Summer is Officially Over; We lost One Cell Phone, a PSP and a Couple Pairs of Shoes May They R.I.P.


He Doesn't Look Like a Baby But He Is!

It’s true and I suppose I should be ashamed or sorry; but in some ways I am not.

Summers are different at my house, especially this year; we went from not having children (throughout the school year last year) to having kids here all summer long.

My husband gets summers with his kids, and with that comes a sincere change in the dynamics of my furry pack!

I am thrilled with how well all the dogs acclimated to and loved the kids, but there were a few moments of naughty behavior.

But ultimately who was at fault?

Let me explain…

I had a 15 month old puppy (he is a couple months older now!).  And in all truthfulness the only reason he had managed to make his way off of his “puppyhood tie down” was because I added another puppy when he was about 12 months old.

I swear this particular dog is almost more “puppy like” than my 5 month old puppy; his affinity for chewing, shredding, destroying things and chasing the cat still rear their ugly heads.

But I have excellent hearing.  My mom always said it was a bit creepy when I was a kid, but I can hear just about anyone’s conversation and the infinitesimal sounds that most people miss.  She use to say I should be a spy… my dogs probably wish I had because then I wouldn’t have time to be a dog trainer!

So, I usually hear the moment something “naughty” or inappropriate is grabbed and the chewing begins.  Let’s call it my gift!  And because of that and my extremely tight control of my animals, I rarely suffer from having my own things chewed.

However, when you add the “noise” and fighting and the normalcy of childhood to my home, my “spidy sense” of hearing goes out the window and needs to be ignored if I expect to survive and not need a trip to the Looney Bin.

And therefore this year was the perfect time for “Mr. Naugthy” to sink his teeth into a few extremely satisfying electronics.

The kids are 9, 14, and 17 and I am of the opinion that they are old enough to take responsibility for their things.  I in fact have to take more

Electronics can be Ruined so Quickly! Thanks

precautions of my things while they are here too!

So even though I warned them when they came home; my warnings went unheeded until it was tragically too late a few times!

This is Where My Husband and I; and Other People Tend to Disagree…

Was it the dog’s fault for chewing the items; or was it the kids’ fault for leaving them out?

In my opinion, it was the kids fault.  They are the “thinking” creatures and know the difference between right and wrong.  They also should have some skills for cleaning up after themselves.  And, I have a desire for them to learn responsibility.

Which does not mean that they “got in trouble” for leaving their stuff out; I figured that the loss of their things might have been “punishment” enough.  Although they were quickly replaced by their father, the phone then went swimming in a pair of pants and this was the 3rd PSP so I am not sure how much responsibility was actually learned…

I actually think that he (the dog) missed the kids (the first few months of his life were spent with them in his life) and I think that the things he chose; shoes, phone, and PSP were all very “stinky” with their scent.  I think it was his way of getting a little closer to them.

But, probably because they are his children (admittedly I don’t have the 2 legged kind of my own), my husband thinks it is the dog’s fault!

A Little More History…

A little more history, if you will… My husband is someone who; if he takes his shirt or shoes off in the living room they often get shoved into or under the sofa for later canine discovery.

I often think of my mother smacking us and saying “I am not your maid”.

It seems I am his maid.  But we have only been married for a year and a half so there isn’t much “smacking” going on in our relationship yet!

But, having been smacked… I have grown up knowing responsibility and having not only the knowledge but also the desire to clean up after myself!

So Maybe it’s My Fault…

Maybe, just maybe it is my fault for not following him around every moment of the day like I normally do.

But, he wanted to hang out in the other room with the kids when they were here, and I was proud of him that he was being social (he is not always known for his sociability).

But the kids would often watch him shred things even when he was in the room with them.

So he was not learning not to do so in their presence (he is always crated when we are gone).

Shoes are especially tasty cause they smell like FEET!

What it Comes Down to:

What it comes down to, is that ultimately I don’t feel like it was his fault.  When puppies are young, they are often… PUPPIES and with that they have some very naughty behaviors.

These behaviors often end up with the innocent dog on death row at the local shelters, because their person somehow believes that a dog about this age should be done with these behaviors.

Let’s face it… dogs aren’t as “cute” at 15 months as they are at 10 weeks, and therefore we are less apt to put up with these behaviors.

However, ultimately it is still the fault of the human.

Almost all Dogs Grow Out of It

Once they have learned what is appropriate and inappropriate to chew on, they usually stop showing the negative behaviors.  For some it takes a year or two until they are fully mature but most will mature out of the regular “chewing” behaviors if they are taught not to do so.

If you allow them to chew things or leave things out all of the time, they are less likely to stop!

How Do You Avoid This Dilema?

  • Teach your kids (and your significant other) responsibility and how to clean up after themselves.  If they love it; they should take care of it and put it up!
  • Keep an eye on a young dog.  If you can’t see them… there is a very high likelihood that they are getting into trouble!
  • Give him a variety of toys and treats to chew on as an option.  If he doesn’t have his own stuff to play with… how can you expect him to stay away from your things?
  • Utilize crates and baby gates to limit their access to parts of the home where they are more likely to make a mistake!
  • Always, always, always crate your dog when you leave if he is likely to chew!
  • Exercise!!!  If you are meeting his exercise needs and requirements he should be too tired to chew!
  • Mental stimulation is also a requirement to keep your dog out of trouble!  Work on obedience training with him a few times a day to keep him tired and well stimulated.

If You Find a Chewed Item?

What do you do when you find the shattered phone in pieces?

Nothing, except clean it up.

Unless you catch him grabbing it or actively chewing it, chastising him will do you no good.

Dogs live in the moment, they don’t remember having chewed up a phone 2 hours ago and they don’t realize why that was such a problem but chewing on a bone isn’t.  Dog's don't feel guilt for more on that click here.

If you have to place blame; put it on the human and vow to put expensive and sentimental things out of reach until he is old and mature enough that it is not a problem!

What do you think?

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  1. Margaret says:

    Well, let’s see. We are on our 6th mini dachshund, 2 are still with us, the youngest, female, 5 1/2 months, and our older female, 11 1/2 years,. Ellie, the youngest, is your typical dachshund puppy, stubborn, smart (too smart for her own good sometimes), a puppy who will grab sticks, leaves, etc outside then run you around the backyard until she is too tired to run anymore, which can take a while. We no longer do this “game”, because to her, that is exactly what it is. We now have, and most think I am terrible, a soft muzzle. There is a very very good reason for this. About 2 months ago, Ellie got sick, throwing up, lethargic, just plain not right. On Sunday evening we took her to emergency vet, where they did abdominal exray,and found two tiny seedlike things in her lower belly, not yet into her intestinal area. They IV’d her with fluids, and she spent the nite there so she could stay on the IV and hopefully the “seed” would pass thru. Next morning, no seeds so we transferred her over to our vet, where she stayed the day and had exrays 3 more times, each time the seeds would be a little lower. Our wonderful vet said we could take her home and feed her small meals and just watch for seed poop, which I did with a keen eye. Oh, I forgot to mention the reasoning behind the muzzle. Emergency vet bill, 550.00, regular vet bill 475.00. Need I say more? In case you are wondering why we don’t keep her on leash, we do, even tho we have a 6 ft privacy fence, a mini doxie is only about 8 inches tall, and husband who is 6’4″ and me who is 5’5″ cannot see what her snoot has picked up while she is walking with us. So the muzzle. Anyway, the seeds finally passed and they were from a tree in our backyard. Hundreds of them lined our sidewalk. Solution? CUT the tree down. AND the one beside it that also had bigger seeds. Another 1500.00. So, 2500.00 later Ellie is still trying to grab anything and everything that she can. And before I forget, last weekend she ate a CD case.
    Now, I know this is not her fault. Not a dog out there that won’t get into some kind of trouble if trouble presents itself on a silver platter. After all, if someone handed you a plate with a big juicy steak, wouldn’t YOU eat it? That is basically what humans do to pets. They just “present” little gifts to puppies and dogs too, at least that is what the dog/puppy thinks. “hey, look here, this must be mine! It is where I can get it, no one has put it up where I can’t get it, and it smells like my human, so YES, let me just clamp down on this little whatever and have me a big ole’ chewing fest.”
    We still have issues, will probably have them for a long time with Ellie Bellie, she is so loving and so darn cute, and OMG can she jump! If she sees something on a table 4 feet from the sofa which is theirs in the sunroom, she does not hesitate to launch herself and grab it.
    WE, the owner of the dog, HAVE to be the parent of the dog. If you don’t want your child chewing, swallowing, digging, peeing and pooping in the house, then why do we think it is OK for our pets to do this, and think it is just a puppy phase? In reality, a child will grow up with the same habits he has in childhood, good or bad, it is up to us to make sure he/she carries the good ones with him into adulthood. Our dogs,,to us, are our kids, so rearing them is no different. Manners are manners. And yes, I too have the spy thing going. Any time it is quiet in my house, something is going on in the puppy dept,. And when I can’t watch her, in her crate she goes, with a cow hoof, (hated them in the beginning, (me) but now they are my saving grace.
    Good luck with “training” your husband. Mine is trained, was trained before we met, so he understands if you don’t want to lose it to a 5 lb furball, PUT IT UP OUT OF THE WAY, LOL!!


    Michelle Reply:

    Be careful with those cow hoofs. We thought they were fine for dogs to chew on, but our dog (admittedly larger than yours) was eating them and swallowing the pieces. We had a very expensive trip to the emergency vet with him when there were large pieces of cow hoofs he couldn’t pass.


  2. ben keskum says:

    jst wan 2 knw wen is a dog consider an adult,at wat month is a dog called an dog is nine month and stll sheads hair is it normal?


    Minette Reply:

    All dogs shed to some degree and it depends on the breed as to when they are considered “adults”.


  3. Josephine Little Sun says:

    I have 2 8 month old pups, both rescues and brothers, 1 is blind, crippled and has a minor cleft palate. The other one is the seeing eye dog for his brother but, what a hellion he can be! We keep them in the laundry room at night and during the day when we are at work. Someone, not sure which, is chewing holes in the drywall of the laundry room wall. Little holes, but still will require some extensive, we sprinkled it with hot sauce….they leave that hole alone and make a new one….ugh! How to fix? Haven’t figured it out yet but I always give them a chewie stick or rawhide knot to busy themselves and another wall hole invariably appears anyway. Ok, so outside we go….which now the fenced in backyard has a million little holes we are digging….ugh again! We fill in the holes, when we are outside we say NO! and redirect to chase a toy…which reminds me…all toys are shredded within days. Even nice fluffy beds we put in with them are holey and stuffing pulled out everywhere as is the cushions to our outside padded chairs. My husband is getting weary of the holes and mess. They are playful and loving and housebroken easily but this chewing up of everything is a concern…any advice??


    Minette Reply:

    They need more exercise, and they should be crated separately so that they can become more independent and not risk serious injury from eating things they shouldn’t


  4. Patti says:

    I have an 11 week old Shih-Tzu who chews on me. My nose, my chin, my hands and arms. He has chew toys that he plays with but every time I pick him up he thinks that I am his giant chew toy. HELP!


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