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Dog Chewing Up Cat's Toys

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Animals' started by TobiDaDog, Aug 24, 2018.

  1. TobiDaDog

    TobiDaDog Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Aug 7, 2018
    **Long rant ahead beware**
    Ugh! My dog is driving me crazy. I've been trying to have patience with her because I know she's had a lot of life changes lately but darn it's hard.
    Sydney a 6 year old lab-ish mix, well out of her teething, puppy chewing stage. She has her own toys. I even bought her some new ones that she likes! And yet...and yet.
    She's been misbehaving so much lately.

    Really ever since her lifelong companion passed away earlier this year. She's normally a very obedient dog, very well trained. I've prided myself on having trained her myself to be patient and well mannered, quick to listen. When our other dog died, she started acting out. Stealing food off of plates, running away, disobeying commands...just being a general nuisance. It's understandable in a way. Her whole world got turned upside down when her best friend passed on. But that doesn't mean I'm gonna put up with it! It's been a battle of wills to get her to behave. She was just beginning to settle back down when along came little Reese.

    When 2 month old Reese moved into the house, Sydney was very upset. She chased the kitten and barked at her, demanded attention of her own, and sometimes even cornered Reese a few times. Reese held her own and scratched Syd's nose a few times and between that and being scolded by the humans of the house she gave up on that within about 3 weeks.

    But now, all of a sudden, she's decided that anything, anything that Reese interacts with on a regular basis must be destroyed. Dishes, toys, scratchers, you name it. If Reese touches it, it's in pieces by the next day. I even caught her taking a toy right out of the kitten's paws to rip it to shreds.

    We have an older cat and she's NEVER done this with his stuff. She loves him. They even snuggle on a regular basis.

    It definitely appears that it's because of Reese. And no amount of scolding or catching her in the act has changed a THING at this point! I'm at my wit's end. She's destroyed about $100 worth of the kitten's stuff at this point.

  2. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    Apr 8, 2016
    She's stressed from the death of her friend (sorry for your loss as well, it's so hard to lose them), and stressed by a new kitten that looked like prey with carpet knives in his feet that slashed her nose up a little, and is stressed because YOU'RE stressed with her.
    No finger pointing here, just laying out my idea from the general tone. =)
    It sounds like a stressful situation alright, and I'm not against scolding or punishing a dog caught in the act but it doesn't seem like it's working and is making you both feel worse.
    If she were mine, I'd dry erase everything she used to know and start over, and pretend like she's a brand new dog that knows nothing. The training will go much faster this time, because it's "there", it's just not "in use", if that makes sense. You might find this alone helps, give her a refresher. If you can't watch her, give her a food puzzle toy or something to chew on (if she likes that stuff), and when you're doing things around the house, leash her to you and engage her with conversation, rewards when she engages back (eye contact, etc). End each session and each day with a "good girl", even if it's preceded with "Today you made me want to scream...but you're a (good girl)"!
    I have a cat here driving me crazy. Someone must have given him a few red bulls because he's been pestering me, pestering the other cats, pestering the dogs, scratching the furniture...all things he never does. If I get it in my head that he's a really annoying cat that I'm starting to not like, that thought can take seed and make it a reality. Something I don't want, and something you don't want, either!
    How often do you actively work with her and train with her on a normal day? How much exercise does she get (not a walk, but hard running)? How much one on one time in the form of those exercises and training does she get with you?

  3. TobiDaDog

    TobiDaDog Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Aug 7, 2018
    Thanks. She can't hard run. She has a capacity of about a mile before she's exhausted. When she was a pup, before I adopted her at about 6 months, she was injured (mysteriously, not even her owners know what happened) and she snapped the ball of her hip. It was removed. She's given morning walks, but she has her limits.
    I try to go through her commands and tricks a few times a week if I can. She knows basic commands as well as spinning circles on command, shaking paws, ringing a bell, etc. 'Fun' stuff.
    We're also really hesitant to give her any kind of bones or chews because a few years ago she got a rawhide lodged in her throat and almost choked to death. We haven't touched those horrible things since and we advise against them, and any other chew, even real bones, make us nervous!
    I haven't tried leashing her and leading her around with me. I will try that!
    1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  4. 1 bruce 1

    1 bruce 1 TCS Member Top Cat

    Apr 8, 2016
    Oh, ouch! That injury does sound bad. =(
    I completely understand her limitations. Walks, in her case, are very good.
    I don't feed rawhide and don't recommend it for the very reason you said! I'm happy with real bones but only if supervised, and you need to know their chewing style. The dogs here that chew slowly and seem to "savor" are fine, dogs like the living buzz-saw at my feet that thinks he could power through a mountain with his jaws don't get chew bones.
    Does she like treats and food in general? Google food puzzle toys for dogs. There's a lot out there and they're really not too expensive (a few are, but most are 15-25 USD). If she's fed kibble and is excited about meal times, part of her meal could be put in this to make her think a little.

    Leash her to you, but don't forget to engage. The goal is for her to basically seek you out. If you do punish her, do it very quietly. Make it awkward for her. Keep words like "NO" to a minimum if you can, manage her environment so it's very hard or impossible for her to be bad.
    Think of a kid who has a parent that shouts "STOP THAT" at their kid 30, 40, 50 times a day. The kid ignores them, tunes them out. It's noise. The kid that is shown what to do and given a good "'atta boy/girl" won't be hearing "STOP THAT" or "NO" all the time, and when they DO hear it, 99% of the time they stop in their tracks.

  5. TobiDaDog

    TobiDaDog Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

    Aug 7, 2018
    Nothing so far has worked. She gets a walk in the morning. ShesS been given new toys. She's been praised endlessly for playing with HER things..I've tried to reinforce her tricks and training and she's doing well, but every time my back is turned she has destroyed a toy that Reese likes. And ONLY the ones Reese likes. I have toys that Reese hasn't touched in 2 months that Sydney hasn't even glanced at.
    But if Reese plays with it enough, you can be rest assured that Sydney will tear it to shreds.

    I recently made a set of 6 or 7 toys out of felt for Reese and Sydney has only gone after the favorites. Yet there was an octopus in the set that Reese didn't touch for two weeks. The octopus survived...until Reese suddenly decided that she liked it. Within a day of her running around with this toy in her mouth it was in ribbons.

    I'm still watching her take toys right out of Reese's mouth to destroy. Quietly. If she realizes that I'm there she drops it and runs. I don't even have to make a sound.

    I try not to appear frustrated with her but I feel like I'm tossing money right into the garbage!

  6. sabrinah

    sabrinah TCS Member Super Cat

    Jun 6, 2016
    I agree with keeping her leashed to you and treating her like a new dog. If she's always within a few feet of you there's limited amount of trouble she can get in. When my dog is stuck going through a stressful period and turns into a monster, I keep him on a drag line or training tab constantly so I can correct behaviors immediately. Within a couple days he settles back in and the tabs and lines get put away. I'll also bring a blanket or something into every room I go to and have him lay down and chew a bone. If he's right there he's not being a problem child. Once he remembers how to be a good boy he can do whatever he wants (within reason).

    With chews the only things I'm comfortable with are Nylabone (Durachew), benebone, bully sticks, and raw bones. Cooked bones and rawhide are just too dangerous.

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