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How much is that doggie in the window?

December 30, 2008 | Stuff

I bought a pillow a while back for the dog’s bed and saved it for Christmas, when she “wouldn’t be chewing everything up.”

What was I thinking.

This is the dog who eats ice, snow, wood and rocks. Who devoured a new toy in 20 seconds flat … literally, poof! gone. Who inhales pig ears and rawhide bones. Who ate the bark off the amazing apple tree … will that kill the tree?

(Don’t worry. She eats plenty of real food. I’ll have to start collecting it in a semi-trailer at the farmer’s co-op soon. That’s how much real food she eats.)

Who chewed through a medium-thick vinyl-coated galvanized-steel tie-out cable.

(And, no, she’s not tied up 24/7. She hasn’t even been tied up since then because she’s always been good about staying in the back yard behind the house. Today? I found her on the edge of the highway.)

When I bought a heavy-duty cable a couple of weeks ago, the checkout guy said, “Wow. You must have a big dog.”

Well, yeah. She’s a big puppy, and she already chewed through one of these.

“One of these metal ones?!?”


She’s already started working her way through the new one.

She’ll chew on it for extra measure even when she’s not attached to the end of it.

I give it, oh, three weeks tops before I run out of ways to keep her off the highway.

See that little Santa collar with the bells?

After I put that on her, I completely thought it would be in shreds the next morning, and I’d find her chewing on the metal bells. She apparently likes it, though.

Her new pillow? Not so much.

That’s after all the innards had been stuffed back inside. The reason she doesn’t hang out much in the living room? Because I don’t want my sofa to look like that. And, believe me, it would.

I’m reading this book, written by Paul Owens, The Original Dog Whisperer. (I didn’t realize there was more than one. Now I know.)

I’m really trying, y’all. But this is the reaction I get.

If that’s what she did when I tell her to “sit,” that would be great. But this is what I get when I tell her to “come.”

I watched Cesar Millan on Dog Whisperer recently.

Please tell me it’s not a bunch of smoke and mirrors. Please tell me he doesn’t spend three weeks training some dog and make it look like it takes him three minutes.

If either one of these whispering guys can teach me how to get my dog to do ANYTHING in three minutes (three days or, heck, even three weeks)? I’ll make him a turkey dinner.

Or, I don’t know. Maybe I need an exorcist.


Why didn’t I get a hamster?

Posted by Becky @ 9:56 pm  

6 Responses to “How much is that doggie in the window?”

  1. Stimey Says:

    But look how cuuuuuuuute she is!

    I had a rottweiler. She ate everything. I feel your pain.

  2. Paul Owens Says:

    Cute dog indeed~great pics

    Assuming there are no health related factors that might be causing stress and influencing her chewing (which is called an oral stress manifestation … like people who chew pencils or their finger nails),

    Three things can help:
    ~Prevention and Management
    ~Redirect Behavior by substituting another behavior such as “Go to Bed” and to chew appropriate chews
    ~Teach Leave It

    Teach her to “go to her bed.”
    After each training session give her a treat-filled Kong or Bully stick to chew on. When she’s done chewing, pick up the bed before she has a chance to chew it. Within a few weeks, she’ll associate chewing appropriate toys and chewies with being on the bed instead chewing the bed. By taking the bed up, you’ve created a situation where you’ve prevented the undesirable behavior from happening and as a result, the behavior isn’t self-reinforcing. After a few weeks you can leave the bed down.

    Teaching “leave it” will teach her to not put her mouth on anything you designate. Start by teaching her to not touch food and progress to teaching her to not touch the bed.

    All this being said, she needs physical and mental stimulation so she isn’t chewing out of boredom, so giving lots of exercise and teaching games like fetch, hide-n-go seek and using “smart toys” (ones she has to figure out how to work) will greatly help.

    I might add one more thing: that tether in the pic seems pretty long and she may get tangled. In addition, I advise never tethering a dog unless supervised.

    Our motto: correct the behavior, don’t correct the dog.

    Peace. Hope this helps.
    Paul Owens
    author: The Dog Whisperer

  3. Kristine Says:

    Happy new Year!

    I symphatize: my late dog once at my brand new £90 shoes, as well as other shoes and stuff he shouldn’t have chewed when he was a puppy.

    I’d like to say it was my efficient training that made him stop chewing stuff he wasn’t supposed to, but I think it probably was the time he accidentally got hold of the tooth paste that did the trick – coupled with bones we gave him. At 16 I was a bit too young to get a dog, though in the end I trained him pretty well and he would always obey me.

    The biggest challenge was that he was raised while I was still living at home and wasn’t given consistent instructions due to this – especially my mother was both spoiling him and frequently got scared and yelled rather than talked to him in a calm manner – this meant he came to exploit this and obeyed people to varying degrees (he was rather unruly with my mother, even more so with my little sister). I’m just sharing this to illustrate how it can be challenging to have a dog grow up in a family if it’s not clear who’s the leader, or if he’s given contradicting instructions – just like a child, the dog will get insecure and/or learn to exploit the inconsistencies.

  4. emily Says:

    Maybe, get a Kong and put PB inside it once in a while when you are going to be gone….he will not be able to chew the Kong, and he will be too busy with the PB to become bored.

    LOTS OF WALKS. He’s a working dog. He needs a job (come, sit, stay, fetch, etc. are all jobs)

    be sure that when you give him a command, you do not raise the inflection and pitch at the end (?) rather than (!) Sounds silly, but it seems to be nearly universal with new dog owners. and the dog thinks you are asking a question or not sure you really want him to do something. just keep the same pitch and inflection and he’ll get it that you are the leader.

    and please ditch the chain (injury risk to the dog is very high)if you can. fence the yard?

    (i love turkey)

  5. Deep Muck Big Rake » Tastes like chicken Says:

    […] The latest blizzard/snow/ice/wind stuff buried the heavy-duty vinyl-coated galvanized-steel tie-out cable. You know … the one the dog likes to chew. […]

  6. Dave Says:

    Now THAT’S a dog that’s fixin’ to do some major snow-frolickin’!!

    As to your comment about the snow drift… “Embiggened” — that has to be the most cromulent word ever!!

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