Categories : FAQ

I don’t know what his deal is. He is seven years old, and generally has no other behavior problems such as chewing and digging. But lately he is dismantling and destroying the rain gutters that run along the ground from the downspouts. I can’t remove the gutters because I have drainage problems in my yard.

If I sprayed bitter apple or something similar on the gutters, it would just wash off with the rain. The gutters are metal, so I don’t think changing to something plastic would help at all.

Any advice is appreciated!

Written by: Rain Gutter Cleaners

7 Responses to “How can I get my dog to stop chewing and destroying my rain gutters?”

  1. Bob says says:

    the simple answer seems to be keep the dog away from them.

  2. Adoption P says:

    Sounds like he’s a bit bored and the rain gutters are providing him some fun. Find some toys that you can throw out into the yard with him. When he goes near the gutter, stand between it and him and give him a toy. When he walks away with the new toy, tell him he’s a good boy.

  3. CF_ says:

    chewing is usually a sign of boredom – your dog is looking for something to do..
    play with him more – interact – go for walks.. more toys…dont leave him outside alone…

  4. Yo LO! says:

    How about building a little cage around the downspouts with Chicken Wire or something?

    My dogs love them too and stick their faces under them when water is gushing out, but they’ve never tried to dismantle them…

  5. kendrafer25 says:

    Seriously…rub the downspouts with dog poop. This is not a joke. It will help with the hole digging too. Where he digs, put the dog’s feces in there and cover it back up. Dog’s try to avoid their poop and won’t chew or dig where it can smell poop. Gross, I know, but it works.

  6. Sparrowette says:

    The eating of non-food objects (by dogs, cats, or people) is called pica, and it is not all that uncommon.

    While puppies may just be exploring, with an older dog the behavior should have stopped. In this case, you need to get to the root of the bad action. Look at the behavior in its context to try and stop it. What happens right before the gutter eating? Right after? The dog may want attention, or he may be nervous about something in his environment. Once you figure out what is causing this behavior, you can correct it.

    Does the dog stay outside during the day? Is this when the gutter eating happens? This may be due to boredom, tooth pain, and/or anxiety about being alone. If this is where Puppy lives when no one is around, try observing the dog when he thinks he is alone. When you see the behavior, a good firm NO or a replacement of the rain gutter in the mouth with a toy or bone (I recommend KONG toys if you have a chew-happy puppy or one who spends time alone). Don’t scare the dog (we don’t want an anxiety complex), but let him know that you saw him and it is not okay. This may stop the behavior if he isn’t sure whether or not you are watching.

    If the dog eats the gutters when you are playing outside, teach the dog other outdoor activities like fetch, swimming,, or agility (depending on the environment). He can’t eat the gutters if he is too busy doing other things!

    In addition, dogs MUST be taught to come when called and to stay. These commands will not only make them stop eating things they shouldn’t be eating, but could very well save the dog’s life! (Think about a dog taking off across a busy street or into the woods after a squirrel.)

    These metal rain gutters could hurt the dog’s teeth, gums, tongue, or stomach/intestines, and changing them to plastic won’t remove that possible danger, so you need to stop the behavior before you and your dog learn a costly lesson.

  7. wayne g says:

    Get a bottle of – household ammonia – at any store. Pore it
    on the gutters that are being chewed as well as any other
    part of it that he might start chewing on. The rain may wash
    away the smell but it wont wash away his memory of the
    smell. I suspect that he is trying to make water come out of
    it which leads me to ask if he has plenty of fresh watter at all
    times? Or dose he like to play in water? I had a German
    Sheppard who loved the water hose. I would spray the water past her and she would try to catch it. You might try to get
    him to chew a rawhide bone. The ammonia will work.
    Good luck.