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Help with chewing

 
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obsean3
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Joined: 11 Jun 2005
Posts: 7
Location: Utah

PostPosted: 05/14/06, 12:48 am    Post subject: Help with chewing Reply with quote

Hey Folks

I really need some help with my 18 month old male GWP. Lately he has been chewing up everything in the backyard, the new garden, sprinklers and pipes, wiring looms on th R.V. etc..
I did a little digging on the web about this behaviour, and I realize I've screwed up on disciplining him, because he usually gets a good reprimand when I find what he has done, but its after the fact. I know he doesn't know why He's in trouble if I don't catch him in the act, but I also don't think its o.k. to let the behavior go on unchecked.
The last 2 days have been HELL with him. Yesterday I was the only one home and had to go to work so I left him in the backyard with my Springer Spaniel, and had the neighbor come over and put him away, so he wouldn't have to be in the kennel for so long. When the neighbor opened the gate, he bolted and would not come back! I had to come home from work early, and after 2.5 hours of searching in the dark, I finally found him.
Next morning I go out and let him out of the kennel, into the house and out the back door to go to the bathroom, halfway out he stops and decides he wants some loving, puts his paws up on my shoulders, which I allow, and while I'm scratching his back, he PEE's all over me!!! In the house!!!!!!!! Then when I come out in the backyard I see the destruction to the wiring harness on the R.V.
I have to be honest and say that I have never been so mad at an animal in all my life, and he got a severe smacking with the rolled up newspaper.
He's a pretty good dog when he is with me. Knows all the commands sit, stay, heel, works well with whistle commands and voice commands, but at certain times, usually whenever he see's fit, it is another story with other members of the family. I think I have a pretty good idea of how to fix that, but I am at a total loss on fixing the chewing problem. I also recognize some behavior in him from reading other posts, like nudging and pushing with his nose to get some attention, he also does the " I need out routine, just to get me out of my chair" I thought he had ADD or something like that Very Happy
Please give me some thoughts on how to change the chewing behavior. I can't afford to keep fixing everything he is chewing up!!!
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astm
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Joined: 14 May 2006
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Location: Hitchcock, SD

PostPosted: 05/14/06, 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How many miles per day, on average, does he get to run?
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obsean3
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Joined: 11 Jun 2005
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: 05/14/06, 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He is in the backyard almost all day, but usually my wife takes him out for a 3 mile run every other.
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itsabetsy
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Joined: 06 Dec 2005
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI

PostPosted: 05/14/06, 4:16 pm    Post subject: chewing Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure you're going to get lots of replies to your plea for help, mostly from owners who know GWP's better than I do. I just added a female GWP to my springer spaniel household a year ago. What a shock that was. With one year now under my belt, I can tell you the two things that leapt to my mind after reading your message. First, how much running does he get? Second, I wondered if training is a priority for you.

Given your answer to how much running, I say run more. Everyday. Or at least a long vigorous walk on the non-running days. And a walk with you would be good. I'm led to believe that only your wife takes him out for exercise. I think your dog is trying to get YOUR attention. This leads me to my second thought.

It wasn't until a GWP came into my life that I found out that I was lax on my responsibilities of ownership, including assuming my dog knew what was expected of her. I thought I was a model dog owner................lots of love, good food, good exercise. I have since learned the value and importance of training. Not necessarily the kind of training that requires going to class. What I've found is that it's more about the relationship you establish with your dog. My dog couldn't know how to behave unless I taught her, and that starts with trust. As a rather free spirited person, I hated to believe that my dog felt safer with lots of stated expectations, but it's the truth. Now that I'm accepting of this truth, I've changed my manner as a dog owner, and everybody is much happier, including the springer.

I will emphasize that GWP's are not like springers. Hopefully, like me, you will learn valuable lessons from your GWP, and in return you will get loads of love and devotion.

Best of luck,
Betsy
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dualgwp
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Joined: 19 Oct 2002
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Location: New Hope PA

PostPosted: 05/15/06, 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the juvenile delinquent stage. Sounds to me that your dog needs to work. He needs a job, to be tired, to be glad to lie down and be quiet.
I would suggest to save your sanity and belongings that this dog not be left free in the yard to continue this behaviour. If you leave him out, and he eats stuff, it's really your fault, because you left him there to do as he wants.

Get a kennel, and put him in it with bones to chew on.
But, the big thing is- this dogs needs exercise. 3 miles a couple of times a week just isn't going to cut it.
Does he retrieve? If not, teach him. Start doing controlled retrieve exercises, work his body and his mind.
He needs to free run for a minimum of 30 minutes, daily if possible. When your wife runs with him, get a dog backpack and put some water bottles in it for him to carry. The added weight will help tire him out.

If you don't give him something to do, he will find something to relieve his boredom and you probably won't like it.
I wish there were a magic bullet... but there isn't. It's really up to you.
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obsean3
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Joined: 11 Jun 2005
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: 05/16/06, 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The day I posted the original post, the family sat down and had a talk about our responsabilities with the dog. I now get him out in the morning and take him to the park and the empty field next to the park and let him run and sniff for mice and birds and whatever else he can find, we then make our way over to the park and I try to play fetch with him, but he is completly disinterested in the game. I did work with him extensivly on the fetching game when he was pup, and he had it down pretty good and seemed to really enjoy it, but I think from playing with the kids that he has learned that he doesn't have to retrieve anymore. So I'm starting from scratch on that training and hopefully I can get him interested in retrieving again.
The kids now take him out for an hour every day after school and run him around and chase him and play with him. This has really helped with him being pooped and not chewing on everything.
I looked into agility training for him as a way to get him some exercise and stimulate his brain, but I haven't done anything with it yet.
Anybody done any of this training? Recommend any good books on the subject?
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