Boston Terrier That Likes To Chew

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by dtomasetti, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. dtomasetti New Member

    I have a 7 year old Boston Terrier that still likes to chew small things such as phones, TV remotes, toys, etc. It seems she does it for attention since she generally does not do any of this while we are gone during the day. Its as if its a game for her, however the problem is that she has ruined so many things. I've tried to remind my kids not to leave things around that she might ruin, but we all know how that goes. They are still kids. And we all forget. I've tried to ignore it, but can't stomach losing various items to my dog! When she has something in her mouth, she's almost impossible to catch so we end up chasing her until we can trap her. I know its not a good dynamic. We've never figured out anything that will work. Any suggestions?

  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Sounds like you've got quite the circus there - kids (or, well, whole family) leave things around, dog grabs them and runs, family chases dog - it's loads of fun!! (for the dog). First thing - you (meaning, the whole family) must make a huge effort to not leave phones, remotes, etc, sitting around where the dog can grab them. At the same time, start daily training sessions with your dog on "leave it". When your Boston 'leaves' something, he gets highly rewarded. No more just chasing him - cuz that's all fun and games. Work on "leave it" - meaning, he leaves it, he gets rewarded (with something really high value, it's gotta trump whatever he's leaving behind). And if he does happen to make off with the remote, when he gives it up, make sure he's trading for something better - chicken, hot dogs, cheese, something good. Don't think of it as rewarding him for stealing the remote, think of it as rewarding him for trading you (the remote for the chicken). Once he has a grasp on "leave it", you can use the command "leave it" whenever you see him about to grab something he shouldn't - but be sure to reward him well when he does (leave it). You want 'leaving it' to be worth his while. And have patience for a while - it sounds like he's had 7 yrs to practice, this isn't going to stop overnight. With hard work tho, and a strong "leave it", you'll see a huge difference.
    southerngirl, Dogster and MaryK like this.
  3. MaryK Honored Member

    Jackie is absolutely right in everything she has said, excellent post! Just one other thing. Does your dog have any of her own toys? She wants to play with you, so having her own toys, like a tug means she can interact with all of you and not be so interested in taking things which are not hers to take.
    southerngirl and Dogster like this.
  4. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Great point, Mary - you're absolutely right. I had responded after all day at work and then a dog class :confused::LOL:. If Boston grabs a phone, ask for it in trade with *preferably* a favorite (or soon to be, anyway) tug or play toy, reward that she gave it to you with a great game of tug, ball, just a huge party for her. Make that game with that special toy be much more fun than the game of chase with the remote in her mouth. Most likely she's trying to get someone to play with her since she's not doing it when no one's home. If you don't have regular play sessions with her, make that a point. I know sometimes with kids and hectic schedules, even 5 min play sessions with the dog can tend to fall by the wayside. Squeeze in even a couple 5 min play sessions each day for just her - and you may find her not running off so much with things that aren't hers.

    And my apologies for calling her "him" in my last post, I goofed. :confused:
    MaryK, southerngirl and Dogster like this.
  5. dtomasetti New Member

  6. dtomasetti New Member

    No worries about the he/she...

    We used to do "leave it" consistently a long time ago (when I took her for training a few years ago. After a I while, though, I felt like she learned that if she stole something of ours she would get a treat and felt that it was counterproductive (that she wanted to steal our stuff just to get a treat). Do you think if I stuck with it, possibly she'd learn what "leave it" means w/o the treat? I can always get an item back with a treat and we do say, "leave it" - just not consistently.
    MaryK likes this.
  7. MaryK Honored Member

    No, she doesn't steal to get the treat, that's the 'old school' training. Definitely re-start training with the leave and click/treat and be consistent! Dogs learn from consistent behavior and it must be from ALL the family. I know it's harder to train family than the dogs, have that problem myself with my partner, but do get them to work with you on the leave.:)

    Then when you feel she's 'got it' gradually phase out the rewards. Don't just immediately stop giving her treats for being a good girl and leaving something, and even after when you've phased out treats, doesn't hurt to occasionally give her one just to let her know she's being a good girl.

    You could also substitute treats (food ones) with her toys once she's got it and give her a little play, so she doesn't feel she's loosing something by giving it to you.
    jackienmutts likes this.
  8. Emily Marston Well-Known Member

    Try giving her dog chews like pigs ears and other chewy treats. Or, if you have some money to spare, buy a dog KONG and fill it with cheese, peanut butter and other treats. This will definitely keep her busy for at least 15 mins! Hope this helps!!
    Dogster and MaryK like this.

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