German Shepherd chewing on Trees

  1. I have never in my life seen or heard of a dog doing this. When I called the Vet he said that it is probably because she is still a puppy. She is about 10 months old now & has been doing it for a few months. I've searched the web but haven't found any information about dogs doing this.

    A friend of mine has horses & she said that horses do this because of something lacking in their nutrition so she suggested that I buy a horse block. Well I did but our dog is still chewing on the trees. She has totally destroyed/killed at least 1 tree and possibly more. We have many trees in our yard and she has chewed on almost all of them. You can actually see the marks on the trees where she has been chewing.

    Has anyone had this problem and if so what was done to fix it?? I love my GSD to death, but I cannot have her killing all of our trees. I don't know what to do. Is there something that I can put on my trees that would deter her?? Please help or give any opinions. Thanks.
  2. My dogs have eaten everything else as puppies, except trees so I'm sorry I don't have any advice. Maybe your vet can suggest a solution?

    Good luck to you and your pup!!
  3. Is she left outside?
    If so she may be doing it out of boredom and some nice chew toys may help. If she is teething they will help as well. If you catch her in the act, just go over and redirect her to a chew toy. Maybe get some tree branches for her to chew on. If all else fails put a fence just around the trees so she can't reach them....that is what we do to keep the horses away.

    My dog loves to chew on sticks(branches that fall), but she has never chewed on the tree itself.

    Good luck
  4. My GSD that I have at my mom's ate trees from about 4 months of age to 18 months.....we used to call her "termite." She also ate a hole in the center of a new redwod deck but that is a whole other story.

    Do NOT feed your GSD a horse supplement block. Horses are TOTALLY different animals than dogs and a horse mineral block would be very unhealthy for your dog especially on it's kidneys because the mineral content is simply too high for a dog's system to handle.

    Buy your GSD a Kong toy along with other sturdy toys like a big tug of war rope. She probably needs more time spent with her as well. I don't know your schedule or lifestyle but I can tell you that GSD's are one of THE most destructive dogs if they are not constantly entertained or stimulated mentally. They are SO SMART and they need that mental stimulation or they wil go insane.

    I would say that your dog needs to go to basic obedience training with you and it needs at least a few hours a day where you are dedicated to nothing but the dog. They need a lot of playtime/exercise. Don't take her on runs or anything on asphalt/cement because she is stil just a pup and it is too hard on her. Play with her in the yard if it is big and take her to a park to play fetch. Better yet, a dog park.

    I know it is tough, but having a GSD is a very rewarding experience if you put a lot of time and energy into it.

    Also, try spraying mass quanities of Bitter Apple or Bitter End spray on the tree where she can reach. There are countless products at the pet store to stop the chewing and/or keep your dog away from the area all together.

    She may or may not grow out of GSD is almost 10 years old now and she still has a thing for eating large rocks.
  5. That is what I was thinking, boredom. My mixed breed needed to chew a lot when she was young. Get lots of chew toys, lots! If she is destroying trees get the heaviest duty ones you can find. Try her on one of those large hard zoo animal type balls as well, those keep herding dogs I know very busy. They cannot grab them and end up chasing them all over the place. How about a toy hanging from a tree? Doggy tether ball?

    Since she has this strong history of rewarding herself by chewing trees I wouldn't be leaving her around them if she is by herself. House dogs get crated to stay out of mischief, maybe your rascal needs closer confinement as well.
  6. Thanks everyone for the tips. I do think that it might be out of boredom. I don't recall her doing this in the summer, but now that it is winter & we aren't outside with her I have noticed the tree chewing. We do have 2 other dogs, both English Springer Spaniels. One stays outside & the other is inside. I figured that she wouldn't be bored with a canine friend?

    We live on 5 acres, but the dogs only have about 1 1/2 acres to roam & there are LOTS of trees. We do let her in the house when we can, but with 4 kids it gets way too chaotic since she is like a miniature horse. She does get played with from us & esp. the kids. She is a great dog except for the chewing. I will pick up some chew things the next time I'm at the store. Thanks again for all of the suggestions. Forgot to add that we have a dog pen but I don't like to pen her up, but maybe I should??

    Oh, and Kristie, I did get the horse block but will be removing it. Maybe the deer will like it. I definately don't want to give my pup something that could hurt her.
  7. Oh, that is GREAT to hear that you have a big yard. Think LOTS of fetch! I would literally play fetch my my GSD for an hour straight until that long ole GSD tongue was hanging to the ground:p

    Even when you "think" she is tired though.....they never are...boundless energy. It should help though. Maybe the other dogs don't excite her enough. You really have a good lifesyle/setup for her so she must really need tring play and mental stimulation.

    Good luck :tup:
  8. Play and straight exercise may not be enough for this dog. She is a working breed, teach her something important to do.
    Two stories.
    #1 At agility class a woman told me her border collie got one lesson in herding and stopped pestering the horses as dog now knew enough to bring the horses in and out every day. Sure the horses could take care of themselves but the dog had a very important job now.
    #2 At an agility trial my partner's dog was a stray picked up in the desert. She goes biking with her guy 20 miles at a time. No problem, she does great loves it. She went to one agility class, they last an hour and generally you listen and watch most of the time and get to work for maybe 5-10 minutes a class. She was knocked out and slept all the way home! That dog is about 20 pounds and looks like a spaniel mix. She [okay the human was there too] was small dog agility winner at the Incredible Dog Challenge a while back.

    My dogs do inhouse recalls. Equip all humans willing to play with small cookies or toys. Hold dog, have a human call, let dog go, dog gets a short game or treat from the human that called, on to the next human. Dog only gets the treat when called though. You can change to hide and seek too. Dog on stay, go hide and dog finds you. The rules are training. Dogs have to think to get to play. My dogs find these games much more strenuous than fetch.