Carpet Chewing

I'm having a difficult time dealing with Trinity's carpet gnawing compulsion. I have been following her around for over a week now - watching everything she is up to, in fear yet another bare spot will appear. I have scolded, squirted, crated, rewarded the opposite behavior, distracted - I don't know what else to do. She will grab a chew toy & act like she is chewing on that, when really she is pulling up threads! I'm grateful Denver has no interest in this activity. My frustration elevates each time I find a new thread lying loose on the carpet. She gets plenty of exercise & attention & I vacuum regularly.
Has anyone had to deal with this behavior? More importantly, does anyone have the magic answer? She licks tea tree oil like it's delicious & I certainly don't want to poison or beat on her, although I have grabbed her up by the loose skin on her back for an eye to eye "no" - to no avail.
Perhaps this is a phase? Do I really have to watch her all of the time? I want to be able to trust her while she's playing where I can't see her.

Does she need different toys? What kind of carpet material is it - maybe something in it is attracting her? Have you talked with your vet about this?
In the meantime have you tried spraying some bitter apple on the carpet? That usually works as a deterrent or even some mentholated rub like Vicks (small dabs have worked with my dog's chewing on things).

How old is she?

@RedVelvetLynx:

Perhaps this is a phase? Do I really have to watch her all of the time? I want to be able to trust her while she's playing where I can't see her.

I would say, because of her present fixation on the carpet, yes… 😉 Not helpful, I know. :D;) How old is she?

With my 3...
I'm pretty much 99% sure that Ruby (4yo) is trustworthy if I can't see her. Brando (4yo) is about 70% trustworthy if I can't see him. It is hit or miss with him...if he wants attention he is incessant about getting into mischief. If he gets into mischief, Ruby is there to enjoy the spoils (hence why she didn't get a 100% trustworthy rating. With Brando, even when I think I can read whether he is possibly going to get himself in trouble or is being a model basenji, I've been wrong :eek:. Oh, and his behavior has nothing to do with exercise as he gets a ton...it has more to do with his personality IMHO (he is very much a playful wise a$$). Liyah (5.5mo old) is -5% :D:D:D trustworthy if she isn't watched...and that is why the family tag-teams watching her or she is in her crate.

a spray bottle filled with listerine will work like the vicks too. It also makes your house smell fresh.

Have you tried giving her a toy that has a carpet like texture to it instead of the soft plush?

My Basenji was sort of the same way. He loved ripping off threads and such. We got him a toy that was weird shaped but oddly enough it had something like carpet glued to the side, and instead of chewing on the toy and stuff he was fixated on ripping off the fabric part.
But he never chewed on carpet.. worst he did was rip off some strings that where at the top and bottom end of a rug until I caught him doing it and told him no.

If all else fails, you could get balls, some carpet, and ingestion-safe glue to be sure and cut up the carpet and glue it tight to the balls. She obviously likes carpet so he can have toys with it that she doesn't get scolded for chewing on, while you can spray something bitter on the carpet.

I think a lot of Basenji's have this sort of fixation with tearing off fibers. Maybe it has something to do with in the wild/africa with tearing off fur and feathers before eating something.

Houston

You might even want to check into a cat scratch pole, they have carpet on them. Teach her it is OK for you to "screw" this carpet up, but nothing else, or give her a scrap piece of carpet that is hers so she can do whatever she wants to it.

Trinity is 10 days shy of celebrating her 1st birthday. :D:D:D
Our carpet is a thicker grade of a general thread style. I can't really put anything on or in the carpet because there is no one isolated area she prefers - every thread is game! We've got 3 of these quarter sized holes. 😞

My Bs have a plethora of toys - from hard rubber chews & Nylabones to air squeakers & stuffed toys. I won't let them play with rope toys - too much thread shred.

@innociv:

I think a lot of Basenji's have this sort of fixation with tearing off fibers. Maybe it has something to do with in the wild/africa with tearing off fur and feathers before eating something.

That's an interesting concept & yes, both Bs rip the fuzz off of fuzzy toys. :rolleyes: Most times I don't mind because they don't usually eat it, but if they get too crazy, I'll take them away.

@Basenjimamma:

You might even want to check into a cat scratch pole, they have carpet on them. Teach her it is OK for you to "screw" this carpet up, but nothing else, or give her a scrap piece of carpet that is hers so she can do whatever she wants to it.

I like the idea of the cat scratch pole - she would LOVE that! 🙂

@renaultf1:

I would say, because of her present fixation on the carpet, yes… 😉 Not helpful, I know. :D;) How old is she?

With my 3...
I'm pretty much 99% sure that Ruby (4yo) is trustworthy if I can't see her. Brando (4yo) is about 70% trustworthy if I can't see him. It is hit or miss with him...if he wants attention he is incessant about getting into mischief. If he gets into mischief, Ruby is there to enjoy the spoils (hence why she didn't get a 100% trustworthy rating. With Brando, even when I think I can read whether he is possibly going to get himself in trouble or is being a model basenji, I've been wrong :eek:. Oh, and his behavior has nothing to do with exercise as he gets a ton...it has more to do with his personality IMHO (he is very much a playful wise a$$). Liyah (5.5mo old) is -5% :D:D:D trustworthy if she isn't watched...and that is why the family tag-teams watching her or she is in her crate.

Ah-haha! :D:D That's hilarious - Brando sounds exactly like Trinity & Denver is like Ruby! Unfortunately, I think you're right - there is no magic answer. Hopefully she'll eventually lose interest & hopefully I'll gain more patience!!

Thanks for all of the suggestions!

I have found with two of my girls that when they were pups, under a year old, that when they were chewing on something they weren't real good about pay attention to when they had strayed to chewing on something around them. With Rally she would take chewies under the kitchen table and at some point would end up chewing the legs of the chair instead of the chewie. Her daughter, Sophie, was the carpet chewer. With Sophie we bought several large beds and the pet throws that Costco sells and would direct her to either a bed or a throw when she was chewing. That way if she strayed she didn't ruin our stuff she just ruined hers. She did eventually grow out of it but I do have to make sure if there are any spill on the carpet we use the Spotbot or she will still chew at a spot.

@lvoss:

I have found with two of my girls that when they were pups, under a year old, that when they were chewing on something they weren't real good about pay attention to when they had strayed to chewing on something around them. With Rally she would take chewies under the kitchen table and at some point would end up chewing the legs of the chair instead of the chewie. Her daughter, Sophie, was the carpet chewer. With Sophie we bought several large beds and the pet throws that Costco sells and would direct her to either a bed or a throw when she was chewing. That way if she strayed she didn't ruin our stuff she just ruined hers. She did eventually grow out of it but I do have to make sure if there are any spill on the carpet we use the Spotbot or she will still chew at a spot.

This is a really good point about not pups not paying attention to what they are chewing. Liyah does that all the time…one minute a dental dinosaur, the next a blanket...

Shaye has never chewed on stuff she shouldn't until the last week or so - she's almost 6 months though, and lots of her behavior has gotten worse - if we go into the bathroom she starts chewing at the door jambs - she has also discovered carpet is a good toy - and if we are not paying attention to her, she purposely starts doing something she knows she shouldn't - my friend b owners tell me it's her "teen phase," pushing all the limits - hope she grows out of that soon…..maybe that's what your dog is up to -

Houston

I am so glad we don't have carpet, although I understand a B can "dig" through hardwoods too..yikes. So far so good, on Otis not chewing that is, but he is only 5 mo (tomorrow), so I guess the worst might be yet to come..??

@Shaye's:

Shaye has never chewed on stuff she shouldn't until the last week or so - she's almost 6 months though, and lots of her behavior has gotten worse - if we go into the bathroom she starts chewing at the door jambs - she has also discovered carpet is a good toy - and if we are not paying attention to her, she purposely starts doing something she knows she shouldn't - my friend b owners tell me it's her "teen phase," pushing all the limits - hope she grows out of that soon…..maybe that's what your dog is up to -

Exactly. Trinity was so good about not chewing on things she isn't supposed to until a few months ago - I thought I must have been blessed with the best behaved chewer ever! Ah-haha! It started with the base board corners & has moved to carpet threads. I would like to believe she doesn't realize what she's chewing on, but this isn't so. When I catch her in the act, there are no no toys around her, unless she's carried one over for a decoy. Otherwise, she sniffs around until she finds a spot. As soon as she stops & starts digging her nose in the threads, I know the chewing is not far behind, so at least I have an opportunity to nip it in the bud.
I happen to think the chewing has also become an attention-getting mechanism. She wants to play ALLLLL of the time - it gets ridiculous! :eek:

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