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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
my puppy Josie is trying to eat all the furniture in my kitchen, and the bitter spray isn't really working. Does anyone have any other ideas?
Thanks!!!
 

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Mix the Bitter Apple with Absorbine Jr. It comes in a tube with a roller ball top. Open it, and pour the liquid into the Bitter Apple spray bottle and shake it to mix. This works really well.
 

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I've found that "yuck" works really well, too. I think you can get it at Petsmart.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! I tried the "yuck", and it worked at first. But then its like she got used to the taste. So I switched brands - no luck there. I am slowly removing furniture from my kitchen piece by piece. pretty soon we'll all be eating standing up. I'll try the Absorbine Jr. :)
 

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I can't remember who told me this trick...but Binaca breath spray seems to work wonders in keeping the puppy from chewing on my kitchen chairs. I have the blue pepperMint. They won't go near whatever I spray.
 

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Did you "teach" her that Yuck is nasty stuff?
It's a critical step, IMO!
Take a couple of cotton balls and soak them with the Yuck. Then rub it gently on the roof of her mouth, making a VERY big deal out of it. Things like "POOR PUPPY! OH YOU POOR THING!! THIS IS HORRIBLE!!! POOR GIRL". You get the idea.
Your attitude toward it is what really helps her to understand that when anything smells or tastes like that, it's not a good thing to have in her mouth.
 

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I'd skip the whole substance route and make it a training issue. Only give her the run of the kitchen when you're there and ready to train her to "leave it" when she goes for furniture. Teach her to take that urge out on an appropriate toy instead of on furniture. That way you can lay the groundwork for lifelong good habits.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everybody! I did spray my fingers and put them in her mouth and give her a good taste of it, and she really hated it. But, she just doesn't seem to mind it on the furniture!:doh: I am working on the "leave it" command. She will do it sometimes, but not when she gets really fixated on something. Right now, she doesn't have the run of anything - I'm always supervising. She's a sneaky little devil, she knows when I'm not looking. She also knows that it gets my attention - maybe thats my problem right there. I'll keep trying!
Now that I have some ideas to save my furniture, how about my skin? She's also biting the heck out of me, and its starting to hurt! I try saying "no bite" and giving her a toy instead, I try "Ouch", sometimes it works - sometimes she gets crazier. Tonight she was especially determined. I'm trying not to get mad, but it sure is hard. My kids took years to figure out how to push my buttons - how is it this puppy has figured me out in 2 weeks?
 

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Are you redirecting her to a toy every time and showing her that grabbing a toy results in fun and play? That might help her to learn a better way of expressing her desire to mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I try, but sometimes it takes a few minutes to get to a toy I can grab. In the meantime, she switches from one pant leg to another, biting whatever she can. I'm afraid its become a game to her. I'm trying to use the right tone of voice, but that is definately not one of my strengths. Then my kids see her doing it to me, and they are getting nervous that they will get the same treatment. Its becoming me and the dog in the kitchen, and the kids in the other room, passing things over the gates. Not the loving addition to the family I had hoped for.
And then she gets tired, and is the sweetest little girl! Talk about split personality!
 

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Tons of exercise has kept my pup from biting on his fave thing to bite ... my coffee table. What worked in the end was being on it every time he tried to chew it ... saying NO ... and then giving him a good alternative to chew on ... it took 2 weeks though. Now he finally ignores it. Calm and steady persistence will do it in the end.
 

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It's important to remember that it's not the strength of the "no" that teaches the dog not to chew the furniture. It's the timing and fun of the alternative you present. It would be really hard to work against a retriever's urge to chew and eliminate it by pairing it with negative stimulus.

It's much easier to teach a dog how to avoid what's not OK to chew and to find what is OK to chew. Making the right stuff fun is much more important than making the wrong stuff unpleasant. In fact, you don't need to use a "no" at all if your timing and positive reinforcement is well executed.
 

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I agree with Tippy on the training part. In the meantime, to help with those moments where you want to use the kitchen area for management and have to turn your back, are you reapplying the Bitter Apple daily? Remember that as air gets to it, it will lose potency. Whatever spray you decide to use will have to be reapplied often. Also, don't let her see you spray stuff (makes it higher value) and don't laugh if she goes to chew and then backs off, clearly offended by the taste (makes it less aversive b/c we seem to like her reaction).
 

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Yup to all that ... thats why I said calm and consistent ... no matter what they want to chew but you can help them to understand there are other things to chew up :) after a while he realized that his bones and plush toys were better

That's also why it took 2 weeks for him to finally ignore the coffee table ..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well it sounds like I have the right tools, I just have to be patient. Tommorrow is a new day, right?
 

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I read somewhere on the internet to try vicks vapor rub...I put it under the edge of things like the bottom carpeted stair & under chair rungs, worked like a charm!!! Ours hated the smell, never went near the stairs again! Give it a try, can't hurt...just don't use on fabric.

good luck!
 
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