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Old 11-10-2012, 02:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Carpet Eater

I have a puppy doberman (8 months)who seems to think that berber carpet is the most fun toy in the house. He has just started doing this and I got him at 4 months old. He has torn from just a 4 inch run (in several places) in my basement to a 3 ft run 3 inches wide in my living room. I bought a rug to cover it and he tore it apart in just a few mintues while I was changing clothes. All of this happens when I am home and if I don't keep an eye on him at all times, he does this. How do I stop this? I don't hit my dogs, I have tried bitter spray but he just goes to a new spot.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Does he have other, more yummy things to chew on? Pretty sure my Riley boy would prefer a bully stick to carpet any day! But other than that, is your pup getting enough mental stimulation and exercise? When my boy was 2-3 months old he'd try to nip at the carpet, but I was always there to catch him and stop him, redirecting him to a toy or chew... when you can't watch him, I'd say put him somewhere he can't get into that sort of trouble. Eventually if you stop it/redirect him every single time, and never allow him the chance to do it behind you back, he should forget about it.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I take him on several long walks a day, he has plenty of toys, I replace them as he destroys them. I also use the Kong treat toys. I know he is in the chewing stage, but I am afraid to keep my eyes off him for one mintue. What is a bully stick? Do you have a link? I think for the past week, with me keeping him in sight has worked, he didn't eat the new rug I bought.
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Bully sticks can be found at most pet supply stores or online. They are basically dried up bull pizzle. I use the 30" ones, but 12" are good too at this age if you don't know if your dog will like them yet. I find they last a good while and if the dog accidentally swallows a large chunk, they digest fine, unlike rawhide. I also use elk antlers (cheaper and larger online than in stores that rip you off). Knuckle bones and other smoked bones (though, I make the dog stay on an old blanket if they are chewing on those indoors, since they are messy, and those need supervision).

You say your pup destroys his toys a lot? Do you have any "Tuffy" plush toys? My boy destroys most plushies very quickly, but he has yet to destroy the Tuffy I got him, and he still likes to play with it.

Just throwing out ideas here.

Edit: Links...

Bully Sticks
Tuffy Gear Ring
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Old 11-10-2012, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You are gonna have to do whatever you have to do to prevent this. Eating the textile part of carpeting generally only makes for festive poop. The sisal backing, however, is very dangerous... I have heard it compared to steel wool with regard to it's ability to damage the intestinal tract.

I would not be taking my eye off this boy for even a second until you fix this. I might address it by using an e-collar and giving a small tap the instant his mouth touches the carpet. I might address it by taking him by the collar without word or ceremony and putting him in a crate or time-out room for five or ten minutes for his mouth touching the carpet. If you can do it without his knowing it's coming, you can peg him in the butt or peg the floor behind him with a penny can and try to startle the crap out of him. You will probably have to set him up... I enjoy spying around corners with those little angled dental mirrors.

You might pay attention to what happens prior to his going after the carpet. If he has made a bunch of attempts to get your attention when you're busy with this or that, he may have figured out that you HAVE to address the carpet dealie and may be using this to make you engage with him when he's bored... I would suggest banishment for this. A friend of mine uses obedience drills in this context... "Oh! You wanted some attention? Fine! Sit! Down! Sit! Down! Sit! Down! Sit! Down! Did you want any MORE attention???"

If for any reason this pup will be left both uncrated and unsupervised for any period of time (which I do NOT suggest!), I would have him wear a basket muzzle.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you for all your suggestions. I will be trying them today. I do not leave him unsupervised, he is crated if I have to leave or shower. I DO think it is response to boredom and he has found this activity fun. Since all of my carpet is berber all he as to do is snag it and then start shaking his head to have it come up in long runs.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I get my bully sticks at Best Bully Sticks, they have 'monster' size available right now (link below). You won't find that size in the store at that price, bully sticks are pretty expensive. You can also get 'odor' free ones if the smell bothers you (it doesn't bother me, and I don't like to think about what type of processing they do to them to make they odor free)

12 Inch Monster Bully Sticks | Bully Sticks

In my experience, puppies need both physical AND mental exercise every day if we want to set them up for success (e.g. to not destroy our house, annoy our adult Dobermans who've had just.about.enough. of their shenanigans!). At 4 months of age, I found it mandatory to do training every day; usually two short sessions on the days I had to drive into work, and 5 or 6 or even more sessions on days I didn't drive in to work. These sessions were between 5 and 15 minutes long. All done with positive training methods.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmctaq View Post
You are gonna have to do whatever you have to do to prevent this. Eating the textile part of carpeting generally only makes for festive poop. The sisal backing, however, is very dangerous... I have heard it compared to steel wool with regard to it's ability to damage the intestinal tract.

I would not be taking my eye off this boy for even a second until you fix this. I might address it by using an e-collar and giving a small tap the instant his mouth touches the carpet. I might address it by taking him by the collar without word or ceremony and putting him in a crate or time-out room for five or ten minutes for his mouth touching the carpet. If you can do it without his knowing it's coming, you can peg him in the butt or peg the floor behind him with a penny can and try to startle the crap out of him. You will probably have to set him up... I enjoy spying around corners with those little angled dental mirrors.

You might pay attention to what happens prior to his going after the carpet. If he has made a bunch of attempts to get your attention when you're busy with this or that, he may have figured out that you HAVE to address the carpet dealie and may be using this to make you engage with him when he's bored... I would suggest banishment for this. A friend of mine uses obedience drills in this context... "Oh! You wanted some attention? Fine! Sit! Down! Sit! Down! Sit! Down! Sit! Down! Did you want any MORE attention???"

If for any reason this pup will be left both uncrated and unsupervised for any period of time (which I do NOT suggest!), I would have him wear a basket muzzle.
FYI, the textile part, especially in Berber carpets (because of the long strands), can be extremely dangerous and lead to intussusception if ingested.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tnh317 View Post
FYI, the textile part, especially in Berber carpets (because of the long strands), can be extremely dangerous and lead to intussusception if ingested.
Point taken, and thanks for the correction. I have only lived with plushy carpet, and actually had to look up "Berber" LOL!
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank goodness he is not actually EATING the carpet, he just likes to play with it. I do try to keep him busy and active because he is driving his adult half sister nuts. I have taught her to walk on the treadmill because of how many rainy days we get here. That limits walks and turns our backyard into a swamp. I tried to introduce him to the treadmill and he freaked out, knocked me down and badly bruised my knee (on crutches for several days) I would like to get him on the tread mill but now he avoids it like the plague even if his beloved sister is on it. Any suggestions on how to help him overcome his fear? BTW, you guys have been awesome and I so appreciate it. These two dobies are the first I have ever owned and are very different than any other dog I have ever owned.
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