I am posting this to the original thread to keep everything together. It also complies with the administration's wishes for what I think are good reasons.
''I posted a couple of weeks ago about my lab mix that I think gets mad at me because I come home from work and then occasionally have to leave to run an errand and when I return, he has, on occasion, chewed something up. http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/dogs/do...tml#post256820
Anyway, there haven't been any other "incidents" since I last posted until yesterday. I left for work like I usually do and when my roommate came downstairs (maybe 90 minutes later), Riley had gotten a Tupperware container off the countertop and destroyed it. Granted, it had chocolate chip cookies in it but it was tightly sealed and not sitting on the edge of the counter.
Chris cleaned everything up and didn't mention it to me (via e-mail) but when I got home, there were "remnents" of plastic on the floor so I knew something was amiss and discovered the chewed up container in the rubbish bin. Riley IMMEDIATELY knew he was in trouble and went directly to his bed.
A friend of mine (who has had his two labs for 8 years) insists that Riley is "bored" but I don't see how he could be when he's really not an overly active dog at all. When I'm there at night and on weekends, if we are in the house, then he's sleeping in his bed. On weekends, we go out for long walks and/or trips to the dog parks so that he can get a lot of exercise. When it is time to go home, he gladly jumps into the car w/out hesitation.
Also, if it is "boredom," then why does he only do this when I've come home and left him again? I don't necessarily agree with the "boredom theory" and tend to think it may be anxiety, confusion or stress like you mentioned. Do you think "boredom" could be the root of all of this behavior?
I don't really have a good place to tie him down and have decided to opt for the crating. He's 70lbs. His body/torso is about 24" and he stands about 26". When he sleeps, he's in a compact ball. My preference would be a soft-sided crate for portability/storage reasons, but with the mesh walls, I don't want him to destroy that (he's not a chronic chewer).''
I cringe at the thought of a Lab in a soft sided crate. Each dog is different, and Riley might be fine. I like the plastic crates. The large 36'' one should be about right for him. They are easy to assemble and disassemble. I have seen ones with knobs you just twist. Once taken apart, the halves nest and you can fill it with other stuff. When we travel, I put our suitcase in the crate along with the dog's bag, cameras, and other loose gear. I then throw the whole works into the trunk. Makes it easier when we travel with others. I have a board with casters that fits under it. I just push it down the hall of the hotel. Saves finding a cart.
I see the problem as less boredom than a failure to accept your leadership, and thinking he is entitled to your company in the evenings and weekends. Dogs see all the people and dogs in the household as a pack with each having their own rank in the pack and a top dog. Life is much easier if the 2 legged pack members outrank the 4 legged ones. You can learn to play the role of top dog by reading some books or going to a good obedience class. A good obedience class or book is about you being top dog, not about rewarding standard commands with a treat. Start at Raising Your Dog with the Monks of New Skete
You realize chocolate isn't good for dogs? It does take a big dose all at once to cause problems, but smaller amounts can build up over time. Some raisin filled oatmeal cookies could have been worse. Don't leave him any grapes either. Tupperware shreds can cause choking or intestinal blockages.
It would be nice if your roommate let you know too. You need to be fully informed if one of these incidents leads to a problem.