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My dog ate my carpet yesterday.

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  • My dog ate my carpet yesterday.

    In THREE places! There goes my security deposit...

    She's done this a couple times before at my parents' house. I really don't know what to do about it. She earned herself daily imprisonment in the bathroom when I'm gone.

    The first time we thought maybe her stomach hurt, and since she couldn't get outside, she equated carpet to grass? And now I'm pretty sure it's just boredom from being home alone.

    She's not destructive otherwise. The only other bad thing is she went through a phase where she'd get in the garbage if we left her home alone.

    She's 6.5 rottie x collie mix, from the pound. I've had her about 3? years.

    Any suggestions? She has toys, but she pretty much ignores them. Same thing with bones. She'll go nuts about a new one for a day or so, and then not touch it.
    Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

    Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010

  • #2
    Crate Her when you are not at home.

    After the first carpet eating incident, I would have had her in a crate when unattended.

    Comment


    • #3
      How long was she alone and how much exercise did she get that morning? Does she have anything to keep her entertained at home while you're gone like a frozen peanut butter-stuffed kong or something like that to engage her problem-solving skills (and pass the time)?

      Comment


      • #4
        Crate her. I had to keep my collie crated for 6 years when no one was home.

        Don't think that the crate is a punishment. It's not...if you do the training right, it becomes their safe place. My collie slept in hers at night with the door open. My hound still would rather sleep in his crate than anywhere else. And if he has something he doesn't want to share...he takes it into his crate.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would definitely find some other "task" for her. She's tearing up the carpet because she is bored or anxious or both.
          Just locking her in a crate will help neither of those, but you may have to crate her with something to do, for a while until she is trustworthy again, for the sake of your carpet and her health.
          Making sure she isn't home alone all day, and has adequate exercise is also crucial. A rousing round of her favourite game to get her tired before you leave the house every day would be helpful.
          As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Unfortunately I work 7-4, and then commute to the barn 3-4 times a week, so I can't really 'work' her in the mornings. We always walk/jog for 40 min+ if we don't go to the barn.

            I do almost always (except for yesterday!) go home for my lunch hour, so we take a short walk and play around then. I feel bad about her being alone so much, but at this point in my life (young professional with a new job) there's not a lot I can do about it. The BO let me leave her there for a few weeks, but she eventually stopped eating, so I brought her back home.

            I've tried all manner of different toys and chews and what not, but she generally ignores them. It took a LONG time for her to play with a stuffed toy with a squeaker (she acts like she's hunting it, and then 'kills' it by squeaking it to death).

            I am going to leave her in the bathroom like I did when I first moved in (in Feb), but she was so good for so long! I'll have to save up and get a proper crate I guess. I've always thought I should have one anyway, but up until this, I never felt like I needed it.

            I'm looking to move out of this one bedroom short term lease apartment, so if my some miracle I can get a place with a yard and a dog door setup, ideally I'd love to get a foster dog. I know that she'd be happier and then I'd be helping out some other dog as well! Also hopefully anywhere I move to will have hardwood/tile.
            Last edited by emirae1091; May. 10, 2013, 02:53 PM. Reason: typo
            Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

            Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Should have added, my parents were keeping her when she ate the carpet at their house. They took her to the lake with them, so there's no telling what she ate in the woods...

              Also wanted to add, hopefully soon I'll be moving my horse to a closer barn as well, so I won't have an 1h15min commute to get there. I'll be able to go out more often (taking my dog with me of course!) and also have time to do other things after work besides drive/ride/drive home and go to bed.
              Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

              Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010

              Comment


              • #8
                ways to entertain dogs: a short session of free-shaping tricks is mentally exhausting for dogs, so if you're short on time and need to tire out the dog, that's one option.
                You can try feeding the dog her breakfast out of a puzzle toy or freeze it in a Kong, that'll keep her occupied for a bit.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by emirae1091 View Post

                  I've tried all manner of different toys and chews and what not, but she generally ignores them. It took a LONG time for her to play with a stuffed toy with a squeaker (she acts like she's hunting it, and then 'kills' it by squeaking it to death).
                  Generally speaking, dogs don't entertain themselves with balls or squeaky toys when home alone. They need something a lot more tempting than that. Is she food motivated at all? Good choices are a Kong stuffed with peanut butter and frozen. It takes most dogs awhile to figure out how to get it all out and then they are usually tired. They also make a lot of brainteaser toys that you can put treats into but the dog has to work hard to figure out how to get the treats out. They motivate the dog to use brain power, which is tiring, and distract them from being alone.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I see crates at the thrift stores all the time for pretty cheap. I absolutely will not leave my dog home alone unless she is crated, I don't think I'd have a house to come home to if I didn't! Plus we once spent three hours searching for our dog after someone broke into our home leaving the front door wide open. I have no idea how long she was running for and since then, when we leave the house, all dogs are crated.

                    I second using KONGS and treat dispensing toys. Our Aussie has a ball that dispenses treats as she rolls it. We will often put her food in it at meal time and she's started following us around with the ball when it's close to feeding time. Some dogs just don't care for toys, my Sheltie never did, she played with a toy maybe once the entire time we had her. You'd throw a ball and she'd look at you like you were crazy.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      I'll revisit the Kong then. Maybe I can get a different filling. I'll try plain peanut butter first. Whatever filling (in a can) I bought she apparently didn't care for. She'd sniff it and lick what she could reach, but she gave up pretty fast when I tried.

                      I've seen some other toys. I need more food for her anyway, so I'll get something this week when we go to the pet store. I'd love to find a dispensing toy like that and then I can put her breakfast in it so she can eat that slowly after I leave.

                      I briefly considered a muzzle of some kind (the basket ones where they can still drink!) but I feel like she would be more upset about that than being contained. ^_^
                      Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

                      Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        I've been looking up some dispensing toys. I've found these three. Has anyone used these?

                        http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

                        http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

                        http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

                        I'm thinking I'll start with the Kibble Nibble because it seems to be pretty easy to get the food out of (looking at YouTube videos) and then maybe move up to the Buster Cube if it's not challenging enough or breaks or anything like that.
                        Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

                        Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I have the first two. My one dog liked them a lot, but my puppy doesn't care for them. The round type is easier for them to figure out but I think it dispenses too fast even on the "hard" setting. The Buster Cube is more frustrating for my dog - which makes him play with it longer.
                          You are what you dare.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you're going to spend money on treat dispensing toys...save it and buy the crate first. And learn how to crate train to cause the least amount of anxiety.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have had good luck stuffing the black Kongs with bread. I tear it into small pieces and stuff them in, and throw in some regular milk bone pieces, too. My dogs love bread and it is really hard for them to get out....they will work on it for hours.

                              If I was you, I would try confining the dog to an area with no carpet for now (bathroom, laundry room?) with toys and a baby gate and try to keep the inappropriate "chewables" out of reach. Properly crate training an adult dog is not easy, and for someone who is gone as much as you, I think you owe it to the dog to at least have enough room to do more than stand up and turn around. I think crates are a great tool but I think they are really overused. Back in the days when moms didn't work, she stayed home and housebroke the puppies and they had someone around most of the time to teach them the ropes. When we don't have someone around, using a crate for limited amounts of time when we can't watch the pup is great, to keep them out of trouble, but when you are using it for an extended amount of time every day for an adult dog, it is a cage. You can easily ruin the "safe den" feeling of the crate by overusing it, and establishing that feeling in an adult who was not crate trained as a pup is difficult. I like to relax in my bedroom sometimes. I don't like to spend all day in there by myself with nothing to do and no one to interact with, and if my room was the size of my bed I'd like it even less.
                              JMHO.
                              As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Just fyi, my dog ate my carpet and it cost me 3k to get the carpet out of her. She was a 12-year old dog at the time. Be careful and get your dog some exercise.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by CrowneDragon View Post
                                  I have had good luck stuffing the black Kongs with bread. I tear it into small pieces and stuff them in, and throw in some regular milk bone pieces, too. My dogs love bread and it is really hard for them to get out....they will work on it for hours.

                                  If I was you, I would try confining the dog to an area with no carpet for now (bathroom, laundry room?) with toys and a baby gate and try to keep the inappropriate "chewables" out of reach. Properly crate training an adult dog is not easy, and for someone who is gone as much as you, I think you owe it to the dog to at least have enough room to do more than stand up and turn around. I think crates are a great tool but I think they are really overused. Back in the days when moms didn't work, she stayed home and housebroke the puppies and they had someone around most of the time to teach them the ropes. When we don't have someone around, using a crate for limited amounts of time when we can't watch the pup is great, to keep them out of trouble, but when you are using it for an extended amount of time every day for an adult dog, it is a cage. You can easily ruin the "safe den" feeling of the crate by overusing it, and establishing that feeling in an adult who was not crate trained as a pup is difficult. I like to relax in my bedroom sometimes. I don't like to spend all day in there by myself with nothing to do and no one to interact with, and if my room was the size of my bed I'd like it even less.
                                  JMHO.
                                  Rescues crate train adult dogs all the time. And you're anthropomorphizing the dog.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with everyone that says get a crate. A crate is not a scary thing to an animal. It should be their safe place. Since you know that she won't pee/poop inside the crate get her a nice big one that she can move around in and stretch out. I crate my dog when I am not home. Its not because I don't trust him not to destroy stuff. I do as he will just sleep when I am not home most of the time. I do it to set him up for good behavior. I don't want him to get himself in trouble when he is bored and destroy something. It wouldn't be his fault but rather it would be mine. He has a big crate with all his toys and a bowl of water in there. I did give him a kong with peanut butter at first, but he has to watch his weight, so he doesn't get that anymore. He gets a treat for going in there. He is so good to the point if I grab the treat, he goes and sits in his crate waiting for it.

                                    http://instagram.com/p/XTspOvECfx/
                                    I love cats, I love every single cat....
                                    So anyway I am a cat lover
                                    And I love to run.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                                      Rescues crate train adult dogs all the time. And you're anthropomorphizing the dog.
                                      You think dogs like to spend most of their day confined and alone?
                                      Dogs sleep and rest in their dens, when they want to. When they are active and want to play or eat, they go out and do so.
                                      I totally agree that adult dogs can learn to be crated, but it can be more difficult than with a puppy. In addition, if the dog is destroying things due to separation anxiety, the dog may come unglued in a crate. I have a dog with separation anxiety and we tried to manage it with careful crating and he nearly killed himself, and broke off all of his canine teeth in the process. Some anxious dogs do better in a crate, he was not one of them.
                                      I am not anti-crate, but I think there are probably better options for this dog since it sounds like he isn't a total destruction tornado. If the dog does OK with a little more freedom, why would that not be preferable? When I see someone recommend to spend money on a crate instead of toys, then what will the dog do? Surely you can't give him any bedding, because he will destroy and eat it. Then you'll have a bored and/or anxious dog sitting in an empty box all day with nothing to do, laying on hard plastic (which he no doubt will also destroy).
                                      I like crates for their purpose but I think they are overused. Dogs are social creatures and leaving them in isolation for extended periods of time is not preferable. Although he'll still be alone, he can at least entertain himself a bit better and be more comfortable if he's out of the crate, and on the off chance he gets sick he isn't left to stand or lay in it for hours.
                                      As I said, JMHO!
                                      Last edited by CrowneDragon; May. 13, 2013, 12:31 AM.
                                      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        CrowneDragon, the dog is going to be alone, regardless of whether he's in a crate or roaming the house.

                                        If OP can afford it and it's available, doggie daycare might be a partial solution.

                                        Do you stall your horses?

                                        Comment

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