Alrighty. I found a craigslist post about this woman needing help with her dog. I gave her some of my own advice, but let her know that I would post it here for further advice from everyone else. Her husband is threatening to send the dog to the pound which honestly completely infuriates me.
So... here's her craigslist post:
Dog help! (Fort Lee)
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2008-04-17, 10:05PM EDT
She is a 2 year old German Shepherd/Labrador Retriever mix and the problem is that she cannot be left alone without destroying (chewing) something inappropriate, usually our daughter's toys. They are is aways cleaned up, I don't set her up for failure- I love her! She will actually get up on her hind legs to reach for anything to chew. She is too big for a toddle gate. I don't want to put her in the kennel because she gets so upset and my neighbors don't want to listen to her bark.She has a couple dozen chew toys, a large assortment, but still chooses to destroy something that she is not supposed to. She knows she is not supposed to chew it and does it regardless. She is rarely left home alone for very long but this fall the amount of time will increase since I will start work once our daughter starts kindergarten. The dog cowers and runs off before we even find the chewed item sometimes so I know that she is aware of her behavior being unsavory. She has a nice XL kennel but she hates it. She'll bark the entire time I'm gone- so much that she is all wet with her own saliva, it's awful. Otherwise she is the perfect dog: excellent with children, other dogs and even cats! Very submissive, laid back in the home, playful outside, easy to please...its just this chewing while we're gone. Thanks for listening! Any advice would be greatly appreciated, we don't have $65/hour to pay a trainer. My husband is threatening to take her to the pound if I can't fix this issue soon :-(
Here's my response to her:
I could be wrong, but it sounds to me like your dog might have some issues with seperation anxiety and boredom which might explain why she's chewing on stuff . Do you fuss over saying goodbye when you leave for work or when you come home? If you do then I'd suggest not. I have a 2 year old border collie with seperation anxiety. He's a rescue and SA can be pretty common in rescues in part because they bond so much to their adopter. I always crate Bamm when I leave for the day. I understand you said she has an issue with crating though. When I leave in the morning I give him a frozen kong to keep him occupied for a little while. I don't say goodbye. I just grab the kong, say crate and close him up in his crate with his kong. I turn around and leave without saying anything else to him. When I get home from work I let him out, but don't say hello. I ignore him for a few minutes and do something else before leashing him up for his afternoon walk.
How is she if you crate her when you're home? Does she have anything in her crate that she can chew or play with while you're gone? Having something to do might help take her mind off of you being gone. Do you have any kongs? If not then I highly recommend them. They are a life saver really. I usually fill mine up with goodies and freeze it so that it takes longer for Bamm to clean it out. There are a few websites you can go to for kong stuffing ideas. One of which is http://westwoodanimalhospital.com/Bh...g_stuffing.htm
I'm a member of an online dog forum. If you don't mind I'll post your craiglist post on there and ask them for further advice.
Please ask your husband not to give up on her. This is a fixable problem, but it's going to require effort on your part and your husband's part. Sending her to the pound for this kind of issue is not the right step to take and I do applaud you for seeking out help to curb the problem. Please do not give up on her.
Please keep in touch with me about this and I will update you with any further advice I hear. I want this to work out for you and your family and that includes your dog.
Alrighty... advice to her?