Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Few Casualties

Barry has been gradually getting better and better at self control as we've been working with him. He will wait to eat his food until we tell him it's okay to come to his mat and eat. He waits to jump into bed with us at night until we tell him it's time. He is doing great at sit stays. He will wait for his toys and look us in the eye until we give him the toy, etc. He's really impressing us! As he's been doing better at all of that, he's also started a strange new 'thing'. Well, it hasn't just now started but it's suddenly become very frequent. Frequent as in multiple times per day and more consistent.

When I start something I stick with it! I'm professional!
I'm talking about taking non doggie stuff and chewing it. Especially shoes! He doesn't chew furniture or anything like that (though we've noticed he'll chew tags off of furniture and rugs). It started innocently enough. We knew we'd need to put our shoes away and probably keep our clothing off the floor, close closets, etc. That was fine. He wouldn't ever really get into our stuff or chew our things while we were home with him. He'd wait until we left to find juicy leather boots, or expensive brand name trousers that we forgot to put away.

Tie seen in first photo above. It has now been selected to enter the Will
You Survive the First Round of Barry's Teeth?
He's claimed a number of items of mine. A pair of cheap flip flops, a pair of black flats (that were quite pricey and I'm sad I'm going to have to buy another pair) and almost a bathing a suit. It was a new bathing suit I bought for our trip to Puerto Vallarta. I was able to sew it as the damage wasn't fatal. Yesterday was a pair of cheapish black boots that I've been wearing around since it got cold. He got the back heel of the boot. I think I might be able to super glue/hot glue it back together. We'll see.

Mmm... Shoes. Now you can't leave for work!
Here is a pair of rather pricey boots that belong to
Husband. Luckily Barry only chewed the top ankle
portion and husband was able to get them fixed.
Husband has had more expensive casualties than I have. So we've learned throughout the months to put our stuff away and NEVER forget to leave something out that he'd want to chew on. Except when we're home. When we get home we usually just take our shoes off right by the door and work clothes land near the dirty clothes basket or in it (depending on our aim). Now, even our normal routine has to change a little. No more leaving shoes by the door. No more tossing off work clothes onto the floor. No more dirty kitchen towels lazily thrown on the floor by the washer and dryer. We are on high alert now.

See the two toggle sticks? They used to have grip pads
on them but Barry chewed them off. Not fatal but
What's this? A kitchen towel? Don't mind if I do.
The kitchen towel seen here in Barry's lair along
with his hoard of toys and a random bath towel.
Barry is realizing we are throwing all of these really great things onto the floor and if he picks them up right in front of us and runs away to the back room with them we follow and it becomes a game! It's so fun!! Yay!! MORE attention! He also enjoys chewing so it's a win win for him! We wind up running after him and depending on the item it can be quite humorous. Though, we are trying not to laugh. We don't want him to think we enjoy this! We don't really. Barry is just a funny dog and he's trying to lighten the mood and make us laugh - that is his personality. He is also looking for more attention from us and he knows how to get us going.

More attention, please!
We have been using one of two methods to make him 'drop it'. The first thing we do is pick up one of his toys and this usually works pretty well. When this doesn't encourage him to drop the item then we get a treat and wave it at him. We don't give him the treat but we swiftly grab the item and walk away. I prefer not to have to get the treat out and tease him but we don't want to lose any more of our things. Yesterday I also realized that just saying the word treat invokes Barry to listen and drop the new chew item.

This is another thing he's started doing. He's such a faker. As soon as you
notice he looks sad and go over to him he rolls over and starts
hamming it up.
We'll talk to the trainer about this new chewing phase and see what she has to say about it and what we can do to show him to leave our things alone. Until then we'll put everything out of sight.


  1. Thanks for visiting my blog! Barry is adorable. Hope his training helps with the chewing!

    1. Thanks Aimee for dropping by! I hope it helps too! We'll see...

  2. Bonnie is very good when we go to work because she's grown to know the schedule. However, if we leave for too long (from her perspective) on the weekends or evenings, mischief can happen because she is a crate failure like Barry, ouch! Bonnie's favorite thing? Books!

    1. I was always so impressed with how well Barry did by himself in our home (even when we first brought him home from the shelter). It has always been an issue but not so exasperated as it is now. The biggest change we made? Leaving for vacation. I wonder if this could be linked to that. I hadn't thought of that before...

      Barry has never gotten into our books! He loves catalogs, mail, and decks of cards so I have no doubt he'd enjoy a tasty old book as well.