Chewing The Fat

Life of RileyDear Bo,

Um :oops: apparently I am a chewer. I am fine in the house when mom and dad are home…I only chew my own toys and chewy’s…however if they leave me out when they leave….I will chew my bed…corners of rugs…well you name it really…why?! and how do we correct this behavior? I know I am being naughty…because when mom gets home I go right to time out :oops: I am never left for long periods of time..

Help!! mom does not want me to have to be crated forever!! I am just over a year old…

Dear Riley ,

I’ve been there, done that. I used to love chewing on the legs of our couch when my parents left me alone. After doing that for a while I upgraded to chewing on the stair treads leading up to the second floor and if I was really looking for a treat, I’d chew on the carpet. Sure it sounds fun and exciting, but in reality it was just my way of dealing with my loneliness.

This problem is typically caused by one of four things, a) the fore mentioned loneliness, b) pent up energy due to lack of exercise c) lack of mental stimulation or d) the taste of furniture is just too darn good. Based upon your question and supply of toys, I suspect a) loneliness is your issue.

So how does your mother stop you from doing this? Well she already knows the answer…it’s to crate you. Owners need to know that crating isn’t mean or harmful. Quite the contrary, it’s our safe place, our bat cave, that we like to retreat to. That doesn’t mean we like to be crated all day and night.

If your mother has a desire to let you roam free here are some additional thoughts to minimize the pain. I’d highlight two areas that I think are important from the article.

One, limit the space you’re allowed to roam in. Typically this is an area where you can do the least amount of damage. Of course if your owner is obtuse and puts you in the room where he keeps his collectible baseball card collection on the floor, it’s his fault if said collection becomes worthless.

And two, set the ambush. Let’s face it, when mom gets home and she disciplines you, you’re not even sure why you are getting put into time out. She needs to catch you in the act. I know my father used to make believe he left the house, but was actually hiding on me. As soon as I’d start biting on a piece of furniture, he’d blink in on the scene like Jeannie and correct my behavior. Sure it didn’t work for him, but I’ve heard this ‘stalking’ technique has done wonders for others.

Good luck and happy chewing,



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