At Wits End

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Boxer Booster
Hello BW

I don't know what to do with Hank during the day anymore. Any outside the box recommendations are welcomed. I'll give you a run down.

First- Crate Training- kept him crated for the first 4 months. We decided to no longer keep him in the crate after he ripped off some claws and got some serious scrapes trying to escape. Which he did, a lot. He would get out of the crate after ty-wrapping the crate, after using bungee cords to keep the latches locked- everything, he would escape and hurt himself in the process. He hated it- despite training the proper way. I REALLY REALLY do now want to go down this route again- I would be afraid to leave him every day.

Baby gating the kitchen- Yeah, no way.. Got right over those gates.

Kept in the basement- Ripped up our brand new carpet that was just installed. Destroyed couch cushions

Free roam of the downstairs- (This is what we have been/currently doing). Perfectly okay! Miracle! Until.... a few weeks ago. I can list at least 50 items of furniture and things he has destroyed, the wood he has eaten, I can go on... He seems to be a perfect gentlemen for a week and then bam all hell breaks loose. It's funny, we just keep removing items that he gets to and we looked around the other day to realize our living room is stripped bare. I bought bitters spray and sprayed everything I could and that seemed to work.. for about 2 days.

He has just recently chewed off a corner of my brand new coffee table and I was near tears-Ive had enough, Is there any product I can buy or some other place I could keep him that I haven't thought of?!?!

I know that it is because he is bored- But there's no way around it- we have to work. He is walked in the am before work about 30 mins and is walked at lunch by my husband. He has plenty of bones and toys to chew on.

We work hard for our things, we do not have unlimited income- I know it shouldn't be all about the money but he is destroying things we work hard to be able to purchase. I would never ever even think about getting rid of Hank, but I need a solution. I feel like my home is no longer my home anymore. I am willing to spend money on a solution because I know for sure it will most likely save me money in the end.


Boxer Booster
Just want to clarify something- While keeping him downstairs which we have been doing for months now. He didn't just start to destroy things.. but it has gradually gotten worse.. or he has just been finding new things to destroy. it has always been he is behaved a few weeks.. then destroys stuff.. then is fine.. then destroys stuff.


Boxer Insane
How about hiring a pet sitter to come for a visit during the day to provide an outlet for his energy and give him a break from the boredom? Or sending him to daycare?


Super Boxer
Do you have any Doggie Day care places he can go to... ???

30 minutes of walking in the morning and at lunch is not going to be enough exercise to burn out the energy he has... have you though of maybe taking up running? Do a 30 minute run in the morning may help, with a lot of ball/frisbee chase at lunch time... then a long walk (1 hour or so) in the evening...

We have several doggie day care places here in Georgia and when I need a day to myself, I let my little girl stay with them... She plays with other dogs ALL DAY LONG and comes home completely spent. She normally sleeps the next day too...


Boxer Booster
Yes- I have looked into it. It would cost us about $500 a month if we did 5 days a week. but it is something we are considering, even if it is a couple days a week. I just don't want to spend the money if he is going to destroy the house on those two days he is home.

Also- maybe a dog park trip every am would help.


Reasonable Moderator
Staff member
You probably wouldn't have to take him everyday. You can also, often take him for only half a day and then your husband could maybe pick him up at lunch and bring him home. He would probably sleep for the rest of the day.


Boxer Booster
If you haven't considered it consulting a professional dog behaviorist might help. We utilized a professional behaviorist to assist us with some significant issues we were having with our boxer. Just the information (alone) was worth it. Needless to say our issues are under control, if not non-existent anymore. The cost may prove a lot less than the (ongoing) costs of doggy day care or a sitter. In addition, you may be able to pay for (just behavioral training or asst.), or better yet have your behavioral issues included as a part of a full obedience training.

Good luck!


Super Boxer
I noticed Hank is about a year old. Perhaps the timing is because he is also in that terrible teen period as well where all training is ignored.

Normally would say to get back to basic training until he grows up some more. However not sure what to do when he has free rein. Find a better gate for the kitchen or doggy day care? Twice a week at doggy day care will probably be enough if he is getting good exercise on the weekends.

You mentioned he has "bones" to chew on. Not sure what type. However, frozen raw bones will distract ours for quite some time, are relatively cheap and good for them.


Super Boxer
I don't know but I can't imagine having a dog and never leaving it alone. So if it was me I wouldn't focus on avoiding leaving him alone, but on teaching him to be alone. I would start on crate training while i'm home. Sounds like he needs a lot of supervision to start. With time/practice increasing the difficulty (.. day time, night time, short trips away, longer trips away, full day - visiting mid day if need be or rotating schedules to start, to have someone around)

And you really need to get him drained. A tired dog is a good dog and the amount of exercise is relative to the dog. 30min am would be enough for my 3 yr old.. but 30min is a quick loop around the condo. I get mine tired after work with an hour long walk, some off leash time and then another walk/jog before sleep.


Boxer Insane
I second both posts above!

If finances alot, daycare 2-3 x's a week would be awesome!! Most dogs will play like devils one day and then sleep the entire next day from exhaustion.

Work with crate training. Short stints, leave door open, treats and toys HIDDEN inside, lots of praise whenever he goes in even if for a second, etc.

Teenage phase! All training goes out the window, new behaviors never seen before, selective hearing, selective command obeying, etc. got about 3 months of this. But, then all of a sudden, one morning, he will "grow up" and be "normal". LOL

Frozen bones......raw bones, or even those thigh bones filled with goodies and frozen SOLID. Ideal to keep them busy.

Gating......many use two gates stacked to get height. Some install a plywood hinged door for the time being. Easy to put up, easy to patch back to original.

Do lots of exercise in the evenings to wear him out. Lots of ball tossing, playing chase, with training commands thrown in for fun (yours not his lol). Try to keep the brain and body both tired. A lone dog in a fenced in yard will not tire himself out. Heck, two or more dogs casually playing won't wear them out. Gotta get involved and focused on draining his energy every day. Skip a day and it's stored up! This is not a lifetime commitment of an exercise regime.....but will be for another year or so til his body sort of balances out. But a dog with pent up energy will be destructive and dis-obedient. Put on your sneakers and prepare for an hour of good play with him. Doing short stints of play will only partially wind him up whereas a longer harder play session will wind him down and drain him. Give him a little rest when he needs it but don't let him become totally relaxed again. Keep his energy up so it will drain quicker.
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