Pugzilla Destroyer
November 9, 2007 6:13 AM   Subscribe

My pug is destroying the house. HELP!

I have a pug, she's almost a year old now. We have tried everything in the world to keep her, but she's tearing the house down. We crated her in our bedroom and she whined all night. She slept with us for a while and her snoring and moving around kept us awake. We made her stay in the floor and she annoys my other dog and keeps us all awake. We put both dogs in the other bedroom at night and she ate the molding around the door and now she's torn a hole in the carpet right in front of the door. She has a million toys and she chews everything in sight and anything she can jump up and get. We have two poles in the living room (not those kind of poles, wooden poles holding up the ceiling) and she's starting gnawing those.

This is my gf's dog and she would be devastated if we got rid of her but I'm at a loss. We can't leave her out for a half hour to go to the store. HELP!?!?
posted by CwgrlUp to Pets & Animals (16 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This is what crate training is for, and it can take a couple months for your dog to get used to it. You should consider taking another shot at crate training and stick with it, year old dogs are still puppies, generally speaking dogs of all ages respond well with consistency in how their life is organized.

A dog whining all night when they aren't used to the crate routine isn't abnormal, you'll probably need to spend some time working with the dog so they get over their crating anxiety and adopt it as their home.
posted by iamabot at 6:21 AM on November 9, 2007

Give crate training another shot. She should go in her kennel when you can't supervise her, yeah, she'll cry, but she'll get over it. Also, she needs to be supervised when you and your gf are at home, don't let her out of your sight.

Get her some kongs and put peanut butter and some cheerios in it and let her chew on that. Nyla bones and rawhide sticks are also good for the dogs to chew.

Otherwise, make the pug get a part time job to help pay for the repairs to your house.
posted by pluckysparrow at 6:26 AM on November 9, 2007

Crate Training - YES.

But be sure to get a "crate" and not the pop up fabric-y screen door crates as my dog, and more than likely your dog would just rip through it.

Also putting both dogs in the create may ease the pug.
posted by doorsfan at 6:34 AM on November 9, 2007

Is the pup getting enough exercise? Is she going out for long walks or a jog? Are you playing fetch with her until her tongue is hanging out and she's ready to drop? Aside from the crate training (which I fully agree with) it sounds like she's got more energy than appropriate outlets for it.
posted by onhazier at 6:46 AM on November 9, 2007

All this great advice aside, know that this is normal, and your dog will grow out of this stage in another year or less. Definitely try to burn off some of her energy with exercise.

I have to be honest, though. I love dogs, and have three. But I had a girlfriend once with a pug, and it eventually came down to either me or that little snot cannon. I went.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 7:04 AM on November 9, 2007

You need to be way more persistent. She's learned that whining works to get what she wants. Crate training and a lot more exercise, and a good dog/dog owner training class.
posted by theora55 at 7:10 AM on November 9, 2007

Dogs need consistency, and you've given it to this dog. In the crate, she cried, you gave in. You put her on the floor, she made a fuss, you gave in. You put her somewhere else, she chewed, she's out. That's what the dog knows about you, you will give in.
Nthing the crate, but on top of that you need to let the dog know her place in the scheme of your house. Dog in the crate is a time when you do not acknowledge the dog at all. No rewards for crying, no trying to hush the dog, no anything. Start with an hour or two and work your way up to overnight. But when you let the dog out, just let her out without treats or praise. Make it a natural part of her life and be consistent and you'll be out of this in 6 months.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:16 AM on November 9, 2007

Put the crate where you can't hear her at night. Problem solved.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:16 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

When I brought my current dog home, he whined for about 5 minutes the first night and that was it.

I'm pretty sure this was because (at least in part), instead of sequestering the dog off in some foreign and remote part of the house, I put the crate next to my bed.
posted by toomuchpete at 7:25 AM on November 9, 2007

In addition to all the other training stuff, buy the dog chew sticks and scold it if it chews anything else. Our puppy goes through one or two rawhide chews a week. I'm not sure if it's the best thing for his digestion (yum, leather) but it does wonders for our shoes. He will often sit and chew for hours. Dogs like to chew stuff, so give them something as opposed to letting them decide what to chew.
posted by GuyZero at 7:49 AM on November 9, 2007

I have 6 pugs. Take her on a walk in the evening to wear her out. It sounds like she has a lot of excess energy. Read up on crate training, and be consistent. Snoring is part of being a pug, the moving around at night will taper off (she is an older puppy, but still a puppy). If you crate her at night I would not put the crate in another room. But putting her in the crate when she can't be supervised is a good idea.

Training is important, for both the dog and the owner. Get into an obedience class. Owner behavior is often part of the problem (not saying that you are at fault. sometimes we enable behavior though.) Caesar writes a good book, and another good one is The Loved Dog by Tamar Geller.
posted by bolognius maximus at 8:23 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

The exercise and kong toys are very good suggestions.

My dog used to cry when she was in the crate. Our trainer advised us to place a blanket or other large cloth over the crate, and then put a pan on top. If the dog cried too much, bang the pan on the crate (we had a metal one). The dog didn't know where the noise was coming from. It took a while, but eventually she stopped whining in the crate.

As for the wooden support beams, try spraying bitter apple on them.
posted by kathryn at 8:58 AM on November 9, 2007

Our pug whined at night too. We wore ear plugs and took sleeping pills. It only lasted a week (but this is when we got him). Pugs are notoriously stubborn and hard to train, so retraining will take a while. Seriously, buy ear plugs.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:10 AM on November 9, 2007

Long term, read Don't Shoot The Dog! The author's website is worth a look, too. Someone there has posted notes on their use of positive reinforcement for crate training.
posted by Coventry at 9:12 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Yes, pugs will own you if you let them. Our now-departed Cleo! (yes, the exclamation point was part of her name) was a massive pain in the ass as a puppy. We had her in 3 obedience classes, and did our best to train her consistently. She chewed everything in sight, including the baseboards in our house at the time. I think she actually liked bitter apple. She calmed down eventually, though it took a couple of years.

Unless you don't mind the snoring and snorting at night, crating the dog is a must. We had Cleo!'s crate at the other end of the house, and it was tolerable. Also, make sure the pup gets plenty of exercise. Pugs have lots of energy to wear off.

If you hang in there, you'll have a little snortin', snorin', fartin' pal for life.
posted by SteveInMaine at 9:28 AM on November 9, 2007

Did you actually TRAIN her to accept the crate, or just bung her in there and hope for the best? I gazillionth the others who have said that crate training and exercise are the keys here (plus obedience training). It's not about the dog "learning her place", dogs are not sekrit dictators looking pull off a coup at the first opportunity, dogs just repeat behaviour that works, your dog is stressed, and you have helped her to learn that she can relieve her stress by eating your house, because you have allowed her to be stressed and able to chew the wrong things. Chewing is not wrong, it is a necessary dog behaviour, but you need to channel it appropriately.

A tired dog is a good dog, and a crated dog cannot destroy your house. Get some suitable and enticing chew toys (stuff a Kong with one meal and some treats, get a Buster Cube, etc. there are loads of food-stuffable dog toys available), get a book on crate training (Ian Dunbar's puppy books have very good crate training instructions) and spend a long weekend actually crate training the dog (your dog is associating the crate with stress, so you will likely need to spend some time retraining her to associate the crate with good things), feed the dog in the crate (in toys that she has to work at a bit to get the food out), at least double her exercise, and get into a good, motivational obedience class with her so that her brain gets some exercise too.

Good luck.
posted by biscotti at 3:38 AM on November 13, 2007

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