Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Digging to China!

Harley's_Mom
April 13th, 2008, 02:52 PM
Looks like it's that time of year again! Snow is melting and Harley has the urge to dig again only this year he's got Tova to help him!! Anyone got any suggestions on how to stop this behaviour? Of course they are smart enough to do it only when they are outside by themselves. Frustrating cause they both know they're not supposed to do it but I guess they just can't resist the urge.:wall: Any advice at all would be appreciated. Thanks.

Tommysmom
April 13th, 2008, 02:56 PM
*Sigh*... if you manage to stop it, I'd love to know the secret! Tommy started doing that last summer after my mom visited and started doing some gardening... he was 'helping' her, and discovered how much fun it is! Now that the snow is gone I can see all the holes he dug, they look twice as bad this year, lol. I've tried to redirect him to an area where I don't mind him digging, but it was too late in the season to see if that works. I figured that I'll never be able to make him stop, so I at least want to limit where he does it.

Harley's_Mom
April 13th, 2008, 03:11 PM
Harley's fave spot to dig isn't really that bad, it's where our garden swing sits and it's mostly dirt there anyways. Ok well it was grass last year but by the time Harley was done.... He just gets so filthy everytime he does it! He definitely puts everything he's got into digging. It's amazing how far the dirt will fly...lol. But of course everytime he digs, he needs a bath. I'm afraid that this is going to be one of those situations that people are going to tell me I can't do anything about. :frustrated:

clm
April 14th, 2008, 07:31 AM
I would try one of those kiddy sandboxes, fill it with sand and bury a few of their favorite toys and a couple of treats in it a few times a day. Gives them a favorite place to dig, and reward for digging there and it's sand not mud, much easier to clean off.

Cindy

Harley's_Mom
April 14th, 2008, 03:40 PM
Funny thing is we do have a kiddy sandbox and he digs in that too :laughing:

aslan
April 14th, 2008, 04:04 PM
Our Bailley is a digger and decided teaching Quincy was a good idea. I ended up having to put a slab of slate over the area they kept digging, Then sprayed the stone with bitter apple. If they went near the stone they got a firm NO,. They don't dig there anymore.

Harley's_Mom
April 14th, 2008, 04:44 PM
Did they stop digging altogether, or just not there anymore?? Just curious, because if that works, I'm willing to try it. If it means they just move on, I need something else.
Definitely work a try though.

MIA
April 14th, 2008, 07:09 PM
Generally dogs dig because they are bored, and if left alone hell there isn't anyone there to say no so they do what they want. Dogs live in the moment they have no idea at that moment that they aren't supposed to do something nor do they care, dogs do what is fun for them. They aren't children, they are dogs. SO either exercise them more, give them an area to dig, supervise them when out and don't leave them up to their own devices.
:headslap:

tenderfoot
April 16th, 2008, 04:22 PM
That is often the problem - boredom.

They need more stimualtion and they aren't getting enough from each other. A mentally or physically tired dog is too tired to get into mischief.

I know it is so easy to let them out and think they'll self entertain. Well that's just what they are doing - entertaining themselves with your yard. It would be great for you to spend sometime out there with them and teach them right from wrong.

First take some of their 'droppings' and place it in each hole they have dug. It can discourage them from further damage. Next try to let them have an area in the yard where they can dig. Then you need to spend sometime teaching them where they can and cannot dig. You as the leader claim your spots and let them have theirs. This means that they need to respect your word and understand 'leave it', which means you might have to work on their general obedience and your relationship with them first.

Also - how many toys and real bones do they have? Real bones are great for keeping them entertained, teeth scraped clean and good nutrition. Toys are great for chasing, tearing up and playing tug of war.

What are you feeding them? Poor quality diets can lead to hyper active behavior. Please be sure you are offering them a good quality food.

Harley's_Mom
April 18th, 2008, 04:04 PM
That is often the problem - boredom.

They need more stimualtion and they aren't getting enough from each other. A mentally or physically tired dog is too tired to get into mischief.

I know it is so easy to let them out and think they'll self entertain. Well that's just what they are doing - entertaining themselves with your yard. It would be great for you to spend sometime out there with them and teach them right from wrong.

First take some of their 'droppings' and place it in each hole they have dug. It can discourage them from further damage. Next try to let them have an area in the yard where they can dig. Then you need to spend sometime teaching them where they can and cannot dig. You as the leader claim your spots and let them have theirs. This means that they need to respect your word and understand 'leave it', which means you might have to work on their general obedience and your relationship with them first.

Also - how many toys and real bones do they have? Real bones are great for keeping them entertained, teeth scraped clean and good nutrition. Toys are great for chasing, tearing up and playing tug of war.

What are you feeding them? Poor quality diets can lead to hyper active behavior. Please be sure you are offering them a good quality food.

Wow.....I asked for some advice and I guess that's what I got. I'm not sure where to start. First, we do spend lots of time outside with our dogs. There are times when they are sent out by themselves, yes but I'm sure not every dog owner out there is outside with their dogs 100% of the time. Both of my dogs are very well behaved, we've worked with Harley on general obedience since he was a puppy, continue to encourage those "manners" and are in the process of working with Tova who is still a baby. As for diet Harley eats Wellness and Tova eats Orijen. Both high quality foods. I don't think diet is the issue. Anyways, I talked to my vet who was able to offer some good advice so thanks anyways.

tenderfoot
April 18th, 2008, 07:58 PM
Sounds like you are doing a great job!:thumbs up

I did not intend to insult you or your dogs - but think of it this way....take a child and teach him the ABC's, give him some Dr. Suess books and he will be a happy camper for a while. Yeah, we did a good job. But soon he will get bored and be ready for the next level of challenge. Help him along and he could be reading Shakespeare in no time at all, and he will be challenged for years to come. So the training you have done is awesome, but maybe they are ready for a higher level of education to stimulate their minds and keep them challenged.

Actually I am giving you a back handed compliment - your dogs could be brilliant and just need you to raise the bar a bit.

Few people can spend 100% of their time with their dogs - it is just not reasonable or neccessary to have a well behaved, happy dog. Some people will say "My dog is with me a lot, I work from home and we are together all day". But being together and actually engaging your dog's mind are two different things. Some dogs do great with a little stimulation and others need tons to do be happy. So each dog is an individual and needs its own unique program to get the best results. Harley could easily have a 30-40 word vocabulary very quickly, or perhaps he already does and he needs even more. Tova shouldn't be too far behind even though she's younger.

But the more they are left to their own devices to do as they please, they are in recess mentally and physically and they are living in the right side of the brain which is very impatient, impulsive, instinctive, and can lead to insecurity or assertive behavior, AND is very adrenalin based. The more you engage their minds and they are making choices about their behavior out of respect for you then they are coming from the left side of the brain which is about hesitating, thinking, learning, impulse control, choosing to defer to someone elses wishes and its very serotonin based. The more serotonin in the brain the calmer the dog and less likely to get into mischief. The more adrenalin in the brain the more impatient and reactive, so the faster to get bored and into mischief.

The clue is that if your dog is acting out in a manor that annoys you - you need to look at what YOU have to change in order to create a change in him. You dogs cannot be different unless you are different. I hope you can see how that makes sense - please do not take it as an insult. The best answer is usually to get his brain busy - a busy brain doesn't have time to get into trouble.

I hope this sheds some light on what I was trying to convey.

Glad to hear your Vet gave you such great answers - good luck.

Harley's_Mom
April 20th, 2008, 06:18 PM
Thanks tenderfoot. My vet suggested allowing them one are to dig so that we'd have one hole instead of hundreds. We've allowed them their favourite hole which is in an area that won't trip anybody up. It's also a shaded area so Tova has been working on it as a place to help her stay cool. I think we've reached a compromise that works for everyone. :thumbs up