Tearing up her bed

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chrismg's picture
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From about 3 weeks after we had gotten her, Gabby just loves to tear up her blankets. Her foster mom had suggested we get her a crate, thinking maybe it had something to do with seperation anxiety. If she is in her crate or not, still just likes to chew it up. She is on her third one since January. Have taken it off of her and told her 'No' and she knows that she is not supposed to do it with the look that she gives me. Any suggestions? Don't want to buy a new blanket all the time, and mainly I don't want her to injest any of the materials. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

jeshykai's picture
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She's bored! And destructive. Some dogs just can't have bedding.

Try giving her good things to chew on. In her crate give her an activity toy like a Kong with stuffing. It will keep her mind busy. When you are with her to watch, give her bully sticks, pigs ears or pork chomps. No rawhides (they can't digest them and they are dangerous).

How often do you give her exercise? How often do you train? These dogs need tons of mental and physical exercises daily to be happy.

jeshykai's picture
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She's bored! And destructive. Some dogs just can't have bedding.

Try giving her good things to chew on. In her crate give her an activity toy like a Kong with stuffing. It will keep her mind busy. When you are with her to watch, give her bully sticks, pigs ears or pork chomps. No rawhides (they can't digest them and they are dangerous).

How often do you give her exercise? How often do you train? These dogs need tons of mental and physical exercises daily to be happy.

DJ's Dad's picture
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This might not be the 'correct' way to deal with it, but when Ziva was a pup, she had a horrible habit of chewing holes in blankets....hers, mine, my wife's expensive fur throws...it didnt matter to her, she would somehow chew almost perfect little circles out of all our blankets.  SO....I bought her a blanket at a thrift store and gave it to her to chew up as much as she wanted to.  Everytime I would see her start to lay down anywhere close to one of our blankets, or on top of the bed, she would get her danged old full of holes blanket to chew.  She did this for months on end---chewing circles and spitting them out into a pile beside her, but she finally figured out that it was  ok to destroy HER blanket, but she had to leave all the others alone.  Of course, this didnt sink into her head right away, so we still had a couple of blankets with windows in them LOL, but for the most part, she learned what was hers and acceptible to tear up if she wanted to, and what was NOT hers and not acceptible to chew.  Now, at 2 yrs old, she has given up that habit totally and all blankets seem to be safe now.

Lady Kate's picture
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"blankets with windows in them"

Paul...That is too funny~!!

Joined: 2011-07-20

Is she tearing them, like violently ripping with her teeth or is it more like she sucks the blankets, and they end up with holes?  Here's a link to an interesting article about Doberman blanket sucking. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/19/science/19dogs.html

Boomer is a blanket sucker, and we basically deal with it like Ziva's Dad described.  He does have a pad in his crate that he sometimes drags out and wants to suck.  Forbidden, but he tries it every once in awhile.  He never sucks on it when he's in the crate though.  He has his Kong and his Nylabone in there with him, but I think he mostly sleeps when he's in the crate.

jeshykai's picture
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Just be careful with allowing the chewing... I had a 5 month old boxer puppy come into the ER near death, he had pooped 3 feet of his chewed up blanket and the rest would not pass.  When we did his emergency surgery he had blanket shreds from his throat all the way down to his anus and it basically was near to ruining all his intestines.  He was lucky to survive.

Dogs do not have a 'gag' reflex, so when they get things against the back of their throat their only answer is to swallow... and sometimes they swallow a WHOLE LOT of something they shouldn't.

DJ's Dad's picture
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You're right Jes---I just happened to notice long before the blanket incidents that Ziva was NOT a swallower---she's a spitter.  I knew someone that had to have emergency surgery on their chocolate lab because he chewed and swallowed an entire 6 ft leather leash---hardware and all.

Joined: 2011-07-20

I do worry a little about what he might swallow.  He's also a spitter, but I don't know if/how much he accidently swallows.

chrismg's picture
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I wished she just sucked on them.  Not violently, but she will hold it down with her paws and just pulled with her front teeth.  We work out and exercise every day.  Lots of mental stuff also.  I guess she just won't get another bed.

 

Thanks for all the comments.

bbroyles's picture
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Mrs Von Dobers. Thanks for link. Very interesting as research indicates a gene variation present that doesn't appear same as non suckers. Appreciate you sharing with us:)

some dogs can't have bedding - she sounds like one of them.  The danger of an obstruction is VERY real, so take them away from her. 

seancusmc's picture
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I have the same problem with Bourbon. He tears up his bedding. Just slowly chews up a corner and pulls the stuffing out. He does this to pillows as well, but lucky he leaves our blankets alone - probably because they are usually put out of the way when he gets into his chew time. 

I like Jeshykais answer and it works for me. Bourbon loves his chew toys. we have a small assortment of chew toys for him. Some squeak some hide treats, and he loves his nylabone to chew on too. I think he just needed the mental stimulation. 

FyrWmn77's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-19

Our Zeke is doing the same thing. He didn't really start getting distructive till he started teething about 2 weeks ago. He will be 17 weeks this Thursday. We gave him his own blanket but I would rather he didn't put holes in it so it goes back in his crate when he starts getting destructive. He has chew toys, puzzles, everything. We live in Maine and the weather was pretty rainy for a bit so he doesn't get out and active probably as much as he should but he is also really bad about entertaining himself. I suppose that will get better as he gets older, it's hard to remember he's still a puppy what he wieghs 35 lbs.

Duke's picture
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Hi,

We had a similar problem with Duke, but it stopped when I gave him some bedding from our own bed to have in his bed, he seemed to have a bit more respect for our bedding! Good excuse for us to get new bedding too!

I have found that chewing in general has reduced alot since Duke turned 2, so it might be something that Gabby grows out of. Good luck though, and keep us posted.

EconProf's picture
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Joined: 2016-08-19

Hi, My timmi is doing the same thing for last 3 months and i though its normal but now after having so much loss of bedding I am doing some search and also purchased some reasoable price Hampton Hill bedding http://www.zuhni.com/hampton-hill from Zuhni. I am also consulting with doctor and got some medicine!

dog123's picture
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Rubie is in her crate WITHOUT bedding during the day while we're at work or if we need to run out. She's very good about going right to bed at night so she does get bedding then (less for her comfort, more to prevent her from making rustling noises and waking us up!). She does have a bone in her crate that is nearly indestructible to chew on when she get's bored but that's IT. I lost a pooch to intenstinal blockage so I am way overly cautious with her. They don't need blankets; it's just us humans wanting them to look cozy!

If she's a blanket/bedding chewy, I would NOT let her have access to that stuff while you're not around to chaperone. It's just not worth it.

Heidi2's picture
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Oh, trust me, we are with you on this.    When Heidi was probably 10 weeks, she started to bunch her blankets up and suck on them like she was nursing.  She would drift off to sleep on our lap and we thought it was sweet.  We figured she found comfort in it.  HOWEVER, then when she went through the teething thing...she started chewing her blankets.  Actually, she started to chew ANYTHING made of cloth.  We could no longer feel safe putting a blanket in with her.  She not only chewed them, but would eat it.  She has a bare crate now.  We can't even consider putting a bed in there for fear she would chew it and eat the stuffing.   She has decided to dig at the edges of our area rug now.  We correct her each time, but it is like she can't resist.  We just bought some bitter cherry to see if that helps. I kind of doubt it because we also can't let her in the bathroom because twice now she has come running out of the bathroom with a bar of SOAP in her mouth.  

She gets PLENTY of exercise, so boredom is not the issue here.  She seems to have started a bad habit and now we have to be vigilant until she stops it.  I can't hang my dishtowels over the oven because I caught her with one and she had eaten a hole in the center.  I did not find the hole.  I'm sure she ate it.  THAT is the part that scares me. It was small enough I'm sure she'll pass it, but how can we nip this problem?

 

 

Heidi2's picture
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Wow. I just read the link.  Yes, indeed, I think I have one of those pups.   I almost wish she was just sucking on them now, but it progressed to gnawing.  

 

DobermanGuy's picture
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I can't hang my dishtowels over the oven because I caught her with one and she had eaten a hole in the center.  I did not find the hole.  I'm sure she ate it.  THAT is the part that scares me. It was small enough I'm sure she'll pass it, but how can we nip this problem?

 

She stole YOUR stuff, ate it and you allowed her to get away with it. Yup, count on it happening again.

What are you going to do when she swallows something she can't easily pass or something that may be toxic?

A few bits of advice for you: Firstly, If not using a crate when you can't directly supervise your dog you need to be keenly aware of every small item in your home and checking to make sure they are all still there once you return. A swallowed bottle cap can be a serious danger for a small dog. It is going to be difficult if not impossible to keep track of everything if you have small kids around. Good luck with that! LOL!

Establish a zero tolerance policy for theft of your property and stick to it no matter how small the item. If the dog swallows something that you did not give them - Do not allow the dog to keep it. Retreive your stuff immediately and let the dog know that stealing will not be tolerated.

You need one of these and a fresh bottle of peroxide in your doggie toolbox:

It only takes an ounce or so to completly empty out most dogs and takes less than 15 minutes. Not harmful to the dog but they will NOT like it one bit. A smart dog will learn fast that swallowing stuff that was not given to them is no fun and they will stop.

Picture of my girl Patience after she stole and swallowed a steel wingnut from one of my tools:

Yes, I got my wingnut back. That dog learned fast and does not mess with my stuff any more. :)

If you can't hang your towels where you choose or you have to hide / put away every single small item in your home for fear of the dog swallowing them - Congratulations! Your dog just trained YOU... :)