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D2010-13


Dear Daisy Dog

Molly, our 1-year-old spayed female English sheepdog-Bouvier mix, chews everything in sight. She ruined all her toys as well as our slippers and the comforters. Outside, she munches on plants and tree limbs. How can we stop her destructive chewing?

Daisy Responds

English sheepdogs and Bouviers were bred for herding, so Molly’s genetic heritage gives her the desire and stamina to remain active throughout the day -– and the intelligence to get into trouble when she can’t.

Therefore your first step in curbing her destructive chewing is to exercise her enough to tire her. Walk her at least twice daily, and throw balls if she likes to retrieve. If that’s impractical, drop her at doggy day care on your way to work.

Living with an Irish wolfhound, I’ve come to believe the old adage that a tired dog is a good dog.

Next, sign up for obedience training, and keep at it for at least a few years. Obedience training helps resolve a myriad of behavior problems.

Then engage Molly’s brain through obedience or agility competitions, therapy dog training or another activity.

Until she’s trustworthy, confine her to a crate when you can’t supervise her. I love my own quiet, safe den of a crate, and I’m sure Molly will treasure hers too.

Finally, stow your slippers in the closet, and offer Molly sturdy chew toys, such as blue Kongs.

 

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