Saturday, April 4, 2009

Help! Dane dog bed advice needed! (bed drama, part 1)

“Tear resistant” dog bed -- after 5 minutes with my Dane pup!

Tonight our 11-month-old Dane Princeton ripped apart his brand-new “Tuff n Ruff” Dura-Ruff bed. It’s advertised as “tear resistant -- withstands rough treatment.” Ha!

Within 5 minutes, Princeton had ripped a HUGE hole in it. (See photo.) Fortunately the store has agreed to refund the $65.

But what is Princeton going to sleep on now in his crate??? I send out a plea to others who have lived with Great Danes and other “determined chewers,” please tell me what kind of beds your dogs use!

I know, some of you share your own bed with your dog or give him a couch of his own. There has to be another way.

I don’t want to use a piece of carpet because I have finally succeeded in teaching him not to chew on our carpets. However, if he had his own carpet piece in his crate, I’m sure he would get back into that bad habit.

Sleeping on the hard, bare floor of the crate will give him calluses and “proud flesh” on his elbows, etc. I’d rather avoid that. It took him several months to rip apart his old bed, which was much flimsier than the new one. It seemed like it took all morning to clean up the scattered cedar chips.

Yes, I do put chew toys in the crate with Princeton. He ignores them and chews his bed. (Maybe because he knows that he’s not supposed to? Or he just likes tearing something soft? I took away all his soft toys on the advice of a dog trainer in order to teach him not to chew the carpet.

He’s definitely not ready to sleep outside the crate (still chewing on anything available -- but now he’s a good boy and stops when we say no).

For now, I guess he’ll have to sleep on a few blankets.

P.S. Thanks for all the advice about leashes and collars. Princeton’s leash training is going well. He pulls on the leash a lot less and has learned to walk politely next to another dog on leash. It seems like a miracle compared to how wild he used to be.

Update in April 2016:

We hardly ever put Princeton in the crate anymore, but when we do we remove everything to prevent him from chewing and swallowing his bed.

He has TWO beds around the house now, and he loves them both. One is a canvas dog bed with soft plush and poly fill fiber similar to the Armarkat Pet Bed. And the other is an organic dog bed filled with buckwheat hulls. These are expensive but worth it for the support and durability. This bed was used by our previous dog for many years before Princeton.

The "Big Barker" orthodpedic pet bed for giant dogs looks good too.

Update in Dec 2016: Now that he is 8 years old, he is getting stiff and needs a firmer bed. We just bought him the Big Barker 7" Pillow Top Orthopedic Dog Bed for Large and Extra Large Breed Dogs (Sleek Edition).

I wish I bought it for him when he was younger because the foam has a 10-year guarantee. They even have a bigger "giant size" Big Barker Orthopedic Dog Bed -- with a headrest.


Allison (Dog Mom) said...

We used a bunch of old towels and blankets until he stopped biting. We had a regular dog bed that we kept in our living room that he always took naps on. After he stopped chewing the towels and blankets, we put that bed in his crate and he hasn't chewed at all.

Good luck--I know how frustrating this can be!

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hi Princeton,

Oh dear - how old are you? Are you in your teething phase?

I have to confess - I was a very easy puppy and I was never really destructive so my humans never really had many problems with me chewing things. This is why I can sleep on a beanbag bed which most other dogs would chew and rip open and there would be beans on the floor everywhere!

My human thinks that the best thing - until you grow older and hopefully out of your chewing phase - is for you to just sleep on lots of old blankets. This is what my breeder recommended for me - they suggested a cot mattress from a 2nd=hand shop and lots of old blankets. Then it doesn't matter if you chew - they can just replace the blankets. Don't buy any expensive dog bed until you are more grown up! (I don't know if a cot mattress can fit in your crate - but maybe you can find some kind of tough padding to put on the bottom and then lots of blankets on top? My humans got all this for me when I first came to live with them but I just ignored the nice nest they made for me - and I decided I wanted to sleep on their beanbag instead! I looked so cute that they let me...and then as I grew bigger, they had to buy me a bigger beanbag from a pet store...and then eventually, I outgrew that too and they had to buy fabric and get a HUGE beanbag especially made up for me by a tailor and fill it with beans! But I am the only dog I know who sleeps on the beanbag because I don't chew my beds...I only bones and toys! :-)
If you go to this post: - you will see all the photos of me as a puppy and growing bigger on my beds...and also a funny video of me making my bed!

Hope this helps -
Honey the Great Dane

Michalea said...

I have never been successful with dog beds. My dogs tear up everything, except the couch in our tv room. They don't touch the couch. I'm lazy and gave in. The couch is theirs; Em and I used the recliners, anyway. I keep a fitted sheet on it to protect it from dogs hairs and make it nice for when we have human guests.

My neighbor has gone through three dogs beds with his Dane.

Anonymous said...

We tried some old blankets and towels last night, and it seemed to work. Only thing, he started howling in the middle of the night... maybe over the bad smell of sheets we brought in from under the sink!

Or maybe he missed his "Princetonized" ripped up bed with all the cedar chips all over the place.

Anonymous said...

Night three of the new towel and old sheet Great Dane bed begins!
He's being a good boy this evening.
Keep your fingers crossed.

KC said...

Thanks, everybody, for your great advice and words of encouragement. After one night to adjust to the change, Princeton loves his new “bed” made of old blankets and towels. I wrote all about it in my new post:

I can hardly believe that Honey the Dane never did any destructive chewing as a puppy. It seems like Princeton never stops chewing -- and he loves to chew on anything "forbidden."

Allison, Princeton also has a real dog bed in the living room -- where we can guard it. We have to scold him almost every night for gnawing on the corners, then spray the corners with bitter apple. We got a new denim cover for it, and that is helping a lot. He really loves that bed -- it’s a top-quality one that belonged to our old Dane (who died last year) and it’s made of bean hulls and organic cotton. It weighs 15 pounds and he likes to swing it around and attack it. He lost his first baby tooth while biting it. Someday maybe we’ll be able to move it into his crate.

Abbey said...

I think your doing brilliantly, Im going through the same... and the first step is to have a designated bed which you have. My dogs (and its my fault) feel my bed is theres, they totally ignore the store bought ones. We are down to the last set of sheets...

Ive had a woobla and they are on the verandah, though still shredding their beds. I find the old blanket idea the best, the thing that puts me off is constantly washing them...

Monica said...

I have done the old blankets, and I have no more they tear them till they are tiny little pieces of fabric. I took everything out and let them sleep with no bedding in creat for 2 nights and my 9 month old got sores on his elbows (Please don't do that, I felt so bad) so now I have gone through all sheets, towels and such to use. I guess when that is gone I will have to buy new stuff for me and give them mine. Hopefully they out grow this. They are 1 yr and the other is 9 months. And I also thought of the bored thing (as I work and they have to be in there) but mine also ignore the toys and chew the bedding. LOVE MY DANES THOUGH. Good Luck