Destroying the house when home alone

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog General Discussion' started by Danielle, May 14, 2013.

  1. Danielle

    Danielle New Member

    My 15 month old Berner, Hallie can be such a brat when I leave her home alone. I'm in school for 4-5 hours a day depending on the day of the week. She gets a 30 minute walk in the morning before I leave as well as lots of playtime in the backyard while I get ready in the mornings. She also gets 2-3 hour walks in the evenings and goes to the dog park and doggy daycare regularly. I "Hallie proof" the house before I go, trying to put away anything I think she'll chew or get into trouble with. I close the bedroom doors and I give her a denta stick before I go. She is constantly getting into things while she's home alone... today she ate 3 household plants including a cactus, she's eaten 3 pairs of expensive ski goggles, TV remotes, DVD cases, framed pictures, cat food, shoes, leashes, tupperware.... ect. basically anything she can get her mouth on. When I come home to find the mess, She'll be hiding under the coffee table or in a corner trying to avoid me because she knows that what she's done is wrong. I just don't know what to do anymore, I feel guilty crating her during the day and she had several toy baskets with every type of dog toy imaginable that she could be chewing on rather than my house. Any suggestions?
  2. LittleBo

    LittleBo New Member

    It sounds like your dog suffers from separation anxiety. Exercise is typically one method of dealing with this, but it sounds like you already do enough of that and it isn't helping. Some people suggest giving your dog short periods of "alone time", and gradually extending the period they are alone as they seem to get more comfortable. You can try putting them in the crate for 5-10 minutes while you're home and then taking them out. If you don't feel comfortable leaving them in the crate for several hours, consider investing in an exercise pen for a large space inside your house, if possible. That way you can control what they have access to while you're away. Toss their toys, treat balls, and whatever else in to keep them occupied.
  3. konabeardog

    konabeardog New Member

    I was gonna suggest something similar to an exercise pen.... is there anyway you could gate her off in a specific area that she is unable to get into trouble in (kitchen perhaps?). I wonder if you gate her off there and then come home to no mess and praise her for that if that could be something she likes getting use to ya know?
    "Oh, Mom left me alone and there is no mess and she's happy to see me now and wants to be super nice instead of yelling at me for eating the remotes". Slowly giving her the independence to have free range. Maybe don't gate her when you run to the store real quick for example....Just a thought!
    Good luck!
  4. kathywell

    kathywell New Member

    I think your dog is having some behavioral issue, I think you should take him to the vet he might be suffering from separation anxiety.
  5. LittleBo

    LittleBo New Member

    Here is a really great informational handout about dogs with separation anxiety. It gives a lot of suggestions in dealing with it, one of which I had mentioned previously. I would read through this and try to be as consistent with the advice it gives. And remember, you have a long road ahead as you try to convince puppy that being alone is OK, so consistency and patience is important. Good luck! :)
  6. 2berners

    2berners Guest

    I don't necessarily think this is separation anxiety - more like a young energetic dog who is bored when you are gone so she is making her own entertainment. Although you don't like the idea, there is nothing wrong with crating her for the few hours you are gone. It will keep your house safe and more importantly it will keep your dog safe. If she is chewing things it may just be a matter of time until she eats something dangerous. Show her that her crate can be a great place to be by feeding her meals in there and giving her a stuffed, frozen kong when you leave. She will learn to like her crate and you will know that she is safe while you are gone.
  7. kaleigh2458

    kaleigh2458 New Member

    My dog is the exact same way! She is an absolute angel as long as someone is with her. When you leave her alone for more than an hour or so, we come home to find something shredded or torn up. My other dogs (not Bernese) chew things up for enjoyment regardless of us being home...but with Abby it seems more like boredom or rebellion for us leaving her alone! She doesn't seem to have separation anxiety...more just bored and does it to occupy herself. We started shutting the door so she doesn't have roam of the full house and there is little for her to touch. That has seemed to work for us!
  8. BernerRescue

    BernerRescue New Member

    I have to agree here....this is very typical adolescent behavior from a busy Berner. Not all Berners are "busy" but MANY are and this is what you get if you give them too much freedom too soon.

    Crating would be too confining and would make the problem worse.....but you do need to stop setting her up to fail.

    Your best solution until you can trust her is to get an x-pen or even two of them.....and keep her in this area with a stuffed kong and toys to play with. A stuffed kong, if stuffed well and frozen so she really has to work at the cream cheese and almond butter for example should last her a couple of hours. If you put two pens together she will have room to roll around too.

    Purchase an x-pen asap to restore your sanity and set her up for success!
  9. StompinTania

    StompinTania New Member

    We crated our dog when we were out until she was over 2 years old - that's when I quit my job and was home most of the day.

    I think young dogs just get into mischief when faced with many hours alone. Crating would solve your problem.
  10. BernerMax

    BernerMax New Member

    I agree with this! and we have had some very destructive dogs (giant schnauzer chewed threw carpeting and down into the floor)....
    Our berner is sooo oral he just loves putting stuff into his mouth and chewing, luckily this slowed down alot by age 18months-- now a raw meaty bone will suffice....
    I never felt great about putting large and giant breed growing/developing pups into crates. (sorry I am against the current on this one).. growing bones and joints need stress/ weight bearing to develop-- ask any physical therapist and they will tell you this....
    We used baby gates ...for our dogs.... and most have done really well developemntally and mentally....

    (one exception was our 1st Boxer, our first pup in 20 years, we bought him out of a van at Dennys and we let him be a frisbee dog at too young an age, he ruptured his knees)...
  11. dogspotindia

    dogspotindia New Member

    As above you told. I suggest you to Try some interactive dog toys which is filled with treats and whenever your dog hits them a treat put down, dog will eat them and again he repeat that and he fond another one. He should busy with them and your house remains safe. Here is the link of interactive dog toy

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