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31 Mar 2006

WHAT DO I DO WITH MY BULLDOG?
Jody moved in with us when he was 10 weeks old.
He is a gorgeous animal - thoroughbred with the cutest face imaginable.
He is 6 months old and destroys everything... He sleeps in his own room, adjacent to the house but with the door open. I would however prefer him to be a domesticated pet but when he start chewing my Persian Carpets, my antique furniture, my brand new kitchen utensils, etc. there's only one way and that's right out of the back door.
He receives a lot of attention, goes for an occasional walk, have stacks of toys - yet, whenever he really gets out of hand, and I put him outside, he makes use of the moment either ignoring us or getting hold of a doormat and chewing it to pieces.
His bedding... needs to be replaced once again.
Am I just too harsh with the 'young man' or is he trying to be the dominant figure in and around the house?
Answer 354 views
Expert
CyberVet
cybervet

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

He is being a normal pup, but you can adjust it to suit you. He needs walks everyday. Dogs bestroy things for various reasons. Loniliness, boredom, frustration. You need to stimulate his brain. Leaving toys out for him 24/7 is not a solution. They get bored with the same old toys day in and day out. You need to alternate the toys, walk everyday, etc. Contact me on candice.dv@absamail.co.za if you need any further info.

Some info on destructiveness and digging:

Good luck

Regards
CDV

ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT

Excessive digging, barking and chewing in dogs are often the result of an under stimulating environment in which the dog experiences boredom and frustration. All of these behaviours are part of the normal behavioural repertoire of dogs - sometimes however, it becomes excessive and is no longer acceptable. There are measures that can be taken to prevent normal behaviour from becoming problem behaviour and also to deal with a problem that already exists. Anxiety often also plays a role in problem behaviour and will then require additional measures such as behaviour modification and medication. This would necessitate a consultation with a professional behaviour practitioner.

Oral stimulation
Chewing is a basic need of dogs. Provide a variety of toys - rawhide chews, cow hooves, Kongs, Buster cubes, Pedigree toys (quadra toy, saturn ring, kinked ring, frameball), squeaky toys, rope toys. Always consider the quality and safety of a toy - rope toys must be removed before they become too stringy and the dog could ingest the individual strings.

Rotate toys on an unpredictable basis so that they retain their value to the dog. Ensure that kid’s toys and dog’s toys are kept separate (and keep socks and underwear out of the way!). Make dog toys really attractive with peanut butter or cheese spread. Don’t even give old shoes to chew on - they simply learn that all shoes are chew toys.

Visual stimulation
Enable the dog to see human and other activity - a good view through palisade fencing is more interesting than walls all round. Visual access to activity within the home is also stimulating. An easily bored dog between four walls would really appreciate a jungle gym on which to climb in order to survey the happenings outside!

Olfactory (smell) stimulation
Dogs enjoy exploring smells far more than we can imagine. The easiest way to provide this is the traditional daily walk. This enables the dog to pick up all the smells left by other living beings. You could even hid interesting-smelling objects in your garden to keep your dog’s olfactory needs stimulated.

Physical stimulation
Dogs have lots of energy to use up - it’s up to you to channel this in a positive direction! Play games with your dog, but don’t allow rough play and don’t allow mouthing of human body parts - play with a toy. Some dogs have more energy than their owners and need to be allowed to run off lead. Do this only in a very safe environment and once you are very sure that your dog’s respond to the recall is consistent.

Digging
Many dogs dig because they are genetically programmed to do so. Dogs also often dig for thermal regulation - in the heat the soil provides a cooling effect and in the cold it warms them up. Consider providing an attractive sandpit. Make other areas inaccessible with thorny branches, aluminium foil, citronella oil or temporary fencing until the dog has become conditioned to digging only in the designated area.


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