Labrador Retriever Chewing Wood Trim - Anyone Have Experience?

 UnderPar18 ·  
UnderPar18UnderPar18 Previously Ecsugolf1Members  6015WRX Points: 294Handicap: 2Posts: 6,015 Titanium Tees
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Anyone have a Lab who enjoyed eating wood? My 9 month old Chocolate Lab is typically a really good dog, he's actually probably the most chill dog I have met. We recently have blocked off our hallway so he has more room than just a crate while we are at work or around town shopping. He has done well, except recently he began eating the small wood trim on the wall. He doesn't always do it, but he has done it twice in the past 7 days while we are at work. He get's plenty of exercise and isn't an anxious dog. We give him toys and his bed so he is occupied.

Anyone experience this with their lab? If so, what did you do to prevent it from happening? Some people have told me bitter apple spray so i will try that, but looking for advice. For a dog that doesn't destroy toys or chew things to shreds this type of behavior is a surprise.

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  • UnderPar18UnderPar18 Previously Ecsugolf1 Members  6015WRX Points: 294Handicap: 2Posts: 6,015 Titanium Tees
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    One thing I forgot to mention is this just started happened after getting neutered. Wondering if something changed with his behavior due to hormones?

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  • boyd59boyd59 Members  11WRX Points: 39Posts: 11 Bunkers
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    I'm sure our circumstances are quite different. Our dog is a pit rescue that came to us with severe separation anxiety. When we first got him we would crate him when we left to go anywhere. If we left him near anything that he could grab, he would pull it into his crate and destroy it. Through perseverance we have gotten him to the point where we can leave him out of his crate when we leave and he won't do anything bad...normally. We have found on a few occasions that if we deviate from our "routine" when we leave is when he has had destructive tendencies which are to chew whatever happens to be easily grabbed whether it's mini-blinds, curtains, welcome mats or door knobs. The door knob was a little hard to take because that showed to me that he was coming to find us...that he didn't want to be alone. I really don't like leaving him alone. He's my boy.

    Long story short, maybe your dog needs a routine?

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  • PappyVanWinkle53PappyVanWinkle53 Members  498WRX Points: 242Handicap: 2.9Posts: 498 Greens
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    Agree with boyd59. I don't know the particulars of your situation, but this sounds a stress reaction by the dog. Puppies, particularly labs, are 100 miles an hour and need to get that energy out. I know you say he's exercised, but what is your routine in the morning before you both go to work?? Do you take him for a long walk in the morning or are you scrambling (like most people) to just get out the door? I subscribe to the "a tired dog is a happy dog" philosophy. Bitter Apple spray may work, but I'd also try to puppy proof your hallway a bit more.

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  • bladehunterbladehunter south carolinaMembers  30917WRX Points: 7,190Handicap: NONEPosts: 30,917 Titanium Tees
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    Any dog can do this. Most likely boredom. And or he’s found something that tastes interesting. I’d try some vinegar , or cayenne pepper water in a spray bottle. His nose won’t like that. But truthfully just time. He will grow out of the last chewing stage. My Great Pyrenees is now 16 months old and she just doesn’t chew much at all now except if you give her a deer antler. And that lasts months. At one point she chewed a hole in Sheetrock twice. Lol. And all the wood molding off one door casing. We just kept hard and fast on a set routine and it eventually passed. I do have the advantage there as I was able to come in from my shop and walk her every 2 hours. And eventually she just goes where I go now.

    lots of rambling I know. Short answer is try some fragrant sprays on the wood to deter , and know that 9 months for a big dog isn’t grown up yet. Not really. It will get better.

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  • KaysquareKaysquare Puppyluv Members  2235WRX Points: 218Handicap: 10Posts: 2,235 Platinum Tees
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    In high energy dogs, especially those in the puppy stage (& Labs seem to take forever to mature) your mantra must be "a good Lab is an exhausted Lab". And that does not mean a walk around the block. It means hard running & playing. Sorry, but it takes some real work to wear these dogs out. For this reason, I no longer get puppies....an adult dog is soooo much easier. I

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 IowaClubWRX  21415WRX Points: 5,375Posts: 21,415 ClubWRX
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    Boredom, separation anxiety - most likely one or the other or both. He’s not anxious when you are around - that’s not the test!

    Be diligent with play and exercise. Agree with some spray of cayenne, etc. But my Golden would chew his tail and nothing would stop it and that’s just the way it’s always been for 13 years. In the short term maybe the trim is more expendable than where he might otherwise direct his attention.

    Not surprising at all and nothing to do with neutering, but you can’t paste them back on. ;-)

    Weather the storm!

    My pup had a unusual desire to chew on metal. And when teething and after would chew about anything else, but he grew out of it. He does need a lot of play and running - cures a lot of “bad” dog stuff.

    But the being gone part can be a challenge.

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  • Jc0Jc0 ChicagoMembers  2023WRX Points: 225Posts: 2,023 Platinum Tees
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    Don't be afraid to keep them crated. I know you may feel bad but the dog thinks of the crate as it's home and is more comfortable. More space for dogs isn't always a good thing when your not around. It took about 2 years before we could leave one of our dogs out because she would end up destroying something. Just know when you get home they need to get rid of that energy immediately.

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  • GooseHookGooseHook Keep it Fraiche Members  12004WRX Points: 505Posts: 12,004 Titanium Tees
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    There's a product, I believe it's called Bitter Apple, that's supposed to help with this. Food safe obviously and you can spread it around the problem surfaces.


    +1 on the crating. I grew up with labs and have them in the family now, every single one of those lovable lugs likes to have their little den space!

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  • UnderPar18UnderPar18 Previously Ecsugolf1 Members  6015WRX Points: 294Handicap: 2Posts: 6,015 Titanium Tees
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    Thanks for all of the comments. With the recent pandemic I have been working remote so that solve the issue for a month or so, but I agree with everyone it probably just comes with age and he is still young.

    He loves his crate. He opts for it sometimes over his bed and we have a pretty large one for him. I just know personally if I could give him a hallway where he can move around a little more I would love to provide him that.

    ill try the bitter apple spray and if that doesn’t work I will crate him and continue to come home at lunch and work his energy out in the evenings.

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  • bladehunterbladehunter south carolinaMembers  30917WRX Points: 7,190Handicap: NONEPosts: 30,917 Titanium Tees
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    2nd the crate training. Our Pyrenees doesn’t think the crate is punishment at all. It’s her “ room “. Now it is huge mind you. Big enough for a Great Dane. But she’s 94 lbs and growing. So.

    I feel like the key to that is that we never sent her to her crate unless we left the house. Never as a punishment. We actually have her crate on the glasses in porch off the kitchen. And a dog gate on the door going to that room. So. If she is in time out she goes to the porch behind the gate. Not into her crate. Half the time she retreats to pout in her crate with the door open. So she clearly thinks it’s “ her” space. Not a bad place. Makes leaving easy.

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  • sirukumasirukuma Members  286WRX Points: 106Posts: 286 Greens
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    Can confirm - go get the bitter apple spray. Called Grannick's Bitter Apple -made in Norwalk, CT. Comes in a 8oz spray bottle and I think usually runs around $7 in stores around here. Wife and I work with a guiding eye dog school and we have cared for hundreds of lab pups in our home over many years. Wood molding is a favorite chew target. With the exception of only one determined fella who I recall would not give it up no matter how bad the taste, the bitter apple has deterred them all. They usually take one crack at it and then shake their head from side to side sneezing and then give up and move on to some other target to chew. You will have to keep applying it to ensure the coating is fresh.

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  • Jc0Jc0 ChicagoMembers  2023WRX Points: 225Posts: 2,023 Platinum Tees
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    If you went him to have some more space you should try daycare once a week. Usually knocks our dogs out for the next day or two after. They get to run around all day and socialize.

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  • UnderPar18UnderPar18 Previously Ecsugolf1 Members  6015WRX Points: 294Handicap: 2Posts: 6,015 Titanium Tees
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    Yup we have brought him to daycare. We really like that idea but so far he’s cost us more in medical bills than 2 20 day passes. First time got kennel cough as a young pup and this second time (this past week) got a virus. Love the idea of daycare but so far it’s dug deep into our pockets.

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  • Jc0Jc0 ChicagoMembers  2023WRX Points: 225Posts: 2,023 Platinum Tees
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    A dog should never get kennel cough at daycare if the daycare has half a mind what they are doing. Did the daycare require full vaccinations and did you tell them what happened? I've never been to one that didn't require full vaccination including kennel cough, lepto, parvo, rabies, and heartworm.

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  • HackerDaveHackerDave Members  1447WRX Points: 141Handicap: 13.5Posts: 1,447 Platinum Tees
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    Our first lab would steal food off the table when people weren't there. We tried everything. Then one day I left a plate of jalapeño peppers on the table. Sure enough she jumps up, eats half of them and then starts dragging her tongue on the floor and runs to the bathroom to drink out of the toilet. Ha!.... Then she promptly went back to the table and ate the rest. Labs aren't the brightest

    We have a chocolate now and I agree. Your dog is bored. You should leave her in the kennel when you aren't home. That little bit of room isn't going to do anything for her.

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  • UnderPar18UnderPar18 Previously Ecsugolf1 Members  6015WRX Points: 294Handicap: 2Posts: 6,015 Titanium Tees
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    Yup they require full vaccinations and are very well known and liked in town. Google ratings are fanatics as well as all other online review areas. Did my due diligence and talked to other dog owners in my neighborhood who have also used them for daycare and boarding... not sure what to to tell you...

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  • UnderPar18UnderPar18 Previously Ecsugolf1 Members  6015WRX Points: 294Handicap: 2Posts: 6,015 Titanium Tees
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    Haha that’s too funny. He doesn’t steal food or annoy us for human food but that’s probably because we have never given him any. I agree with you it’s likely boredom.

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  • DaveMc82DaveMc82 Members  88WRX Points: 61Handicap: 8Posts: 88 Fairways
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    I own Italian Spinoni and they’re a fair bit more challenging than Labrador Retrievers. They’re known for being destructive if bored or suffering separation anxiety.


    The key I’ve found is to mentally exhaust them when young. Physical tiring is ok but they just get fitter and bounce back harder. Get their problem solving abilities going and it’ll zonk them out all day! I do loads of retrieve training - seen, blind and distraction. It’d be very worth your while learning some gundog training even if you never expect to work him.

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  • jaysno24jaysno24 Members  84WRX Points: 49Posts: 84 Fairways
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    Mine did when he was a pup too. Separation anxiety was our issue.

    Side note, goughnuts (Available @ Chewy, Amazon, and their website) has the BEST chew toys you could ask for. We have their "stick" and double ring. The stick looks like a ****. Other than that, they are AMAZING! Going on 2 and a half years and not even a scratch though the outer layer!


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  • soregongolfersoregongolfer Roseburg, ORMembers  1563WRX Points: 351Handicap: 3Posts: 1,563 Platinum Tees
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    I have two labs. When they were puppies, they chewed on everything. Drywall. Check. Wood molding. Check. The bumper on my Acura. Check. They even got into the habit of peeling bark off of trees. It took a lot of care to make sure those trees didn't die. They grew out of chewing stuff.

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  • dukemandukeman Members  890WRX Points: 98Posts: 890 Golden Tee
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    One of my labs just ate half of a fire starter log....a stomach full of kerosene (or whatever flammable chemical) and no problems at all.

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 IowaClubWRX  21415WRX Points: 5,375Posts: 21,415 ClubWRX
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  • T-3T-3 Members  154WRX Points: 61Handicap: 15Posts: 154 Fairways
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    +3 for bitter apple. Used to buy it in a cream.

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  • hammy83hammy83 Members  1861WRX Points: 67Posts: 1,861 Platinum Tees
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    let a moderately hot pepper soak in water for a day or 2, strain it and put it in a spray bottle. You can add a very slight amount of dawn to make it stick to the surface better. Spray it on the areas he is chewing. Combine that with more exercise and a few toys that are better options than the trim.

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  • MychMych Members  2207WRX Points: 409Posts: 2,207 Platinum Tees
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    We have a Pitt mix and a crackhead corgi/schnauzer mix. We got both in late-puppy stage and both chewed wood. They chewed the trim on our stairs, the corners of tables/chairs, the corner of a couch, and the trim on the corners of our exterior siding.

    They've both kinda grown out of it (and we've bought a mountain of chew toys), but we never found a solution that would prevent it. Bitter apple helped, but they would just find something else to chew that we never would have anticipated. The crackhead corgi is responsible for the exterior damage. She chases lizards, and when they'd crawl behind the siding, she'd destroy it trying to get to the lizard. I'm not sure we'll ever cure that issue, so I put a potted plant in front of that spot and I'll fix it when she's a little older (or when we get ready to sell the house).

    The owners before us were dog lovers with kids, we're dog lovers with kids, and I'm pretty sure we won't be able to sell this house unless the next owners are dog lovers with kids. lol

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