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 Post subject: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 6:39 pm 
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Location: Pleasant Hill, CA
My new dog Sophie is 14.5 months old and has been with me for 3.5 months now. She has a very bad behavior of taking a bite out of things cloth, i.e. throw rugs, towels, clothes, pillow cases. She then chews it up and will actually swallow it if I don't catch her and take it out of her mouth.

She has tons of toys, my other dog for companionship, play and modeling of good house behavior, gets plenty of good quality food, treats for training, and lots of exercise. She is crated for her own protection when I'm not home- I have a dog walker who comes to take her out mid-day on my work days- and I keep her in the same room with me when I'm home. However, some of the things she's bitten into were right in front of me, done so quickly, like, biting the hem off of the jeans I was wearing!

She is QUICK and seems to plan her goals. For example, I set her down off the grooming table and she went straight for the towel hanging nearby, jumped up, and bit a hole out of it. At first I thought this was some sort of game she's playing with me for more attention, but now I don't think so. This behavior seems very focused and deliberate. I am at a loss for how to deal with it. Any ideas, anyone?

(yes, I've made a vet appointment for her)

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Chris
Mom to
Cricket, home 1-29-2012 - 3-29-2017, 5 yrs, 2 mo of Love
Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
---------------------------------------
Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love


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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:45 pm 
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Wow, Chris, I have no ideas as to why she might be doing this. I would love to hear what others think. I once had a cat that would eat anything made of acrylic yarn. She once ate the hem out of a sweater I was knitting while laying right next to me -- quiet and sneaky. We were never able to train her, but we became very neat and were sure to never to leave socks or anything else within her her reach. Not quite the same, as there is no way you can hide everything made of cloth.

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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:00 am 
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Chessie was a cloth eater.... she used to remove any extremities of her toys LOL. She had a baby receiving blanket that she basically ate about 1/3. She has grown out of eating cloth and she was never as extreme as your Sophie sounds. Some dogs like wood, some like rocks, our just like cloth. Just try to be as vigilant as you can to keep it away.... and I'd recommend dog insurance because, as careful as you try to be, she's gonna get something ..... surgery is very expensive when they eat a sock... trust me on that!

I hope she outgrows the habit!

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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:41 am 
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I don't have experience with a cloth eater, but Jennie is totally obsessed with paper. Tissue, newspaper, cardboard boxes, etc. She was a big "help" wrapping gifts, as you can imagine. She also loves to chew on wash cloths, especially those that have a hem on either end. She will work on the hem until she gets it unstitched, but she doesn't actually eat them.

I do know that fabric sucking is thought to be caused by a puppy being weaned too soon. As they get older, it can become compulsive and may need help from a behaviorist to get under control. But that may not apply to actually eating it.

Have you noticed if it is a particular type of fabric, such as always things made of cotton? Maybe she was not being fed enough before you got her and started eating fabrics that tasted good to supplement her diet. I'm sure you are feeding her adequately, but however it started it may now be a habit.

Good luck and keep us posted on how it is going. And of course we are dying to see some pics!

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Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:03 pm 
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Well first of all CONGRATULATIONS on your new puppy. I had no idea you got one!

Second, may we please see a picture?

Third, my Emma - whom I hate to tell you is FIVE - will eat anything: cloth, bugs, worms, poop, sand from the fireplace, toys, etc. I blame it on her breeder, who had a lot of dogs that she rotated in and outside without supervision and Emma just learned to eat everything and wasn't corrected. We didn't get Em until she was 15 months old - long after she should have been trained out of eating everything. We are just vigilant with keeping things picked up. She's a little better with her toys, but everything else is fair game. I actually thought she had pica, but my vet said some dogs just eat inappropriate things and left it at that.

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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:32 am 
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Congrats on the new puppy and yes, we need pics!!

Belle likes to eat parts of stuffies, literally. She loves to take one and she will get the ear/tail (anything small) into her mouth and her back teeth will saw it off and then she plays with the piece and eventually eat it. I try not to let her eat it but it happens. I can always tell Belles poop outside because it has bits of stuffies in it. lol! No clue why she does this or your pup either. At least mine is something that is actually the dogs vs your towels/clothing.

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Donna

Maya - Blue Merle born 5/28/06
Angel - White Buff rescued 4/19/09 at 4mo of age
Belle - Cocker mix rescued 6/5/13 at 8 weeks of age
^Ginger^ - Buff rescued 5/19/07 went to the bridge 5/26/13
^Lacey^ -Black Cocker always in our hearts 12/15/89-7/16/06


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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:30 am 
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Ideas...
Expect it to happen, watch puppy and wait for it. Determine if a trigger is occurring(certain noise, reflection/light, anything)
Keep a leash on, hold on to it, clip to belt loop. Easy to stop/redirect with "come" with toy/treat.
Stick a chew toy in puppy's mouth every time you see it happen. Pup may just like to chew.
Practice come/down/stay...make wait for treat/play with toy. (Increase stay time before reward over time. Ideally puppy will eventually just down and stay out of habit.)
No fuss/ignore when it happens-- redirect to desired activity.
Even more exercise(never enough).
Even more play time with you(never enough).
Puppy might be in need of different/more food(actually hungry- vet to determine).
Puppy might be in need of more intellectually challenging stimulus. (Try scent training, teaching names to toys, create problem solving game(example: to reach toy, puppy needs to climb on something or press button.)
Bitter/no-chew sprays.

Repeat: Watch watch watch puppy. 2-3 second memory, too late to correct by time you notice.


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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 5:31 pm 
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Update:
Vet ruled out any medical issues. Recommended a white nylabone, as much exercise as possible, basic obedience class so we can move on to rally or agility. Crating when I can't watch her, which I already do. Unlimited patience!

Trainer also recommended the white nylabone. The very first time I gave it to her she chewed so vigorously that she got it all rough on the end in just a couple minutes, then proceeded to scratch the roof of her mouth with it, so much so that her mouth bled!! So at 4 minutes I had to take it away from her and clean up the blood!

A couple days later I offered it to her, she chewed for a couple of minutes, but hasn't touched it since. And she's much more careful about what she tries to chew on now. I felt bad that she had to get hurt to learn, but someone pointed out that was an easier learning than major surgery for swallowing something...

I did wake up Sunday morning to her nibbling on the end of the pillow case beside me... she had graduated to out-of-crate and on my bed at night. I scolded her, and she hasn't gotten anything since.

I would love to post pictures of her, but when I resized them, they all came out sideways! Haven't had time to troubleshoot that - any ideas, any body?

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Chris
Mom to
Cricket, home 1-29-2012 - 3-29-2017, 5 yrs, 2 mo of Love
Sophie, 10-22-2015, home 9/19/15-
---------------------------------------
Maggie Mae: home 9/1/2014 - 3/31/2015, 7 mo of Love
Feather: 3/23/1994 - 11/17/2011, 17 yrs, 8 mo of Love


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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:07 pm 
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Hi Chris,

Once you save them, you should be able to right click and have a "rotate right or left" option. Or in whatever program you are using, say PAINT - after you resize, there should be a rotate or flip command under the "Home" tab. Then save it. What program are you using?

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Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:26 pm 
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How about a KONG chew toy that one can put a treat into?

Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:26 am 
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Interesting story result, good to know; thanks for update!


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 Post subject: Re: Biting into and chewing up cloth
PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2016 6:42 pm 
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Hey Chris,
Congrats on the new pup! Our brown and white boy, Fletcher, has the same problem. He was a rescue who we adopted at age 6. I don't think he did it for the first few months, but about a year after we had him, he started wanting to eat towels and paper. Sometimes, he would do it when I took our other dog out to use the bathroom and left him at the door-wasn't his turn and took them one at a time. He'd get into trouble. He has also eaten cash money and this is gross, but I have seen the remains in his poop! Last summer, he got really sick and on the 4th of July had to have surgery to remove a blockage in his tummy. He made it thru the surgery and our vet showed us a wadded up mess of cloth. We didn't even know he had eaten that. I don't know if that was pieces that had built up over time or what. After that, our vet told us the behavior was not going to stop, but we would just have to "Fletcher-Proof" our house and make a room that was safe for him to not chew stuff if we were leaving him alone during the day. He also has crate when we are gone and he behaves in it. In the last few months, I have caught him trying to eat tissues and papers he finds in my car when I leave him in the car to go into a store, etc. So now, I have to make sure I don't leave stuff in my car anymore. We can't trust him. He does not eat my clothes left out and doesn't chew his cushion in his crate or our furniture. Just be careful, it can be funny to some people, but he can also die if he eats something and the vet doesn't remove it. Also, the surgery we paid for was very expensive. We go to a very reasonable vet, but I want to think my mom paid like $1400 for that. It was unexpected and we don't have pet insurance. I hope you dog gets better and you don't have to work on this his whole life. We love our dog so much. Some people think he may do it bec. he is bored or doesn't get enough exercise, but it is kind of like an addiction. I forgot to say he will even try to eat cigarette butts off the ground when we go on walks. He gets in trouble the most when he is left alone and not watched.


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