Need advice with random chewing while at work.

  • Background: 4 months ago we adopted Ginger (basenji mix) We think mix because she barks, tail is mostly straight and one ear curls down most of time. But looks exactly like a Basenji. Vet says 2-3 years old. Was not fixed when we got her and was Heart Worm positive. We have been on alternative heartworm treatment since day one. 2 more months and we recheck for HW. Will get her fixed once that is taken care of. But very healthy otherwise and has gained a few pounds already. She is around 33lb now.

    We have a 5yo Corgi pembroke, and a 4yo daughter. Dog door in attached sunroom to the back yard. 6ft privacy fence lots of shade ect.

    She gets along wonderful with Sasha our corgi and our daughter and every person she has met. Little shy and timid at first but about over that. Not sure if that was from the pound or previous owner ect. She isnt aggresive at all though. Well except random cats and squirrels in the neighborhood.

    They both sleep with me and for the most part she is a GREAT dog. Just the chewing on random stuff. Most time its just a corner or small bit of something.

    Problem: She chewed the couch cushion yesterday while we were at work. Just the corner off. Second piece of furniture in 4 months. First was dining room table leg just a little bit on week one. She loves shoes and jacket zippers and childs toys ect. Which was ok. We all learned to pick up everything off the floor and close bedroom doors and even use a child 6 section gate as a barrier for the sunroom/playroom for our daughters toys. We have accepted she loves to chew and try to work around that. Also makes daughter put her dinner plates in the kitchen when finished and guard her food till shes done.

    Its the furniture that set my wife off. Talking about I need to do something or pen her outside while we are gone ect. since we have the corgi, I dont want to pen one and not the other fearing it may cause problems between them.

    What I tried today: Closed the folding doors to the sunroom and left the dogs in the gated off section. This is attached to the back door with dog door so they can go outside and roam. play ect. They have about a 12x6 maybe bit bigger area with both dog beds, water and some toys. As long as ginger doesnt climb the gate and get to all my daughters toys we are fine. But if she does I will have to do something else.

    At first she wouldnt fetch at all and really didnt like to play except with me semi-rough housing. Corgi loves to fetch. Finally got her to fetch one toy. So we play fetch outside twice a day on nice days and down the hall on rainy days. This has helped alot with her random chewing while we are at home. Corgi is also losing weight which was much needed.

    I give her condensed rawhide bones 2-3 times a week at most. If she gets to many she gets upset tummy and gags/spits up for day or so. Found this out over christmas with inlaws visiting lol.

    She can go through a normal rawhide bone in minutes. Tried the busy buddy and that worked for a week or so. But now that lasts no time. She likes chewing on ropes some but not all the time. We have a kong and she likes that for a little bit. But soon as treat is gone shes done with it. She can destroy most toys, chew bones in no time flat. Very hard chewer.

    I dont really scold her much. Just a strong NO and the look. She knows when she has done bad. Shes very well behaved besides some chewing.

    Need some toy suggestions and anything else that may help me out with her. Just wanting to make sure im taking the right steps with her. The dogs are home alone for about 7-7.5 hours a day. Going to get more toys so she has a variety.

    If worst comes to worst I can build a doghouse area outside and the dogs can stay outside during the day. But its gets pretty hot here in the summer and lots of rain. Wanting to avoid that. Also my corgi is spoiled house dog and with her double coat of hair not sure she would endure very well in the heat alll days. Wife doesnt want to leave corgi out all day, she wants me to pen Ginger and leave Sasha in the house. Also can be fairly cold in winter some days.

  • Hello and welcome to the forum. Is there any way to lock them in the room that has the doggy door and then they can come in and out as they please? I have this set-up in my house, they get locked in the porch with a baby gate and they can go outside and roam the yard if they want to or when it is raining or if it gets too hot they can come into the house. I would not feed a dog rawhide. It swells up in their bellies. Try Bully Sticks (man the amount of time I endorse these, they should be paying me royalties) these things are amazing. They are tougher than rawhide and are a natural product and dogs go nuts for them. You can also try antler pieces. I don't use them for my B's but I do for my NSDT retriever. He loves them…. again all natural. There is a product out there called Bitter Apple also. If you see her chewing on something when you are home, just spray that on there and they won't touch it again. I've had good success with that as well.

    Hope this gives you some things to think about!

  • Yes thats what I did today. May not have explained it well. They are in the sunroom with access to the dog door. gated off with a child gate. Only thing is daughters playroom is the rest of the sunroom. So if she happens to want to jump the child gate, the wife will make me do something more drastic.

    Thanks for the bully bone, antler suggestion. I will try those.

    I went home at lunch and everything was fine today. wife should be home now and hasnt called me to complain so hopefully all is still well that the Gated section in sunroom will work.

  • If you search he other posts you'll find that many Basenjis are just chewers - you are doing the best thing i think to keep her away from anything she can damage while you're away.

    There are products you can spray to deter chewing and Bitter Apple is one. Playing as you're doing and long walks if possible may be the answer so she is fully occupied with lots to think about.

    If you catch her chewing something she shouldn't, tell her 'no' and offer her an acceptable alternative. Patience is the key - there'll be no immediate fix I'm afraid.

    She sounds a lovely dog with lots of positive benefits as opposed to the one chewing problem.

  • We made it through 1 day of no damage !! Both dogs were wet and muddy because of the rainy day though. No big deal. They were both alot more tired then normal last night too. So I think they spent alot more time outside playing. They used to set by the front door and look out the glass when we were gone and wait for us. So I think this is having a side effect for the better we werent thinking about.

    I also talked to some of the guys at work about getting some antlers. Since everyone around here hunts I figured it was worth a shot. My wife just got word of a bunch of antlers from her coworker today. So tomorrow I should have some antlers to saw into sections and try. I just couldnt see spending $20lb + shipping not knowing if Ginger will like them.

  • I don't know if my situation is typical, but when I have to crate one and not the other, it doesn't seem to make a difference in their interactions. Our boy would chew a sofa to shreds, and Annie the maniac wouldn't consider it. So once in a while we leave her out (especially since she hates the crate.) I'm not positive that Simon even realizes that there's a difference. He's smart in basenji ways, but… 😃

  • Kipawa loves antlers - they are probably his most favorite chew toy, and they really LAST! Spectacular that you have access to getting them cheaper, because they are quite expensive, but I find they are worth it.

  • Antlers are good chews, and they will last a long time if they have been naturally shed. I believe antlers that had been removed from an animal (ie hunting) still had a blood flow and weren't "dead" yet so won't last as long because they are softer.

  • @listeme:

    I don't know if my situation is typical, but when I have to crate one and not the other, it doesn't seem to make a difference in their interactions. Our boy would chew a sofa to shreds, and Annie the maniac wouldn't consider it. So once in a while we leave her out (especially since she hates the crate.) I'm not positive that Simon even realizes that there's a difference. He's smart in basenji ways, but… 😃

    I have 2 dogs in crates, one in an xpen and one loose in the house. nobody seems to mind the arrangement.

  • post deleted.

  • I also have a Basenji / terrier mix and he is an avid chewer. My bf is the same way about his chewing. It makes him upset when he finds one of his things chewed up by Taz. I have found that Nyla Bones are great for them as well. Get the ones for the powerful chewers as they have them labled. If you use the ones for powerful chewer they don't go through them as fast. My Golden retriever "Levi" and Taz both love them. I also get them bones as well. He tends to leave other things alone when he has one that he is focused on. The bitter apple may not work as my Taz will chew anything with that sprayed on it, lol. I hope this is helpful to you. Watch out for the table surfing too. If she is anything like my Taz he loves to stand up beside tables and get anything that is on there in his reach.

  • Basenjis are known for chewing and even my older/elderly dogs must be crated because of it. I was hoping it would lessen as they got older-it has somewhat but not totally. They like to chew the cover on the sofa and chair!


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