Baby Sadie loves watching our 11 month-old puppy, Wally. Now that she is becoming more mobile, she’s able to get closer to Wally’s things. She is most interested in his tennis balls. If she does get her hands on one of his tennis balls, I’ll let her look at it and touch it. If she tries to put it in her mouth, I say, “Ew, yuck!” and then take the ball away.
How did Wally steal Sadie’s toys? He learned how to escape his new crate while we were out.
Unfortunately, we had to return his original metal crate and we bought a wooden crate (that also acts as a table) in its place. This was a mistake. I learned Wally is a big-time chewer, especially when he’s left alone. Do not buy a wooden crate if you have a chewer. Each time we left him in it he chewed it more. Even after putting bitter apple spray on it and nailing wire mesh to the inside, Wally continued to chew the crate and then figured out how to get out of it.
Since the crate wasn’t a working solution, I started leaving Wally out in the main living area when I went out. I’d close all the doors and try to keep everything off the floor. The first few times he did great. Then, one of my shoes got destroyed because I accidentally left it out. I figured, “OK, just remember to put your shoes away.” But once there were no shoes for him to chew, then he moved on to the door frame and then, our floor. Our floor.
His toys were left untouched. Now, this is partly my fault because I set him up for failure. I did not read the signs early enough that he used chewing to cope with me being gone. When I came home, I could tell he knew he had done something wrong (ears and tail down, cowering to the floor, not looking me in the eye), so I didn’t yell at him. I just pointed to his crate and he went right in (he won’t chew the wooden crate when people are home).