|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...
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