Aggressive Chewing

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Member Since
Barked: Sat Feb 16, '13 12:17pm PST 
Our dog is 3 and we adopted him 6 weeks ago and after 3 weeks while we are home he started ripping apart pillows and sofa pillows. Any suggestions on how to stop.

Member Since
Barked: Mon Mar 25, '13 8:45am PST 
Coonhounds love to nest. Chances are good that if he is tearing apart pillows while unsupervised, he is nesting obsessively rather than just chewing them up out of boredom, although tearing up pillows can be fun if you're home alone and bored, so giving him other things to do while you're out could help.

Mine do most of their nesting by digging, but they do use their mouths as well, and are dopey enough to stand on blankets while trying to move them, resulting in rips and tears in the more delicate items. They whimper and carry on most passionately while rearranging blankets, pillows, dirty laundry, and whatever else they can get hold of. Offering them some bedding materials that can stand up to this behavior is helpful--old towels, discarded t-shirts, etc. Mine have a bunch of rags on the bottom of the closet floor that they are allowed to use for this purpose.

Mine are fairly gentle with the pillows after being told to stop for years, but you need to temporarily manage the problem by keeping him away from pillows until he catches on. Put the pillows in a closed closet, close the bedroom and living room doors, or put the hound in a crate while you are out!

When home, if he starts to dig or chew on pillows, reprimand and then distract. A water pistol or squirt bottle may help with reprimands. Ask him to SIT or DOWN or some other easy command that he'll pay attention to. If he quits the obsessive nesting and lies down, praise him and pet him.

An older calmer dog is the best teacher for this kind of thing, but he will learn...

Energizer Bunny
Barked: Mon Jul 8, '13 3:18pm PST 
That sounds like my dog. I have an old bedspread on top of my bed and when she likes to sleep with me, and she likes to dig at the bedspread (I'll try to cover it with an outer blanket to protect it). She's ripped it open and taken some of the stuffing out. I know coonhounds can be destructive if they're bored, but maybe you've got something there about the nesting. She really does love to nest. She's also very young, she's only going to be 2 years old in a few months. She has calmed quite a bit from last year though, I guess she is maturing. She still likes to rip up her toys sometimes though, and take the stuffing out of them. There are a few that she respects, hoping that will last. LOL