceptable items. And, once in a while, go on a blowout in the toy aisle at Goodwill and buy her a lot of "stuffsie's that she can shred to her heart's content. My Max loves those surprises!

To deal with her pulling, I really like the Easy Walk harness. Also, when working with her on leash, keep a very high value treat with you (small bits of chicken, for example) that you'll use only during your training time. When she starts to pull, immediately stop and don't move forward as long as she's straining at the leash. As soon as the leash goes slack, praise her and offer her a little nibble. It shouldn't take long for her to realize what you're asking her to do and she'll be more focused on you (and that chicken) than whatever she thinks she's not getting to fast enough down the street.

Good luck! Springers are a high-energy breed and do require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, but she'll grow up soon - I promise! :)




Answered 6 years ago by ThePetCompany

0
Votes

I had the same issue when my dog was a puppy, and our trainer suggested swapping out toys on a regular basis. That way, the dog thinks you are giving her new items to play with and it might help cure the "boredom" often associated with those undesirable behaviors.

Answered 6 years ago by Katie J.




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