chew chew chew
August 23, 2008 11:13 AM   Subscribe

I have an iphone, I have a dog. Help me keep both!

I have a dog that loves to chew, in 3 years he has eaten between myself and my partner 4 phones. We are both careful and leave them up on a shelf usually, but if we accidentally put it on the table and leave the room POW it is gone. He dosent chew anything else, just phones and remote controls... (we go through lots of remote controls)

Does anyone know of a METAL case for the iphone? Something that totally encases it? What is the most protective case I can get?
posted by outsider to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Any metal case thin enough to be unobtrusive will probably not stand up to a lot of abuse. If you take an old remote or phone and cover it with something unpleasant, hot sauce or cayenne, for instance, you might be able to train the dog to be less bitey.
posted by stavrogin at 11:30 AM on August 23, 2008

Dog training? He shouldn't be chewing your phones, and he can probably learn not to chew your phones.

Maybe get a lot of more-fun-to-chew things for your dog - chew bones, rubber chew toys, etc.
posted by zippy at 11:37 AM on August 23, 2008

metal would also result in craptacular cell service - radios + metal cages = not good.

try this: the Contour Showcase for iPhone 3G. keep it in the holster, screen side inward. the one for the EDGE phone was pretty beefy, but worked pretty good at withstanding abuse; this one looks pretty much the same, though I can't say I've seen it in person. (I keep my 3G in the Contour iSee, which is good, but has no holster - you want to protect the screen from dog teeth, so you pretty much need that.)
posted by mrg at 11:41 AM on August 23, 2008

Normally, the best approach to dog training is to give positive rewards for approved behavior. I recommend Don't Shoot the Dog as a good introduction to dog psychology.

That being said, since you have a very specific problem, this might call for the big guns - aversion training.

What you need:
- a remote monitoring device - videocam that can be viewed in a different room
- a remote aversion device - a coke can with coins in it and a long string going to the other room, or a stereo set to Van Halen with a remote that works from the other room

Try this:
- pick a time when you have a few hours to dedicate
- leave the iPhone out as a lure. Leave the room.
- as soon as he approaches the iPhone, remotely activate the aversion device.

What you want the dog to learn is, "Hmmm, every time I get interested in this THING, all hell breaks loose. "

Maybe you can buy a broken iPhone on eBay for the experiment.

Remote monitoring and triggering of the aversion is preferred so that he doesn't associate any of this with you. Otherwise he'll think it only applies when you're around, or he'll get scared of you.

Extra points for posting results on YouTube!
Double extra points for writing an iPhone app to do this!
posted by ebellicosa at 11:57 AM on August 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thirding this from a dog owner/trainer/rescue&"rehab"-er ... training dogs to not take things from human places is essential. Keep the dog on a leash in your home (when you're home) and reward him for following you and then sitting or laying down patiently. You may let him off leash when you can contain him to a room. (I use baby gates or doors.) Every time he gets up on the countertop, make your "NO!" noise (I yell a buzzer-like annoying ANNNH! sound) and then call the dog over to you, have him lay down, and give him a treat.

Whenever I leave the home, I make sure there are plenty of rawhides and kong toys around. The kong toys get filled with peanut butter or liver paste before I leave. (Not the expensive kong stuff, just regular food from the

In the long run, it's much more rewarding and beneficial to both you and the dog to train the dog instead of trying to protect your things and dealing with the inevitable failures. Last night, my buddy and I had to rush out the door to be somewhere at a particular time, and we left a bag of corn chips and some salsa in a dish on the table. My dogs LOVE salty and spicy stuff. We came home and the salsa and chips were still there. They'd chosen to chew on the things that were left in their 'bin' (an old filing crate) -- rawhides, kongs, rope toys, and nylbones -- instead of even thinking about tasting the yummy human food.
posted by SpecialK at 12:01 PM on August 23, 2008

err, sentence completion ftw -- "just regular food from the grocery store."
posted by SpecialK at 12:02 PM on August 23, 2008

FWIW my dog seemed to find the glass screen and metal back way less satisfying than the crunchy plastic in previous phones and remotes, and gave it little more than an exploratory touching of his teeth to glass. Your dog may vary.
posted by piedmont at 12:09 PM on August 23, 2008

Do you have a landline? Is it feasible to just never bring the phone into the house? That's the only foolproof plan I can think of, other than training.
posted by winston at 12:51 PM on August 23, 2008

If you need a phone for training, ask around. Using a dead/broken mobile for training might save some serious cash.
posted by theora55 at 4:36 PM on August 23, 2008

Just put your stuff away- simple.
posted by mattoxic at 8:26 PM on August 23, 2008

I think a series of assorted second-hand phones and remote controls covered with tobasco sauce over the course of a few days would solve the problem nicely, unless your dog likes tobasco.

Also, establish a place for the iPhone (such as on its charger, since the battery only lasts a few hours anyway) that the dog can't reach.
posted by mmoncur at 10:44 PM on August 23, 2008

You might want to clean your phones often. Dog could be attracted to things that smell like your gooey delicious hands. But your best bet is just eternal vigilance.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:17 PM on August 24, 2008

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