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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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chewing corners of rugs - will it stop?

Zelda is almost 6 months old and does great in the downstairs level of our house, except for one thing: the rug corners are so fun for her to chew on. They're fairly cheap but they protect our wood floor from chairs and stools so we have been consistently spraying them with bitter apple and offering her an alternate chew-appropriate thing. This deters for her about a day, then doesn't bother her the next day after it dried. I thought she would stop trying eventually, but after a summer of this, she still tests them at some point every single day and it's getting really old. Is it time to just give up and put away the rugs until she's older? If so, any thoughts on when she might be able to handle it? I'm certainly also open to other solutions that don't involve getting rid of the rugs!

(Zelda is never unsupervised with the rugs - she is confined to her pen when we're not home.)


Zelda Violet, born March 2013
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by RoutineAvocado View Post
Zelda is almost 6 months old and does great in the downstairs level of our house, except for one thing: the rug corners are so fun for her to chew on. They're fairly cheap but they protect our wood floor from chairs and stools so we have been consistently spraying them with bitter apple and offering her an alternate chew-appropriate thing. This deters for her about a day, then doesn't bother her the next day after it dried. I thought she would stop trying eventually, but after a summer of this, she still tests them at some point every single day and it's getting really old. Is it time to just give up and put away the rugs until she's older? If so, any thoughts on when she might be able to handle it? I'm certainly also open to other solutions that don't involve getting rid of the rugs!

(Zelda is never unsupervised with the rugs - she is confined to her pen when we're not home.)
Kodi was TERRIBLE about chewing the fringe on our rugs, and they are NOT inexpensive ones... they are all orientals. He laughed at bitter apple spray. It only kept him away until it was dry... sometimes.

The soultion I finally came up with that worked was very, very, VERY HOT hot sauce. Obviously, you can't put this directly on the rugs without staining them, but I cut thin strips of cloth, pinned those to the edges where ever he tried chewing and put the hot sauce on the strips of cloth. We also coated all electric wires with hot sauce since, for a while, he was going after those too. He got some in his mouth ONCE, and he did cry... you could tell it hurt, but far better that than electrocuting himself on a wire!!!

After he had tasted it ONCE he left anything COMPLETELY alone that he smelled hot sauce on. Our house looked kind of funny for a while, with these strips of cloth pinned onto rugs and throw pillows (anything with fringe in Kodi's case!) but it completely solved the problem, and after he had left them alone for a while, I was able to remove the strips and he continued to leave them be.


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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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THANK YOU. I was afraid to suggest the hot sauce for fear of flaming, but if you tried it... Our vet mentioned he'd done it with his dog, too, but I still wasn't confident. I'm so doing this. I'll wait till after our pup friends visit on Sunday so they aren't subjected to Zelda's hot sauce.


Zelda Violet, born March 2013
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 11:39 AM
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Bitter apple spray does the trick for Diva


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 02:11 PM
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I used Vick's vapor rub at the corner of the coffee table once, and that was enough. He left everything alone, although he never once went for the electrical cords.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 03:44 PM
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Routineavocado, I think we have the same puppy! Haha

Love the ideas to help with the ripping up rugs. My girl has been ripping up the edges of the carpet in the bedroom (there goes our rental deposit!) I may try the cloth with some hot sauce. She is more prone to cords than the carpet, as I've had to replace 3 iPhone cords by now. Puppies are so destructive!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 04:00 PM
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THANK YOU. I was afraid to suggest the hot sauce for fear of flaming, but if you tried it... Our vet mentioned he'd done it with his dog, too, but I still wasn't confident. I'm so doing this. I'll wait till after our pup friends visit on Sunday so they aren't subjected to Zelda's hot sauce.
My choice was hot sauce or take a chance on him electrocuting himself. The hot sauce seemed much kinder. And it only took that one taste. After that, he would scramble backward away from the smell.

I really, TRULY believe in positive training as much as possible. (ALMOST always... and when I can't use rewards, I mostly use negative punishment... typically withholding attention) But when safety becomes an issue, like when Kodi was chewing electric cords, you have to do something to correct the behavior FAST. And if you are GOING to use a positive punishment, make sure it is targeted, immediate, and strongly enough aversive that you make you point in one or two trials.

The problem with most punishments is that people get the timing wrong, or it is not aversive enough to stop the behavior, so people ramp the punishment up. (or just keep doing the same thing over and over while the dog ignores them )

The nice thing about this is that you don't have to be there to make sure it is consistent, you don't have to worry about timing... the puppy puts his mouth on something off-limits, and the punishment is immediate, and if you use really hot hot sauce, the average dog isn't going to try more than once or twice. ...and you have done NOTHING directly to your puppy to scare him or make him think the punishment is coming from you.


Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 04:00 PM
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Bitter apple spray does the trick for Diva


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That's fantastic, and a great place to start. But a large number of dogs simply thumb their noses at bitter apple.


Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
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plus Starborn's Picture Perfect & CH Nauti Herd Compact Flash RN, CGC, NTD, SN-C, RL1)






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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 04:04 PM
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I used Vick's vapor rub at the corner of the coffee table once, and that was enough. He left everything alone, although he never once went for the electrical cords.
Vick's would be another good alternative, as it, too, is very strong smelling. The trouble with Vick's, though, is that it's grease and stays greasy. The hot sauce dries, and while it stays potent, once dry, it's not gooey or messy. But either one is worth a try. (although I'd want to check that there was nothing in Vick's that would be dangerous if an unexpectedly adventurous pup DID decide to ingest some... hot sauce might hurt the mouth, but it is perfectly SAFE to eat)


Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
(ARCHMX Starborn Kodak Moment CGC, NTD, BN, PCD, NA, NAJ, CDX-CCH, RE, RLV, RL1X3, RL2X4, RL3X3...
plus Starborn's Picture Perfect & CH Nauti Herd Compact Flash RN, CGC, NTD, SN-C, RL1)






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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-11-2013, 04:06 PM
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Routineavocado, I think we have the same puppy! Haha

Love the ideas to help with the ripping up rugs. My girl has been ripping up the edges of the carpet in the bedroom (there goes our rental deposit!) I may try the cloth with some hot sauce. She is more prone to cords than the carpet, as I've had to replace 3 iPhone cords by now. Puppies are so destructive!
Yeah, Kodi went through a number of iPhone, iPad and computer cords before moving on to electrical cords. (my sons were slow learners, what can I say? ) He was one expensive puppy!


Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
(ARCHMX Starborn Kodak Moment CGC, NTD, BN, PCD, NA, NAJ, CDX-CCH, RE, RLV, RL1X3, RL2X4, RL3X3...
plus Starborn's Picture Perfect & CH Nauti Herd Compact Flash RN, CGC, NTD, SN-C, RL1)






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