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I'm needing suggestions, but I'll admit right off the bat that I have already rejected the most practical ones, which likely makes me seem a little crazy ;P

After being a stellar pup for more than two months, Quinn started to chew things when left alone. His favorite is magazines and newspapers, which believe it or not, I'm fine with. The problem is that little-by-little, he is expanding his tastes and today I came home, after being gone about 4 hours, to find a chewed edge in the living room area rug. Not good. We have been hoping we would get past this stage unscathed, but I'm afraid I will come home one day and it will be the sofa or the chair or both. Not having the puppy months with him makes this a bit of a challenge, and his size makes it even more challenging. Here are my reasons for not doing some of the obvious...

Crating: At this point, I don't really have the time to condition him to a crate--even if I could find one big enough, which I doubt. 

Confining: There isn't a room in the house that I can use for confinement, and even if I could figure that out, I would never confine Gracie with him (she needs to be able to escape his playfulness when he gets overwhelming) and I think Quinn would tear down the door if Gracie isn't with him. He loves her. 

Kongs: Tried this with observation and after he cleans out the filling, he tends to toss it around until it ends up under a piece of furniture. An almost 3 ft., 100+ lb. dog trying to extricate a Kong from under something is a very scary thing.

Exhaustion: This is the best answer, but unfortunately not always possible before leaving. In the morning, we have the "no exercise around meals" rule to deal with. It's restricting.

So I am hoping you creative people might have something I haven't rejected yet! Also, do any of you have any chew toy ideas that would be safe with no humans around? My fear of choking my dog is bigger than my fear of a destroyed sofa.

Thanks!

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Comment by Pedro & Alessandra on January 2, 2016 at 9:29pm

Oh sweet Quinn... I do hope it's only a stage but I understand your concern... Pedro had a stage of chewing all our baseboards... they were replaced and then he still chewed through one of the newer ones. And there are puppy teeth marks on the legs of certain chairs... *sigh. My only suggestion would be the bitter apple spray or the chili pepper strategically applied to deter him from chewing... I have to say that neither worked for us as Pedro didn't dislike the bitter apple enough and actually liked the chili sauce (i.e., Frank's) on his chair legs or baseboard tastings! ...

Oh Quinn, naughty but sweet, adorable boy!

Good luck CJ!

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on January 2, 2016 at 5:04pm

Still laughing...!

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on January 2, 2016 at 5:04pm

So glad to see you align with my sense of humor! My husband is reading over my shoulder and we are both laughing!! :) If we could figure it out, that wouldn't be a bad idea!!

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on January 2, 2016 at 4:36pm

I've think the video/treat dispenser is a cute idea for the right dog.  Yeah, I could see that a large ambitious dog would easily find a shortcut to those treats!  Maybe you could make a hide-a-treat out an old washing machine!

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on January 2, 2016 at 12:14pm

I TRULY appreciate the thought and your efforts, DonMarie, but I have to say, and I hope you take this with the friendly good humor that is meant .... looking at these made me literally laugh out loud. Yes, he would be thoroughly entertained during the entire time it would take him to destroy the puzzle and reduce it to tiny little pieces! I noticed there are no giant breeds pictured with any of these. We're talking very long, vice-grip jaws! When Quinn mouths Gracie's head, her head disappears! The dispenser is a cool idea, but alas, I am a cellphone holdout. Have progressed beyond the flip, but have yet to purchase a smartphone. 

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on January 2, 2016 at 11:58am

I wonder if these toys/games would keep him entertained?    http://www.activedogtoys.com/collections/dog-puzzle-games  or this camera/remote dispenser?  http://www.petzi.com/

Comment by Jan, Lily & Nessy on January 2, 2016 at 4:38am

Sounds like you've gotten some great advice, and hopefully te goughnuts work out!  The only other thing I could think of is a cage style muzzle, gruesome but true.  It would prevent chewing, but might make him more than a little uncomfortable.   Sorry, but that's the only thing not already mentioned that I could come up with. :(

Comment by CJ, Gracie, and Quinn on December 31, 2015 at 6:53pm

Yes, I thought the same thing DonMarie...we certainly got him healthy! I do think that's a part of it. He's healthy and he's 100% adjusted to this being his forever home--no doubts about that! Maybe it's a test!? Hmmm.... Let's see what they do if I chew THIS! Ha! It seems I grit my teeth every time I walk through the door, Beverly. Actually, it's more a feeling of a slightly terrified anticipation. We've considered the confinement solution, but aside from our "day jobs" we are antique dealers. Our basement and garage contain inventory and pieces needing repair or awaiting repurposing--no place for an unsupervised pup! There aren't any damage-proof rooms in our house. We don't know anyone nearby who could walk for us and there are no doggie daycares in the area. Wearing him out is the best solution and we do try to do that, but we are not always able to time it with our leaving. I will be retiring in June. When he started this chewing, I was hoping we might make it to then fairly unscathed; now I'm not so sure.

I just ordered two "goughnuts." I had considered them once before, and now someone on the IW fb page suggested giving them a try. Crossing my fingers he prefers these to the carpets and furniture!!

Comment by DonMarie & Picco on December 31, 2015 at 10:45am

Well it seems you must have done a good job at getting him healthy - he has LOTS of energy now! 

Is it possible to get a dog walker/daytime visitor to stop by during the day?  daycare? (expense might be less than new furniture & carpet)  Confine in the garage?   I used to have a (destructive) husky mix that I would put in an outside kennel with a dog house during the day but she was acclimated to the environment.

Comment by Beverly and Eli on December 30, 2015 at 5:00pm

I'm stumped. Eli confined most of his chewing to things he could get a hold of like shoes, socks, eyeglasses etc. So we learned to keep everything out of reach. We certainly have had dogs go through the furniture destruction stage and it was awful. Nothing worse than coming home to stuffing everywhere and gritting your teeth until you figure out where it came from. Because you have the disadvantage of his earlier months it might be helpful to consult a dog behavior specialist. Most of what I've learned is that it is boredom and restless energy, Hopefully someone will have a solution that works. By the way, we still don't leave Eli in the house. He and Chesney have a nice space in the basement complete with beds, water and toys. They spend time down there with my husband a lot while he's busy doing something so they're comfortable with the space. It's safe and pretty destruction free. Good luck.

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