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For the first time, our youngest irish at 8 months old has taken a notion to chewing the other dogs coats. We have never had a coat chewer before and we never catch him doing it to tell him off!


We have thought about getting a muzzle, but our guess is that he is doing it during the night and so he would not be able to drink.


We are just wondering if anyone else has ever had a coat chewer, and if so what methods they may have used to stop them doing it?

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I have near heard of this before!  I can't wait to read what other say. 
with our afghans the hair is so long it gets caught in the mouth mainly by accident so they get their ears wrapped up and sometimes the hair near the groin as well .Is your dog chewing a specific area or just anywhere on the other dogs? Crating may be the only answere to stop the carnage.

Hi Peter,

He is not chewing himself, but is chewing other male dogs only on their sides however not their legs. But yes we may have to resort to crating him over night. Thank you for your suggestions.

The products in the link might be of some help, but I agree, the crate idea would put a stop to this. I only hope he doesn't then start chewing his own coat, then maybe the sprays might come onto their own.





Good luck.


Regards, Dawn Riddell.

Thank you for the link, we shall have a look into it. Much appreciated.
Oh gosh I do sympathise. Is your puppy a licker? Very often they start with licking or ear sucking and then go on to coat chewing. If you can catch him then you can tell him off but this is done so quickly and quietly that it is difficult. I have had a coat chewer and in my experience it seems to be one particular dog that is targeted, mainly the one that your offender cosies up to but often it becomes indiscriminate. My personal view is that it is psychological. Either as a comfort or maybe dominance or even sexual but I would love to hear other opinions. Some grow out of it, others don't. There are periods when they seem to stop, then they start again. Once it becomes a habit it
I have tried everything. Smearing noxious substances on the coat, spraying Bitter Apple, etc etc. it all worked for a while but not in the long term. Splitting the offender from the other dogs is the only way but if yours, like mine, all live together then that is not always an option. I gave up in the end and let my pup sleep with my old girl who didn't mind having her coat chewed, in fact found it quite therapeutic!!! And that is the problem, the other dogs never seem to mind.........if only!!!
Maybe muzzling will work, as Dee says, they can drink with a 'box' type muzzle. I hadn't tried that but would certainly consider it if I ever have another chewer.
I wish you luck and hope your puppy is one of the ones that grows out of this habit.

Hi Eva,

He is not a licker, but like you said we never see him doing it just the results. The coat just looks like someone has come along and cut the coat with scissors, however it is not just one particular it is the 3 other male dogs we have that he targets and they never seem to tell him off for it and the bitches probably do, we wish they would though. We are hoping he will grow out of it too! Thank you for your suggestions.

Hi Ladies,

Have spoken to Katrina about this because she has also had a coat chewer.  What she did was to let the dogs out for a last pee in the evening and then let her chewer out by herself.  That seemed to work.  Maybe, as others have suggested, cage him at night by himself with toys to keep him occupied.  Maybe if you place the cage in the dog room with the others he cannot get to them but can still see them so he won't feel alone.  Katrina said eventually her coat chewer just forgot about it and never did it again.

Good luck

I have heard one friend talk about coat chewing in her Gordons. Ears and the top of the head and ALWATS in the days before a show. She came to the conclusion that it was this dogs idea of how a show dog should look. She never found an answer exceopt vigilance!


I suppose you could track when it happens and to which dog. What is the chewer's reaction and what is the "chewee's" response?

Hi Ossian,


Yes it is always the days before a show, typical. However we have never once seen the chewer do it, the reason we know it is him as he is the new addition to the family and it had never happened before, so process of elimination would suggest it is him. But the other dogs he chews never seem to have told him off for it. Just wish they would as this may encourage him to stop.

He is clearly getting satisfaction from it.    If he has only recently started this behaviour then it could be caused by some small change to his normal environment which is causing a stress reaction. Dogs can start all sorts of peculiar behaviours when they feel anxious.  To change his night time activities you will have to change the day time ones as well.  The best way to resolve this problem behaviour is to disrupt it by starting a exciting game with him as soon as you spot him showing interest in the other dogs coat. After the game, give him either a Kong stuffed full with low fat peanut butter or a extra large hide chew to keep his mind occupied for a while.  If you replace the grooming behaviour with a more rewarding activity then he will be less inclined to lick in the first place.  Offer rewarding activites regularly throughout the day and when you need to disrupt the unwanted behaviour, vary which activity you offer so he looks more to you for excitement and reward rather than the self satisfaction he gets from the licking.  You could give him the Kong or chew in a cage if you need to go out somewhere or for sleeping in over night if you are worried that he might start the behaviour when left alone with the other dogs.  Never use the cage as a punishment, always make it a nice place for him to relax in with a special treat.

Hi Val, 

Thank you for your suggestions, will have to try them. But we have never once seen him show interest just see the devastation in the morning, and this has been going on for a couple of months now and it is gradually getting worse. Thanks again.




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