Bored/Destructive When I Leave

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Yaminpix
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Bored/Destructive When I Leave

My dog Riley is 6 months old and he is a great dog. His flaw is that when I leave he becomes bored and destructive. He gets into the trash, or pulls things off the shelves and destroys them, whatever he can find and feels like chewing up. I live in a very small studio apartment and I have absolutely NO room for a crate. I go to class for about 3-4 hours a day 4 days a week. He is not anxious when I go, he just gets curious and bored without people and gets into things he shouldn't. He never tries to chew anything but his toys when I'm around. I have hollow bones which I fill with peanut butter and he has plenty of toys. He also pees and poops when I'm not home, which he never does while I'm there. I'm wondering what I can do to solve this problem. Any suggestions? I have seen alot of information about separation anxiety but not alot about boredom. Thanks everyone!

lillie of the v...
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before u leave, take him out for a run, or some type of vigorous play to wear him out. it can be anything that makes him tired, as they say a tired pit bull is a happy pitbull, so exercise is key. and bc he is so young, he will need a lot to wear him out, at least mine did. this is what i had to do with lillie, hope it helps =)

Yaminpix
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Thanks i'll give it a try! any other tips are welcome :)

bunnybutt00
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i make sure there's always plenty of bones around if i leave and that seems to do the trick, esp if i buy the medium kind she can eat in a few hours and hand it to her right when i leave. and of course make sure he gets as much exercize as you can give him. make sure he knows he's in trouble when he destroys things he shouldn't. my groomer said pits get angry and act out when you leave them. its the only time mine acts up.

Miss Mouse
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Leaving your puppy with a toy (like a treat that's particularly hard to get out of the kong) will help keep him busy, too. You don't have to have a huge crate, though, and if it comes down to saving your rental floors or squeezing one in there, you might find it makes a big difference!

Crating my girl helps her mentally, too - she has big time separation issues and will go bonkers if we leave without crating her. If she's in her home, she knows we're coming back. Maybe your kiddo's just freaked out that you're gone and needs a way to know you'll be back?

Juju
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Joined: 10/24/2010 - 7:32pm

Some of what ur talking about is seperation anxiety. My staffie has seperation anxiety and she used to eat my furniture, remotes, phones anything of mine she could find. I know this is going to sound funny but I leave the TV on for her when I'm not home and I gave her my blanket to sleep with and she doesn't tear up anything while I'm gone anymore. She has lots of bones and a Kong treat dispenser. I put them all in her toy box ( shaped like a bone, so cute) and put the lid on it. She uses alot of energy getting the lid off just to get to the toys. I live in an apartment also so I exercise her before I go to work and that gives her lots of chances to potty. Also if you don't have room for a crate just get a baby gate and keep her in an areal thats tiled like the bathroom or kitchen, its less expensive and doesn't take up any room. I have one that has a door so I keep the gate up all the time and just open and close the door when I need to go in or out. I hope this helps. :)

KaylasMom
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Yes, there is some form of separation anxiety that your pittie is going through. It is actually mild at the moment, but if it isn't nipped in the bud soon, it could really start to get out of control. And yes, it can get much worse.

To be honest with you, crating him would be the best idea while you are gone. You could fold the crate up when you are home, so that it isn't in the way. Space can be a limiting factor, but you need to get Riley's issues under control first. If you do not want to do the crate thing, what about getting a baby gate and confining him to one room?

Crating will also help with the housetraining. Most dogs do not want to potty where they sleep, hence the crate. Plus, it is always good to have a dog crate trained, even if you quit using it. A dog needs to know that a crate is a safe place, especially if you need to evacuate your home for any reason. We don't use a crate for our dog anymore, as she has never been destructive or troublesome in the house. But, we do put it together for a week or so, and periodically make sure that she still remembers the crate command and that she still enjoys it.

You have a 6 month old puppy. A puppy is going to do things that will drive you bonkers. But, it is all about management. Do you make a big ordeal when you leave? If you do, tone it down. The best thing to do is exit uneventfully and come home without any fanfare.

Provide Riley with things to do when you leave. Freeze stuff inside of a Kong or two. That will take him some time to get through being that he is just a pup. Be careful of what you give him to do while you are gone! Bones and things like that should be monitored at all times to avoid choking, etc. Please do not give them to your dog when you are not at home. I think it would be better to come home to what you are coming home to, then a dog who has a bone fragment stuck in his throat and is dying.

There are many puzzle toys out there on the market that a pup would really love. Treat/food balls are a fun way to keep a dog occupied. Give your dog his breakfast in a treatball when you leave. If you leave late in the morning, give him half his breakfast in his bowl, then the other hlaf in the ball when you leave.

If you don't want to crate him or confine him to one room, place treats throughout your apartment where he can find them. That will give him time to look around, use his nose, and play the "find it" game. That is also fun to do when you are home with him.

When you leave for the day, give him a few treats before you go and then just walk out. That will cause him to think that it is good that you leave because he gets treats! We still do that with our dog. She gets excited to see us leave.

Make sure that you potty him frequently before you leave. That way his bladder and colon will be empty. Make sure that you praise him when you are outside with him right after he potties so that he knows that is where you want him to go. Some puppies take longer to housetrain than others, and sometimes you just have to start from the beginning again.

Best of luck to you. Re-work how your days go, vary the way you leave, and vary the things for Riley to do. In time, he will outgrow this and what you are going through now will be a distant memory.

Yaminpix
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Joined: 11/09/2010 - 5:29pm

Thank you all for your comments! They were helpful. I was convinced to do some rearranging in my apartment and I have a crate now. It has made all the difference. No more problems! He loves the crate and sleeps in it all the time. Thank you everyone!

KaylasMom
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Awesome! Crates can be our best friends, if used properly. Make sure that you continue to reinforce the crate as being a completely POSITIVE experience. Never use it for punishment. Even when you are home, make going into the crate a "fun" thing by throwing toys in there, eating yummy snacks, and other fun.