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how to keep a dog fromchewing his tail

July 2nd, 2010

Don’t laugh.

I’m not getting my hopes up.

I’m not – really.

But I think I may have found the solution to Cooper’s tail chewing troubles.

A long size 6 jean skirt that’s been languishing in my closet since 2004.

Project Runway for Dogs

It’s the kind that hits me at the ankles, but has a long slit up the front. This is key for Cooper, as it lets him walk as normal, just with a big train covering his rear end, and most importantly, his tail.

I first tried it by just zipping and buttoning under his front legs, where his chest is skinnier. This was good, but he was able to shimmy it off when moving around. Then, I took the back belt loop and strung it through his collar; great for walking, as it kept the length a bit shorter, but it pulled a lot on his collar when he sat or lay the wrong way.

Finally, I pulled out his easy-walker harness. It has a strap that goes across the shoulder blades, so I put that through three of the belt loops and we have perfection.

Project Runway for Dogs

I think this will work because the fabric is heavy enough that he can’t move it out of the way. It’s also “skinny” enough so there’s not a lot of extra fabric to trip over, or get stuck in things. And if he has to go do his business, I can fold it up over his shoulders and it stays in place nicely, kind of like a cape.

The issue, if you have just come onto Cooper’s story, is that his tail was bit off at the dog park 3 weeks ago. He lost one vertebrae in the following partial amputation. But because he’s a lab, and because he wags and moves constantly, no amount of sedative, no size cone, and no deterring factors like bitter apple spray have kept him away from the wound for long enough for it to heal. If it doesn’t heal soon, the vet will be recommending a full amputation, down to a stub. Now, he’ll look perfectly cute with a stubby little tail. And once that heals, it won’t impact his life much at all. But I hate the idea of putting him through another surgery at this point. I just want him better.

And if I have to put my dog in a skirt to make him better, then so be it.

I just might take it off before taking him on walks around the neighborhood. The cone draws enough jeers as it is.

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19 Responses to “how to keep a dog from chewing his tail”

  1. ShAnan Says:

    I have been reading and worrying about both you and Cooper. I am so glad you have found something that is going to help. I have never seen a better use for a skirt! Hopefully this brings him the healing he needs. Sending good vibes.

  2. stephanie Says:

    Oh, Cooperdooper, I hope this works!! Besides, you look fabulous.

  3. Kim Says:

    Cooper is STYLIN’! 😉 Really hope this works for you.

    And now we have something new to try on Otis next time he tries to chew his toes off!

  4. Roxanne Says:

    I think it’s a fantastic solution especially if it works! Heck, take him out on his walk like that…why not? If it is helping him, who cares what people think? Besides, he looks cute!

  5. D'oh!Mestic Says:

    I told the sad, sordid tale to the dude last night, and his solution was a heavy-weight vinyl cone held together with pop rivets. “The dog would be totally punk and awesome.”

    But if this works, it’s perfect! Here’s hoping to a speedy recovery.

  6. yilt Says:

    awwww cooper. he looks so handsome in a skirt, though i do have to admit i had a chuckle. i’m soooo glad that you found what seems to be a workable solution for the tail. keep us posted. xoxox

  7. Annarella Says:

    Oh, poor baby, hope it works. He is totally and utterly fabulous in that skirt!! Give him a squeeeeze from me. Keeping everything crossed for him xx

  8. Mary Says:

    What a great idea! hoping it works – I know Cooper wants his tail back, too!!

  9. Roz Says:

    Hey, whatever works to keep that tail is what I say.
    Lots of hugz to you both

  10. Jamie Says:

    No laughing here! It makes Cooper look a little like a mermaid (well, merman) which is sort of fun and heck folks dress their dogs up in fancy clothes all the time. And this doesn’t look all frou frou like that. I will say a quick little prayer that this helps him! Great ingenuity!

  11. kingshearte Says:

    Aw, he does look pretty hilarious and fabulous all at the same time.

    I hope it works!

  12. Susie Says:

    Who cares what it looks like if Cooper gets better? Give him an extrabig hug’n’scratch from me

  13. mizzbananie Says:

    i think he looks fantastic…. i LOVE the solution. xoxo

  14. wooly Says:

    That is so genious! I hope this solution works for Cooper. I was horrified when I read your story, and I hope his tail heals up real soon.

  15. John Says:

    Cooper, if anybody asks, it’s a kilt.

  16. Terri Says:

    I’m glad it was a size 6 skirt. If you were going to say a size 4, I’d have to be envious of a dog for it. 🙂 Hope it does the trick and Cooper gets back to 100% soon.

  17. Melissa Says:

    Oh my – yes, a kilt! I hope this works….

  18. Theo Says:

    My Cooper- who is 20 lbs and SURE he is KING OF THE WORLD have to say that your Cooper is really stylin…. how about a little color near the face? something springy and bright yet manly… lots of good thoughts to you and Coop…

  19. Julia Says:

    Is it working? Please post an update about Cooper soon.

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