Why would she chew only a certain person's things?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by Samantha's pet, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    We have had Annie over 6 months now and mostly things are going wonderfully. The one and only big issue we are having is that she chews my 5 year old daughters things to bits! And ONLY her things. I could leave my stuff all over the floor and she wouldn't give it a second glance. She also will still play bite my daughter but not us when she gets really wound up but this is easily stopped with a verbal correction and ending playtime immediately.

    So is this a dominance thing and how do we stop it? I already know to supervise her like a hawk and crate her when I can't and we are doing that but you know how fast they can sneak away and get ahold of something. I try to keep.things out of her reach and keep Chloe's door shut all the time but it usually happens when my husband is home alone with her and forgets something out or the door open and then gets distracted on the computer. I can train the dog but he's just a lost cause :lol-sign:

    Anyway, I am aware that it's all my/our fault for allowing access but I would like to know how to put an end to it so she can have more freedom and I can relax.

    We do have her in beginner obedience and she has plenty of chews. Raw hides, antlers, Bully sticks, kong, etc. And she loves them all.

    I should also mention that they get along famously. They are each others favorite thing ever. Annie is most excited to see Chloe out of all of us. If Chloe falls asleep on the couch Annie won't leave her side. She constantly initiates play with her. I am not very knowledgeable about dog behavior/body language but is doesn't seem to me like a jealousy/resentment issue.

    Anyone have experience with your dog only chewing one person's stuff?
     
  2. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    She is just about a year old.
     
  3. LeonilCraig

    LeonilCraig New Member

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    I think the smell on your baby's stuff has something to do with it.
     
  4. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    Definitely. But what? The scent is how she knows it is hers but is she targeting her things because of the scent or because it's hers? What is motivation the behavior. I don't think she just likes the smell. I think there is some reason she chews Chloe's things.
     
  5. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    I wouldn't over think her motivations much. I don't think dogs really understand ownership in the way we as humans do - she's not grabbing things because she knows it "belongs" to your daughter. It's much more simple. Your daughter is her favorite person, so your daughter's things all smell like her favorite person. She chews because chewing is fun, and these things smell like her favorite person... so she's having fun with a thing that smells like her favorite person. She's not chewing because she's trying to destroy them. It's just fun.

    Also, DO you routinely leave your stuff all over the floor? Or is the stuff on the floor most likely to be your daughter's stuff? I would guess it's much more likely anything on the floor is most likely going to belong to your daughter - therefore the dog is much more likely to grab it. There could also be something reinforcing going on where the majority of the stuff on the floor smells like this, and she has chewed it before, so is likely to keep going back to stuff that smells the same... while something that smells differently, well, it's different, and there's probably something that smells the same nearby anyway (and also, smells like her favorite person) - soooo she'll grab Chloe's stuff instead.
     
  6. Samantha's pet

    Samantha's pet New Member

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    I entertained the idea that maybe Chloe just had more things accesible but after really paying attention it.became pretty clear that she was passing right over my to get to hers. I mean, I don't want anyone getting the idea that we just have cap everywhere but I pretty much keep my purse and shoes by the front door always and various other things that are accesible to her. And escpecially since this issue arose we have made an extra effort to keep Chloe things put up so I probably have more things around.

    So, would spraying some bitter apple on Chloe's belongings be a good proposed solution? That way if she gets ahold of one or two items she may begin associating Chloe's smell with a yucky taste? Or will she likely grow out of it?

    My husband's solution has been to put a mesh comfort muzzle on her when we aren't able to pay direct attention to her. Such as if we are watching TV and she doesn't wanna hang out in the same room or if we are busy on the computer, etc. She ends up wearing it about an hour every other day or every 3 days. It allows her to still drink and we feel like it's a better option for her than more time in her crate. She is in there all day when we work so we like her to be allowed out as much as possible when home. Is this a good solution?
     

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