Do you ever wonder what your dog does at home all day while you are at work? If your dog doesn’t have the exercise and structure they need, it’s probably something you don’t want them doing. Chewing, digging, licking and house soiling are some of the many things a bored, lonely and energetic dog can get into, if you aren’t careful. A reader had just that problem.
Your Question:


My daughter rescued a lab/hound pup named Meena about 4 months ago. She’s about 6 months old now. I’ve had a lab before, but it’s been a long time — 20 years ago. Meena is now eating everything in my garage.

We work during the day, and I think she’s lonely and bored while we’re gone, and it’s really making me nuts. She also ALWAYS has the tongue out lapping at anything and everything.

Any suggestions on the chewing/licking? I got online today, and read about making sure labs have enough exercise, and that they chew out of boredom. I don’t recall my other lab being so destructive. Could it be that I just have selective memory?


— Mimi

My Answer:


If you are confining a 6 month old puppy to a garage all day you are asking for not only destruction but also for something bad to happen. There are way too many dangerous items for her to get into AND it is too hot in there.

A puppy/dog should never be confined in a garage. Even being crated for that length of time for a 6 month old puppy is not good. You will need to get someone to come over at lunch time to get the dog out and let her potty outside AND go for a walk. It’s true that a lack of exercise is a big part of the problem. Crating inside your home until you have trained your puppy to live appropriately in a home is your only answer. Here’s my advice on doing crate training right.

The way you have life structured with this puppy is definitely going to create behavior problems in the near future.

(C) Jim Burwell 2010

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