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Hi All,  
    I just signed up and this is my first post...
   I have a male boxer who just turned 3 years old.  He's great and I love him to death.  Vegas likes to chew on furniture.  This happens when we are gone from the house for extended periods of time  (I have 2 other roomates).  We all have fulltime jobs so he is in the house alone from about 8-4.  Sometimes I come home and the house is fine, other times all the pillows of the couch are all on the floor one of them has been ripped into, with stuffing everywhere.  This has happened over the past year or so, and I bought some sour apple stuff so that he won't want to do this to the couch.  

Oddly enough this hasn't worked and he continues to mess up the couch.  My roommate also has a dog, and during the day he is kept in his bedroom.  He has a fairly large cage setup for him in the kitchen and for the time being I put Vegas (my boxer) in the cage during the day.  Yesterday he went in ok.  But this morning he didn't.  He snapped at me pretty bad if I grabbed his collar and was Very stubborn and wouldn't budge.  Basically at that moment I didn't even trust himto not bite me.  Eventually he went in the cage.  I also tried using a baby gate to keep him in the kitchen a while back, but he can easily knock it over and get into the family room.  

We got a new couch just this week, and I sprayed it down with sour stuff, I put a bed sheet over it, and sprayed that down.  I also gave him a kong that I had froze over night and it had peanut butter in it.  I thought the house would be fine, but I got home from work and everything was torn up.  

Any advice? :cry:
 

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I take it from reading that he has done this for a while and it is not something new.  It sounds like a seperation issue.  My first thought was that he needs to have his own kennel and he needs to stay in it when you are not there.  Then of course the issue of you not trusting him, which he will sense that too.  Has he snapped before or was it only when you tried to put him in the kennel?  I am sure that others will have better advice then I have at the moment....But, I would probably start by getting him his own kennel and maybe putting it in your room.  Start working with him on going in the kennel at times when he does not have to "stay all day", short times in the kennel with some snack or a cookie to get in etc....make it a happy place for him instead of him feeling punished so he has to go in there.....

Welcome to the forum....you will like it here and I am sure get some good advice!
 

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[quote="sharonL\";p=\"33566":1vlj1hfs]I take it from reading that he has done this for a while and it is not something new.
 

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First of all welcome to the forum....What Sharon said is good advice, It does sound a lot like separation anxiety..If this has been going on for a long time, it will take awhile to break..The Bitter Apple does not always work on all dogs, some people find Tabasco works(mine loved it) and also Cayenne Pepper...But realy, that isn't treating  the problem, Trust has to be established again between you & Vegas and he definitely needs his own crate...I recomend a large one at least, mine is extra large...Put a nice soft blanket, one that maybe he likes to use as a bed in it, give him a Kong & coax him in, leave the door open and just sit on the floor and talk to him...Vegas needs to know that he is not being punished for being in a crate, that should be seen as a place he can get away from things.....There is a Sticky topic in this section about crate training that would probably be a lot of help for you as well....
 

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[quote="samsonsmom\";p=\"33571":11wzo70k]First of all welcome to the forum....What Sharon said is good advice, It does sound a lot like separation anxiety..If this has been going on for a long time, it will take awhile to break..The Bitter Apple does not always work on all dogs, some people find Tabasco works(mine loved it) and also Cayenne Pepper...But realy, that isn't treating
 

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Also something I forgot to add was you might try leaving a radio playing for him as well.. I used to leave a jazz station on for mine, or try Animal Planet, Buck & Tia enjoyed that  :)
 

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Welcome!

I agree that his own crate would be best.  Also try to make the crate as pleasant as possible.  It should be the place he feels comfort & safety.  Never use the crate for punishment.  I would agree with Samsonsmom about starting slowly, work from a couple of seconds up to the time needed  Make a big deal out of any positive attempts on his part.  Do your best to help him WIN each time and praise accordingly.  I started by feeding my girls in their crates w/ the doors open.  The food bowl was placed at the back of the crate and the pups had to enter to eat.  We just worked up from there.  When there were struggles, I would place a kibble just inside the crate & have the pups just stick their heads in and then work foward from there.  It takes time and patience, but my girls LOVE their crates.  It is their own space they can retreat to when life is too hard to deal with.  

Also the radio or TV is a great idea - mine like the sound of a fan running, so I have one going at all times, just not blowing on the crate.

Good luck and keep us posted  :)
 

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Howdy from Texas and welcome! :D
I don't know how difficult it will be to crate train an older dog.  We used the crate with Henry from the day we brought him home.
Also, talk to the roomies and tell them the prob and have them help.
Good luck! :wink:
Zhanna
 

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Welcome from another NY'er. Haven't had any crate troubles so can't help there, but I have had a couch eating dog before! How much play/exercise time does Vegas get? In our case, a bored boxer with "ants in her pants" ate the couch, my new floor, a folding chair etc. Maybe an increased workout would help?
 

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First off, just so you know, no one is going to scold you for doing anything, this is an amazing place to get valuable information.

I used to have a boxer named Zeke, and one time Zeke scratched the life out of the couch. I mean, this was really bad, it could no longer be used and we had to get rid of it. So what worked for us, it's kind of random but it worked the first time. What we did was we didn't talk, look at, to touch him for a whole week. It was hard, but after that week, he never did it again! It was wonderful. He also was a really smart dog, but that may not be an option. Now i have 2 white boxers, and i cannot leave them alone in the house loose. What we do, is say " bed time!" and get a treat from the jar (seriously food motivated) and now they run down to the crate and sit nicely waiting for their treat, it took a while. Boxers are a very stubborn breed, they like having it their way, atleast mine do. Also, Dufus, our boxer that died couple years ago, never liked crates. He snapped at anyone who came to him in the crate, that may be a submissive thing. But we worked on it really hard with him, and soon enough he was running to the crate, waiting for the treat.

Sorry for the long post, but if your dog is food motivated, have the treats on hand, they will see that the crate means they get a treat.
 

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TinkerbelleNdMaddy\";p=\"33699 said:
First off, just so you know, no one is going to scold you for doing anything, this is an amazing place to get valuable information.

I used to have a boxer named Zeke, and one time Zeke scratched the life out of the couch. I mean, this was really bad, it could no longer be used and we had to get rid of it. So what worked for us, it's kind of random but it worked the first time. What we did was we didn't talk, look at, to touch him for a whole week. It was hard, but after that week, he never did it again! It was wonderful. He also was a really smart dog, but that may not be an option. Now i have 2 white boxers, and i cannot leave them alone in the house loose. What we do, is say " bed time!" and get a treat from the jar (seriously food motivated) and now they run down to the crate and sit nicely waiting for their treat, it took a while. Boxers are a very stubborn breed, they like having it their way, atleast mine do. Also, Dufus, our boxer that died couple years ago, never liked crates. He snapped at anyone who came to him in the crate, that may be a submissive thing. But we worked on it really hard with him, and soon enough he was running to the crate, waiting for the treat.

Sorry for the long post, but if your dog is food motivated, have the treats on hand, they will see that the crate means they get a treat.
Thanks for the tips all.  I really need to mark this website as a favorite, as I have been typing in this thread from work.  
I started using the crate.  What may help is that I did use a crate to train him when he was a pup, but once he got older he seemed ok and no longer needed it.  It is actually the same crate I used last time as well.  I had it stored at my Dads house.   I really should have never took it out!  He used it from about 12 weeks until atleast 8 or 9 months old.  

He is starting to take to it ok.  He didn't want to go in and would fight a little the first few days.  Today and the past couple of days he seemed ok.  He knew I was just about out the door for work this morning, so he went to the top of the stairs and looked down the hallway at me.  I had to go get him and kinda praise/guide him to the kitchen where the crate is.  He went along with me without a struggle and didn't pull back.  

Is it ok that his food/water dish is in the crate?  Even while I am home I put it in his crate, and at the back of the crate so he actually had to walk in and get to his food and water.  I just wanted him to get slowly used to going in.  The first few times he was hungry and wanting food he would go in real quick and grab a bite and run out.  I think he was trying to make sure it wasn't a trick to lock him in  =P     I swear he is too smart for his own good haha.  After a while he would stay in and finish up eating before checking or getting nervous that I had closed the gate behind him.  

So basically so far so good..  When he went in today without a problem I gave him a treat and also put his Kong in with him.  I put a little peanut butter on the inside and I also keep the Kong frozen at night in the freezer.  Any other tips are appreciated  =)

Thanks!
 

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The Kong is a great idea, I highly recomend it when you are crating.You can also add a teaspoon of plain, low fat yogurt and a bit of sliced banana or some of his kibble. You want him to feel that the crate is a good place and not a bad place, that helps...The water dish in his crate is a personal preference, Samson always flipped his over so I quit, plus I never had him crated long..There are water bottles you can get that attach to the crate which might be better. I've used those when my babies flew.....
 

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When mine were little I left the food in for short periods of time while I was at home (15- 20 mins max).  That way they associated the crate with something good, but didn't free feed.  They still had to work for their food, just a different type of work -they had to enter the crate.  I've also used the water bottles -like the kind you hang on a bunny cage- for my girls because they would tip over water bowls.  I even got to the point that I would put chipped ice in with their water to keep it cool and a bit fresher.  (Which one of us is trained????!!!)

Don't ever be afraid to ask questions- no one is going to yell or put you down for trying to find things out.  We've all been there.  What might work for me and my crew might not work for someone else, but that is the wonderful thing about forums like this one!  We have such a varied source of information but with one purpose  :D
 
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