Training help! Chewing, Night-only accidents, and digging???

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Training Forum' started by Gypsywether, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. Gypsywether

    Gypsywether New Member

    My berner, Trace is 10 months old. He's a good sweet boy, but we're having some issues with him that I Don't know how to break. I've Never had this much of a problem training a dog before or breaking them of habits. So any help on a few of these issues would be great.

    One is Chewing. He Keeps Destroying things. Esp Shoes. Flip flops, leather shoes, stuffed toys, socks, those are his main things. I had bought him Several chew toys, a tire type toy, nylabones, etc. No stuffed toys since I have a 3 & 5 yr old and I believe giving a dog a stuffed toy will teach it All stuffed toys are ok to chew on. Plus he would just Eat half of it and it could hurt him. I do'nt have any super soft squeaky toys cause again, he will destroy it. I figured maybe he has a soft mouth and the hard toys are too hard and that's why he has barely touched them. so I bought him a Soft rubber chew toy from Walmart. Very flexible but still not Clothlike. He barely touches it. I've dealt with chewers before and never had so much trouble breaking this. They were hard chewers (one dog loved Wood) but I've never had a Soft chewer before. I don't know what to give him!

    Second is that even with all chewables put away we can not leave him out at night. He is perfectly house trained during the day. He doesn't have accidents or anything. At night he pees &/or poops Every Single Night. We take him out at night and let him pee for 5 minutes (he stands and pees Forever almost every time). Or if we just let him in the yard we leave him for more than long enough for him to do his business. We tried taking the water up at night so that he wouldn't just guzzle water and fill his bladder early. Still nothing. He can stay inside for hours and be fine, but ater half that time at night the floor will be wet. We don't want to keep him in a kennel at night since we do want him to be part of the family and sleep in one of the bedrooms. Sadly we can't do that right now.

    Digging is another thing he'll do outside. It's not that we leave him out for hours on end all the time. He's usually inside unless we're not home and it's a nice day, that way he's not confined in the house. He doesn't just dig then. Sometimes we let him out and he immediately goes to start digging. I've never had a digger before so I have No idea how to deal with this. I don't work so I'm not away from home often, and when I DID work (up until about a month ago) I only worked PT.

    I love my dog, he's So sweet and so loving. But he has my husband convinced that he is an Idiot. He just happily acts like he has no idea what you want him to do when we Do know that he Does. I know he's a smart boy, and he's a good dog, but I Hate that my husband tells people that Berners are stupid dogs, since this is his only experience with one. I am not a champion dog trainer by any means, but I do know to be consistant, I know to ensure my Family stays consistant. We treat all of the dogs the same Except that He gets chew toys and they don't since they don't chew! I don't beat my dogs, I apparently scare my husband's dog just with my bad dog voice. I use a lot of praise. I take him for walks and car rides and ensure he has plenty of positive attention. I have successfully taught every dog that has ever come into our home, even temporarily (fostering strays) the basics (sit, lay, out, come, go lay down, kennel up). Be is a little yipdog that cried or a growling rottie. Hell I even trained my Cat (come, down, stop, out) I just don't know what to do besides work him to exhaustion every day!

    Sorry that was so long. Any help you can offer me will be So appreciated. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2010
  2. DixieDolan

    DixieDolan New Member

    Training Issues

    I don't have any great answers for you but I just wanted to let you know that I am having many similar issues with my 7.5 month old female. She is a chew-monster and even still tries to gnaw on my hand! I've never had this much trouble with a dog either so just want you to know you are not alone! Mine went through a stage where she chewed shoes, any laundry or any fabrics she can get a hold of--all towels and all the dog beds in the house$$. She does chew her Nylabones and Kongs all the time, so that's good! She also digs some but seems to go on and off with that--thank goodness. We had pee issues too--she would pee in her crate (which I always thought was unheard of!!) no matter what I did! Finally, I think we are done with that--but I'm not holding my breath yet! The only thing i have noticed is that being really, really consistent with making her sit or lay down for everything she gets. I make her "wait" at the top of the stairs while I go down them. All of this basic obedience work seems to remind her who is the boss! She is no pushover, that's for sure. With constant obedience work and consistency, she IS getting better but I'm exhausted and broke!! I love my sweet girl too, but it's been hard! Good luck and let me know how it's going!:)
  3. Maxieboy

    Maxieboy New Member

    My Max is a 10 month old too. He just recently quit chewing and eating everything that he could get his mouth on. He is actually starting to settle down more and more, but he has a playmate (6 yr old pit/boxer mix and she is a sweetheart) that he spends most of his time with now. He still loves sleeping on his pillow at the foot of my bed. He is the best dog I have ever owned.
    ClanTalley likes this.
  4. Blinkin

    Blinkin New Member

    We also had issues with our Berner digging and chewing but is seems she has mostly grown out of it. When she does occasionally dig we scold her (the only time we need to scold her). She usually digs when she's bored or irritated we aren't playing with her.

    As for the chewing we've redirected it to compressed rawhide bones. She used to eat shoes and destroy her toys. But now she is very content to have a big compressed rawhide bone to chew on.

    Hopefully your dog outgrows these bad behaviors too. Good luck!
    ClanTalley likes this.
  5. MrBrian12

    MrBrian12 New Member

    My berener is about 5 1/2 months old and he has always been chewing on dumb things like shoes, old socks and the remote control. Last night I was making dinner and went into the living room to check on him and he chewed a chunk out of the corner of our baseboard. This is the first time he has ever chewed on the wood or anything like that in our house. I havent really had any problems with Winston digging around outside but usually i just take him outside and bring him when hes done doing his business. I am keeping a close eye on him now and hopefully the wood chewing will stop and he will focus more on toy and other fun things.
  6. ClanTalley

    ClanTalley New Member

    About what age did your dog outgrow the chewing and digging? Our 8month old female, Mesa, has recently really gotten into chewing anything and everything and digging digging digging...our yard is quite dug up. I am going to try the rawhide immediately :)
  7. summersnowbr

    summersnowbr Active Member

    Sierra stopped really chewing as soon as her adult teeth were completely in. We have bought her some Kong toys, a ball, one that looks like a rope, and a red pyramid one, she lugs those around like their made of gold. She doesn't dig in the yard at all. She does her morning walks with a 3 year old malamute, Sierra is 10 months old today, there is a huge sand pile on a vacant lot that Bella, the malamute, and Sierra dig in. Actually what goes on with the two is Bella digs the hole Sierra lays directly behind her trying to figure out what she is digging for. The end result is Bella paws have sand on it. Sierra is covered from head to paw with the sand Bella dug out. She is quite the sight. So the digging part does she lay in the holes she digs? Some dogs dig and lay in the hole to cool off.
  8. Herbie

    Herbie New Member

    I have to thank Red Barn bully sticks for my berner to break the habit of chewing. I would say my berner was a very active puppy, so I would walk with him longer, have playdates with other dogs or sometimes I take him to the pool to give him exercises that will tire him out when we go home. If I see him a bit bored, thats when I give him the bully sticks when he is home. Now he is almost 2 years old and he doesn't really want bully sticks anymore. He likes to steal flip flips and other shoes sometimes, but not for chewing. Its mostly seeking my attention to play chasing game with him.

    As for digging, I think its in their nature, but I do figure it out that when you give them a lot of fun activities outdoor, they tend to forget do the chewing and digging. Thats what happened to my berner. If he is bored at home, thats when he is looking for trouble.

    Im not sure if my comment is helpful enough, but good luck! I hope your berner is making some improvement

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