My dog is addicted to chewing plastic and cords. He's eaten two cell phones. LOVES bitter apple. Help!

He's a 7-month-old border collie. He has plenty of toys and has been exercised regularly. This morning he managed to pull out a VHS tape just to eat the plastic. I'm worried that he's going to either eat something expensive to replace (well, the BlackBerry kinda was) or he'll end up with emergency surgery.

Asked by Oreo on Aug 2nd 2009 Tagged electricalcords, plastic, cellphones, chewing in Chewing
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Put something in front of him that you know he likes to chew. Have him on a leash inside and have a pouch of super yummy, soft treats ready. When he reaches towards the plastic object, tell him "leave it", gently hold his leash so he can't get to it and have him sit. When he sits, give him a treat. Do it again and when you say "leave it" and he looks at you, treat and lavish him with praise. It could take 10 times doing that until he even glances at you. You're going to have to do that for a few weeks a few times a day to break him of his habit. He will learn that he can't chew on things that aren't his toys. Don't yell though. Keep your voice calm and assertive. If you start yelling, he'll amp up and you'll get no where.
He's a smart breed, so you shouldn't have too much of a problem teaching him "leave it".

Member 768404 answered on 8/2/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Damaged possessions are the fault of whoever was watching the puppy. When you are watching it, immediately correct it as soon as it goes for anything except its own toys. In a quiet, but firm voice give it an ''Ah, ah, ah!''. Gently remove what ever and replace it with one of her toys, or if older, hold eye contact until the puppy drops it.

Other dogs may not be as bad as the young Labs I am plagued with. Still your house and dog will be much safer with the dog in a crate when you are away. The dog may be happier in its den than loose in the house. It relaxes, it feels safe in its den. It rests, the body slows down reducing the need for water and relieving its self. Dogs that have been crated all along do very well. Many of them will rest in their crates even when the door is open. I think the plastic ones give the dog more of a safe, enclosed den feeling. They are harder for dogs to open too. Metal ones can be put in a corner or covered with something the dog can't pull in and chew. Select a crate just big enough for the full grown dog to stretch out in.

Leave it some toys. Perhaps a Kong filled with peanut butter. Don't leave anything in the crate the dog might chew up. It will do fine without even any bedding. You will come home to a safe dog and a house you can enjoy.

A dog that has not been crated since it was little, make take some work. Start out just putting its toys and treats in the crate. Praise it for going in. If you have been able to trust it with any bedding, put that in the crate. Feed it in the crate. This is also an easy way to maintain order at feeding time for more than one dog.

Tux answered on 8/2/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


The 1st thing they tell you in any "Before you bring you puppy home" book or in a puppy training class is "PUPPY-PROOF your house!!! The rule of thumb is: If they can reach it, they will chew it!!!

Next, Watch your dog ALL of the time. and when he reachs toward an object you dont want him to touch, correct him and tell him "NO - Leave It", If you need a leash, by all means, use one. A small to medium correction should work fine depending on the personality of the dog.

If you cant watch the dog, put him in a crate while you are not watching. Be sure to provide some high quality chew toys like a Kong, a nyla-bone or alike.

The key to stopping unwanted chewing is to be calm, consistant and patient. You have to "out will" the dog or he wins, and your house could be eaten in a very short time.

You dont need to be mean or dominating, just be firm, consistant and fair.

Neka answered on 8/2/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


yes, I would puppy proof the entire house. If it is not to be chewed it must be put up.
Also, buy a large crate to put him in if you can not watch him every sec.
I would buy him a black kong to chew on.
You can stuff them with peanut butter.
This breed needs continual exercise, they do not make the best house dog. They love to run and herd, in the boredom stages they can be very destructive.

Dieta answered on 8/3/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Border collies need more than exercise. If they aren't trained and have Very Important Jobs to do daily they will find their own Very Important Job and you won't like it.

Since he is currently mouthy train him to bring you stuff. Teach him the names of some of his toys and only play with the toy he fetches by name once he knows the names. He can pick up socks for you. He can put his own toys away and pick up trash around the house.

I figure if a dog is doing something, he needs to do it and plan a safe way for it to happen. For chewing up plastic try having him rip up cardboard in a good tug game then have him help you clean up.

Sassy answered on 8/3/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


I have to laugh a little, (with you I swear), we have a 7 month old Border Collie/German Shepherd mix, so I am in the same boat.
The only solution was intervention at an early age. I hope it's not too late. Borders will take negative attention over none at all. Start a family campaign of encouraging him to chew approved toys and all must swear to not react when he gets something else.
Exercise, you say regularly, but is it enough? My Pepper can go for 4 miles and still be full of beans. We keep her busy all day. Training and strict disipline (down/stay) are important.
Most important of all. Never leave the dog unsupervised unless he is in his crate.

Snickers answered on 8/3/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Puppy proof da' house!....Trust me....lol!

Member 73926 answered on 8/3/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer