Marley ain't got nothin' on THIS pooch!
See this sweet, innocent-looking pup? His name is Buford T. Sparkplug. We adopted him from an animal shelter.
We were dumbfounded as to why someone would abandon such a beautiful, cuddly, purebred dog. We're beginning to understand, however! In the past month, Sparky has
- eaten a mattress - seriously!
- eaten 13 shoes
- eaten a toilet brush and its holder
- hidden his food dish
- tried to eat a sheetrock wall
- gotten away by pulling out of his collar (happened twice - crossed a busy street both times)
- tried to consume several throw pillows
- hidden two of the grandkids' bookbags
- pulled the stuffing out of a leather sofa cushion
- destroyed numerous kids' toys
- totally ignored our commands when he's sniffing a scent
- tried to eat a frog
This boy has LOTS of doggie toys, gets lots of walks, and has two canine playmates indoors with him. He also gets plenty of human attention. Maybe my two Great Danes have us spoiled. They really are practically push-button pets. They follow my commands immediately and weren't nearly this destructive, even when they were puppies. I've owned, trained, and bred MANY canines, representing a wide range of breeds, but I've NEVER seen a dog this destructive! Any ideas??
We have a crate for Sparky, but when he's in it, he literally screams. He's quick, too. He can grab something in the flash of an eye, and I can't literally watch him every second of the day.
I cannot offer any help but wanted to say, "WOW."
He sure is cute though.
I can sympathize, we got our black lab from the animal shelter when he was a puppy. We thought it was a cruel joke that his previous owners named him Lucifer. After we brought him home we learned why because he behaved like the devil.
Luckily he finally calmed down a few years later. I think I'll stick to female dogs in the future.
Ever seen Caesar the Dog Whisperer? It would be way cool if you and Buford were on that show!
Oh, heavens! I feel your pain, habee. Our lab mix pup was quite the hungry little devil when she came home. She's settled down quite a bit, but I don't know what we did to make that happen...lol I can only say she was definitely worth it.
I had a German Shepard what a dumb dog. The more you call the dog the further she would run. Scared to death of thunder and lightning almost hung herself on the fence.
I got tired of chasing her down the street. I said you want to go then go. I never chased her again but I think your dog has got that dog beat by miles.
I am surprised your dog wasn't beaten from previous owners.
For real about the "beating" comment. He's not at all shy, though, so I don't think he was ever abused. It's a darn good thing he's so sweet and cute!
We wondered that about our Nala too. She is incredibly shy around men (who are not my husband - she's definitely a Daddy's girl) and HATES feet. If we put our feet down around her while she's sleeping, she gets irritated. I wonder if she was mistreated by a male owner at some point before coming home to us.
Oh, I forgot to add that Sparkplug also loves to dig holes in the front yard and bark at them. Maybe I need a doggie shrink?!
Well, Habee, I must say: You have the makings of a new hub here. The Adventures of Bufard T. Sparkplug!!!
Hey, I had a jack ass (hinny) that ate the seat off my husbands four wheeler. You aint seen nothing till you've had a hinny!!
Did you try training the 'leave it" and 'drop it" command. Bitter apple spray for items you do not want him to chew? Leaving only acceptable chew toys out? Giving a stuffed Kong when he is crated so he makes positive associations? When I get a dog from the shelter to foster, it takes like a whole month for it to start seriously responding to training. I call it the "Disneyland" effect. You know, like being cooped up in a shelter all day and then free in a home, it's like life is a big amusement park with so many fun things to do! The crate is the last place a dog that has been in a shelter wants to be, I have had more success closing off a small area.
I've tried everything you've mentioned, except for the bitter apple spray. We'd have to spray the walls and every item in the house! I have NEVER seen a dog this destructive. And he gets lots of play time and exercise. He gets several walks every day, and he and one of the Danes love playing chase together. We have all sorts of toys and chews for the furkids, too. Sparky has two Kongs, a fox, a skunk, three tug-o-war toys, a ring, a big bone, a hot dog, a hamburger, and a bunch of balls.
Sparky is soooo funny - he attacks and bites his own tail! He doesn't just chase it - he actually gets mad at it!
Today Sparky slipped out the front door and ran away...again. Hubby wasn't watching him, and the pooch got into my bedroom and took EVERYTHING out of my purse. Then he went into my bathroom, took everything out of the trash can, and tore it all into tiny pieces. He got too excited when the kids came over, and he peed a little on the sofa. Ugh!!!
OMG habee! Sparky is really so wild. It would be interesting to know how you can make him calm in the future. This is surely another great hub for you to make.
Oh my, he is sure keeping you busy! Sounds like you would need to invest in Bitter Apple stock! Maybe life could be a bit easier if he could stay confined in a room with lots of chew toys which you can rotate? It sounds like he has the full run of the house and is wrecking havoc because he can, or at least "thinks" he can. When I foster, I do the opposite, I start with the dog in a small, safe dog-proof area, and as the dog learns better manners, then he starts earning more and more space and is allowed to stay in more and more rooms but always supervised or an "umbilical cord" so I can give guidance on which behaviors are acceptable and which are not.. I think a setting as such may make life easier for both of you and prevent him from escaping too. I know it's a pain, but this is what has worked best for me, especially during the "I'm in Disneyland phase". Just my 2 cents:)
I'm thinking of using the umbilical cord method. He IS getting a little better, though. He has a crate, but when we leave him in it, even with a toy or chew, he literally SCREAMS! Same thing when we shut him in a room. Sparky makes our Danes seem like perfect doggie angels, but they really are exceptional furkids - especially the fawn that belongs to me! He has me so spoiled that any other canine is going to come up short in comparison.
I have found that crates or shutting in a room can create stress in shelter dogs just cause they were perhaps closed up so much (and perhaps never been in a crate before) and they really want to be "part of the family". A baby gate in an area where he can stay out of trouble and that is dog proof (just acceptable toys out) while he can see you and feel part of the family seems to work fine and creates a compromise. I like play pens in the middle of the living room too and then do the umbilical cord thing several times a day.
Baby gate (or something similar) is a good idea. Just make sure it is STRONG! Some dogs can easily chomp a hole in a flimsy one. I had that happen quite some time back.
Habee, I fervently hope that your vet is correct and that Sparky (cute little devil) is still a puppy.
Great tips alexadry! I can tell my sister-in-law to do this. She has found a puppy and nobody was looking for her that she just adopted her. The problem is, the puppy does some of a bad habit like hiding sleepers, ruining the garden and bringing other clothes to the garden fireplace which is still burning.
No advice to offer but sounds as though Sparky is a candidate for this site lol:
Your dog is definitely a little on the unruly side, lol! And I thought mine was bad... When mine was younger, he stole multiple pizzas off the counter, an entire meatloaf, and a cheesecake throughout his years. But all of that is easily replaced, I think I would have dropped dead if I'd come home and seen the SOFA ripped apart! I commend you for still keeping him even through all the disaster
Well, enduring the damage and cost of your sofas, affecting your kids study time and numerous other headaches you are ultra-tolerant for sure. I love dogs but would have a plan B in action after the sofa debacle.
I guess my past St Bernard's grass eating, slobbering all over my clothes when she is only 3 feet away, and doing the big wet dog shaking is fine.
It's a good thing Buford is a dog and not an elephant in a circus.
I'm going to assume that Sparky is still a puppy, yes?
I rescued my miniature schnauzer, Meadow, and she was about two years old at the time. She has definitely shown many times her destructive tendencies since reaching adulthood. Never does anything when I'm gone. Is a perfect angel when I'm out shopping for hours (go figure). There's something about my being here that brings out her antics. Meadow gets walked almost every day.
It's weird, but many puppies (not Meadow) change almost overnight once they get out of puppyhood. I hope that is the case with Sparky.
The difference I see now with Meadow is that she doesn't seem to be interested in shoes or clothes anymore. But she'd get any piece of paper she saw and tear it to bits. Her specialty, though, is throw rugs. I haven't been able to break her of carrying them around and shaking them. Cheap kitchen mats are a problem too, especially if she sees there's a backing on the underside that she can destroy.
If you get a new sofa, or to further preserve what you have, I highly recommend the Sofa Scram product on Amazon. It goes across your couch, and emits a loud piercing squeal when a pet jumps up on the sofa. It only takes once or twice, and they avoid that! I have a new leather sofa (brought home in mid-January), and neither of my two dogs jump on it, or try to steal the throw pillows on it, because of Sofa Scram (everything on that sofa looks so immaculate! ha!) The Sofa Scram is no longer even on the sofa! Right now, I'm using it under my expensive area rug, and Meadow no longer tries to turn up the corner to see if the backing is interesting.
Of course, if you really want your dog on the sofa, that is another set of circumstances. If I'm out of town, and my pet sitter is caring for my dogs, I simply remove the throw pillows, and she does great with them. She invites them up on the sofa and they sit with her. When I get home, they don't go near the sofa.
But if you can catch a dog in the act, trying to tear up something very valuable, Pet Corrector (red can with white lettering) is great. It's a UK product, but it can be bought online. At the time of the infraction, just press the button, and it emits a noise like compressed air escaping. Dogs hate this! The dog will make the association, and I have been told by a dog trainer that you can even leave the can sitting on the object that you want to protect, and they will stay away.
Tethering the dog to you could be very effective, too, but for very valuable items like a sofa, some of these products are just great. I learned the hard way with my previous old sofa, which had the cushions scratched to death, and had considerable damage on the skirt. Therefore I was very particular, and purchased a leather sofa to replace it. I had a custom leather sofa made, and I consulted with the owner of the business, who steered me to the leather best suited for pets.
Hope this post helps. Oh, by the way, under her dining room table, my sister has an expensive area rug that is made of natural fibers. After one of her dogs peed on it, she had it professionally restored and cleaned. The owner of the carpet business told her that dogs prefer natural fibers under their feet. So, my sister got four Sofa Scrams for her rug, put them under it, and her dogs never go near that rug anymore!
Thanks for the tips! I'l check out Pet Corrector, but I can't use Sofa Scram because we allow the Danes to nap there. When we got new living room sofas, we no longer allowed the big boys on them, but we let them on the couch in the office. It's where I spend much of my time - on the computer! lol
We don't know exactly how old Sparky is because he's a pound puppy. At first, our vet thought he was about three years old, but on the second visit, the vet looked at Sparky more closely and decided he's still a puppy. He's gradually getting better, so I think we'll just have to be patient.
This is Missy. She belongs to my nephew but she spends a lot of time with us.
When she was a puppy she destroyed everything. It was non-stop. She ate every pair of shoes in the house. She ransacked the toilet daily. She spent all day running around like someone had stuffed a firework up her jacksy. Now, 4 years on, we can't get her off the sofa.
I've always had a theory that it's something to do with her sense of smell. A Basset Hound has an amazing sense of smell even for a dog. In the doggie world it's second only to a Bloodhound. I always thought that as a puppy, smells such as those put out by shoes and the like drove her nuts, almost as if she couldn't cope with the sensory input. As she got older and lazier (that happens to Bassets) she came to terms with it all.
It's just a guess, but I think you'll find she'll calm down in a year or so.
Separation anxiety and destructive behavior is not uncommon, especially for "shelter dogs." I highly suggest you enlist the help of a Dog Behaviorist. This cannot be corrected by simple task-oriented "training," but must be approached psychologically. ALL DOGS CAN BE REHABILITATED - you just need the right help. I actually specialize in helping dogs with behavioral problems and my success rate is very high. I'm sure you'll be able to find someone close to you - while you're looking, just know that punishment after the fact is very counterproductive. Good luck!
I have a dog that is very similar. She destroyed one dog house completely. I thought well maybe she didn't like it so I went and purchased a brand new plastic igloo for $119.00 as she is a large dog ( wolf hybrid 225 pounds ) and with in three days she had eaten the igloo dog house and that caused me to have a vet bill of $335.00. Then the next week she ripped and tore the convertible top off the neighbor down the mountains mustang convertible. $2800.00 later the neighbor no longer wants to shoot me though he does call every night to ask where my dog is. He see's her in his yard when she is in her new lot $400.00 to keep her in her own yard. In the last few days she has destroyed her new $30 water bucket. She bit a hole through the bottom of the aluminum bucket. I don't know if me or the dog need to see a therapist. Maybe both of us.
Okay...you win! Your pooch is worse than Sparky!
naughty dog, ang you are a good owner too, I guess we dog lovers have the highest tolerance when it comes to our dogs.... as long as they don't bite human, I think (LOL)
I think you must consult with some dog trainer. It will be the best option and you will get quite different results whenever you will see it well civilized. Perhaps that is an animal and your pet, He would show the attitude same alike.
wish I can help but please don't give up on him... I know dogs have their time to overcome that stage. My youngest dog destroyed my couch, but now she subsided and didn't destroy anything... goodluck
Have you considered a harness rather than a leash?
(Yes that is my sole brilliant contribution)
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