Dog chews through wall!!!

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Postby Echosmom » August 23rd, 2006, 2:08 pm

I am looking for some advice. I will try to make this short with detail(if thats ever possible).

I have been fostering a 1 1/2 yr old recently neuter male, ( feel free to check him out at http://www.fortheloveofpits.org, you can see my son as well) Petey is the dog.
He is very well behaved, sweet, mannered we adore him. He adjusted to our family quite quickly. He has been w/ us since 7-11-06. Problem started about 3-4 weeks ago.

Our problem: Petey becomes so completey obsessed with light reflections. Regardless if they are the sun shining through the blinds or car lights passing by at night. He stares at the "target", if you will, and wiggles his whole body so that I believe it may snap. He has begun to "cry" and "whimper when trying to "get" it.

I try to plan our evenings around the sunset as to avoid this problem, I have even crated him. He will still just completely focus on the reflection and stare at it and eventually cry, not laying down ever. I have put a kong in there with him as well as other yummy dried animal parts. He wants nothing to do with them!

It has gotten to the point where he has chewed a golf ball sized hole into my wall in a matter of a few minutes, he fortunately didn't eat too much drywall, at least i am hoping, he left the mess for me to clean up.

I do try to desensitize him and it will work for a few minutes until he catches another glimpse of light, then he is off again and we start all over.

I just feel as though I am getting nowhere. I tell him "No Petey" "Come" and he hesitantly strolls over to me (still checking back to see if the light is there) and it will last a few minutes until he catches a glimpse flashing by again. Then he is off.
Any ideas as to why he does this puzzling behavior?
Can I try something else to defer him from eating my walls, maybe more effective than what I have been doing? I do practice NILIF even when I refill his water bowl.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.!!
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Postby mnp13 » August 23rd, 2006, 2:17 pm

I have no idea how to train him off of it, but it sounds like a classic case of OCD to me.
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Postby Echosmom » August 23rd, 2006, 2:21 pm

My thoughts exactly! Unfortunatley I have never dealt with it before! I so confused. He didn't start until recently, do you have any suggestions as to why now all of a sudden?
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 2:39 pm

Does your son play with a laser pointer?

Does he have a generally strong prey drive?
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Postby rockermom » August 23rd, 2006, 3:09 pm

I was thinking about that laser pointer thing too. Ever since I bought one at the petshop and let my son play with it with Rocky a couple of times. It was pretty funny to watch him chase it around the house till I found out on here about what it could turn into and threw the thing away. maybe previous owner played with it with him. All I could guess is to just keep stoping Petey from doing the behavior.
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Postby Echosmom » August 23rd, 2006, 3:31 pm

That is 1 thing I forgot to mention. I have a 2 y/o female and we played 1 night with the both of them, they are both very quick at it. They were exhausted and slept like babies, they loved it,. Anyways after I noticed his "obsession" I no longer bring the light out for him to play with. But he goes crazy even at the sound of me grabbing my keys from my purse, (he starts wiggling instantly and looks frantically all around) the jingling probably reminds him of the laser light key chain.

My female gives me no grief she knows that it is just a game and we will play some other time

I have started to leave my keys in my car now just to try and avoid the noise from them.

I did bring up the topic to a trainer who I absolutely adore. She told me to show him the laser and when he notices it I am to correct him and immediately walk in the other direction till he doesn't pay attention to it anymore. That is impossible, I have repeatedly tried this and we wind up walking completely outside anywhere from a few seconsd to 10 minutes. Once we return in he begins to look for it again.

I also feel as though I am "teasing" him by doing this. I am wondering if I should just play with the laser light until he gets bored with it? Or would that just feed into his obsession? He hasn't had laser light in over a month.
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Postby Echosmom » August 23rd, 2006, 3:34 pm

No to the strong prey drive. He doesn't really acknowlege the other dogs on our walks. he will glance their way and thats about it!
He has on occasion noticed a squirrel but doesn't go bonkers over it. He will redirect back to me without a treat and remained focused on me then we can continue on our way!
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 3:39 pm

Ahhh, the laser pointer . . . :D The dog must have a good prey drive and was diggin' the laser pointer game. Not likely any ocd there. :)

If this were an issue of an everyday object that you absolutely couldn't avoid, I'd say take the time to desensitize the dog to it---and not with a reprimand or correction---BUT, I honestly wouldn't bother because all you need to do is remove the object.

You may find any flickering light sets him off, now that you've made the laser pointer game fun, and all you can do with that situation now is avoid it---break the current cycle by pulling shades, taking off watches while sitting in the sun, etc.

Consider some major, exhausting activities for this dog in the meantime. He obviously loves high energy fun. :)
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 3:40 pm

Echosmom wrote:No to the strong prey drive. He doesn't really acknowlege the other dogs on our walks. he will glance their way and thats about it!
He has on occasion noticed a squirrel but doesn't go bonkers over it. He will redirect back to me without a treat and remained focused on me then we can continue on our way!


Does he like to play ball or frisbee??
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Postby Echosmom » August 23rd, 2006, 3:58 pm

He gets bored quickly with ball, he will chase it maybe 5 times.
I don't have a fenced yard as I live in a condo and the only place we can go play is at the dog park, which is a no for him, unless we go either in the middle of the night when cops will come harass me about my pits, or bright and early before the sun is up and still have the cops to tend with. I have even gone to tennis courts to play.

He has issues with other males, not an issue I am allowed to work through, not sure if I could. He is my foster dog so I can't even try to introduce him to other males for fear of his safety, the other dog and problems for the rescue.

Pays no attention to the frisbee.

Let me describe my living room. Big spacious condo that we live in. In the living room/dining are there are 9 windows to deal with. I keep the blinds closed 24/7 ( but with 3 pitties who are curious to the outside, the blinds have all become bent at the sides, I fix them as much as possible but with 9 windows in 2 rooms, its crazy!) Still light manages to twinkle in and reflect off his rabies tags.
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 4:23 pm

lol . . . I don't mean to laugh, because this is probably a horror show for you, but just the thought of the light twinkling through and him gearing up cracks me up---sorry. :oops:

Have you taught him "leave it?" and,

Is he crated?

(It actually doesn't sound like he has much of a prey drive, you're right. The fact that he isn't great with male dogs, or any dog for that matter, wouldn't be related to prey drive. That would just be because he's male and/or he's a pitbull).
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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 4:24 pm

Echosmom wrote:Still light manages to twinkle in and reflect off his rabies tags.


Have you tried putting electrical tape over them, or otherwise covering them up with a small "tag bag"?
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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 4:25 pm

a-bull wrote:lol . . . I don't mean to laugh, because this is probably a horror show for you, but just the thought of the light twinkling through and him gearing up cracks me up---sorry. :oops:


Heehee, me too! Easily distracted by shiny objects, just like me! I love glitter and sparkle. :D
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 4:29 pm

Marinepits wrote:
Echosmom wrote:Still light manages to twinkle in and reflect off his rabies tags.


Have you tried putting electrical tape over them, or otherwise covering them up with a small "tag bag"?


great tip . . .

I can't lie. This thread is making me laugh. Again, I'm sure it's awful for the owner, but the visuals are awesome. :D
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Postby Marinepits » August 23rd, 2006, 4:36 pm

a-bull wrote:I can't lie. This thread is making me laugh. Again, I'm sure it's awful for the owner, but the visuals are awesome. :D


I'm thinking we have another potential member for the Helmet Club! :backRoll:

I can just see this crazy pittie, grinning from ear to ear, chasing every sparkly object! Kinda like my Indy Boy and beer bottles, LOL!
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 4:39 pm

lol . . .

We made the laser pointer mistake, too, until we noticed our male became obsessed with watch reflections, clock pendulum reflections, etc., and he was constantly looking under rugs and sniffing and digging at any and all cracks in the house. :D
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 23rd, 2006, 5:04 pm

I'm so glad my dogs are "normal"..........uh, yeah, ok........at least they don't eat walls. :oops:
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 5:08 pm

My female use to eat holes in sheetrock walls because of seperation anxiety.

Good times, good times . . . :P

Nice that your dogs are normal Cheeky. Someone in the family should be. :hysterical:
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Postby cheekymunkee » August 23rd, 2006, 5:16 pm

Hey!!! Just be glad Michelle won't let me have a finger emoticon, you will just have to imagine it. :wink:
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Postby a-bull » August 23rd, 2006, 5:17 pm

:iloveyou: :thumbsup:

Is that what you mean??? :wink:
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