Rottie behavior problem - chewing everything.
by Kathy K
(Pine Bush,NY united States)
We adopted bear when he as 5 months old from the shelter. Yes this is the same Bear that is chasing my cat. He has been very well behaved up until the last 2 weeks or so.
Now he is starting to pull books from the shelves and eat them, he will take things off the bathroom counter or where ever he can reach and chew or eat them. So far he has chewed a barrette, chewed the pages out of a book,eaten a pencil all within the last few days.
Is this just a stage or What should I do. I do correct him for but he is sneaky he ate the book at 6 am when I was sleeping. He ate the barette when I was downstairs taking clothes out of the drier and he got the pencil off of the shelf when we were eating dinner.
I'm not sure how long you've had Bear, what his previous life was like, or where, or how old he is... and that makes it difficult to give you an exact answer (I may have already answered a question about him, but I'm afraid I have so many submissions that it's hard to keep them all straight in my head!).
If he's a fairly recent addition to your family this change could be due to him starting to feel more comfortable and so he's allowing his natural behavior to come through. If he's under 18 months - 2 years, he's still an adolescent and this can be a challenging time, for everyone.
Chewing is a natural canine behavior and it's also a big way in which dogs work off any stress, built up anxiety, tension or physical energy. They also chew if they're bored. I'd recommend that you start by making sure Bear is getting plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. That means regular walks, play sessions and training sessions. Physical and mental energy needs to be expended!
Until a pup/dog can be relied on not to eliminate indoors and chew/destroy stuff, they should be confined to their crate, or a dog-proofed room or playpen when they're not being supervised. This prevents them from having the opportunity to get into stuff they shouldn't or misbehave. I'd strongly recommend using Bear's crate more than you are doing currently, and keeping him with you and supervised when he's not crated. This isn't a punishment, it's simply a management technique. As long as he has plenty of social time, and exercise and training, he will be fine in his crate for short periods with a few safe, sturdy toys to chew on.
Rotties are slow to mature and it could be that this is part of a developmental phase, or just part of his 'settling in' process. Just use common sense and the suggestions above and be patient. Good luck.