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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just about 18 months ago, my wife and I rescued a boxer pup that was about 6 months old. This dog is all heart and no brains. He gets tons of attention from my wife and I but at times I want to kill this dog.

If we don't give him 100% of our attention, .he will find something that I think he knows he isn't supposed to have and chews it up. Today, I bought my grandaughter a Silver Eagle proof coin and the beast chews up the darn thing. He has chewed up about 6 pairs of spectra sissors. Any advice short of the dog pound?
 

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You got to run that dog or let it run and work off that energy. Take it to an open field and bring a tennis ball/tennis racket and knock away for 3O minutes a day. Attention/affection is super important,but the dog is about 10 years old dog years and just a kid. Keep small item away from his reach. Not sure how a dog can chew up a coin or scissors or even why they are available to him, but the mention of killing him is f'n ridiculous. His behavior is a reflection of what his enviroment is and based on your post you ain't doing your part. Get off your lazy arse and take the dog for a walk hillbilly or take him back to the pound where somebody responsible can care for him properly.
 

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Dogs chew because they're bored. Unfortunately, we (you) can't entertain them 24-7 so you have to accommodate them with other stuff. As others have suggested, lots of different chew toys so he thinks he's getting variety. Rawhides don't last. Nylabones hold up better. If it is chronic with certain items... shoes, garden hose, etc., revulsion therapy can help break them of that habit. I won't go into the details here, since I'm not a licensed trainer (although I worked for one many years ago) and others might not agree with the process...

This post edited by jiggermyster 06/03/2008
 

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My Boxer/Pointer mix is 5 1/2 yo and I am still amazed at that thing's energy. Walk at least once a day, and play time as well. Mine dug, chewed and generally pissed me off- a shock collar really helped, Dogtra is the brand of choice. When the colar goes on, it's business time, and she knows it. We also got her a dog buddy, and that helped alot. Boxers are very nervous, clingy dogs and need to feel included, or they go nuts- and take their frustrations on your stuff. We schooled her, it worked a bit, but the shock collar and the other dog was the ticket. Good news- they are very submissive animals, they just need a leader to give them direction consistantly. Be patient, it really wants to please, it is just a boxer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My son has this dog's litter mate and we, my wife and I, had his brother almost exclusively until he was 6 months old. My son took him with him when he moved out. This brother pup is much more "secure". He needs to be in the room with you but he doesn't crave 100% of your attention like our dog does.

What happened yesterday was I came in from work about 7pm and began opening the mail. In the mail was the proof coin I had purchased for my granddaughter. I opened the package and looked at the coin and case, set it down to go and change clothes. Oscar was with me but left me for no more than 2 minutes. When I went to find him, he had completely destroyed the box and the plastic case that the coin was in. This is the type trouble we have had. I take it as jealousy. I was focused on the mail as soon as I came in and he paid me back.

I live in TN and don't get to fish as much as you guys, so I spend spare time tying various knots so that I am ready when I get my 1 trip a year. This little demon is so sneaky. He will be lying at my feet chewing on a piece of rawhide and he will see me put the spectra sissors down and before I know it, he will have chewed the handles off of them. Fortunately, I buy cheap ones for $3 at Bass Pro.

The troubling part to me is that this dog is so much more insecure than his brother, who we raised for his 1st 6 months. We rescued our pup from a family who left this dog outside almost exclusively for his 1st 6 months.

I do know that he has boundless energy. When I can't / don't walk him, I take him to the back yard and watch him chase squirrels/birds around the yard for at least an hour a day. THis is getting harder to do as we are moving into summer and it gets HOT here in the midsouth, even at night. Last night, it was 85+ but the humidity was sky high. I do like the idea of finding a kid to take him for walks. I may be too old for such a high energy dog.
 

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Structure. Young dogs need two things, a leader and a way to outlet their energy. The leader needs to be consistent, authoratative and attentive. The way you choose to outlet your dogs energy will be determined by your lifestyle. Running, walking, swimming, fetch, treadmills, are all great ways to displace that energy. Remember dogs are designed to run and roam. I'm not on board with anyone else doing the walking or playing, but especially walking. In some instances this will work assuming you have a good system for your time with the dog, but ultimately even play time defines a dogs understanding of its place in the pack.

The truth is all dogs are different and there are lots of possibile reasons for the cause of the unwanted behavior. The dog may not see you as the leader, it may resent you for being authoratative when the rest of the family is not abiding by the same rules you've set, it may need more exercise and less attention. Contrary to popular belief all attention is not good attention when it comes to dogs. Attention, exercise and affection all need to be given in a way the dog understands you set the rules and dictate the behavior. The most important thing is not to rule with an iron fist but to be clear (to the dog, not to humans) and consistent.

Good luck.
 

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jackpotJennings said:
You got to run that dog or let it run and work off that energy. Take it to an open field and bring a tennis ball/tennis racket and knock away for 3O minutes a day. Attention/affection is super important,but the dog is about 10 years old dog years and just a kid. Keep small item away from his reach. Not sure how a dog can chew up a coin or scissors or even why they are available to him, but the mention of killing him is f'n ridiculous. His behavior is a reflection of what his enviroment is and based on your post you ain't doing your part. Get off your lazy arse and take the dog for a walk hillbilly or take him back to the pound where somebody responsible can care for him properly.

That last sentence is a bit harsh. :td: OUCH!
 

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How about some formal obedience training?
A good class will teach you and your dog.
This will help set some boundries about what is acceptable and what is not.
Every thing you learn practice and practice.
 

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Outhouse said:
My son has this dog's litter mate and we, my wife and I, had his brother almost exclusively until he was 6 months old. My son took him with him when he moved out. This brother pup is much more "secure". He needs to be in the room with you but he doesn't crave 100% of your attention like our dog does. What happened yesterday was I came in from work about 7pm and began opening the mail. In the mail was the proof coin I had purchased for my granddaughter. I opened the package and looked at the coin and case, set it down to go and change clothes. Oscar was with me but left me for no more than 2 minutes. When I went to find him, he had completely destroyed the box and the plastic case that the coin was in. This is the type trouble we have had. I take it as jealousy. I was focused on the mail as soon as I came in and he paid me back. I live in TN and don't get to fish as much as you guys, so I spend spare time tying various knots so that I am ready when I get my 1 trip a year. This little demon is so sneaky. He will be lying at my feet chewing on a piece of rawhide and he will see me put the spectra sissors down and before I know it, he will have chewed the handles off of them. Fortunately, I buy cheap ones for $3 at Bass Pro. The troubling part to me is that this dog is so much more insecure than his brother, who we raised for his 1st 6 months. We rescued our pup from a family who left this dog outside almost exclusively for his 1st 6 months. I do know that he has boundless energy. When I can't / don't walk him, I take him to the back yard and watch him chase squirrels/birds around the yard for at least an hour a day. THis is getting harder to do as we are moving into summer and it gets HOT here in the midsouth, even at night. Last night, it was 85+ but the humidity was sky high. I do like the idea of finding a kid to take him for walks. I may be too old for such a high energy dog.
As far as the dogs insecurity, I'd say that has a lot to do with getting him as late as you did. 8 weeks is the standard "appropriate" age for separation from the mother. This is about the time that prime bonding occurs. The dog was taken from what he had come to know as his pack. This is not damage that can't be undone, just an issue that you need to be aware of. IMO this is the main reason for the dogs insecurity and probably anxiety. Again my suggestion would be structure, this dog needs to know that it can count on someone that is consitent. I don't know that your age will have a lot to do with this. As long as you are mobile and can walk a few miles a day, you should be fine. The biggest issue will be to make sure throughout the day the dog has activities that you determine. When he chews something, you give him an approved activity instead and take some time to let the dog understand the prefered behavior is how to get your attention. Remember corrections and reprimands are attention too and the dog may seek your attention in a way you are unable to see. BTW I forgot to mention a great trick I learned from a girlfriend who is a very good trainer. Get yourself an appropriate sized "Kong" "Gong" whatever they are called. Fill it with wet food, peanut butter, basically something sticky and somewhat dense, you could add dry food to the mixture as well. Then stick it in the freezer. Your dog will go nuts chewing and licking to get at the food. Don't let them tear at it or chew on it to the point of destruction. The idea is for them to be able to focus on a positive behavior (eating). Once the dog has completed the activity or has lost focus, remove it.

This post edited by Hithard 06/03/2008
 

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Some thoughts

First, bless you for rescuing the pooch. Bravo.

Second an active dog breed like boxers needs more than just attention. He needs:

1) Exercise. You can do it three (common) ways.

a) If you are a jogger, you can work him into it...but you can't just start him out at 2 miles. Break him in slowly. Once he's in shape, he will be a great companion on your runs. This is the most efficient way, and the dogs love it. They will remind you every day that it's time for their jog. (If you are a world class athlete who is going at 5 minutes a mile, it may not work. Jogging works...but full out running is actually too fast for most breeds.)
b)Take him for walks every day. This means at least 30 minutes, and preferably 45. The faster you can walk, the better it will be. If you can do it morning and evening, even better. (In some big cities, you can hire dog walkers to do it for you. If you don't have that, you can often pay a junior high school kid to help for a moderate fee.)
c)If he has any retrieving instincts, you can throw a tennis ball (or frisbee) for him. There are even devices on the market that will throw the ball farther. WARNING: note that this is like doing wind sprints. The dog will get out of breath quickly, especially in hot weather. My experience is that it's best to limit these sessions to perhaps 10 minutes....but to do them a couple of times a day. Again, START SLOWLY! A link to one type of the tennis ball throwers is here.

2) Chewing. A dog's mouth is his hands. Just like there are people who have to be doing something with their hands, there are dogs that have to be doing something with their mouths. We have had several like this. The BEST solution we've found is something called "NYLABONES". They don't hurt the dog (we've been using them for 2 decades), and the dog seems to think they are special. Our experience says do not get the "gummybone" or "flexibone" type, get the regular nylabone. Here is a link where you can read about them....most dog supply houses (here is a link to one company)carry them. We have dogs of a similar size to a boxer and we get the "giant" size. Both the chicken and ham flavors work well. The others haven't been very successful. They dogs actually chew up the material (and yes, they swallow it) but it is inert and doesn't hurt them. Some of our pups will go through a giant size bone in a month. (NOTE: our opinion--from personal experience, from out many dog colleagues, and from reading research articles---is that things like pigs ears and hoofs, as well as most rawhide toys today are NOT good for pup. The bulk of these materials today are made in the third world, and often contain noxious chemicals. Short term exposure might not hurt much, but long term can. Further, the hoofs/ears etc. have been found to collect in dogs intestines and cause trouble. I therefore would recommend you stay away from these type products.)

A second solution that helps (as long as they have the chewing bone also) is to give the pup something of yours that becomes his own. An old shirt, and old pair of shorts...something. (Don't give it to him clean....give it to him after you've worn it.) You give it to him and watch him. Let him have it for a couple of minutes at first....or until he starts to chew it. If/when he does, take it away, give him the nylabone. Repeat every day, and you will find he can hold it longer. After a while, the clothing becomes like Linus's security blanket. We find that the pup uses it to suck on when they are stressed, but they don't chew it. We have to look around our house and pick up the items before people come over or we get comments like "why is that pair of red boxer shorts on the stairs?". :p

3)Training. Your dog is now in the middle of adolescence. As such, it is his instinct to try and become the leader of the pack. He doesn't mean any harm by it, it's just instinctive. But it's a very bad thing. Human beings MUST be the leaders. We have found that dogs do not care where they are in the pack (after some instruction); they just want to know their position. We typically have 3-4 active retrievers at a time. The pack order is the two humans first, and then we let the pups sort it out among themselves. (We, the pack leaders, insist that they do so nonviolently, and it works.) The dog at the bottom still gets love and attention, and it never seems to be a problem. However, every (and I mean EVERY) male dog we've ever had, at some point between 14 months and 24 months, has decided to test us and see if he could just possibly become the pack leader. When it's made clear to him that he can't, he just says "no problem, fine, ok".

One way to establish the dominance of the people is to train your dog in obedience. If you aren't experienced, then take an obedience class...in fact take several at different levels as your dog learns. WARNING: There are a fair number of lousy dog trainers out there giving useless classes. Ask for references or ask your friends. Did the class help? Did the class teach both the owner and the dog? And make sure you keep the rules in place at home. (No slacking!) Dogs must sit quietly while their food bowl is set down and wait for a release command before eating. (Since food is really important to most canines, this simply excercise really helps.) Dogs have to sit and wait until you open the door. Dogs have to heel when walking, etc. Will they be perfect...nope. But by you demanding that they follow your standards, they learn pack order. (And, I might add, they
actually often learn to love doing obedience training. All ours have.)
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You have a male dog of an active somewhat large breed going thru adolescence. What's happening now is expected. Gain control now, and both of you will enjoy your time together much more.

Good luck, and again, thanks for rescuing the pup.
 

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re: Some thoughts

OT's advice on the training and position in the pack is spot on...I have always had large dogs..akita, german shepards and rottweillers and training for the large breeds is IMO mandatory.... if you do not estabish the rules and train them correctly you will have a major train wreck on your hands. Consistancy, repetition and three daily sessions is critical for the initial training phase. Ownership of a dog is a huge responsibility but the rewards for a well train one is priceless....

This post edited by fishybuzz 06/03/2008
 

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Oh yeah, a couple more things.

You said you might be too old for a pup with so much energy. That could be true, but it's unlikely. As we get older, having the energy around is kinda nice! :)

Also, I meant to mention one other thing that's critical in your situation. PATIENCE! We have a year old ***** who is a complete airhead (despite incredible genetics) at this time. Despite the proper training, etc., despite having the nylabones, despite knowing the pack order, sometimes she just goes nutso and will decide to be a bad citizen. She's chewed up a DVD and it's plastic case (it was, sadly, the one of our LR trip in 2006 made by AC's own Hoss)--not unlike your coin case. She's chewed up a nice leash. Our response is to try and make sure that we don't leave anything accessible, AND to work harder on teaching her. She will come around....but like kids, some dogs are more work than others. Often the problem children turn out to be fantastic. Same is true for pups. Takes patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
re: Oh yeah, a couple more things.

OT thanks for the advice. My son's dog has what I will call bearable high energy. This dog is different. We took him to our Vet last week and he weighs 75+#. This dog never rests when he is out of the kennel. We cannot afford to leave this dog in the house alone and our Vet has urged us to not leave him outside. Our summer time heat is bad. He said boxers are prone to over heating.

When we got him, he was dirty, underfed and, believe it or not, his nose was sunburned. These dogs have very little hair on their noses and his was blistered.

We have had him for 18 months or so. I can say he is better, but you better not turn your back for a minute on him because he will destroy something. He is so athletic, there isn't a counter high enough that he can get on it.

I am not sure who said it, but there is really a conflict between how my wife handles this dog and the way I do it. He knows he can get away with anything with my ol'lady and he knows I won't put up with his crap. Having said that, he is sneaky and will try and pay me back like he did yesterday. Now that I have calmed down a bit, I think chewing up the coin was his way of saying I should have paid attention to him instead of the mail.

I wish the Dog Whisperer where around here, he could then train me and my wife at how to raise this brainless energetic pup.
 

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Fishy and Outhouse

Yes, that would be great. You still have my address? We'd brought it out to watch in prep for the trip. Alas, before we could get to it, airhead decided to munch it. Geez! She's either going to be great, or a total pain in the arse. And her field training is just as inconsistent. Some days she smashes the marks, and some days she couldn't find a chicken if it was 3 feet in front of her. LOL OUTHOUSE: Please reread my first post called "Some thoughts". From experience, I'm convinced that what I said will work as well on an athletic 75lb 1.5year old male boxer, as the ideas have worked on multiple high energy 70lb 1.5 year old male retrievers. We've been doing this for 30 years. (Although you HAVE to get your wife on board. Otherwise, she will be at the bottom of the pack, and that way can be disaster. Not only chewed up coin boxes, but possible bites, etc. You need to make her realize that a dog is not a human. They don't think that way (tho they do think), and they don't respond the same way. Training approaches which would ruin a kid, won't bother a pup at all. There really aren't many "bad dogs" (tho there are a few), but there are a lot of bad owners.)

This post edited by Oldtimer 06/03/2008
 
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