Bad Chewing behavior

Posted by mwellmaker
Apr 25, 2010
We have two 7 month old females (Spayed last month) St Bainard Irish Setter mix - that are really well behaved dogs - at least until last night. I have worked with these dogs since they were 8 weeks old. They are house trained, and until last night, they usually behave well in the house and are agressive in play outside. However, during the night, these two dogs decided to tear the pillows on my couch apart and then to preceeded to rip the leather sofa on one side. They have never done anything like this before and I keep bones and toys for them to chew on. What can I do to break this? Obviously, I was asleep and never heard the first noise from all this during the night, so I couldn't discipline them after the fact. What can I do to help prevent this behavior in the future? I keep my dogs in the house at night for protection.
Posted by KOPCaroline
Aug 22, 2010
Hi mwellmaker,

Was there anything that happened yesterday to egg on this kind of behaviour? Did your dogs not get as much excercise as they usually do? Pent up energy can come out of dogs as bad behaviour, so I'd try to make sure they have opportunity to get it out of themselves during the day!

Sometimes dogs, especially young ones, just get in the mood to destroy something or play with something they normally wouldn't. It just like human children who decide something glass looks good to push around, and break it. My own dog gets in moods sometimes to destroy drink bottles and the underdoor draft protector in the front hall...these are not good play things! You might just have a case of the two pups getting excited and grabbing the first thing near them.

To try and prevent it happening again, be sure to watch what your dogs go for during the day when you're around, and be quick to verbally correct them when they choose inappropriate toys. Its all about setting boundaries, and doing it repeatedly!

I understand wanting the dogs inside at night for protection, but to avoid this kind of thing happening you might consider dog gates or shutting doors to block access to rooms overnight. You can keep them so they can roam the hall and your bedroom, but nowhere else. I think this might be the best bet, since as you said, you don't know what they get up to when you're asleep!

Hopefully this helps, and even more hopefully it was just a random play thing they got into.