After an incident involving a trip to the emergency vet, I need MeFi's advice on how to keep our dogs well-behaved when we're not around. They are delightful when we're home. Minor chewing of shoes and bringing snails into the house, typical puppy stuff but nothing we can't handle. When we're not home... jumping onto tables and countertops, and using dining chairs as a way to reach things on high shelves which are then destroyed and eaten. How do we teach them not to jump onto tables? Obligatory photo inside, as well as more details.
2 whippets, Rory (aged 19mths) and Biscuit (10mths). Biscuit is the instigator of their adventures, we believe, since we didn't have this problem before he arrived. Pic from when we first got Biscuit, April last year.
He is now bigger than Rory, and more muscular, and not fully grown yet!
They've destroyed or eaten items left on the kitchen counter, my desk, our entryway shelves, our bookshelves, and our very tall bar shelves. The shelves are all 4 foot high or more. They can easily jump to counter/table height, and have discovered they can get higher from there using shelves and chairs as launching pads. The vet visit was after Biscuit jumped on the dining table, then tipped over a chair using it to reach the top shelf (approx 6ft?) which had an unopened packet of fruit mince pies, which had raisins and currants in them. They had an emetic and suffered no long-term damage to their kidneys. But we couldn't believe they could even reach the pies in the first place.
They are indoor dogs (with access to the backyard) since whippets don't cope well with the weather we get here. We leave treats in Kongs and homemade toys, provide heaps of new toys and rotate them to keep them interesting, and make sure they're well-fed and watered and exercised (a nice long run) before we leave for longer than half an hour.
I don't mind putting stuff away so they don't chew it, since it's made me a neater person. But apparently no place is safe unless it's behind a locked door. And as soon as we're both gone they start looking for trouble, as we discovered one time when we left but then had to turn back and found they'd grabbed our hats off our entryway shelf and chewed the brims off in the whole 5 minutes we'd been gone. I'm scared I'm going to come home to find them with broken bones or in a pile of glass, or to have something actually important destroyed instead of fruit mince pies no-one wanted anyway.
How have we managed to teach them that this is okay as long as we're not looking, and how do we teach them not to jump on tables and counters?