Training new puppy & general advice.

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WilliamLinegar's picture
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Hello everyone, my name is William. I’m wondering if those that have experience raising Doberman puppies could share their advice with me? I’m be getting my 8 week old Doberman July 5th, and I’m wondering about some of the advice I’ve read online about how long you can leave a Doberman I a crate? I’ve taken the first week off work when the puppy arrives to help him adjust better and to teach him some basics, get settled in his new home basically, but after that I’ll be going back to work from 9-5 each weekday and most things I read say this is not good for the dog. I realize, in an ideal world we would all have nothing but free time to dedicate to our dogs however, we all have to work. So I would like to know how other people who had Doberman puppies did with this kind of thing?
For information, I will take the dog out each morning from 6am to 7am, and then for an hour and a half to two hours once I get back from work.

Some other questions:

• What are the best tricks to start teaching him for discipline? I assume the basics like sit, stay, lay down but are there any others people have found to be useful?

• I’ve also read that Doberman puppies need to eat 3 times a day, after the week I’m taking off I will be feeding him twice per day. Does anyone have any experience with this?

thank you kindly everyone. much appreciated!

becky g's picture
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Hi William.  Congratulations on your new puppy!  It has been over 10 years since I've had a pup that young, but when I did, I also worked away from home and he had to be alone for up to 8 hours a day.  Of course, the following is my experience and I am by no means an expert.  

What we did, was put his crate in our kitchen.  We gated the kitchen off from the rest of the house and took the door off of his crate.  We made sure the kitchen was puppy proofed (no cords or open cabinets, etc.) and that way he could move around a bit, but we put all of his bedding in the crate so he had a comfy, safe place to sleep or go if he wanted to feel secure.  We put plenty of toys in the kitchen for him as well.  Make sure there is nothing he can chew up & swallow.  It worked well for our pup.  When we first got him, we did leave water in there for him, but no food.  At this young age, he will have accidents and usually the kitchen floor is easiest to clean.  You shouldn't need to worry about his crate as most dogs won't go potty in there.

After your pup learns his name, I would suggest teaching him to sit.  Most dogs pick it up fairly quickly.  I would say the word and gently push down on his rump at the same time and then when he is sitting I'd give him a treat and praise.  Dobes really pick up on how you feel so if you get frustrated, take a break & try again later.  At such a young age, I wouldn't expect much but it gets them used to training.  Some people don't believe in treating, but in my experience, it works well.  After your pup masters a command, you don't want to treat everytime but you always want to give lots of praise!  Treating helps them stay motivated to learn, I've found.

 

As far as feeding goes, I think your pup will be fine if he eats in the morning and after you get home from work.   Check with your vet to be sure.

It's also very helpful to get your dog around as many people and dogs as you can when he is young. 

Good luck to you and your new puppy!  I can say from experience that a doberman is an excellent addition to any home.  They truly are exceptional creatures!  Keep us posted on how everything goes for you.  

WilliamLinegar's picture
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thanks Becky! that kitchen tip is excellent! ill be doing that for sure! i appreciate the advice eh. looking forward tot he puppy, ive been researching dobermans for quite some time now. do you mind me asking what you feed you doberman? ive heard blue buffalo is very good, im also considering making my own food for him. im also thinking of using apples and carrots as treats. do you have any suggestions?

 

thanks again Becky!

becky g's picture
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Glad I could help!  I can't remember the brand we fed our puppy, but it was a lamb and rice dry food.  He had tummy and skin issues and did well with the lamb and rice.  The dobe we have now, Kaiser, was adopted after his owner, my mother-in-law passed away.  He's a senior dog and he and our 10 month old bearded collie mix, Felix, both get Purina One or Pro Plan lamb and rice which is what Kaiser has been getting at his previous home.  They both like it and their coats & skin are great.  I have not tried Blue Buffalo, but I'm sure it's great.  As for snacks, my sister-in-law is a veterinarian and she says carrots and apples are good treats for dogs.  Mine love them!  They also love cucumber slices and Felix likes celery and lettuce.  You want to avoid letting your dog have grapes and raisins as my sister-in-law says they are toxic to dogs.  Also, anything in the onion/garlic family will give them a tummy ache.  My other suggestion is not to give him too many veggies or fruit each day so he doesn't get too much fiber (haha!).  We have an apple tree and last fall, Felix went overboard eating apples he found on the ground and had to go out and poop every half hour for a few days!  I would start with small pieces and see how he chews them.  It's very funny to watch a dog that usually swallows his food whole, be so dainty when he crunches up a carrot! 

Katopup's picture
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Hi and welcome to the forum, I too am new here and am waiting to get my pup June 1st.

As far as food goes we went to a local pet store and asked them to help us pick a food that would be suitable to a lg breed puppy, we got a lot of great advise there as many of their customers give feed back on food as well as other products.  They should be knowledgeable on all their food products, ingredients etc.

As far as training goes I have researched a lot of training methods and that seems to be a matter of choice, but I would definitely suggest doing some reading on that subject prior to getting your puppy so you are prepared in advance to be able to be consistent with what method you decide on.

This forum seems to have a lot of knowledgeable people with a great deal of experience so don't be afraid to ask and read through different forum topics to see what others are using and advise being given.

Good luck with your new pup I'm sure you're just as excited an anxious as we are to bring your pup home. (:

WilliamLinegar's picture
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thanks again Becky! you as well Katopup! all this will go a long way in helping me raise a better doberman.

any advice of collars/harnesses? im not thrilled about using a choke collar and its not an option i want to consider, any other recomendations? 

Katopup's picture
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I would go with a harness for sure it's safe they can't squirm out of it and when your dobe gets bigger a no pull harness works great my friend has a giant mastiff that would drag her and with the no pull harness she has no issues.  Unless of course you are planning to use a collar for corrections then that would be up to you.  Hope that helps (:

Lady Kate's picture
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Hi William and welcome to the Forum.. What I'm going to say might incite stoning...but here goes..

I personally do not think it's fair to have a pup in a crate or alone for that length of time. An eight week old baby is just that.. a baby and he'll need to go to potty at least every hour ( every 30 mins. is better) in order to have healthy outside habits..and that's round the clock.

You need to feed him three times a day for up to six  months for proper nutrition .

Now with all this naysaying.. is there any way you can get someone to come in and tend to his needs? Play?walking? Training? Feeding? Socializing?

Dobermans, more than any other type of dog do not do well being left alone.

I'm curious and have rephrased this next question many times in order to be 'gentle' but it keeps coming back to the same thing..Why do you want a Doberman puppy??  Puppies of any type require time, patience sacrifice and training.. Dobermans even more so...have you considered a rescued older dog?

Oz Dobe's picture
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Hi William and welcome. I have to agree with Lady Kate above re crate time. Dobermans are a breed that require a human to serve. Period. This is their reason for being. So they do require more attention than most breeds out there.

Just understand that any failure to give them what they need at a young age can have consequences down the track for you and (through no fault of his own) your dog. Your dog faces worse consequences than you do, if this doesn't work out. Please keep this in mind. Always.

If you can provide for your pups needs through friends or family visits during the day etc, read on...

In terms of diet, I spoiled my pup with rump steak or chicken breast fillets and vet recommended kibble. I feel that its a false economy feeding cheaper, lower quality food because the dog will require the vet more; they will require more food to get the same, if not less nutrition, and in the end the price winds up the same by the time you factor in the extra food required to achieve the same, if not inferior results.

In terms of training. Of course the basics. I went out of my way also to reinforce good behaviors. When Storm was lying quietly by the kids and I'd taught her her the 'gentle' and 'lie down' command, I would just drop a treat on her and tell her
"good girl - gentle- lie down" and give her lots of affection.

When ever she offered behavior that I wanted I would praise her for it. It made a really big difference, I think. Instead of constantly rousing on a pup for doing stuff you don't want, I think it makes a big difference when you tell them what it is you do want. Otherwise the pup has to guess what it needs to do to get what it wants. They will figure it out otherwise, it just takes longer and is more frustrating for everybody involved.

A long time away from a pup during the day, in terms of training, can be a problem too. You can't reinforce good behaviors and you can't ameliorate bad ones because by the time you get home, its too late to do anything about it. So please, if you come home to a mess or whatever, after you've been away. Don't punish the dog- it will have absolutely no meaning to him, other than that you are a scary person to be around.

Start training her on a leash and collar right away. Getting her loose leash walking should be a high priority exercise. Take it from me. I should have started earlier than I did and I would have saved a lot of angst if I had have.

Read up on dog behavior in books, on the net, anywhere you can. Learn about dog behavior, not just training. Use You tube and get lots of different perspectives, and have good reasons as to why you want to train a certain way, before you start. Find training videos (You tube is great for this) that make sense to you, and you feel comfortable with.

The most critical things IMHO are patience and consistency.

Katopup's picture
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Not sure where everyone is from of course on here but in my area we have several reputable dog sitting/walkers/trainers that of course for a fee will come to your home and provide services of many which include taking your pup out for potty breaks and play time to walking etc as well as doggy daycares if the latter isnt suitable to your needs.  I don't really have this issue so much as my husband works a 6 on 6 off schedule and I'm only away from the home for about 21/2 hrs twice a wk.  But I know many people who have animals whose utilize these services to make sure their pups of any age are cared for while at work so maybe you could look into this in your area.

Katopup's picture
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Also I should've commented on is Lady Kate and Oz Dobe have very good points for you to consider in the coming weeks before you get your pup (:

talisin's picture
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Oh my yes I agree a puppy should not be left alone for that many hours.....an older rescue dog would be a great choice though cause they don't have tiny little bladders and usually have had inside living experience enough to not have to go potty every 45 minutes....puppies do need to potty every half hour until they get the house training down pat.....with you gone that many hours that would impossible for the little one to do without messing his area.....which teaches the opposite of what you really want in the end.....can you take your puppy to work?? do you have someone who can come take your puppy out every 2-3 hours at a minimum?? if not then reconsider the baby and go with an adult.....for your own sanity and the puppy's......and a bored dog is a destructive dog....decide what you want to keep, cause a bored dog will chew on door casings, kitchen cabinets, can bust windows etc. had experience with all these in one capacity or another through the years.....our little 10 week old ridgeback puppy somehow managed to get a loaf of bread off the kitchen counter and rip it to shreds, we had bread stuck to the ceiling!!! a whole kitchen cleaning was in order, then we created puppy daycare before it was ever thought of - we paid our vet to watch him daily.....you might do that, but don't leave him alone for more than an hour at most.....

WilliamLinegar's picture
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thank you all kindly for your advice! for all ive researched on the breed, crate training seems to be the area with less than exact information. to begin, i dont know how anyone could ever have a doberman that doesnt have a stay at home partner or who doesnt work for a living. that being said, i appreciate the advice and i will be looking into a dog walker for the first six months of the dogs life. im fairly certain i can find a service here in Ottawa (Canada) that can provide someone to come and play with the dog outside for an hour from noon to one. should this not break up the day enough for the dog so he doesnt feel "too lonely" during the time i am at work?

Kate, i have a million and one reasons why i want a doberman, no other dog will do! i am aware of its needs both physical and mental, for that, my dog will get an hour outside playing/training each morning from 6am to 7am before i go to work, and an hour and a half to two hours in the off-leash dog park directly beside where i live when i get home after work. he will not be ignored or unloved at any time. nor will i "physical" with the dog in any way. i understand, that dobermans are a breed apart from other dogs, and, it appears, so are doberman owners. haha. everyone loves these dogs and just wants the best for them, fear not, my dog will be raised as best is humanly possible to be a fine addition to the preception of the breed!

a rescue dog is not my preference. i would prefer a puppy because my girlfiend and i already have a mini-poodle and a cat. so its very important that my dog grow up in the presence of small animals and cats. some rescue dobermans ive looked at, and there have been a few!, do not do well with cats. they seem to see them as chase toys. so again, im after a puppy because i want the dog to be in an environment where he becomes accustomed to them and knows how to interact with them.

 

Oz Dobe, i assume by "loose leash" you mean off-leash yes? thansk for that! i had planned on off-leash training him right away, holding  a piece of food in my hand while i walk so he gets used to being at my heel. is there another method i should employ to do this? as ai said, any and ALL tips/advice are MORE THAN APPRECIATED! i want the best for this dog and for him to be very well trained. ive wanted one since i was young and my family grew up with german sheperds so im familiar with larger breeds. i know the amount of effort and patience it takes for these guys. as i understand, dobermans are not far off from german sheperds in terms of intelligence and trainability. im looking so forward to when my doberman comes home, his name is Copper (from the fox and the hound movie; in additon to a dobermans rust or copper colourings on his face, chest and lower legs).

 

i assume most people on here are located throughout the States, although ive seen a few in some overseas places as well. dont think ive seen any other fellow Canadians in here yet though, but in any event im pleased to be a part ofnt he forum and again i do appreciate all the advice immensley! keep it coming please.

Lady Kate's picture
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 Hi William and soon to be Copper..

Loose leash does not mean off-leash.. It means holding the leash loosely in your hand while your dog walks beside you. NO pulling.. and obeying the 'heel' command.

Dog parks?? Yikes.. here we go again. Although it's important to socialize your new baby.. please keep him away from all animals until he's had all his shots.. and exercise?? Yup.. he'll need it.. but no hard running till his growth plates are fully formed.. ( 18 months) Intervals of 10-20 mins several times a day is best. But keep him on grass. BTW I'm not a fan of dog parks... not because of the dogs.. because of the irresponsible owners.. but that's another story....Some folks find an empty ball park to use.

He'll learn very quickly and will want to please if he knows you can be trusted and respected.. Try to keep training sessions to 10 mins at the beginning..

I hope you find someone who will be willing to take over these responsibilities...

Oz is right is his statement that these are the most important months of his life.Not only are they paramount in your bonding experience with him..the boundaries you set now will reflect the qaulity he has forever. And we know you want the best for your baby.

Also re: the food you will want to give him.. Offer the best quality you can afford and that will agree with him.. ( Our vet is so against kibble of any kind.. says it's all junk food and like taking your kids to McDonald's every day.. I think that's a little exaggerated.. however we do keep both our girls on green beans, chicken and brown rice.. with a bit of kibble for crunch..)

Good luck and please keep asking questions..\

Katie, Sofia and Bella

Katopup's picture
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I live in Alberta, Canada lol so you are not alone.

What Oz Dobe is referring to with 'loose leash' walking is in fact on a leash, it is training your little guy to walk beside you on a leash that is loose meaning he is not pulling the leash.  Hope this helps.

If you are looking to train using positive reinforcement you can check out Dogmantics training on youtube as well as Positively.com ran by Victoria Stilwell she has a lot of reads and videos as well as a forum of people who only train with this method.  Pretty much any training, behaviour questions are answered in her forums.  (:

WilliamLinegar's picture
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thanks Lady Kate and Katopup! apologies, i forgot to mention i wouldnt bring him around other dogs until he has his shots, but yes, as i know all the dogs that come to this park i have my concerns over introducing him to 1 or 2 dogs. the rest are amzing animals! i did know about the 18 moths before running and long jogs etc, so thats not a problem. the ten min training sessions and keeping him on the grass are fantastic ideas! thanks for that one!

the food is still my biggest concern! at the moment im inclined to agree with your vet! do you feed your dog the green beans, chicken and brown rice cooked, with the kibble mixed in? and how much do you feed the dog at each meal? how much weight wise i mean?

i will be watching all those videos tonight Katopup! thanks, i was google searching some good videos to use but that saves me so much time! awesome! where abouts are you in ALB Katopup?

i have in fact found several dog services here in Ottawa already, puppy services that will come to your house twice a day for 30 min each to clean up any accidents, walk, and cuddle the dog. so no worries on this concern anymore.

thanks  again everyone! i want to make sure i have everything prepared for when he arrives.

Katopup's picture
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We live in Fort McMurray, although we are from Sarnia, ON.

Glad to hear you've checked into the dog services offered that will help you out plenty. (:

WilliamLinegar's picture
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everyonje has a friend in "Fort McMoney" these days. be careful of the bears up there eh, good thing you have a doberman. im from Halifax, but now live and work in Ottawa. We get around us Canadians.

 

yeah im rather pleased to have found this service. it was bothering me all night, the advice about not leaving him that long in the crate. so all is well now.

Lady Kate's picture
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HI William... I love that you're taking all this in and to your heart.. there's no doubt in my mind that you will be a great DoberDad

Feeding.. besides to crop or not to crop... might be the biggest concern here on the Forum..

A lot of people recommend raw and in my mind.. probably is the best for your dog.. there's a lot on line re: how to go about it.. We live in Mexico and I'm not too sure of the quality of the raw meat here and ecoli is a huge worry... so we don't .. I did give them both a raw chicken foot.. Bella gobbled it down in one big gulp and I spent an anxious 15 minutes waiting for the 'results.' SOfia just rolled her Diva eyes at it..

I buy the frozen green beans.. defrost and give them a third .. brown rice.. cooked.. another third.. and chicken, cooked.. once again a third.. Sofia has a heart condition that was remedied by the no sodium diet.. she's lost 15 pounds and that nasty DCM cough that kept us on the edge of our seat with worry.. no more labored breathing and her thyroid medicine is cut by over a half.. I'm digressing here.. but I cannot stress the quality of life the no sodium diet has given our girl.

Bella is a rescued street dog.. ( litterally picked up OFF the street) and she'll consume anything.. she eats more than Sofia.. and then again, puppies do..

Here's Miss Bella with her raw chicken foot... all together now.. EEEUUUWWWW!!!

and fellow Canadians.. my maiden name was Simcoe.. yep.. the very same Simcoe that you know..

WilliamLinegar's picture
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thanks again Lady Kate! do you mean a 1/3rd of cup for green beans, rice and chicken?

Lady Kate's picture
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Both Sofia and Bella get fed three times a day. I just measure about a third of a cup of chicken, a third of rice and a third of green beans and another third of kibble.( Taste of the WIld Salmon and Sweet Potato) Grainfree..

Bella gets training treats throughout the day and of course we need to give something to Sofia at the same time.. we do give them cottage cheese, apples, celery, melon ( be mindful of seeds please) I scramble an egg once a week ...

  It all sounds a bit confusing and might seem overwhelming when a good quality kibble is so easy.. Just check the labels and look for salt content. ( and sugar) it's not good for them..

I have no problem with kibble.. I think there's some wonderful food out there.. the vets like to sell their own.. but once again.. check the label and ingredients.. it's a major $ maker for them... we just choose to watch Sofia like a hawk with all the health scares we've had with her ladyship.. and while we're cookin' for the Queen.. might as well do for the Princess as well..

Cheers!!

Hi William,

Here's a couple of vids on teaching the puppy some foundation work. Notice there are NO corrections just bribes to form behaviors. Everything at this age is rainbows, flowers and unicorn milk.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3q1yX8QVCo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQoRfYvgP4

 

This last vid is what you can end up with. This dog is ready for his first title in IPO or AKC.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=492PJRTqrLE

I know that this has to do with competition training but think about it, aren't our dogs in competition with the real world? Aren,t you in competition with the cat, the squirrel, the other dog? Who knows? You may want to compete with your dog one day. It's work but fun for you AND your dog.

The dog's foundation is the stepping stone to all other behaviors. They say you can't build a sturdy house on a weak foundation.  

Enjoy your new puppy,

Gunny

WilliamLinegar's picture
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Thanks Gunny!

ill be using these for sure! looking very much forward to all this. sadly, i have to wait until july 5th when hes 8 weeks old to pick him, the anticipation is eating at me. haha.

i wouldnt mind competing my dog at all! and i agree i think it would be fun for the dog as well.

anyone have an recomendations for toys or chew toys? ive heard a chilly bone or  a nylabone are good.

William,

I would suggest tugs ( http://www.activedogs.com/page/32/bite-tugs-pillows ). There are other on-line companys, I just used this one as an example.

Kongs (the black ones) balls and for a comfort toy (the toy he gets to keep), one of those toys that you stuff a empty water bottle in. The other toys he only gets when he interacts with you. This keeps is "toy drive" high.

For his need to gnaw, I use raw beef rib bones, meat and all. They're inexpensive and good for him. I've had trouble with "nylabone" and those "chilly bones" may get tore up and ingested. When these little fellas get to chewing, they can wittle a coffee table down no time...lol.

Gunny

WilliamLinegar's picture
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?! really?! i read somewhere that rib bones were bad because they splinter? youve never had any problem giving them toy ou dog? do you dip them in boilding water for a minute before giving them to the dog or anything like that?

very good idea on the "only with me toys". i hadnt considered that. id like to get him 2 o3 things to chew on while he is in the crate while im at work. i had planned on a kong and 2 others.

are these tugs something that you play with with the dog, they look like it?

what kind of trouble have you had with nylabone and chilly bone?

thanks again Gunny! much appreciated eh.

Mine are raw fed. Kinda like "here's the rabbit" raw. Before I get too many EEEKKKs, the rabbit came out of the freezer which by the way I bought for the dogs to store their food. Jewel started on raw at about 12-18 months old, Jax was on raw as a pup by the breeder. I've been feeding raw for around 3 yrs now. Have not had any problems. Feeding raw how what and whys is a whole different post.

Beef rib bones are hard and I have never noticed splintering. A puppy would be hard pressed to do more than slowly wear it (beef rib) down but will entertain him for hours if not days. No I do not dip them in boiling water, they get them "Raw". Sometimes frozen when I forget to take them out. They don't care. Just make sure that anything you give a puppy WILL NOT fit down his throat.

Which brings me to the "Nylabones". I had a dog that broke (or chewed) one in half and got it stuck in her throat. I also noticed pieces of nylabone in her stool. Nylon is not food!   

The tugs are for you to interact with your dog. He'll learn that when he sees the tug or bite pillow that that means playing with you. when he gets a little older and he sees you with the tug, he'll light up in anticipation. In time the tug, pillow or ball will be part of a reward system and will help build focus.

Couple of vids that explain it a little better.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=170ljw_vKew   (the sound's kinda low, I used ear buds)

http://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=SsWnL4VWZNg

Gunny

 

 

The lincs didn't come out right. Copy and past works.

WilliamLinegar's picture
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excellent! thanks again gun_slinger2006! thats excellent advice. i was planning on feeding my dog a home made diet as well, cooked have you but essentially the same in the end. i dont trust dog food manufacturers in the least!

becky g's picture
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Every dog I've had has been a serious chewer as a pup and the the only thing none have been able to chew pieces off of is a Kong.  I'm still searching for an indestructible bed!  Sometimes it can take a while to find toys your dog likes.  Putting a little treat in the Kong will help to get them to play with it.  My boys like a little peanut butter or cheese in theirs.  Not sure if others allow their dogs to eat that stuff, but my dogs do well with it.