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Canine Behavior/Chewing and eating toys and my wooden deck and house!


"Dear Madeline, I have read you biography and I promise to read and rate your response within three days.  I understand that your time is valuable, that you are most likely spending at least 45 minutes of your time in response to my question, and I understand too that when questioners read and rate your responses fairly that you make random donations to animal shelters to help homeless animals.  In the interest of being appreciative of your time AND helping shelter dogs and cats, I agree that I will rate your response and give you fair feedback."

I have rescued many cats (have 11) and 2 dogs. Recently, we lost our Bermese Mtn Dog and then adopted a 1-1/2 yr old Great Pyenees from a Rescue Center. WE LOVE HER! She starred as "Paws" in Santa Paws Walt Disney's movie. She had been kept in a crate a lot and we were warned to get one. We did, but really don't use it as Sadie trained us on how to house break her and that's good now. BUT, here's one of the main problems: every toy gets eaten quickly. That gets expensive. Then the worst problem is Sadie and other dog Blue (sheppard mix 1 yr old) play on our wooden deck, and Sadie has started munching on the railing and recently on our wooden d-log SIDING and deck furniture!! I've tried spraying Bitter Apple on the chewing spots and she loves it. Then tried Pepper, Cayenee Pepper, Pepper spray and now there's several places she's chewed. I need to STOP THIS DESTRUCTIVE CHEWING!! Please help me with some ideas on what to do. The deck is a great, clean, safe place for then to run and play, but our house is getting ruined! Please help!!!  Thank you!


Today I made donations in the amount of $40 to shelters in response to two recent questioners who read, and then RATED fairly, my responses.  It is too bad that you have not yet rated my response since July.  Don't you want to help animals with donations by simply providing a fair rating for the time I took to respond to your question?

Hi Yvonne,

Thank you for sending me a question at AllExperts and agreeing to the virtual contract in my bio.  Now, on to Sadie and her chewing.

It appears to me from your description that she's unsupervised much of the tome when she's being expected to entertain herself with your other dog out on the deck, and otherwise.  This is a no-no.  You need to be present to see at what point she's becoming ramped up and going overboard on her chewing, and also so you can stop her as soon as she starts.  If she never is told when she is chewing the wrong item AS SOON AS SHE STARTS then she will never learn.  Therefore, you need to supervise her AT ALL TIMES just as you would a puppy.

When you stop her from inappropriate chewing, you also need to immediately redirect her to an APPROPRIATE chew toy until she gets the idea, over many repetitions, "the decking is not okay to chew, but these toys are okay to chew." The concept is not very difficult to teach a dog ifnyou supervise and are consistent about stopping the inappropriate chewing and redirecting her to something appropriate every time.

Dogs have a natural need to chew, and should be encouraged to chew their toys, so it's our job to provide these opportunities for our dogs.  Make sure, too, that she isngetting enough supervised, interactive physical activity with you, which may cut down on her need to chew if she happens to be chewing excessively.  An excessive need to chew may be an indicator that a dog is bored and needs more interactive time with the owner walking, playing, training, fetching, etc.  There's a saying in dog training: "A tired dog is a good dog." How true I have found this to be!

For chew toys, check some of the pet stores near you, or do an Internet search for "rugged dog chew toys." I always recommend stuffed Kong toys as Kong makes a very good product.  You can also check for the latest on dog toys.

Best regards,
Madeline Friedman, M.A.

Canine Behavior

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Madeline S. Friedman, M.A.


I respond to public questions only. I'm not a veterinarian & do not respond to medical questions.Suggestions: Submit a question in one area of priority, as what I am able to address in this venue is limited. Provide as much detail re: the behavior & issue as you can. Tell me how & if behavior is a change from previous behavior & when the changes occurred. Let me know what you think may have triggered such changes & what you have tried so far to resolve it, & what the results were. Let me know what you want help with & what are your concerns & questions about the behavior. I have set up a payment/donation to myself for responding to questions. I donate most of it to animal shelters & rescues. I keep a small portion for my time. The minimum donation is $25.00 on PayPal. When I see that a donation has been made, I will respond to your question. You will be prompted to make the donation before submitting your question. When you have read & rated my response fairly, which must be at the time you read it, I will refund $5.00 back to you IF YOU REQUEST that I do so in your rating comments. If I ask for more details, please respond as a "follow-up" & not as a new question. If I don't respond to your question, I will refund your donation less $5.00. DO rate me fairly at the end of our exchange. I will be pleased if you DO nominate me for volunteer of the month - why not, if I was generous in my response? I may suggest something you were not necessarily ready to hear, but I am honest in the interest of helping your dog, & that is my goal. Please keep that in mind. Please do NOT contact me privately about Allexperts questions through my e-mail or website unless I have invited you to do so. That is an invasion of my privacy - thank you for respecting it. If you would like to contact me for actual dog training & behavior consulting, you may contact me through my Web site.


Own & operate dog training & behavior consulting businesses, Hoboken Dog Trainer, and ny-njDogTrainer, in the NYC & NYC Metro areas since 2002. Work with thousands of dog owners & their dogs, & shelter & rescue dogs. Active volunteer in dog shelters and rescues (rescues being "no kill" and shelters being municipality-run urban shelters that can and do euthanize dogs). AllExperts volunteer in "Dogs, Category 701" and "Dog Training" and "Canine Behavior" since 2006. When you submit a question, please make sure it's being submitted in the appropriate category as I volunteer in two different categories. Make sure you agree to the Virtual Contract (the instructions I outline for question submissions) and agree to read and rate my response when I answer in the body of your question. I make donations to various animal non-profits based on YOUR ratings. If you don't rate my response, or rate it unfairly, you have just denied a dog rescue org or shelter a donation. Keep that in mind.

Professional Member of APDT for five years Founding Member of Animal Behavior Associates Behavior Education Network Former Board Member of IAABC, appointed by Founder Former Member of IPDTA in Canada Founding member of Behavior Education Network

Chronicle of the Dog (APDT, peer publication, numerous articles) Popular Dog Series magazine, numerous entries AOL in Tonowanda News Morris County News Vermont News Boston NOW New York A.M. Polo Trace Newsletter The Dodo AOL

Counseling Psychology, Caldwell College Animal Science, Rutgers University Master of Arts Degree Permanent New Jersey State Teaching Certification (teach public school and university level) Numerous workshops, lectures, and seminars on dog training and behavior Ongoing self-motivated study in my area of expertise

Awards and Honors
Best Canine Coach Award, 2006, Rondout Valley Instructor's Training Course Society of Illustrators, second place international competition Jellybean Photographics, second place international competition Fashion Institute of Technology "Commitment to Illustration" award

Past/Present Clients
Testimonials from a number of clients appear on my Web site at under "Reviews." My customers include: Puppy owners wanting to get their puppies off to the best start; owners of mature dogs who want their dogs to have more obedience skills; fosters and owners of rescue dogs or shelter dogs; customers with special needs who need to train or retrain their dogs; housetraining and housebreaking; owners who have behavioral issues with their dogs such as house accidents, aggression towards humans, aggression towards other animals, inattentive dogs, unmotivated dogs, overly-exuberant dogs; and, more.

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