Chewbacca


Here's our problem: our Border Collie is a chewer. When he was a pup, he did it because he was teething. But at 2 1/2 years, he still does it -- though less frequently. After speaking with our vet, and fellow dog owners, we tried the usual approaches. We gave him plenty of toys, we exercise him all the time (summer and winter), and we give him plenty of love and attention. When we catch him chewing, we've put him on his back and said "NO!", taken out the "Bitter Apple" and sprayed the item and a little on his tongue. Unfortunately, he will then be a "good boy" for a period of a few weeks or months, and then returns to the behavior. Can you advise us how to curtail his chewing?


I'm assuming that the Bitter Apple works when used.

Otherwise, if this only happens occassionally, there are few things you can do about it. Remember, a bored Border Collie is a destructive Border Collie. The only 2 ways to ensure that there is no chewing ever is 1) to ensure that he is never bored. Any exceptions and you'll pay the price. 2) crate him when you're gone or cannot supervise him. A crated dog can't chew up the house. They are godsends for some of the more "mouthy" rescues.

Also provide lots of acceptable chewing things - chewies, bones, toys, whatever. Dogs are very oral and appear to need to chew to remain sane. Without acceptable alternatives, he'll turn to the next best thing. Your floor might have to be littered with chewable items (mine is).

The dog also needs to know it's wrong. If caught, a "no" needs to be given. You seem to be doing just fine on that point.

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