My almost 8 year old German Shepherd is now chewing?

by Megan
(St. Louis)

I have had my GSD since he (and his sister) was a little puppy. Chewing wasn't really a problem when he was small. He is very off to himself, can be very very VERY aggressive (even after being neutered), but is very loyal all the way around. He doesn't like other dogs much, or most people for that matter. Just to give you a tad of a background story of the little ball of sunshine.


Now off to my question. I have noticed maybe around the beginning of this summer (2011) that he will hide out somewhere in the house and chew up things. First time he did this it was a plug to a power strip that was laying on the closet's floor in the basement (don't worry, it was unplugged!)

We couldn't show him what he did was wrong because we didn't catch him WHILE he was doing it. Second time he was a little bit more open about it, right in the living room while the family was watching a movie, he was laying on the ground and chewed a giant hole in a towel (almost 1" diameter) I used the day before after swimming.

I caught him that time, got out of my chair and walked toward him, and told him in a very stern voice "No" and he stopped. After that he, almost nightly, has been getting in the bathroom's trash (mostly cotton balls and Kleenex tissues) and tearing it into shreds all over the upstairs of my house. Again, I haven't caught him doing this, I suspect he is doing this lovely act while I'm in bed.

The most resent act of chewing he has done is another power cord (unplugged!) for my vacuum cleaner, which I store in the basement closet. I didn't catch him this time either!

In the past he HAS shown anxiety issues, which I assume that may lead to his aggression. He is horribly afraid of thunderstorms and fireworks, but he never chews while these things are happening. I haven't even noticed him doing it after the fireworks/t-storms are over with.

I then went to the conclusion that maybe he's upset that my mother (who I live with) is now working for the first time in 15 years; I had a summer job (like every year) and now since it's September, I'm back in school; my younger brother is now back in school and also has been in a tight knit schedule for football since he joined 2 years ago -- We have been pretty busy!

I still try giving him almost daily brushes (he seems to really enjoy that) and I try my hardest to pay attention to him. I absolutely love my dog and I have always tried my best to show it to him (and his sister too!) I try and go outside to play with him, but he always races to get back inside when he's done doing his business.

He doesn't like going on walks because we live in a neighborhood where there are lots of people walking around also -- some who are walking their own dog -- and like I said before he gets horribly mean and I'm afraid he'll hurt someone or their beloved pets!

So I'm at a loss at my situation. If anyone can give me things to try, I greatly appreciate it!

I have tried googling this a few times and only find stuff about puppies chewing. My dog may be a puppy still in my eyes, but he's almost 8 years old! :(

Thanks for your future replies!

Comments for My almost 8 year old German Shepherd is now chewing?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Oct 23, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Chewing
by: Misha

Your boy may being chewing due to the big change in your house - your Mother now working where before she was home and he had company. A lot of dogs chew out of boredom. They will chew or lick their feet which is a sure sign of boredom after you have checked and see that there is nothing there to bother their feet.

I have had a German Shepherd chew a wall before. It sounds like he needs a lot of reassurance, and more interaction with you and your family. Even if he seems t be a "loner" he needs to go out on very short walks, even if it is just down the driveway and back, then let him know he is a good boy and "over pet" him so he gets it. The best to you and your dear companion. M

Oct 23, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Chewing
by: Misha

Your boy may being chewing due to the big change in your house - your Mother now working where before she was home and he had company. A lot of dogs chew out of boredom.

They will chew or lick their feet which is a sure sign of boredom after you have checked and see that there is nothing there to bother their feet. I have had a German Shepherd chew a wall before.

It sounds like he needs a lot of reassurance, and more interaction with you and your family. Even if he seems t be a "loner" he needs to go out on very short walks, even if it is just down the driveway and back, then let him know he is a good boy and "over pet" him so he gets it. The best to you and your dear companion. M

Mar 13, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
"8 year old German Shepherd"
by: Linda A - St Louis

You didn't mention his name, but he a beautiful Shepherd! I would check inside his mouth; gums and teeth for any dental problems that maybe bothering him. Also, give a rawhide maybe that will satisfied his "chewing". Consult with his Vet if the "chewing" continues. Good Luck and take of your boy and he will take care of you!

Mar 12, 2012
Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Chewing
by: Anonymous

Give him something to chew. Most people will say No to rawhide. But I gave to my GSD and no problems, plus bright white teeth. She looked forward to a small one after a meal, and would ask for it. Experiment.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to GSD Questions Form.

Sign up for promotions, news, discounts, and the chance to win prizes for you and your German Shepherd

E-mail Address
First Name
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you German Shepherds Rule.

300 x 250

 

Thank you for this web site. Very informative and well written. I often advise my shepherd people to visit here for information. Again GREAT JOB.
Laura Page Warden

What a fabulous website!!! I really enjoyed reading about the history of the dogs. There is a ton of helpful information on here and defiantly something for every reader to enjoy!!!
Misty Weaver

Recently got a GSD again. Last time had GSD no internet etc. Cant believe how much info for free. Kenneth

I love and appreciate the helpful advice I found on your website!
Rachelle