How to stop your Labrador chewing things


Having a large Labrador Retriever munch his way through your furniture is no joke.

Chewing is very destructive and even small puppies can do a lot of damage with their little teeth.

So, in this article, I’m going to show you how to stop your Labrador chewing up your things.

We’ll be looking at why puppies chew, why older Labs sometimes start chewing, and at the different options for fixing your chewing troubles.

And I’ll give you an ‘action plan’ to put an end to problem chewing for good.

Is chewing normal?

There is no doubt that some Labradors can be very destructive.  But is constant chewing normal?  Or is your Labrador suffering from some kind of behavioural problem?

I have read some interesting threads on forums, usually started by frustrated owners of puppies around six month of age that are systematically destroying the family’s possessions.

The responses are divided between those that think this behaviour is abnormal (“none of my dogs ever did that”) And those that think it is completely normal.

Over the last thirty-five years I have had usually had five or more dogs living with me at any one time. And have raised many puppies.

In the early days I had countless chair legs ruined,  entire vehicle safety belts devoured, base boards eaten, and numerous other items scoffed, chomped or otherwise dis-assembled.

labrador puppy chewing
all puppies chew things – it’s normal

I have learned from these experiences,  though perhaps not quite as quickly as I should have!

My take on this issue is that chewing, including extremely destructive chewing, is so common as to be absolutely normal. Particularly in young Labradors.

So if destructive chewing is pretty normal,  how long does this stage go on for, why do dogs do it, and what is the best way to deal with it?

How long does the chewing stage last?

Many people assume that chewing is to do with teething.  And they naturally expect that puppies will stop chewing everything in sight once their baby teeth are lost and their adult teeth have come through.

And for some dogs this is the case.  But for many Labradors, chewing continues long after the puppy has his full set of adult teeth

In fact it is fairly normal for a Labrador to continue to chew quite destructively up until around his second birthday.  Chewing tends to fall off quite dramatically after that.

Why do dogs chew?

It helps to understand why most dogs chew, and why labradors in particular chew a lot.

There are a number of common reasons for chewing, apart from teething, including

  • Boredom
  • Anxiety
  • Relaxation and pleasure
  • Habit

Dogs that chew when they are bored

We all have different boredom thresholds, dogs are no different.  Some dogs are quite happy to do very little for hours on end, others, not so much.

Labradors are intelligent, sociable dogs, and are particularly prone to boredom if left alone for long periods.

One way of relieving boredom, if you are a dog, is to chew things up!

It isn’t uncommon for chewing to become a problem once a dog gets to around a year old and his owners start leaving him alone for longer stretches of time.  So it is worth bearing in mind how you are going to occupy your young dog when you are not there, and we’ll look at that in a moment.

Chewing as a means to relieve anxiety

Ideally, all dogs need to learn to spend time alone from puppyhood onwards.  A well adjusted adult dog is then happy to be left from time to time, and will simply sleep when you are gone

Dogs which are not taught to accept some periods of solitude in puppyhood, dogs which are left alone for far too long, or dogs that have had traumatic experiences when left alone may develop a disorder called separation anxiety.

A dog which becomes very anxious when left, may resort to destroying your possessions, or even the fabric of your home, in order to relieve his anxiety.

Which brings us to the point that the act of chewing is in itself, is very pleasurable and calming to many dogs

Relaxation and pleasure

There is no doubt that many dogs simply chew for fun.   They aren’t anxious, they are not particularly bored, they just enjoy having a good long chew.

It relaxes them, and makes them feel happy.

The problems arise, when that chewing activity is directed at the wrong items  –  your items!

Relaxation chewing is particularly common in Labradors and other retrievers.  This is probably partly because we have bred them to enjoy having things in their mouths.

Unusual causes of chewing

Occasionally a dog will start chewing because he has some kind of medical problem.  This is more likely to be the cause if the chewing starts quite suddenly in an older dog that has never had a chewing problem before.

As with any other unusual changes in your dog’s behaviour, a chewing habit that suddenly appears in a mature dog, needs to be reported to your vet so that he can rule out any physical problems that may be affecting your pet.

Is my dog hungry?

Chewing isn’t really related to hunger, though of course a hungry dog may be bored or even stressed while waiting for his meal, and chew for those reasons.

Eating is a fairly transient affair for  most Labradors in any case, so you can never hope to prevent chewing by giving your dog something to eat.  It’ll be gone in a moment, doesn’t satisfy the urge to chew, and he’ll soon be as fat as a barrel.

It’s a habit

Like many other stress busting or pleasurable activities, chewing can become a deeply ingrained habit.

Habits can be difficult to change and breaking a habit may involve physically preventing your dog from parts of your home. We’ll look at that in more detail below.

Now we have looked at all kinds of reasons for chewing, let’s make a plan to improve things.

Action plan to stop your Labrador chewing

Whether you have a small puppy in the throes of teething, or an older dog that is chewing from boredom or just because he can, there are three parts to our plan

  • Remove causes
  • Redirect the chewing
  • Break the habit

We’ll look at each of these in turn in a moment.  But some people will tell you that its a good idea to punish your dog if you catch him chewing up your things, so first let’s look at the role that punishment or corrections have to play.

What about punishing dogs for chewing?

There are a number of problems with punishment in general, but punishment for chewing is especially problematic.

Punishment, even very mild punishment, focuses a lot of attention on the dog and perversely, this can make things worse, especially with a dog that is bored, and/or craves more of your attention.


Many Labradors are quite attention seeking, they have been bred to work closely with their human partners and being together, is very important to them.

If your dog feels rewarded by your attention, even though you are angry with him, it won’t stop him wrecking your stuff in the future.

Behind your back

Most destructive chewing in older dogs goes on behind your back, or when you are out.  Punishment can sometimes be a way to teach your dog not to chew things in front of you.  It is however nigh on impossible to teach a dog not to chew things in your absence.

Short of setting up a video, monitoring it around the clock, and operating some kind of remote punishment device in your kitchen, it can’t be done.

Naughty LabradorPunishing the dog ‘at the scene of the crime’ so to speak, has been proven to be ineffective if there is any kind of time delay.

Punishment only works, if it occurs during the bad behaviour.

It won’t work if you punish your dog when you get home, for chewing up the sofa cushions while you were out.

He’ll just think you are grumpy and unreasonable.

Effectively, all punishment does, is teach your dog to be more sneaky about chewing.

Staying friends with your puppy

Remember also, that punishing a puppy will not prevent him chewing – he needs to chew and chewing is completely normal and natural for him.

What punishment will do, is make your puppy afraid of you.  So I really don’t recommend it.

#1.Remove the causes of chewing

So, let’s look at practical ways to stop your Labrador chewing things you don’t want him to chew.

The first step is to make sure you have removed the causes of chewing that can be avoided.  Let’s begin with boredom

Preventing your dog being bored

Labradors need plenty of exercise and some company.  In many homes, everyone is out at work all day, and young dogs can get very bored when left alone for long periods.

Try to give your dog a good long walk before you leave for work, and arrange for someone to come in and take him for another walk part way through the day.  He is more likely to relax and sleep rather instead of dismantling your sofa cushions, if he has had enough exercise.

If your day is a very long one, consider sending him to doggy day care  where he will enjoy the company of other dogs while you are at work.

Combining a dog with full time work  can be challenging and you may need some extra help. You’ll find lots of information in that link and you can get support from other working dogs parents in our forum

Preventing separation anxiety

If your older dog has a separation anxiety issues do consider getting a consultation with a behaviourist.  They will be able to assess your dog in his home environment and give you a plan to help him.

If you have a young puppy, you can avoid separation anxiety developing by teaching your puppy to cope with being alone for short periods of time from an early age.

Check out my click for quiet article for more information on helping puppies that cry when you leave them.  And keep separations very short to begin with.

Make sure that puppies left alone for more than a minute or two, have something appropriate to occupy them.  Rescue dogs may need to be treated in a similar way, and introduced to separation gradually, when you first bring them home.

Chewing for pleasure

Of course there is one cause of chewing you cannot and should not try to remove, or prevent in your dog,  and that is chewing for pleasure.

What we do instead with dogs that like to chew for pleasure, and that includes all puppies, is redirect their chewing onto something more appropriate than your favourite shoes

#2. Redirect the chewing onto appropriate toys

Once you have tackled the causes of destructive chewing, you need to tackle your dog’s natural need to chew for pleasure.

This means redirecting his chewing activities onto sensible alternatives. This isn’t always as straightforward as it might seem.

Most people give their dogs chew toys.  And wonder why he prefers to gnaw on the table legs.  The fact is, most chew toys are rather boring.

labrador puppy with rope toy
some puppies like a knotted rope

Some puppies enjoy those giant knotted rope toys, though they are not indestructible and you’ll need to keep an eye on them and remove them when they start to come apart.

The ideal chew toy

To really make chew toys appealing you usually need to add something interesting.  And for most Labradors, that means food.

Dipping chew toys in savoury spreads like marmite or peanut butter can help extend the pleasure time, but not for long.

The answer lies in the wonderful Kong toy.  In fact what you need is not one, but several Kongs

Why Kongs help stop Labradors chewing your things

The kong is a hollow, tough, rubber toy that most dogs cannot destroy.  The important part is the hollow in the middle.

Your job is to fill this hollow centre with something delicious and then (this is the important part) freeze it solid.

When you leave your puppy or young dog alone or unsupervised for long –  give him a frozen Kong first.

This will keep him happy for quite some time.

Choosing the right kong

You can get Kongs in puppy sizes for little ones, and in extra strong rubber (black) for really strong chewers.  The red ones are suitable for most adult labs.

kong1You’ll need several so that there is always one ready and frozen in the freezer while the others are being washed and refilled.

Kongs are not the cheapest toy, but they are an indispensable aid to the long term prevention of destructive chewing.  Don’t leave home without giving one to your dog.  This is especially important with dogs that have an existing chewing habit, or suffer from boredom or anxiety.

So, now you have tackled your dog’s boredom, and any anxiety issues, and you have an alternative system for redirecting his chewing onto his frozen kong toys.  What next?

#3. Avoid or break bad habits

The final step in the plan is to break any existing bad chewing habits, and in young puppies, to prevent those habits developing.  In both cases this is a physical issue.

When it comes to avoiding or breaking bad habits, it means physically preventing the puppy from being able to indulge in them.

Some people struggle with this. They are hoping for a command or cue to give their dog, that will prevent chewing in their absence.  But this isn’t going to happen.

Putting things away

Before we have our first dog, we are all used to being able to put things down on the floor or low tables, and for them to still be there when we come back.

Life with a puppy isn’t quite like that.  If you leave the TV remote on the chair, your puppy will pick it up.  He’ll then run around with it for a bit, and when he’s done running, he’ll lie down and chew it up.  That’s what puppies do.

Trying to deal with this one incident at a time is exhausting and you’ll soon fall out with your puppy in a big way.

The best way is to prevent your puppy having access to rooms with important items in them, and to teach yourself and your kids to pick up your stuff in rooms where puppies have free access.  Obviously, you can’t put your sofa away, or your favourite lamp, so let’s look at protecting things that cannot be moved.

Repellent sprays

You can buy spray on repellents that will put some puppies off chewing.  You can try spraying it on your table legs and so on.

Bitter apple is a popular one, and it does work, for some dogs.  Sadly not for all.

Some puppies and young dogs seem indifferent to the taste and will happily carry on chewing your furniture or baseboards, even when liberally coated in unpleasant substances!

A more effective solution, and one that is particularly suitable for puppies that are not yet fully house trained, is physical exclusion

Methods of physical exclusion

To keep puppies away from your more precious possessions and soft furnishings, at a minimum, you’re going to need some baby gates.

Put these across doorways or anywhere you don’t want the puppy to go.  Upstairs for example.

For older dogs, you can get taller gates that even a Labrador can’t jump.  You can even get extending gates for large openings in open plan homes.  You can read more about this in our puppies and baby gates article.

Crating your puppy

Many people use a crate to keep their puppy out of mischief at night, and when they leave the house.  Some of you won’t want to do this, but for those that do, there is plenty of information in our crates and crate training section.

If you are going to crate your puppy you need to do so for very short periods of time and leave the puppy suitable chew toys to occupy his need to chew while you are gone.

If you are going to go out for longer periods, then you’ll need to get someone to care for your puppy or use a puppy play pen or puppy proof room, instead of a crate.

Don’t forget your vehicle!

Crates are really useful in vehicles too and can save a lot of heart ache.  One small dog can run up a very large bill when left alone in the interior of a car for a few minutes.

Many years ago my young Labrador ate through both the passenger and driver safety belts in our Landrover when left alone for less than twenty minutes.   That was a pretty expensive lesson for us as a young hard-up couple.

You can buy safety harnesses for young dog to sit on the back seat of your vehicle, but these and the interior of your car are vulnerable to the attentions of your labrador’s teeth.

A crate in the vehicle is often a better solution until your Labrador has got past the chewing stage.

What about puppy bedding?

People often ask me what they can do about their puppy chewing up his own bed.

This is a tricky one.  None of us wants to see a puppy without a bed, but if your puppy is tearing lumps off his and swallowing them, you are going to need to remove it for a while.

A firm mat, or some vet bed is often the best option for bed chewers, but you’ll need to watch and supervise to make sure your puppy isn’t swallowing that too.

When the chewing finally stops

At some point, most dogs, even Labradors, grow out of constant chewing.

At this point, having broken the bad habit or successfully prevented one from starting, you’ll be able to give your dog the freedom of the house.  You can heave a sigh of relief and put away your bitter apple spray.

The moment at which you reach this point will vary from dog to dog but is easily misjudged.  I recently answered a question from the owner of a young Labrador that had been de-crated at seven months old.   He had been very well-behaved in the house for a couple of weeks, and then the chewing had begun.

The problem was that his owner had de-crated him a little too soon, while he was still in the chewing stage.

De-crate carefully

In the article I set out a de-crating plan for her, which you might find helpful if you are wondering if now is the right time to give your Lab some more freedom.

It is very tempting to de-crate big dogs too soon.  This is because large dogs need large crates, and large crates are an unsightly nuisance in all but the biggest houses.

It may help to remember that many Labradors will carry on chewing things they shouldn’t chew, well past their first birthday, and some will continue until they are around two years old.  So, a little patience is required.

Remember to be very generous with those frozen Kongs during the de-crating process and for the next few months.  If your dog hasn’t started a chewing habit by then, he probably never will.


As you can see, chewing is pretty normal, especially in Labradors, and it can last for much longer than early puppyhood.

Most experts now agree that destructive chewing is best avoided by reducing boredom, treating any anxiety problems, providing appropriate chew toys, and preventing very young dogs from having access to your more precious things.

With dogs that have already become destructive, it is especially important to break the habit by preventing access to the things he was destroying.  This can take a little time and patience, but gets long term results.

More help and information

Don’t forget that de-crating needs to be done in stages, and there is a de-crating plan in this article to help you

Labrador HandbookYou might also enjoy my new book  The Labrador Handbook  which comes out in October

I cover the issues discussed on this page, and much more besides.

The book is available for pre-order now in paperback and kindle in the UK and in kindle in the USA (Paperback will follow)

Don’t forget to join the forum for more help and support

Do you have a chewer?

Is or was your Labrador a chewer?  What is the most expensive / precious thing your dog ever destroyed?  Tell us your story and share your pain with us in the comments box below!

This article was originally published in 2012 and has been extensively revised and updated for 2015

Previous articleHow to be a Good Labrador House Guest
Next articleTeeth and puppy teething - ages and stages
Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of several books on dogs. She is the founder of the Labrador Site and a regular contributor. She is passionate about helping people enjoy their Labradors and lives in Hampshire with her husband and four dogs.


  1. Right now 7 month old Miriam is setting about her favourite toy – a plastic (non brittle) bottle wrapped in a sock. This neatly goes in the bin when done. The basket of firewood provides endless pleasure, although it gets messy. These and several Kong toys seem to have diverted her away from the Piano, several chairs and a floorboard (I still cannot understand how a dog can burrow through a flat surface with teeth.)
    Citronella spray on the furniture certainly deterred her but the smell is a big price to pay.
    Oddly she rarely chews when we are out. Its mainly when she’s in a pesky mood. And then she seems to understand value – the peskier she is the more expensive the shoe.
    When she wants to walk or play she eats my insole, when she’s sleepy its someone else’s. Unfortunately both get rewarded – walks, or a mixture of adult yelling and children’s’ laughter.

    • My male black lab over the past year has started stealing food from the counter(even food that is pushed way back) tearing apart paper, eating crayons. He just turned 8 years old yesterday. Now that we restrict him to the bonus room, he does not do these things. He gets at least 3 long walks a day, I play frisbee with him and we all give him attention. Do you know why he would be doing this now?

      • Owen,

        Some dogs do this because they are uncomfortable and trying to get your attention by acting out. You should take him to the vet and get a work up done to make sure there are no underlying health issues he is trying to tell you about.

        Angie RVT \ soon to be DVM

  2. holly is 4 months old now and she really hasn’t chewed anything, but then she is rarely on her own. She comes to work with me and we have a crate for her there which she goes in during busy periods or if we get a delivery. I cannot express how wonderful crates are, she has slept in one from night one and has never whimpered to come out. Now I do think we have been lucky but she has chewed through a laptop cable when she was left for literally 5 minutes. We were so lucky she chewed through the top cable because if it had been the bottom section it would have more than likely killed her. So now she gets popped in her crate with a treat and then let out shortly afterwards. However the boot of the car hasn’t need so lucky we have bars up and she did chew these and underneath the boot liner and matts to get at the foam underlay we can’t say she isn’t dedicated! :-)

  3. We may just be lucky but the day we got our lovely little lab we stuck bitter spray on all the furniture and equally provided lots chew toys – nylabones, kongs, ropes and soft toys. She had a couple of licks of different bits of furniture, had the most hilarious look on her face as she stuck her tong out and went bleugh and pretty much since day two hasn’t had a go at anything but her toys and plants. She loves plants but mostly the dead bits so at least we don’t have to prune much!

    Maybe not a solution for existing chewers but hopefully if you can stop the habit before it forms then thats the best way.

  4. Paddy, now ten months, is on his 4th bed and 7th lead. He has chewed the kitchen table legs, four pads off the kitchen chairs, two floor mats and nibbled away at various pieces of skirting board. Paddy is our 4th labrador and we are unsurprised by this behaviour as the other three did the same sort of things, sometimes worse. what I wish to remind new owners is that a labrador puppy has no idea of the cost of a new bed, lead or anything else. He has no interest in money, except to eat the odd fiver or fifty pence coin left around. We shop for blankets and cushions in charity shops, it’s less painful! On the positive side, Paddy was housetrained within two days, comes to the whistle nine times out of ten, sits, lies down and gives unconditional love. We are now in our sixties and retired but he keeps us active and young in our outlook even when we feel totally exasperated. He will grown up sometime after his second birthday, the other three did. Most of all, Paddy has helped my husband deal with his cancer and mental breakdown and he is so much better than life before Paddy. We even went on holiday, hired a mobile home and drove to Cornwall in September and Paddy was a star. He didn’t chew anything and even when he was sick all over the settee in the van, it was the same colour as the upholstery! Enjoy your puppy/young dog, punishment is not the answer, love is.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! Our Hercules is just 1 year old and just turned his tastes toward our shoes for the first time. His last obsession was tearing the internet cable off the back of our house multiple times during the dead of winter.
      It doesn’t seem to matter how much we exercise him, he just needs to chew.

      • Good to hear other people have similar problems! Parker is 18 months old and despite the many kongs, bones, toys and copious bitter spray, has eaten (in no particular order):
        4 shoes, from 4 different pairs
        2 lamps
        1 armchair
        4 dog beds
        1 sander
        most of the post
        2 carpets
        3 books
        5 cushions
        and who know what else!

        I’m really looking forward to him reaching 2….

  5. Freddie is our 1 year old lab and since having him at the age of 3m he has chewed 3 pairs of flip flops, 1 muck boot, a pair of really expensive 3d glasses, my hair straighteners, 6 oven knobs, 1 machine machine knob, some skirting board, 2 tea towels, 8 footballs and 6 rolls of toilet roll. Been an expensive year :-)
    He has lots of chew toys, bones and is never on his own longer than 3 hours roughly and has about 3 walks a day. We love him though as such a character :-)

  6. I actually hesitate to start a comment here as it might cause me to realise just how much my boys have cost me! Barney came to me as a rescue dog about 2 years old and, I was led to believe not a chewer. Having no clue as to how high an adult lab can reach I learned the hard way – 2 mobile phones, a sat nav, several pairs of shoes, coats (treat crumbs in pockets) hats, dog beds, and more. Rusty the puppy however seemed to be really good by this point I’d learned more and invested in a crate! He was a non chewing puppy so I thought until one day when he was 8 months old and I popped out for a few minutes and got delayed so he’d been left uncrated and munched his way through 2 leather kitchen bar stools. He also on another occasion managed to destroy the lid to my hot tub in minutes while I was in the garden but back turned! – £500 that cost alone! Ouch! Like the commenter above I was astounded at chewing through a flat surface – he started in the middle! I must admit that now I would consider a part trained lab for several thousand pounds a bargain!

  7. As a first time dog owner I was not at all prepared for the havoc a small black labrador would bring to my home. In the first few months he destroyed 3 crate mats, a set of Jamie Oliver cookery books, a sat nav, a pair of glasses and a pair of RayBans, a kitchen cabinet, the rush seating on my dining room chairs, the bottom of the piano, a large number of tea towels and oven gloves, radiator knobs as well as pruning all the shrubs and rose bushes in the garden to ground level! Three years on and parts of my home still bear the battle scars and remind me of those early days – however it all seems insignificant compared to the joy Freddie brings me every day.

    • I dont know you – but you sound a very nice person with a lot of humour and love ! James is my third dog and I can understand you sooooo very well ! But we love them , dont we :-). Sometimes I did not know wether to laugh or to cry – but I always enjoy the company of this fury fellow.

  8. I can relate to the Land Rover seat belts, safely behind a LR dog guard with a companion I thought she’d be safe and secure, how wrong I was. Hebe (now a sensible-ish five) totally destroyed the back of my Discovery, fascia, carpets, connectors to the heated read screen, everything stowed in the big bucket panniers – how she got stuff from the bottom without getting stuck I’ll never know. She didn’t eat the dog leads or the training dummies, however she did get under the back seats and chew through the seatbelts which we didn’t know about until MOT time. Complete replacement involving the removal of the whole back seats to check and re-bolt to the bodywork, the bill was a significant four figures. And it only took her half an hour!
    After that seat belts were drenched in washing up liquid, it is the best dog chewing deterrent I’ve found, it works well on carpet (that was Finnegan, wolfhound), skirting boards (Cara, wolfhound), studs on dog bed covers (Juno, labrador, throughout her life) but not on central heating boilers including the electrics – that one was Maia, twice! Fix for boilers is masses of chicken wire.
    We now have a large crate, currently packed away awaiting the next pup in the spring. Note to self, invest in more washing up liquid…

  9. My Lola is nearly 4 months old. I grew up with dogs including a lab, but lola is the first of my own. I had a crate for her when i first brought her home, but made the mistake of taking her out of it when she cried etc, and now i hardly use it. She hasnt chewed too much…. just her bed, demolished my duvet, a few of my favourite photos that she managed to get out of the frames, too many loo rolls to mention, and my favourite 5 inch heels!! She hasnt started on any furniture yet tho! apart from that she is a good girl…but i think its time to introduce the crate again before she starts eating the couch etc!

  10. Reading the comments so far during my lunch hour – hilarious! We have 18month Nell (our 3rd Lab) who can’t be trusted for any length of time at all. Nothing structural yet (unlike our 1st Lab who rendered our hallway in to something resembling the Gaza Strip), but there has been destruction of small personal items such as mobile phone, glasses, a favourite cardi, shoes, remote control unit, garden plants etc., etc. all whilst our backs are turned. Needless to say she is crated when alone housed with her beloved stuffed kong which she would crawl over broken glass for! But compared to the companionship and unconditional love she gives our family, this is a small price.

  11. Barley is our eight month old golden Lab. So far he has destroyed numerous pairs of shoes, dug a hole in the kitchen floor, chewed several chair legs, and destroyed the kitchen sofa. I am looking at replacing the sofa and wondering if anyone thinks leather would be any better? We do have a crate and he is happy to go in it but generally he hangs out on the kitchen sofa (which is now totally wrecked). My worry is, if I get a new sofa now – will he destroy that too? Advice please.

    • Hi Daisy, the answer to your question is ‘very probably’. Barley’s behaviour is completely normal. Most Labradors chew a great deal until well after their first birthday. Some carry on until around two years of age, though most stop before this. I do not personally leave a dog unsupervised outside a crate around any furniture I care about, until this stage is passed. Pippa

  12. My Lola is now 6 months. And a chewer. She has never chewed any furniture , just anything that is left lying around such as shoes (she demolished a brand new pair of boots i got delivered last week), toys, bins,my duvet, toilet rolls, photo frames etc . She doesnt do it when im at home, just when im away to work (she is left alone for 5 hours day time ). I did have a crate for her and used it when we first got her at 8 weeks, but did the ‘oh shes just a baby lets get her up here sleeping with us’ ..then she hated the crate after that. Im thinking of trying the crate with her again, but im guessing it will be harder for her now she is older and will probably hate it. She doesnt get the run of the house when im at work. I close all the doors and she just gets the hall and the kitchen, but the last few days she has actually been able to open the bedroom doors and demolished a power drill, wallpaper (wrapped, not on walls yet), underwear out the laundry basket, and both her plastic water and food bowl! at his rate i wont have anything left in the house!! I also have some anti chew spray which i have used, but not convinced it works! So i will prob go with the crate and see how that goes, although im sure i will come home to my neighbours complaining about a dog howling! (but the cant complain really, as she has only barked three times since weve had her! And even through all this, she is still our princess. naughty, but nice :)

    • A lot of labradors need to be crated for more than the first six months to avoid damage from chewing. Some will carry on chewing until part way through the second year. You should be able to train your dog to enjoy going into the crate using food rewards over a period of several days.

  13. Hi I have a 8 month golden lab, who we love too bits, my husband and I work so he can be left alone 4days per week for anything between 4-8 hours depending on our shifts, he has chewed my door frames numerous times, back door, ripped my vinyl tiles up and started recently chewing my kitchen units. He is always left a full kong and loads do strong chewy toys, I’m at my wits end now help????

    • Hi Debbie, young Labradors can be very destructive, and the solution lies in proper use of a crate. There are links in the article above for more information. Let me know if you have any queries about crate training. You can’t leave a dog in a crate for hours on end, so you will need to arrange for someone to come in and walk him or be with him if you leave him alone for long. Pippa

      • We have a sweet 3 month chocolate lab. Her name is Lucy. She has been house trained since week 12. We leave her in her crate from 7:30 – 5:30 and we have a dog walker that comes at 12:30-1:00 and she is perfectly fine. We come home to a clean crate and walk her immediately. Everything is about a consistent schedule and training your pup early for the crate. She would scream when we first put her in there but that barely lasted a week. The tough part is leaving them. When we get home she gets plenty of exercise and always has a set of eyes on her. She still bites playfully non stop and chews on whatever she can get. We always try to replace it with a toy or say ouch! NO very loud and walk way. Then go back to playing with her using a toy. The biggest thing to remember is to be patient (which I am guilty of at times), set a schedule and be consistent.

  14. A very interesting article , responses too ! My young Lab did destroy a kitchen rug and a pair of shoes, but then it just stopped completely . However, our latest addition is another kettle of fish altogether and being a rescue pup who has been in a shelter, we realise that her issues may go much deeper and is most likely anxiety based . I havent ever used a crate for any of my dogs , the Labs or Terriers but , judging by the wrecked dog basket that I got up to this morning , I think I will have to read up on crate training and invest, just for unsupervised times !

  15. What hasn’t my chocolate lab chewed? He has chewed tv remotes, my cordless phone, my husbands reading glasses twice, every shoe box in the house, my sugar bowl, my plastic bowls that I take my food in for work, my hiking boots(over $100), my support shoes for teaching ($140) many, many pairs of shoes, pens, pencils, flyswatters, the handle of my rocker-recliner, the drywall and trim on the house, the trim on the doors, pill bottles and he jumps up and gets on my sink and stove and takes any food left sitting to cool. All I can say is…..OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. hiiii i have a lebra….he is one year old jojo . he name is ….he is tooo naughty some tyms but love bee..he use to eat all ma expensive slippers..he torn ma lib book for which i had pay extra n it was emrassing for me… he chew new things..n toys…….ha ha ha h its funny to run after him n save things….he torn all ma soft toys….n even decoration items set in ma drawing room i have hiddded all the things from him…

  17. Our chocolate Lab is 9 months old , he isn`t too bad at chewing , his problem is he eats anything ,last sunday he began vomiting ,after numerous times we took him to see the emergency vet , xray later and as they couldn`t be sure he hadn`t got a blockage decided to operate , piece of hose pipe , rawplug and string had caused a blockage in his small intestine !! We try to watch him like a hawk but it isn`t always possible . Errol didn`t really improve and was in alot of pain not helped by our vet practice not having 24hr care , we had to take him to a 24 emergency practice who did the night shift care !! Tuesday on getting him to our vets , Matt our vet decided he needed 24 hr care and was worried he had developed peritonitis ,he was brilliant, but we then had an hour and a half journey to solihull because our nearest referral centre had refused to take him .He was scanned and imediately given a second op we were told he had a 50/50 chance ,he came home yesterday , 6 days later !!he is doing so well after a traumatic , worrying week thanks to a brilliant specialist vet called Rob White and all his team at the Willows, we have our not so little pup back , personally I would sooner have the chewing than eating everything in sight,if we hadn`t got good insurance saving errols life would have cost nearly £8000 in all ,now i`m his shadow instead of him being mine ,he is so lovable and it nearly broke our hearts to see him so ill ,don`t ever fail to take yours to the vet if they have persistant vomiting ,he wouldnt be here now if we hadn`t acted when we did , hasn`t put us off ,when errol is a little older we are going to get him a playmate maybe black next time though lol x

  18. Got an 18month chocolate. Maggie was a good girl was crated till 8 months she has 2 other dogs to play with when we are out and lots of her own toys. In the last month she has started to chew carpets, dog beds in fact anything she fancies. I count myself lucky still as she is the 4th lab we have had and so far has caused the least damage.

  19. Hi,
    I have a 11 month lab who start chewing things. We live in HK where is very compact. My trainer advice us to use mouth guard while he will be alone. I wonder if it works. My next worry is when he will stop, and can let him be alone without chewing things. Will it be over?

  20. We lost our 15 year old yellow lab last year he was a nightmare chewing everything from the skirting boards to the wall at the back door taking all the plaster off it. He was about 18 months old when he pulled the toaster and a deep fat fryer off and chewed that. He also went through a carpet and a Lino so we then put ceramic tiles down.
    We now have another yellow lab which is 9 months old we have gone through 4 phone chargers and 10 pairs of shoes, on the plus side he hasn’t touched a piece of furniture or anything else in the house. We wouldn’t be without a lab they are such great dogs.

  21. Is there anything bad about using a muzzle while transporting a young labrador inside a car? I understand that is probably not a good training tool (he may start again chewing up the car the day the muzzle is removed), but perhaps there are situations, like car trips, where prevention alone (rather than appropriate training), is an acceptable strategy.
    I have a two month old labrador puppy, and my car is a bit small to fit a crate that will be large enough when the dog is adult, so I am starting to think of strategies for car trips with him (particularly for the times when I will be alone with him in the car). Any comments would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Paolo, I recommend you buy a portable carry crate which will fit your dog for the next few months. You can place this on the rear seat and put a belt around it. I don’t recommend muzzling small puppies.
      Best wishes,

      • So I thought a muzzle idea sounded OK, might it be OK on a grown dog? Seems much easier than hauling a crate in n out as I can’t leave it in all the time…

  22. I have a 6 month old, what I believe is a lab, got him from the shelter, they said he was german sheppard but doesn’t look like it. He is fine when I’m home, but as soon as I leave he has a field day. He has eaten, my coffee table, fish food, baby formula, toys, clothes, playpen, pencils, laptop, the front door, the trim in my bathroom, etc. I tryed crating him and he ate that too, he can’t be stopped. And all or most of this items where left on the kitchen counter, go figure

      • But what do you do when they can get themselves out of the metal crate? My 2 1/2yr lab/Shepard mix is hard to crate, has chewed through plastic ones, chewed through another crate, and figured out how to push her way free from the metal crate, we recently got a new metal crate that latches closed a bit different than the last, however, I figure it’s just a matter or time before she figures out how to escape that one too…I am not really a fan of crating a dog though, this is the first dog I have ever done this with, my other dogs in the past once outgrew the chewing stage were always free to roam the whole home and not be trapped and confined to crate, feels cruel to me, feel bad every time I leave Marley in her crate, she hates it! I don’t blame her really, I know I hate to be trapped in a room all day, but it needs to be done for her own safety, not wanting her to get into anything that could hurt her, just wish there was a way to teach that she could be free in the house I she didn’t want to chew our stuff…but it seems a lesson she isn’t ready to learn yet lol

  23. I recently lost my 3 year old choc lab to cancer. We have reserved a yellow lab puppy who will be ready to come home at the end of October. I had to take my choc lab to the vet when she ate through our surround system and main wall in the living room, her eyes were bulging when we went into the room and she had to go to get an antidote. She tricked us into thinking she didnt need the crate anymore, our new girl wont fool us though, the crate will be there for at least 18 months. We both work from home so it just shows how quickly your lab will have a chew when your back is turned.

    • wow I feel much better now came on for a bit of reassurance, we got sox a red fox labrador at 9 weeks he is now 16 weeks and we know we have got him, he has completely destroyed my tree in the garden and has now scratched and munched through my wallpaper in the dining room, destroyed 2 chairs and ripped 4 cushions apart and his blanket we have decided to crate train after reading positive threads about it so I am off to get 1.

  24. We have a 10 week old labrador and she is just wonderful! Obviously she chews and plays and does all those things that puppies do… BUT she seems to think my legs are a toy too. I’ve tried everything – distracting her with another toy, yelping like other dogs would, a small bop on the nose and a loud No… standing very still with arms crossed and ignoring (although this is hard because her teeth are sharp and it hurts my legs!) they all seem to make her attack more. She only does this to me, NOT my husband, I think he’s firmer with her. I finally had enough today and picked her up and locked her in her crate. She didn’t complain, just went to sleep. I really want to avoid using that method as she loves her crate and I don’t want her to associated it with punishment. Any tips / suggestions out there?

      • Pick her up and place her alone in another room and shut the door. Don’t look at her or anything. Leaver her for 30 secs then let her out. EVERY time do the same. She will get the idea – she won’t want to be by herself.

  25. Ollie is around 7 1/2 months now and have to say he does love to chew. He is my first dog in over 20 years- it took that long to convince my hubby. He is an absolute star but couldn’t count what he has actually chewed his way through. What I can say is everything he has chewed we have given him, be it doggy toys, old shoes, teddys, sticks, my kids old toys and so far not a bit of furniture has been touched. It’s just the mess he doesn’t seem to tidy up yet. Also advocate the crate/cage. That’s his safe place and goes in and out of his own accord, so happy to go in there at bedtime and when we all go out.

  26. Bailey our middle golden lab is 2yr old, we never believed in crating him as our older golden lab Bruce was never crated and never destroyed anything, Bailey though has gone through several slippers, his toys, the kids toys, toilet rolls, books, walls, hairbrushs, coats, dustbins, leads, wallpaper that was actually on the wall!!!, doors, lost count on how many of his beds he’s destroyed, but his biggest destructions have to be the stair carpet and the radiator pipe which turned my hallway into an indoor paddling pool lol,we learnt our lesson from Bailey when we got Coda our chocolate lab who’s now 6mths, he is crated and has only destroyed his toys with the help of Bailey while Bruce the oldest lab sits and watches them in disgust lol

  27. This all makes me feel so much better. Are Lab Harry has eaten all the leatherette off my brand new dinning table, corner of the sofa, destroyed the cushions, 3 dogs beds, a laptop charger lead, pulled up the vinyl in the porch and munched his way through so many pairs of shoes I have lost count. Sometime you forget what the reach capcity can be you think it is high enough but oh no!! He is 6 months old and like some people I have never had to crate any of my other pooches however this is our first lab. I have just invested in one as think it is the best option for us now wish me luck!!

  28. Our 18 month old Storm has chewed everything he shouldn’t despite having lots of his own toys, he has systematically demolished a sofa, a coffee table, carpet, rugs, tv remote, coasters, newspapers, shoes, slippers, a telephone, Internet modem and wiring, artificial coal from the electric fire, a pair of glasses, a vase with artificial flowers, a bowl of pot pourri…..the list is endless!! But despite this he is the most loving dog with a character to match and we wouldn’t change him for the world.

  29. Loving reading these comments. In the past I too have had dogs chew lots of things. Worst being one of my son’s first pair of Clarkes shoes and totally destroyed my childhood teddy. That was a sad (and mad) day. Makes me realise how glad I am that my last two dogs have been older (4 and 2 yrs) rescue labs and had already outgrown this. I personally wouldn’t get a puppy again.

  30. Our first pup chewed the table legs and chair legs if left for any length of time. Also dug up garden & chewed bark off trees. We have a 18month old pup now who has not chewed anything except my husbands socks and shoes. I think we invest a lot more time exercising this pup. & I am hopeful that someday my husband will learn to tidy up after himself… :)

  31. Our lab loves Crocs shoes. She is addicted to them, since my husband buys them in tons, she has already got her own to chew. She also like socks and underwear. We would scold her and punish her when she chewed our cushions but no use. She would keep on doing that… anyways, we already got used to that. Still we love her soooo because she is a wonderful dog….

  32. Hi just thought I would tell you that hot chilli sauce works on table and chair legs to stop the chewing not sure how to prevent her from chewing clothing or cushions though that’s a tricky one, good luck with that.

  33. Hi, so reassuring to read about the chewing by labradors. We have a female choc lab who has chewed endless amouts of stuff. We do have a crate which she wanders into but however hates being left at night in it, she howls and cries and usually pees and poos in it for good measure. It has now been two months and tonight we are going to persevere as I cannot face another morning of devastation! I have been feeling defeated lately, she is so lovely our Rosie and wants to play all the time even with our three cats, who are not keen! Another 6 mths to a year seems like a long haul.

  34. hi guys my 2 yr old gold lab febe, loves to rip out plants and sometimes chew, she stopped for a while but we have recently got a garden and shes started to attack them shes got plenty of toys and goes for a walk each day, does anyone know how i can stop this??!

    • Hi am after some advise I have a one year old fox red lab . He has just started chewing . Hes has a good attempt at my sofa. Our lab is also really good at opening all our doors in are house. Can any one help me and asvise me on whats best to do . Many thankx

  35. Hi: We have a 9 mo old Ivory Lab (beautiful) Lucy. Lucy is a sweetie, however, quite a chewer. So far irrigation lines in backyard (3), Pruned our azealas, 1 TV clicker, crate bedding, numerous magazines, came out of bedroom with my watch in her mouth. (saved). Then she can be best cuddly lover. Plenty of exercise really helps. Works good on leash, sits, stays. Off leash stays with me and recalls. I am 73 yr old…..lost 24 lbs since Apr. walking Lucy. She is very smart. Mother and Dad were both Nat’l and Internat’l Champs show ring and hunting. Keeps my life it.

  36. LOL… You this morning, I woke up again with Maddie laying on my chest and she was noozling me to get up since I’m deaf and can’t hear my alarm… However, heh… This is the most destructive dog I have every had.. a throughbred black lab. Shes 27 wks and a lil over 65 lbs… This dog… oh man, this dog, the best I can describe, is chew chew chew chew chew… I have a recliner in my living room that has be dismantled completely, the only thing that remains in certain spots is the literal metal framing of the chair.. LOL. Pens… chomped.. she discovered what ink was, now she literally leaves the cartridge aside and destroys pens… MY HEARING aids… LOL… furniture legs, my living room window sills, now the couch… the back sliding door. seatbelts.. The floor level caps, my wallet and credit cards, pillows… The funny thing is she treats her toys like their proper, actually keeps them in order and finds everything else in the house appealing. I don’t understand it. I did lose my patience this morning and I felt bad, as its a regular thing. I do use a crate, but I also know I can’t seal her up all day… She potty trained quick, and I’ve taught her 6 tricks already and sits cute at the dinner table and waits for us. Shes actually pretty awesome. Reading this stuff kinda gave me yet another idea, I think I’m going to just throw a log in the middle of the room and see what happens.. She loves wood… I’d rather deal with the mess, and I was going to wait until she stopped chewing to replace the recliner!! which, BTW looks more like hate art now than a chair.. Ironically, the place where she sits is untouched, and the rest of the chair is completely destroyed.. LOL

    • I have a 6 month old boxer lab mix who is such a lover. We used crate for the first 2 months we had her when she went 3 weeks with out an accident inside we let her sleep upstairs with us. It breaks my heart in the last she has chewed my fiancés glasses a pair of remotes and a blackberry cell phone. When we leave the house she is confined to the kitchen always. I thought it was cause I left to go to the gym in the mornings and then this morning I wake up to the cell phone. Do I make her sleep alone and listen to her whining? She’s getting fixed on Monday will that change her habits? She gets plenty of exercise and attention. HELP makes me feel like we should have never adopted her maybe she’s not happy here

  37. Reading many of the forgoing stories, i gain the impression owners treat their dogs as humans and give them far too much freedom INDOORS but virtually none OUTDOORS. Yeah its kind of funny the first time a slipper is all chewed up.
    But did the chewer get properly reprimanded. A pet dog is still a dog…animal….and needs to be treated as such. My dog is allowed in the house daily in the evening for 2 hours but knows its rest place is in the corner of the lounge. never bedrooms, kitchen etc. sure she at first tried to wander but strong words trained her to stay put. I think maybe big chewers are mostly kept indoors and with total freedom. Dogs chew because nothing else to occupy their boredom. Mine stays outdoors all day and night. Has shelter from rain and sun and complete freedom in the garden, yard and fenced frontage. Loves to chase butterflies , play with cockroaches out at night, watch the wild birds eat the 6.30am breakfast i throw out for them, studies the bullfrogs and sometimes tease them with her nose as they hop about seeking the pond.. Still give her an off-lead 1 hour walk and sniff-sniff wander each day. Also a couple hours on the beach 2 or 3 times a week. she loves swimming and searching for submerged stones. Back home after her shampoo she is content to rest in the frontage and watch the schoolkids and shoppers pass by. many know her and spend a few minutes tickling her ears. By the way, she is now a healthy alert trained 9 month old golden labrador. My previous labrador bitch exactly the same treatment. We were together for many years. Understood and close, but she knew her place was as a dog not a human child. So to all you owners of chewers i suggest you get your dog outside and give it plently of exercise and freedom. Think, what does a human toddler do when it is bored? what does a teenager do when it is bored? what do many adults do when they are bored? So one cannot blame the dog. QUESTION FOR SCOTT. you are surely joking yes? You do not really have your dog sit at the family meal table ???!!!My gawd. Next you will say it joins u in the shower.

  38. My 6 month old female lab eats EVERYTHING! She has eaten clothing, phone chargers… Anything she can get her mouth on. She initially was also doing very well with house training but now she goes wherever she pleases, even after she has just used the bathroom outside. Please help!

  39. I have 2 51/2 month lab puppies….OMGoodness I am glad I went to this web site…I feel so much better. Mine have eaten base boards AND the paneling nails (A trip to the vet for that one), chewed through my TV cables twice, destroyed the fence I put up around the TV cables, eaten towels, shoes, TV remote controls (I SWEAR they soak those things in meat!), any scrap of paper, note from loved one, picture, that might be on the refrigerator, mail and bills on the kitchen counter, and two dining chair seats. Apparently my bitter spray is defective! But through it all, I love my Stud and Muffin.

  40. hi there,
    I need a bit of advise, I have got a 16 months Labrador. She is lovely dog however when she is left for amount of hours she chews her bedding. we have tried the Kong and found that this doesn’t last that long with her. we also tried getting big bones for her to chew as well but that is the same. we have spend lots of money on bedding and do not want to spend more money when she continue to chew it. we also a 10 year old and she wasn’t nothing like my 16 months.
    also we have a problem with her jumping at people when they entre through door, we tell her to get down but this seems to not be working either.
    if you could help me that would be great.
    thank you for reading this.

    • Hi Kelly, I suggest you follow the crating advice in the article above. Many young dogs destroy their bedding, and the answer is to remove it, or use cheap bedding or old towels and blankets until this phase is over. The jumping up article is in the behaviour section in the menu at the top of the page. Best wishes, Pippa

  41. thanks for getting back so soon, we was thinking about getting a crate but we do not want to put our 10 year old in one has she hasnt been in one before and they both lay beside each other.

  42. Callie is 1 yr old Lab. She has chewed her way thru money, clothes, furniture, and her favorite, Klenex tissue. I do crate her when I am not at home, therefore, she does all these things when I am at home and she is not crated. When she gets really quiet, that is when I know she is up to no good. All the people I have spoken to, tell me I have at least another year before this behavior stops. I am at my wits end because I know by her actions, she knows that what she is doing is wrong and not acceptable. It is like having a toddler in the house again where you have to watch them constantly. The coming year should be interesting!

    • Hi Phyllis, it is a challenging time for you, but restricting your dog’s access to specific parts of the house will help you to cope. Also, your dog really does not know she is doing anything wrong. Check out this article and hang on in there :)

  43. Well we have taken in Harper a 7 month old border collie black lab mix… she has eaten 4 pairs of shoes, 2 packs of peepads, my kitchen table and chairs, 4 pieces of firewood, a cellphone(no longer will even turn on), a charger, a lamp, her lead and harness, and a shreder machine… we are exhausted… Crate training here we come!

  44. My chocolate lab is about 2 1/2 years old and seems to be going crazy! We bought an extra large dog crate and she has managed to tear it apart! She has eatin away at our backyard fence. I can’t keep her in the back yard, she can’t be in her crate anymore. When I put her in a room she eats at the door and scratches up the walls. I babysit my nieces everyday so I started to take her with me. At first she was good but now when I have to leave her outside when I go pick up my boys from school she is now digging holes and chewing on things in my sister in laws back yard! I don’t know what else to do! I think we are going to have to get rid of her :(

    • Hi Darci, it would probably help you to see a behaviourist. There are many reasons for destructive behaviour in an older dog including but not limited to anxiety, frustration, lack of exercise, stress, isolation and ill health. A behaviourist will be able to assess the dog in his home environment and advise you on the probable causes and give you advice on resolving your dog’s behaviour.

  45. my lab is about a year old. he chews on things in my absence and knows what he did was wrong. however I have put several different kinds of blankets in his crate at night and during the day while im at work. he chews them up and I have put toys in there as well and still chews his blankets up any ideas.

    • My Lab was the same I got a strong waterproof bed it wasn’t cheep but it’s the only bed my dog hasn’t chewed up I was buying at least 1 a week they r really strong material, instead mine has now resorted to chewing plaster of walls lol


  47. We have had our yellow lab Drake since 5 weeks old. He is now 10 months. There isn’t a room in our house that I cant see where he has left his mark. My sons dresser, the seam in the family room carpet, cell phones (x2), play station paddle, Vans shoes, a hat, countless boxes from recycling bin, outside mats. He only chews in our absence. He destroys a chew toy within minutes!

  48. my Labrador(golden) is very naughty one. he chewup things and my mom wants him to stop it. also he sometimes has a very bad breath. pls suggest some measures to prevent both biting and bad breath.

  49. i have two almost 16 month old labs (bonnie & clyde) and let me tell you the names and personalities fit perfect! but… they have chewed up 4 of our walls, tons on blankets and pillows, our carpet too. we have them cage trained (with a blanket thats not destroy shockingly),which is good. they run out of the invisible fence, cant trust eating bones in a cage together and we cant bring them in the house because they tore our house apart! anyone help?

    • Hi Taylor,
      You can’t train two young dogs together. You need to focus on each dog separately. Have one crated whilst the other is in the house. Focus on creating a calm atmosphere and rewarding calm behaviour. The chewing is normal and may continue up to around two years of age. Crating is the only way to protect your home when you are not there to supervise. When you have to crate the two together, make sure you remove any source of conflict (like the bones) first. Pippa

  50. I rescued Tucker last February and the vet thinks he is about 5or 6 years old. He is absolutely lovely and well-trained to come, fetch, release, etc. He has been delightful in his sweet and gentle manner. However, after a few months, he destroyed his bed…no problem, I bought him another! Ok for a while, then he destroyed that one. It then progressed to the pillows on my sofa, all of the other stuffed toys belonging to my other dogs, finally chewing up anything he could get! Two things have happened that might have affected him…one, my old Corgi died and was replaced by a new puppy, and I started working later, being gone sometimes for 12 hours. Can someone please help me with this? I have started confining him in the mud room, but he proceeds to demolish the rugs I have in there for him. I don’t have a safe place to keep him outside, besides, I like having him in the house. He is totally housebroken and stays off of the furniture. I just don’t know why he is demolishing everything now.

  51. My Labrador is 9 months old and has started chewing plaster off the walls down 2 the concrete, she has a crate for when we go out but has started doing this whilst I’m in a different room even if it’s for 5 minutes, I’ve tried everything chew stop punishment vets recommended vapour rub but none of these have worked, could anybody offer some advice, she has lots of attention and has lots of various chew toys.

    • Hi Teri, have a store of food filled kongs in your freezer and give her one each time you have to leave her out of a crate without supervision. It is a phase, and she will eventually grow out of it. You might also want to check her diet has all the nutrients she needs, just in case she is craving something missing in her diet. Pippa

  52. We have two labs. One is nine months old and the other is six months old. These two are my first experience owning a large breed dog. I’ve only had one dog prior. I had no idea labs are so destructive! Don’t get me wrong, we love our dogs more than anything. I would never trade them and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. That being said, they have destroyed A LOT of items. Shoes, door frames, part of a wall(!) etc… The thing that bothers me is that people will tell you that they do this because they are bored. While that may be the case at times, it is definitely not the only reason. Ours are almost always with us. I bring one of them to work with me and the other is at home with my husband all day (he works from home). The breed just has a LOT of energy. I once played fetch with the older one for SIX HOURS almost continuously! I wanted to see when he would finally be calm and tired. I actually had to stop playing! My arm hurt lol. Well he was nice and relaxed after that, but that only lasted until the next morning.

    I really think the destructiveness is just part of the breed. Even when I buy them new toys they go about finding a way to destroy them in a way that is as fast as possible. I bought them squeeky toys last night and then were destroyed within 10 minutes. You should see how focused they are in going about the destruction. It is impressive to watch lol.

    I think the best way to deal with it is to just crate them when you cannot supervise them. When you are there to supervise just expect that they will find something new and exciting (a chair leg, your expensive new shoes, a purse strap, headphones etc…) to chew on. There’s no point getting mad, just don’t leave things within their reach. Hopefully they will grow out of it when they get older. Just try and keep a strong and healthy sense of humor….. you’re gonna need it!

  53. We rehomed a 4yr old lab a year ago and whilst he hasn’t damaged any furniture, he’s eaten lots of nylon kitchen utensils, plastic bowls, plastic spoons, lots of other normal kitchen objects and anything non-kitchen related that has been left on the kitchen side or table by the kids! He only chews between 4 & 7am when we’re all in bed despite providing him with toys! I don’t feel we could introduce a crate at 5 and a half years old – what do you think? We’ve have to put a lock on our lowest food cupboard as he worked out how to open it and ate EVERYTHING inside!

    • I have been researching the crate idea for a few days now and most responses I see have been that with labs crating is not cruel because that is how their hunter/retriever instincts work. I think it is a great idea for night. That is his safe space. My lad while in his crate does not chew up his blanket. (as he has with other blankets in the house) My pup is not a rescue so I can not speak on how he will react but if I were you I would try it for a few weeks and see how he does.

  54. We got our precious Blu when he was 8 weeks and a day. He did not do his crazy chewing until he was about 8 months old. Before it was a few flip flops here and there and all of his stuffed animals were mutilated in seconds. Then when he reached 8 months is where the horror began: 2 bras, my couch, 4 blankets, bowls, paint buckets, sweaters, jeans, socks, area rugs, door jam molding, my bathtub, corners of doors, books, fence posts outside, a wheelbarrow, my daughters’ bikes, siding off the house, outdoor vents, water hoses, dug up and chewed my sprinkler system water pipes, and my very favorite….Chewed a hole through the garage wall.
    All I can say is I really hope this ends soon or goes back to the occasional $1 flip flop.

  55. Amber is a chocolate lab rescue. She is loving and smart. She has become the apple of my husband eye. I lost my sweet boy, Razzy, a corgi/sheltie back in May. Amber came to live with us in August. I have never had a dog in the home this large and Razzy was not very destructive. We have gone through a travel crate, two crate mats, a pair of hicking shoes, 3 sets of blinds and a torn up back yard from constant running. And, a prey drive for cats and squirrels that is always on high alert.My husband takes her a a commons area to exercise her til her tongue just about drops from her mouth. I know this is common for young labs but so very new for me. We love her dearly and the rescue group that rescued her has taken her through a training routine and we have worked with her to reinforce her work. I just keep the mantra going…”God give me patience and please please give it to me now!” Shewwwwwhhh!

  56. Hi. We have an 8 month old 80lb lab. He is chewing everything! So we have lost the wire to our outdoor thermometer, the cables to our surround sound, one of our screen windows, the cover to our grill, part of the cover to our pool, the cables to our cable tv to where we had to have them run new wires for the tv to work. He counter surfs horribly, knives,scissors, food, magazines… We play with him, walk him and even tried doggie daycare. I’m at my wits end.

  57. Whew my lab is 14 months old and just chewed my 4 year old Ariat cowboy boots. I am not sure what to do between chewing everything, dragging evey stick out of the woods into the back yard and jumping on everyone and car (all of our cars are scratched from her). Hoping to renew my patience but the time is coming that I am going to give up and find a new home. I have had labs my whole life and do not remember any being this bad.

    • Hi Tara, a lot of Labradors will chew anything they can get in their mouths up until around their second birthday. If you restrict her to certain areas of your home using baby gates,and make family members pick up their stuff in these areas, you will find it easier to manage. If you have her wear a harness and house line until you fix the jumping up using the training articles and videos in the behaviour section, you’ll have more control over her when visitors come and around your vehicles. Focus on training simple skills like sit and down. Using high value rewards you can ask her to offer these behaviours as alternatives to the ones you don’t like – see also Teach your Labrador to Control Himself Pippa

  58. I have a wiemador, He is just over three months and loves to chew and bite everything! How do I stop him from eating stones or anything that may be dangerous?
    Also he is now able to go on a walk but he seems to think that because he is outside he doesn’t need to listen to commands, I have tried multiple things to get his attention but he is just not interested, do you have any ideas what I could do so he listens when going on a walk?


    • Hi Steph, it is very common for puppies to eat stones and other rubbish Have a look at this article. With the recall training, you need to train a recall command in a structured way which includes proofing the command in lots of different situations. Check out the recall training centre in the training menu at the top of the page. If you enjoy reading, you might like my book Total Recall. Good luck with your puppy :) Pippa

  59. I have a 16 month old yellow lab/golden retriever cross called Logan. Me and my fiance have had him since he was 9 weeks old and is a fast learner but a very naughty doggy. Thankfully he hasn’t cost us a great deal of money from the things he has chewed but the list is getting longer everyday!
    We cleared out the area under the stairs and put up a baby gate so he would have his own little ‘room’. We are in a rented property so tried to make sure everything was safe from his teeth but we have had to re-evaluate all that we did as it made no difference. After returning home one afternoon I found a rather large area of the wall had been attacked and all the carpet tiles had been ripped up. We have since covered the walls in perspex which has stopped him chewing the walls. there’s now laminate on the floor too. We’ve recently started letting him out when we’re not at home but he has so far chewed through the following (to name but a few)… cushions, tea towels, numerous socks, 2 bras, 2 vest tops, a pair of slippers, sat-nav cables, numerous letters and empty packaging, the bottom of the wardrobe, the staircase and an extension cable. May I just add that all of the things he has chewed were all out of the way, or at least we thought. There really does seem to be nowhere safe to put things, which has resulted in him going back in his room. He does sleep in our bedroom at night though and has no issues with chewing then (only inappropriate licking of the face or a poking out foot during the night).
    I would love it to get better as he gets older but as he is a Labrador I fully expect this to just be a way of life from now on. And if it was this way forever or no Logan I would rather live in a chewed up house than a doggy free one!

  60. I really appreciated your item regarding labs chewing.
    Think I’ve been quite lucky as our 9 month old black lab (Baldrick) has mostly confined his chewing (and digging) destruction to the garden….AH WELL! when the weather gets better we’ll try to sort out all his chewing/digging mess and bring our garden back to something vaguely resembling ‘normal’!!

  61. We have a nickname for our 6 month old chocolate lab! It’s labra-gator! We are in Louisiana so it’s very fitting… and telling! But we do love him! His real name is Roux and he has devoured every “indestructible” toy out there! I find long walks, formal training (for the people), and his crate has been the lifesaver for dealing with a gator’s chewing appetite!!

  62. We have a two year old chocolate lab with most gorgeous eyes and is so loving No matter what she has done you just can’t discipline her so she gets away with murder most of the time. She is pretty much past the furniture stage and has moved on to our sox and underwear so we try to keep those things up out of the way, but she still manages to find something illegal. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I almost feel she is smarter than me. She barks constantly at night when she is outside unless some is with her. What does she see out there that she doesn’t see during the day? I thought she would be a nice traveling companion, but she runs from window to window smearing them up with her drool, all the while barking at everything that moves. Makes it a very unpleasant ride. Then when someone comes to the door or just comes in the house or hangs around outdoors she is constantly trying to jump up on them.We are in our 70’s and she is just too much for us and I am thinking of giving her away, but just can’t bring myself to do it. I love her so much and I know she loves me, too. We lost one lab a few years ago and I was so brokenhearted and it left a big hole in our household, it felt like we had lost one of our children. She sure left those paw prints all over my heart and then a friend thought we should have another one so here is Crazy Daisy torturing my life. I must be a glutton for punishment, all for the love of a lab!

    • So I keep hearing the answer is to crate. .. I have a9 month old lab who we crated because of the chewing when she was alone

  63. I have a 9 month old lab who only chews when I am not around. We decided to crate her and after a couple months I noticed she had chewed a hole in the bottom of the kennel. This is one of those large hard plastic airline approved kennels. I then put her in a muzzle but after a couple weeks get mouth/lips are red and swollen. The bitter spray doesn’t work either. She is a sweet heart and no matter what I have no plans on giving up on her but if there is something or there that will help … I am all ears. .. she is very well behaved and doesn’t even bark, but when I go to work and she is by herself the monster dog emerges. .. lol… seriously though any advice.???

    • Hi Heather, I don’t use plastic crates other than for small pups, and I’m not really surprised your dog managed to chew it. These are the only kind of crate I recommend, and some dogs will chew the plastic liner, so if you get one, I suggest you remove it.

  64. I have a 6mth old yellow lab, who like to to chew walls, shoes, zips off coats, carpet on the stairs and hallway. I do crate her when I go out where she has her kong toys! Reading some of these comments makes me realise how lucky I am with her! Although at the time I kill her! But then she will give me this puppy look and I go all soft on her but don’t show her! Ruby is my second lab I was very lucky with my first as she never chewed anything so ruby was quite a shock for me! I would never be without a lab in my life the most loving dogs ever

  65. I have a 8 month old lab mix and she chewed up the cover of the hot tub in the back yard of the house we rent. She has also chewed up about half of our youngest daughter’s toys, our oldest daughter’s roller derby skates, and my Privo shoes. She has eaten numerous plastic bead necklaces as has been evidenced in her poop on several occasions. She has also chewed the handlebars off of my middle daughter’s scooter and my youngest one’s tricycle. And all of that is just since we got her in December!

  66. I have an 11 month lab whom we’ve had for 9 months and are struggling with doing him from destroying everything. We started by containing him to one room of the house but he has eaten 3 cable wires and the gate keeping him in that room. We then did crate training when we couldn’t supervise him, which we thought would be fine as my fiance works from home and spend time with him every few hours. While this kept him from chewing apart the gate, he has now eaten 3 plastic bottoms to the crate. Has anyone else had these problems? We’ve been training him on the basics but can’t figure out how to stop him from destroying things. We’ve given him many, many toys and different types, but nothing has kept his attention or lasted long enough. If anyone had any suggestions we would welcome them!

    • Hi Tara, quite a lot of dogs chew plastic crate liners, it isn’t unusual. You can line a crate with a tight fitting wooden board (tight enough so he cannot get at the edges) or purchase a metal crate liner. The former is better if you cannot leave him alone with bedding, as the wood is warmer and more comfortable than metal. He will probably grow out of the whole destructive thing in the next six months or so, so hang on in there. Pippa

  67. My 7 month old fox red is a chewer! I did find Deep Heat on my furniture helped. Also as she needs to chew I got her some bulls pizzles (disgusting I know) keeps her occupied for a while. It teaches you to not leave stuff I suppose. This week alone two pairs of sunglasses, bunch of bananas, biscuits and anything left on the kitchen surfaces! The biggest problem we have is that she still loves her own poo the best, yuk!!!

  68. My sons black lab/english terrier mix is 7mths old and has mannaged to chew a whole bunch of different things. The two most expensive things she’s chewed were my reading glasses and ipad. We can’t leave anything on the counters, because she’s like Mikey, she eats anything she can get her teeth on! She’s a very high energy dog and we’ve noticed she mainely does most her “bad” chewing when she’s bord. We also have a 3yr old yellow lab. She did chew a bit in her puppy stage, but not this bad. The younger (Maya) one even likes chewing at the elder (Lexi) ones neck and hine legs, just to get her to play or to simply aggravate her. Do not worry, Lexi does give Maya a stern warning when she’s over stepped her boundaries in play. They are both beautiful dogs, but man…I’m so anxious for Maya to be done with this stage!

  69. I can’t tell you how invaluable this website has been for me as a first time owner of a lab. I had read they chew a lot, but was not prepared for the level of destruction we have seen so far! Ruber is our 11 month old male yellow lab. He has chewed the corner of everything… every kitchen cupboard and unit, the kitchen chairs are barely still standing on their legs, the walls have been stripped of the paint, paper and in some cases the plaster. He has eaten countless articles of clothing and after he had a full hip replacement we thought he would appreciate carpet (so as not to slip on the ceramic tiles) however that got eaten too! Not to mention his expensive bed! The garden bushes have been “trimmed” to the roots and the grass dug up. I haves learned so far that the dining room is his… We’ll redecorate when he grows up, not to leave anything worth worrying about within his reach and to not be attached to anything he is allowed contact with, as it won’t be there for long! Definitely agree with confinement when he cannot be supervised, we use a combination of a cage and stair gates. That said he is the most gorgeous, dopey, loving dog who is great with our 1 & 3 yr old. Our 3 year old said recently that his fabourite part of our holiday in Cornwall was taking Ruber for a walk. Bless. As I write he has just worked his way through a kong stick, so off to the shops later! It certainly helps to be able to read the similar experiences of others… the joys of lab ownership! :)

  70. We’re working on our second lab pup now. Our first dog ate through our entire kitchen, most literally… We returned home one evening, and found she had found a loose corner in the linoleum, and had managed to tear nearly the entire kitchen floor up. She also chewed through every window sill, door frame, and baseboard in that room. She also customized our kitchen table for us by chewing off all four corners. She did eventually quit chewing, and she was the best dog we have ever owned. We’re just trying to keep from remodeling the kitchen again with our newest family member…

  71. We have a male Labrador who was 1 last month, my husband and I having both had dogs as family pets growing up, thought a labrador would be the perfect addition to our family.
    Yes hes perfect with our little girl by my god his eating habits are unreal!
    We crated him to begin with but he quickly outgrew the crate, and there just isnt any space in the house to put a larger one (thankfully were moving at the end of the month so one will be reintroduced!)
    I need to take him with me at all times to stop him from chewing in the home, he finally outgrew the puppy chewing but when my mums dog came whilst she was on holiday he quickly returned to his ways when he left.
    He has ate his way through skirting boards, phone chargers (whilst plugged in and on!) shoes, bags, toys, the handbrake in the car, a glass photoframe (Yes that astounded me aswell! lucky little so and so didnt cut himself!!) Now he has ate the plastic in my boot where the parcel shelf sits of my brand new car! This was with a kong toy filled with paste and treats, a ball and another chew toy, within 10 minutes!
    Googling found me this blog and glad to know were not alone!
    I see above someone else asked about muzzling, I wondered if anyone did this for 1 year old labs? The amount of time he is in the car or left unattended in minimal, it would only be a temporary measure until he was back into a crate in a few weeks time. What are the thoughts on this? We really are the end of our tether will him. So frustrating! Hoping it ended nearer 2yrs. He is such a loveable dog and truly is wonderful with our toddler!

  72. The joys of having a lab!!! My golden lab will be one year old tomorrow. So far she has chewed; a coffee table, 2 remotes controls, a pair of curtains, a window sill, a number of books, some WALL, and a couple of days ago she chewed the arm off my sofa :( but she is the best dog in the world her temperament is amazing especially with my 5 year daughter they are two peas in a pod! I wouldn’t change anything about my dog she is like another child to me :) Labradors are amazing beasts.

  73. Our 5month old black lab male Clayton all of a sudden has started tearing things up when we leave and he knows he’s done something bad but continues to do it . We used to crate him , but we started leaving him out of the crate by himself and he was doing very well ( we ‘re usually only gone maybe 3 hrs ) My husband refuses to crate him again , he thinks we ‘ll have to start all over . I don’t have a problem with crating him again , he liked it , my husband I think needs to be retrained , help !!!

    • Hi Linda, puppies don’t really understand that chewing your things is wrong, they just know that you are displeased. Five months is very young to de-crate a puppy, I crate mine until they are well over a year old. It isn’t a training issue, you need to keep your stuff out of his way,until he is through the chewing stage. It is annoying, but it will pass. :)

  74. Hi. My 8 month old female yellow lab has destroyed a lot things in the backyard. She ripped the screen slider right off, chewed countless rakes, and today she just chewed the rubber coating off the pipes that are a part of the central air. We can never catch her in the act so when we punish her, she doesn’t know why she’s being scolded. My mom is threatening to get rid of her. What should we do with her when we are out for a few hours? How can we get her to stop chewing the up the backyard?

  75. My chocolate lab has just turned 1. He’s never been a chewer… Until now! He’s getting the same if not more exercise, he’s not left for long periods of time (I’m a stay at home Mum). He’s chewed cables, remote controls, shoes etc. it’s not always when we got out either. It’s when we go upstairs to get dressed. It’s driving us crazy! We don’t know why he’s doing this. He has access to chew toys which we rotate, he just chooses to chew on naughty things. Is there anything we can do? Any suggestions on why he’s suddenly started this behaviour, please?

  76. I have a 6 mo. old Black Lab Blue Tick puppy(Girl, named Roxie) that is into everything. She does not like cats and is always biting/chewing on my hand. Would putting bitters on my hand stop her from doing this?

    • Need help Pls we have a 6 month old golden labrador female and she digs and chews . She digs small holes in our back yard and chews hoses and wires to air conditioner outside . She brings in small rocks and twigs to and chews on them. How can I STOP this it’s driving my hubby crazy . I say it’s a puppy thing and that you cannot watch her all the time but what if she zaps herself from eating the air con wires . Help . Don’t know what to do at wits end.

  77. Charlie is my 6 month old Chocolate lab. At first I thought it would only be a digging crisis, of which I was able to break in my previous yellow lab. However, it has turned out that he is a digger and a chewer. It wasn’t bad with just an occasional shoe now and then. Good knows my wife has an abundance of them. Then he found the wood pile. Other than wood chips all over the lawn it is more of a nuisance to clean up. Now since summer has arrived and I have begun my summer hobby of grilling, Charlie has decided to help by chewing every electric chord in half (and thirds) on all four of my grills and extension chords as well. He knows that he has done wrong and runs and hides under my pine tree. And I have come to the conclusion that I’m too old to chase him. If I would have caught him I think I would have yanked out all his teeth. Then I discovered that when he is bad he automatically goes to his crate. So, that will be his punishment from now on. And is put in the crate when I’m gone. I left him out side when I ran to the store to get new chords. By the time I returned he had my 100 foot water hose chewed neatly into four 25 ft sections. Lesson being, don’t leave home without him or put him in the crate.

  78. I just searched for Labrador destructive chewing and found this thread. My circumstance seems a bit different. I have a 7 month old chocolate. She is crate trained, and goes to Day Care 3-4 days per week (she loves it – she grabs her leash and sits by the door sometimes on days when she is not scheduled to go) Other days, she is home with us, with walks and romps at the off-leash dog park. She is a strong chewer, having chewed through deer antlers and large bones in a day (she turns up her nose at any kind of chew toy, Kong included, that is not real bone) She has also chewed up baseboard, molding and table legs. When she does, we either offer her something appropriate to chew on, or put her in the crate. But the oddity is, for the most part, she only starts chewing on things she shouldn’t when we are in the room with her. We started to leave her in the room uncrated (with baby gate) for short periods of time and noticed that she just rests when we’re gone – she rarely engages in destructive chewing. If we leave her too long, she may start to chew on something she shouldn’t, but I find it so odd that she is most likely to engage in this behavior when in our presence. Any insight on this? Thank you for your feedback, Pippa.

  79. Kenzie, my 8 months old labrador ate basically everything at my house. He munched the piano legs, a door, made a hole on the floor (I don’t really get it how he managed to eat the concrete floor). Chair legs, laptop charger. There is a drawer near the bathroom, he ate everything we left there, including my glasses, husband’s wallet, a watch, and some hairbrushes. Everytime we forget and put something on the drawer, we paid a hugh price. He did it mostly when we’re still asleep in the morning, or in the bath.
    But he rarely destroys anything when we leave him alone in the house.

  80. Our seven month old lab has been chewing our wicker benches. She will sneak over to it when outside. She has torn up bushes, including pine trees and digs all around the fence. We have spent a lot of money on kong toys but she tends to like the softer ones. Is there a way to keep her from eating the bushes? I can remove the outdoor wicker as she got sick on it this morning. Lucky for us I caught her in time before the entire bench was gone.

    • My 4 month old black female lab has been chewing completely everything she finds she digs like crazy. Another thing I noticed about her is she does not want her toys anymore but she want everything else! Is there anyway to keep her from not chewing on everything? And I should start giving her kong toys. When we leave her in the house by herself she just goes in her kennel and we just leave the door open on it and she will not do anything..

      • We have a brother, and sister chocolate Lab. They were 8 months on the 12th of Aug. To date it ‘seems’ the Millie’ is for the most part the culprit although Max has been caught a couple times. She has destroyed the passenger door handle in the car in the backseat. 4 walls now have been gnawed on, and in need of repair, and caught her the other night gnawing on my dresser leg when I thought she was chewing on her big rawhide bone. Glad I caught the sound being a bit different or it would have probably been too far gone to repair. It’s definitely a challenge. We thought they were both doing it, but it seems he tends to scratch at things more so, but does chew his toys to pieces. He’s also chewed her collar off along with her flea collar, and both of their outside leashes my husband would use when he’s mowing the lawn!
        Thank God I came here to read..was so upset when she started on my bedroom wall last night in one instant after going into my bathroom after the dresser incident the other night! We’ve tried the bitter spray, and no luck. They don’t like being in the kennel while we’re home, but only way to teach them if we can’t have eyes on every single second I suppose.

  81. Lando is a 16 m.o. Chocolate Lab that has in his lifetime; scratched through a sheetrock wall, tore up a 5 foot section of hallway carpeting, chewed the corner off of a wall, and now has destroyed our backyard shrubs…torn them to shreds all over the lawn…oh yeah, he didn’t like the sod we layed….and excavated it!! We’re going to see how the cayenne pepper trick works on the shrubs as a deterrent!

  82. Help! Our chocolate is 3 1/2 years old and is still chewing. I can surround her with toys, but if I turn my back for a minute she’s working on a cookbook or a dollhouse. She’s with family most of the time, lots of playtime with kids who adore her, and crated at night (because she was pulling books off the bookshelf to eat while we slept). She seems too old to still be doing this. But I never catch her in the act to scold her, we don’t know what to do.

  83. Oh my gosh, I feel so much better after reading this. I have a almost two year old labraheeler, and she chews something fierce. I came on here to see what I could do to stop it, but all she chews is papers, phone chargers and shoes. She doesn’t chew furniture or doors or walls or anything like that. But I do have to cover her bed or she pulls out all the stuffing. I wouldn’t take anything for her, she is my first lab, and I love her to the moon and back. She gives me so much more in love and affection and protection and security and cuddles, than she ever chewed up in stuff. Feel so much better now, I like the crate idea and will look into it, maybe I can fit it by my bed, but so glad I came in here. I think from now on, I will always have a lab. She towers over my other baby, a poochon, and all my families dogs, but she thinks she’s their size and has never been aggressive towards them in the least. I love her and am so thankful I didn’t walk away and not get her when I did. She’s worth so much to me, thanks for the reminder. Love this site

  84. My puppy Lab is now 10 months old & has been crate trained since she came to her new home (our house obviously) at 8wks old. She is given plenty of chew toys, bones etc to chew, is played with, walked (for about 2 hrs a day on & off the lead) trained to go & fetch back a ball & played with in our garage & or back garden. At what age will I be able to trust leaving her on her own out of the crate in the house while we are out. I don’t go out to work (early retirement) but obviously I do have a active social life & sport. I feel awful every time I lock her in the crate. I know she’s absolutely fine, with toys & things she can chew in with her & a her water bowl on very hot days. BUT I feel incredibly guilty! She is not left during the day for any longer than 5hrs at the longest time. She is my third Lab in 24yrs, but I didn’t crate my other two. & we had a few disasters destructive wise in the past. Please can you advise & try maybe to put my mind at ease. Cheers.

    • Hi there, I usually start de-crating at around a year old, sometimes later (with keen chewers) sometimes a little earlier. You’ll just have to try in and see. It’s best to begin by leaving the dog a very short time in a single room such as the kitchen, with plenty of kongs etc to keep her occupied. Extend the time gradually and you should be fine. If she starts chewing the furniture, you’ll need to go back to the crate for a while longer. Good luck :)

  85. Our Yellow Lab turned one year old yesterday. We’ve been leaving her out of her crate at night for about 2 months now without any trouble overnight. Twice a week, I leave very early for work and I let the dogs out and feed them before leaving and then leave them free in the house till my wife gets up. This is when the trouble starts. Luna has started to eat TV remotes even though she has her chew bones all over the floor. After reading all of the other damage everyone else’s labs have done, I’m starting to feel quite lucky…

  86. We have 2 16 month old labs. And we have tried everything from a professional trainer from 12 weeks old to every toy on the market but tine and time again we get home from work to find they have destroyed the pool cleaning pipes or dug a hole under the wall eaten thru the concrete, shredded the garden hose pipe and removed all of the stones from the pot plants. They have even chewed holes in walls over night. We are at wits ends. Would love some advice. Crates won’t work coz we can’t leave them in creates all day long from 7-5 well we are at work. Thanx

  87. Hi my name Is Jessica i have a one year old chocolate lab named Wilson sometimes he drives me crazy but i love him none the less. He was a pretty good as a young puppy only chewing up small things that didnt matter much such as toliet paper or empty milk carton that was about age 6 to 7 months old. we got him at 9 weeks old so just over 2 months of age. He hated his crate we tried so hard to crate train him for 2 months or so every time we left the house or went to bed we put him in there and he would cry and bark all night long most nights i only got about 3 to 4 hours of sleep because he simply wouldnt stop not to mention it drove me crazy but it also made me feel so horrible for putting him in there he would get so worked up he would drool so much he would be soaking wet and id have to give him a bath and wash the cage. This was a huge pain in the butt! finally at around 4 and a half to five months of age i had enough and let him sleep with me he has not had the drooling problem and still has that problem to this day when he is crated. He has never barked or cryed or went to the bathroom in my bed or in my bed room. Id say he was fully potty trained in about 1 to 2 months of having him with the exception of once sense then. He never was a big chewer until about 6 and half to 7 months of age he is one year old now some stuff he doesnt chew any more but some thing have gotten worse he use to chew pens, anything plastic or rubber like my toliet plunger and plastic containers for food storage. he has now moved on to things at a year old to dvds records pen still he chewed up a black sharpie marker in my bad on my year old bed spread( This does not ever fully come off fyi) he just chewed one of my couch cushions. Well yell at him we have tryed redirecting with other toys or stuff this has never worked for us. He only chews things when we arnt home never around us. I walk him all the time and play with him but there are periods of times he is left alone for hours i think he does this because he is mad at me or my boyrfriend for leaving him alone. we have tryed sprays to things that make noise nothing works except his cage he is afraid of it has been sense the day we got him. I feel like i am at my wits end sometimes when i come home from a long day at work and he has chewed something up oh yeah at around age 8 months he started to dig big whole in our back yard in the grass got to the point we had to put up a make shift fence and plant new grass seed and water it not to mention all the mud and dirt that gets in his mouth from eating it to under his nails from digging in it. sometimes i think i am gonna lose my mind i punish him and then after a few minutes i look at his cute face and i almost feel bad for being mad these are just things they can be replaced or thrown out if not important i cant replace him he is special and one of a kind he does silly things and makes me laugh he loves to play and loves loves loves to go out for walks and play ball. I have been told by other lab owners that this behavior will stop over time he has to grow and mature which i hear is about age 2 or 3 years old. OMG one or 2 more years of chewing hope i can handle it while keeping my sanity. I dont know what else to do about these things so i just punish him and move on sprays and noise things do not work for my dog for those it does work for are lucky. He was so good from age 2 months to 5 or 6 months then all the sudden he is a little monster that will chew anything you leave out but only if their isnt someone around wonder why that is any idea??? if some one has a way to keep him from chewing my house up let me know. thanks Jessica and one year old Wilson the chocolate lab.

  88. My 10 year old Chocolate lab has started chewing my wood furniture among other things. The thing that has upset me the most is our family Bible she destroyed it, and it been on the same table in the living room since she was a puppy. She gets a lot of attention and has run of house and yard, I don’t want to crate her when we leave but if I can’t figure out why I guess she will be.

  89. HELP!!! I have a beautiful 2 year old black lab that has been to training, is very obedient and a great dog. In the last two weeks she has started chewing things’ leather shoe laces, my leather Kendal cover, slippers and just now pulled down a bag with file folders and paper and tore it up. Any ideas as to why this has started now at 2 years old and never happened before? HELP!! I’ve put her in her kennel now but don’t like doing this.

  90. Hi my 1 year old Golden Retriever has not stopped her chewing/biting stage. She does not only bite furniture now… She has moved onto cars. Currently she has damaged 4 of the cars at home and is not hesitant on biting our visitors cars. Most of the biting is done at night. Please help me…. regards Safiya

  91. Hello all, I have a 5 month old black Lab named Mason. He is the cutest and most playful pup and I love him to death. However I’m at my wits end as to how to deal with his chewing. He has chewed the underside of all of my dining room chairs and the entire backside of my sofa. He’s so bad with it that he will do it right in front of you. He even try’s to chew the kitchen and living room floors. I have replaced countless phone charger cords, laptop cords, and even had to replace the AC because of his chewing. He has an affinity for bras and socks so he routinely busts in the bathroom to steal them and commence to chewing them. Paper towels and toilet tissue are favorites of his too as well as garbage from the wastebaskets in our rooms. You name it he’s chewed it. I can never stay angry with him even though my coworkersust think I’m some sort of miser since every day I come to work with chewed up shoes and clothing. I crate him when no one is home but if we’re all in the house and you get up to use the bathroom, by the time you come out he’s gotten into something-I need Cesar Milan on speed dial!

  92. I wonder if anyone can help me. Two days ago we had some batteries fitted in our integral garage to save the spare electricity produced by our solar panels during daylight which we then use at night. Since then, day time only, my lab, Kelly, has behaved very strangely, wandering about the house, scratching up her bed, trembling as though frightened and very reluctant to come back into the house after a walk. I think she may be hearing something unpleasant for her from the new machinery. Has anyone any ideas what we can do. Jenny

  93. I have a 9 month old chocolate lab terrier mix. She has more energy than I even no what to do with! My last (and first) dog was a beagle and she was so mellow compared to this and her last couple of years she really slowed down so I was not prepared for this amount of energy. She requires two long walks a day. And right now she is running in circles with my towel. She has chewed up my moms phone into pieces, my homework, three of my blankets, she has ripped 4 holes in my couch (3 just this week), she tore up my carpet in 3 different rooms, chews on chair legs, chewed up every single throw rug I had (I now have none), library books, and loves biting my arm and nose.

  94. At 16 weeks Maggie ( Black labXcurly) chewed through the wiring in my landrover under the seats… expensive!!! A fortnight ago she got under the house and chewed through the telephone cable – my first online uni assignment was due the next day…no phone = no internet…. I have NEVER had such a destructive dog!!!

  95. wow , I thought we had it bad with our 9 month old puppy. She has gone through two beds and a rug, pine cones, bushes and Kong toys. She started at 4 months with a fascination about my kitchen towels but has quit bothering them now. I guess we have been lucky when it comes to toys as we have spent over $500.00 on toys but our walls are still standing and our furniture is still intact. We keep shoes put away, close doors we don’t want her in and have started training classes for her. She really has an attitude but don’t we all at times?

  96. I have an almost 2 year old yellow lab, Zeena, who loves to go into garbage cans for paper, grab paper off tables and will pick anything up off the floor to chew on and eat. I’ve been pretty lucky with her not chewing on furniture. But with everything else, I just don’t know what to do, she’s even getting to where she’ll try to sneak it right in front of me and I get worried that she will swallow the wrong thing one of these times. Also lately, she has been going up on the counters to try to get food and has been grabbing at food on people’s plates as well, I have always just given her dog food and I know she will get something every now and then but I really prefer her to just have dog food.
    Does anyone have any idea of what I can do?

  97. I have a 10 month old chocolate lab named Loki. He is a really sweet dog when he wants to be, but he can be a real bully. He has chewed his way through 6 books, 2 pairs of oven mitts,2 blankets, 3 table chairs, a very sturdy rope toy, 2 pairs of slippers, at least 10 pairs of socks , 4 tennis balls, 2 ps3 controllers, 1 xbox controller and my stuffed teddy. We put up 2 baby gates to keep him out of the kitchen and the washroom because he likes to eat the bathmat and anything else he can get his paws on. I so can’t wait til he is 2. Training is turning out to be a lot harder than it’s cracked up to be.

  98. We have had 3 labs 1 which was cross, none have been a chewer until this one we have now named Rocky is 7 months old and so far chewed all his toys up, slippers and came home yesterday to him sitting I. His crate with his bed in tattered all around him. The grass he digs up and tries to chew with clumps of dirt attached and forever jumping up the side when preparing food. Got new bed today, but he is a constant chewer. If we are reading he attacks the book to chew too, he is shocking! Training is a chore not like my other 2 dogs what so ever.

  99. Thought my chocolate was “cheeky” but after reading the comments, I think he’s been “good” so far….sure he’s eaten a few socks but they appear after 24 hours one way or another…chewed on and unstuffed the dog pillows and the firewood is good too- he was free in the house with the other dogs when we went out/school/work but after two days of re-stuffing and sewing up the pillow plus the vomitting- he’s now back to a crate. Today all my labs were eating the box of kleenex….yup I have 3 – one of each color! Age has nothing to do with the chewing etc, my black is 6, yellow almost 3 and the chocolate just over 1. Sometimes, just like children, I think they are doing it to get my attention beit good or bad and sure you maybe mad/disappointed momentarily but that happy wiggly lab smile and greeting somehow always wins your heart….now two are curled together at the fire, the other at my feet :)

  100. WELL….we have two labs now. our female chocolate and her 10 month old white son.. I don’t know if he is so smart he knows not to listen or is just stupid. Bella. (momma) is a joy. she is so very well trained (pat on back) and so well mannered. apart from a little food aggressive since having 11 little nippers stealing her grub.. BUT caliber oh ..Caliber.. he is the chew Aholic. are the meetings i can take him to. . He is massive and goofy so sweet but a colopadop big food long gangly legged gentle giant. the kiddos left the garage door open. and well. the garage door leads I. to the back yard. so caliber pulled out every last thing from the garage and proceeded to chew it to peices. then moved on to the brand new trampoline with netting for desert .. he chews cloths pillows tours ANYTHING butvthe chew bones i get him.. I am now looking for a crate but I’m worried he will chew that up too.

  101. My husband and I found Bae a black lab mix when she was a few weeks old, she is now about 8 months. She has been chewing on things since she figured out she could. Lately it seems like she has turned her attention toward things that are my husbands such as his Xbox controllers his new cell phone (even got through the otter box) and ear buds. People have been telling us that she is jealous of these thing because they take his attention away from her and that I should watch out. Would she go as far as hurting me or either of the 2 other dogs in the house (who are both small)?

  102. Little help please. Our baby girl, Bella Rosa, is 11 months old and has been the most angelic of lab’s (she is our third lab). Tonight, after leaving her at home for 2.5 hours, we came home to find the truly first disaster. Bella is a water foul dog and goes duck/goose hunting at least 3-4 times per week, in season – which we are in season right now. So when I say she is exercised, I really MEAN exercised! She also has two brothers that are Cairn Terriers (8 years and 6 years). Prior to these three fur-babies, we have had 2 lab’s we raised for Paws with a Cause, 1 Shar-Pei, 1 Cocker Spaniel and the current dynamic duo that are Cairn Terriers. Plus we have 4 grand-dogs that visit often. 1 Boxer, 2 Pit Bulls and 1 Hybread (mutt). So to say this family is a DOG’S family – really is an understatement. If our local laws allowed, we would all have more dogs in our homes, but we are capped of at 3 dogs per house. Anyway, Bella has trained out beautifully. Potty trained in two days, crate trained, gun trained, field and stream trained, returns to command on a dime, is whistle trained, voice trained and hand signal trained. Sounds like I am bragging. Well this is why I am so confused. Tonight Bella ate: 1 really large heavy book, 1 slipper, 1 GPS system, 3 CD’s, 1 CD case, 2 dog beds, 1 black marker, 2 black pens and I can’t remember the rest. She is 11 months old and has only destroyed the odd thing or two in her first 3 months. I am at a loss why she has done this. Right now, she is in her crate with an appropriate chew Kong and positive reinforcement while she is calm. Any clue why she might have done this? Thank for any help.

  103. Wow reading all these comments has had me in stitches, tears and feeling slightly less anxious as I sit here watching my 7 month old fox red lab chew through his rope toy!!! He is very much a chewer but hasnt chewed any mjor furniture in the house. He has destroyed countless pairs of shoes (he likes to rip the insoles out!), hats, toilet rolls, childrens crayons, pens, hos own bedding, a bible (something he is going to have to explain himself to the big guy!!!!), and I have lots count of the amount of knickers he has retrieved from the washing basket and chewed his way through (watching him pass an entire pair of knickers was not a nice sight). Anyway, although he is our first dog I have put all of this down to normal puppy behaviour. I try really hard to provide him lots of stimulation and toys to play with and he has plenty of exercise. I have to leave him 3 days a week while I am at work and leave him with a frozen filled kong and a variety of toys. He is in a metal run with a wooden kennel and has plenty of room to move around. However, he is chewing the inside of the kennel to shreds. I come home to hige splinters of wood all over the inside of the kennel and while I am worried about the damage he is going to the kennel, I am more concerned about the damage he could do to himself in ingesting any of this wood. I have tried spraying it with bitter apple but this has no effect whatsoever and alos Vicks vapour run but again no effect. The entrance and corners of the kennel are metal lined but the inside joints arent. Any suggestions as to what else I could do to protect both the dog and the kennel? He is crated over night and although he wakes eary and starts barking, he is good in the crate but I dont want to leave him in there for 8 hours a day while I am at work.

  104. As a first timer, ( I have a 6month old lab, on loan from the guide dog association as a puppy raiser), I have been astonished at how she can chew and what she chews.

    The latest item to be ‘scoffed’ were my prescription glasses. I don’t even know how she found them. I never leave her on her own but she is so clever at finding new items to chew.
    A list of items in the months we have had her are:
    2 Persian carpets, 3 slippers, numerous plants, heaps of toys,and of course the glasses! It is amazing but the love between her and family just grows.

  105. my husband and I have two dogs. One is a two year old black lab Doberman mix who is mostly fairly calm and laid back and never really had much of a problem with chewing. Our chocolate lab puppy who is about 18 months old used to have issues chewing furniture but we have since broken him of that with the application of many many dog appropriate toys that he can’t instantly destroy. Now the problem is getting him to leave house hold items alone specifically fabrics and pillows. Recently he got a hold of a home crocheted potholder shredded it and swallowed it. Now Merlin has done this before but not with a potholder and not something that was crocheted, so far the things he is consumed and successfully passed is a regular sized dish towel and most of the stuffing from inside of a throw pillow, not to mention many many paper towels, I really have no idea where he gets them from now because we keep such a strict eye on them and have a locking trash can, and a few other odds and ends. But the crocheted potholder is the one that got him he ended up needing to have emergency surgery where he had his stomach opened, his intestines opened in 3 different places, and a 20in section of the small intestine removed. this whole event was extremely terrifying for me and my husband fortunately we have pet insurance so the $5500.00 bill will be reimbursed. The really horrific part was not the bill but that he very nearly died in a fairly short amount of time after eating it, just because of one small insignificant household item got knocked off the counter by accident. He is now just under 3 weeks out from his surgery and has completely recovered. Normal happy crazy kid again. I know he should be crated, but he’s been used to being able to roam most of the house for his entire life and I don’t want to make him feel like he’s being punished when we leave for work. Especially when his older counterpart would get to be out and about. Trying to explore other options before jailing him. I was thinking of a large play pen type thing so he’s not completely enclosed in a box but not sure where to get one sturdy/big enough for an 80lb rambunctious lab. Or is there a way to just put him off fabrics? Ideas anyone? I really just don’t want him getting ahold of any thing that could be shredded into strings and swallowed ever again, these dogs are essentially our children and losing one of them so young would be heartbreaking. One close call is enough. If something else can’t be thought of I am going to start crate training, but as of now he’s still scared of it, even worse now since his two day hospital stay.

  106. Hi, wonder if you can advise. We have a 5 year old lab and have also recently rehomed a puppy lab…he came to us when he was 9 months he is now 1 year. He was crated at his previous home but we didnt crate him here as he seemed very laid back and he is very big for his age. He has started chewing stuff eg our sofa, the leather case of my tablet, xmas cards and tree decs and even a present I’d bought. So before he does any more significant damage I am thinking of getting the crate out. As he is a year now would it be difficult for him to be confined as such as he never has been here and has had the freedom of most of the house with our other lab. I dont want to stress him out but on the other hand I dont want to be stressed out!
    Any comments please! Thanks

  107. my 8 month old fox red lab has chewed about 6 pairs of shoes, 3 rugs, ate money. Most expensive this was my husbands iphone! time to crate him!

    • Hi Christine,
      Just wondered how you are getting on if you decided to crate your 8 month old. Ours is a year old and his chewing is increasing! He was crated at his previous home but not here but we are seriously thinking of crating him now. He is fairly laid back so hopefully he won’t have an issue.

  108. My 7 month old Puppy Jessie has always loved her crate. She only goes in it at night but recently she has been waking us up at 5.30am. She barks so loud she wakes up the whole household. We have tried ignoring her until she stops but this is really hard. We have taken her out to the toilet and put her back in, but she still barks. Help!

  109. Hi, our boy Tucker has recently started tearing rugs, his beds, our bedspreads any paper he finds , even if he has to steal it from the table top. He has every aggressive chewer toy sold. I believe that creating is great to keep the dog safe as well as your stuff, but at about 3 months of age, we had to stop putting him in his create as he was having anxiety attacks. We came home to find puddles of saliva inside and out of the create his chin,chest and front of his legs were soaking wet . We never used the create as punishment. He is a rescue that we brought home at about 6 weeks of age. He is not a full Lab, looks to be a mix of Lab, Border Collie and Newfoundland. Since a create is not an option and neither is getting rid of him what do you suggest? please HELP!!!! Thanks for listening.

  110. Hi! We have a Chocolate Lab (almost 1 yrs old) and it’s our first big dog. He’s always outside and sometimes is kind of hard to give him the exercise and attention that he needs. We live in a lease home and he’s chewing all of our bushes. I tried with bitter apple, chili powder and cayenne pepper and nothing seems to work (Specially when it rains). While we’re out, he’s in a crate but when we let him outside he waits until we’re not paying attention to do it. I don’t want to have him all the time in the crate but I can’t find another solution. It’s causing a big trouble because it’s not our house…I need HELP!!!

  111. My 2 year old Labrador Lily has eaten my Wii controller and the nunchuck to go with it. She eats everything.. I buy her toys, she shreds them in hours. She only is really destructive when we are not here, but she has our other Labrador, Bella, to keep her company. Even right now she is aggressively chewing on a marrow bone. Help!!! My mum is going ballistic.

  112. My black lab has just turned one but has been a chewer since a very early age. You name it, I’ve tried it to stop him from chewing, toys, citronella, chilli sauce, ice blocks with chicken necks inside, bones and even more toys. He seems to want to chew everything that he’s not supposed to and it seems impossible to spray the whole backyard with citronella, because although he does stop chewing on that particular item, he moves on to destroy something else. I can’t leave anything in the back yard without him chewing it to pieces, even getting things on the table. Please help, I am seriously at my wits end!!

  113. It’s been hilarious reading these posts about Labs who chew, I’m starting to feel much better about my Choc Lab called Monty! Monty specializes in reducing dog beds to shreds. We’ve gone through 6/7 and the amount of foam we have to pick up is amazing!(How can one bed produce so much foam!) Monty is 1 and we have a black Lab called Archie who is 8. Poor old Archie is so patient even as his bed is disappearing from underneath him! He looks at me sometimes as if he’s saying”Why did you have to get him?” But they do get on very well and I think Archie’s patience is starting to rub off on Monty. He has never destroyed anything inside because he has some inside toys which are only allowed on his inside mat and the dogs are only inside when we are home too. They have a secure garden to be in during the day if I’m at work but Monty does retrieve things in the garden and piles them up at the back door. Garden rocks, small twigs, pegs any thing left out really. He doesn’t destroy them but leaves a well stacked pile! One weekend after a big cleanup in the garden and the making of a burning pile for after fire restriction time, I came home to find a meter high pile of garden prunings that he had relocated from 100 meters away propped up against the back door! Must have taken him a good few hours! He was exhausted that night but very happy with himself,

  114. My black lab is about 6 months old. She is very intelligent and knows when what she is doing is wrong. However, i tend to come home to everything destroyed! Just to start off with, she has chewed extension cords(outside of her pen), and electric blanket that was folded up, cups that were sitting on a table, an ornament off our Christmas tree, our cable cord to our tv’s, attempted the legs of our kitchen table, and sticks like i have never seen before(luckily sticks are her favorite). When i go up to her mad and say NO! or simply give her “the look” she knows what she has done is wrong! If i say no she will immediately drop it, sit and look at me like “Im sorry”. I just can’t seem to find away for her to not chew up stuff when i’m not around! i have tried toys, picking everything out of the room up, and food. She still seems to find something from somewhere to destroy! I need help.

  115. Dottie is our 5 1/2 mo old lab/pit mix. She is a wonderful addition to our household. The one thing that exasperates my husband is she likes to chew up the cables that go to our Comcast cable tv. Of course she will chew up any toy or ball left outside by our 3 yr old grandson, but the cable is our biggest issue. I must add that we provide many chew toys for her to munch on (Kong is her favorite). She does not have this need to chew any other cable, knock on wood, in the house-just those outside. We just had the cable company hide the wires under our vinyl siding. That lasted all of 10 minutes. She not only pulled it out but was able to detach the piece from the connectors and chew through it. Any suggestions?

  116. Hi pippa
    i have a 5 month old male lab but he is very very naughty.he had started chewing things when i decided to get a dog house made for him but surprisingly he chews his own house too.its a wooden house and he tends to chew on the sides.he eats my plants too.i keep him on a leash but the problem is that he pees and poos near the house as far as his leash goes .i am unable to keep him do i manage ?

  117. Hi there, I have a 6 month old black lab cross rottie, and lately she has been jumping up trying to pull clothes off my line even though the clothes line has been put up high.. How do I stop her from jumping and trying to chew our clothes?

    Also cause she is an outside dog she has a habit of sleeping right under our bedroom in the garden even though there is no window where she is lying? Does any one else’s dog do this and can any one tell why she is doing this?

    Thank you monique

  118. I just found this web site and am enjoying is immensely.We are picking up our 3rd Lab in a few weeks and now being retired I am very excited with all the time I will have for the puppy. Reading this reminded me when Sam, now 9, got my wallet down and opened it never chewing the leather wallet and tore up 2 $100’s, 1$50 and 2 $20’s. Left all the $1’s. You can send the pieces to the treasury dept and they will send you new bills BTW.

  119. I have a one month old lab. pup. He chews anything and everything. He has recently started to bite aggressively and he is too small to be published. Are there chew toys for puppies this small?
    Kindly name some.
    Thanking you.

  120. Oh wow I am so glad I’m not on my own with this situation. My chocolate lab is 17month old and has ate carpet, 4rugs, his dog beds countless times. 4 sky remotes, 2 tv remotes, and constantly ripping apart my fence (metal) I have had to have it redone 5 times Tuesday how is that possible? Clothes, shoes. Basically anything he can get! He has 2 long walks every day as well as bones and toys, ropes. Every one says he will grow out of it at the age of 3. So only another year and half of it I suppose haha.

  121. Our 4 year old lab cross has been left on her own since a puppy for upto 4 hrs with NO problems but the last few months she has managed to open all our doors when we are out and has ate 6 remote controls.4 telephone cables. A babies nursery musical plastic teddybear moon including all contents.and wires.she always manages to find my shoes and eats only my left shoe!! The sparklier the better. She helps herself to logs out of the fire. Loves emptying rubbish bins in our rooms upstairs and spreading the contents on the landing.and has just recently destoyed the whole staircase and spindles.
    We are not sure why after 4 years she has started this and she never destroyed anything as a pup??? Really dont know what to do next. We have even got her a stress reliever plug in from the vets but she ate this too. If you can help please email me

  122. Sirius and Luna are our 7 month old black Labs, we’ve had them since they were 6 weeks young. They are an absolute treasure to have and their love for us is unending… their love for everything else however is also unending. We’ve had countless items of clothing ripped from the washing line and a small forest of tree stumps brought to our patio and turned to sawdust. Cables, cushions, blankets, buckets, clothes, trees, beds, patio fixtures and even each other have been sampled. Our outdoor bar stools and the bar itself have been gnawed down with time, to such an extent that we’ve removed the lot entirely. and replaced it with an outdoor wooden campsite bench, suffice to say it lasted a day.

    In the beginning we would shout and punish but honestly don’t like that approach. We moved on to seclusion and stern talks relating to what is deemed a “NO” item and a “YES” item (ropes, chew-toys etc) but to no avail. Then we started using the bitter spray, and this worked… for a while. The thing is that they seem to enjoy the spray, sitting next to the bench licking it.

    Not sure where to go from here other than replacing all wood items with steel. None the less, my wife and I are starting their puppy training tomorrow so please wish us luck! Without them we would feel incomplete, so a little loss in the big picture is nothing in return for their love.

  123. I have an older Lab that came to live with us anout a year ago. He eats everything. He ate the seat cushions off of our trail wagon. He ate our 14′ above ground pool. No joke. He eats every cushion on our patio furniture. I take them off at night now. He lives outside, and has the company of two other dogs (who have learned his bad habit). I have never caught him tearing up anything. He does it at night. I don’t know how to get him to quit!!!

  124. My wonderful little Bailey is a six month old black lab. Her daddy has given her more than ten toys to play with that are all over the fenced in back yard. I have spent countless hours and over 200 dollars replacing tag lights, trailer lights, and pigtails thanks to her. She is the spawn of Satan. When I punish her it doesn’t phase her. She thinks I am playing. With other dogs the only thing I have found that works is punishment with whatever item they are chewing yet this doesn’t work for her either. Before a have to dig a hole bigger than the ones she digs, what suggestions do you all have?

  125. Although my Dallas chewed as a pup…tv remotes, rugs, dog beds, etc. etc. I thought this little story might give you a giggle. Once, when Dallas was about 8 years old, I returned from grocery shopping and started taking the bags from the car to the kitchen. When everything was unloaded, I started to put everything away and notice that the 1 lb. of hard salami that I had purchased was no where to be found. I looked everywhere in the kitchen and the car. I called the store and they said to come back up and they would see what they could do. I returned to the store and they had actually checked the security tape which showed the cashier ringing up my salami, putting it in a bag and me putting the bag in my cart. So, now I am very confused. On my way home, I got a call from my son who was laughing so hard he could barely speak. It seems that Dallas must have grabbed the meat from a bag in the kitchen while I was outside unloading more groceries from the car. But here is the bizarre part. Our deli meat is put in plastic bags by the store employee and a sticker which shows the weight and price of the item keeps the bag closed until you get home. Somehow, Dallas got the bag, did not rip the sticker or the plastic bag, got the whole pound of meat out, flattened the bag and put it neatly under my son’s bed. How did he do that? Not one tooth mark!

  126. My now 4yo male black lab, chewed the corners of every cupboard and the door knobs and completely through a wall in 2 places when he was teething. He loved chewing anything wood. The only thing that worked was confining him to a pen or a crate when I wasn’t around to supervise.

  127. Diesel is a chocolate lab mixed with a blood hound and just turned one this past weekend and has definitely chewed quite a few things in our apartment! He loves the baseboards, our coffee table, kitchen chair legs, pillows, blankets, remotes, cell phone, paper… the list goes on. His newest destruction is he doesn’t like plug outlets and tries to scratch at them, so now our walls have scratch marks near all the outlets and his most favorite thing to do is scratch at the drain in the bathtub!!! Crazy Dog :) And of course he has a bunch of toys to play with that, but choses not to… BUT, every time I get home he gives me the warmest welcoming with lots of kisses. He’s just so sweet and cute sometimes.. so unfortunately you take the good with the bad. Hopefully he will get out of his chewing sooner rather then later!

    Sylvie :)

  128. I have a 16 month old black lab and I have been extremely lucky in perspective (cant believe i can even say that) but though we have not lost furniture, we live with frustrations of the loss of countless flipflops, sandals, hat brims, super balls, toys- the more stuffing and plastic the better, and if they talk or sing, double bonus, then theres the basketballs, tennis balls and dollies without faces or fingers. I could go on, but our Abby doesnt chew…she shreds. The bigger the spray of materials the more accomplished she is…and we are home all day. Kids sit and play video games, she curls up by them, and then she disappears and takes toys sandals or balls and sits just out of sight tearing it into bits n shreds as if its her own game. I get her bones hides chewys kongs dog toys, and she burys all her things with the countless loaves of bread that she sneaks outside with. Shred the bag n eat the bread. And dont set food down around here for sure cuz shes always staking out a tasty snack. Abby is sweet as can be, but boy do we have a lot of messes from her shredding, and by the look of her head hung low…she knows she did wrong.

  129. Surely most of the comments must be from the UK or USA?
    Here in South Africa i have never heard of any Lab owner to crate his dog but must add that Labradors are not kept indoors here.
    I have had 2 Labs in the past and never really had much damage except their pulling the washing from the line.
    I am getting a black 8 weeks old Lab on saturday and hope to be lucky with her too.

  130. Bella is 7 month old she start a destructive behavior like chewing TV cable …etc only when i am not with her and when i am start scramming or yelling she don’t want to take her food till i play with her.
    pls advice what is the suitable way to deal with her.

  131. My 11 month old black lab hardly chews now and apart from an old shoe has not chewed anything for months! Today I came home and she has chewed the pew in our hall along with skirting and the stair bannister! It’s so frustrating when she is so good most of the time. Why do it randomly?

  132. My lab/ retriever is with me all day at home, he is only caged at night, he has long walks twice daily very fit and very active, just one problem we have, when I do pop out somewhere I can’t take him, he howls and barks, I feel sorry for my poor neighbours.

  133. We are the proud pet parents of our 4th Lab, a beautiful black 9-year old who is a big puppy at heart! Despite all the chewing, which we have experienced, Labs are still in our hearts forever as the best dogs ever! Our first yellow Lab literally ate, a little at a time, a naugahyde sofa, the wooden windowsills, my husband’s boss’s cherry poker table, and a nice chunk out of our livingroom carpet. All the tips offered in this article do work well, and I’ll offer another – get another Lab pup after the first one is around 2, and they will play and wear each other out instead of your stuff! We have had 2 LAbs at a time for years and they are twice the fun!

  134. I’ve just been reading this discussion and find it really scary! My labrador Monty is 15 months old, sometimes lovely but has his hyper moments when he bites and holds on to whatever I’m wearing and chews – furniture, bank cards, glasses. But until I read all the above comments, I was enjoying the illusion that he’d grow out of the chewing and biting once the puppy phase was over. In fact, one of the reasons I had a labrador was because I’d read that they were ‘easy to train’! How about some more success stories, something positive? Incidentally, Monty has a crate, but I leave it open. He also has a bed in the living room, but his preferred ‘quiet space’ is in my bedroom.