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Old August 17th, 2004, 11:06 PM
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Anyone Know How To Booby Trap A Dig Site??

OK, so Phoebe (my 4mth old Shep/CollieX) has developed a slight digging fixation. She has done it twice in my own yard, I didn't mind so much. I was planning on talking to the obedience instructor, but wasn't in any great hurry to work on it.

Until this past week-end. We were in Montreal visiting my parents. You know the place - lots of houses, small yards, garden of nice, fresh, moist, turned earth bordering the whole yard with gigantic tomato and cucumber plants (and a host of others), etc... Well, Phoebe was out back playing with her cousin, Mojo. Ya know when they get too quiet, you start to worry? Well, I was worried. I go out back to check on them, and there they are - head to toe in mud, excavating part of the garden. I swear, she was trying to dig her way to China! Dad was NOT amused (not a big dog fan - puts up with them so he can see the grandkids).

Anyhow, now we're home and I'm trying to think of ways to break this habit, so Dad will let her out of her crate next time we're visiting . She only does it when we're not looking, so it's hard to catch her at it (the water pistol is locked and loaded, but I never get to use it!). I'm trying to think of ways to booby-trap the holes she's most fond of digging in. Any ideas out there? Something I can bury that will make a loud noise once she excavates it?? I know digging is often a sign of boredom. She gets a walk once a day (1/2 hour min), puppy play every other day or two, and lots of chasing the cat around! She is sooooo not interested in "fetch" (which is quickly dashing my hopes for a flyball champ! ). She feels her Kong is only for chewing (Kong-sicles are her fave!). I also don't want to overexert her growing bones. Any other suggestions for puppy play for a pup that won't chase anything that doesn't have 4 legs??
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Old August 17th, 2004, 11:09 PM
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Actually some dogs just dig because it's fun!

That is a funny story but you must have been kinda embarassed yet you have to just say 'oh well' because it is doggie behaviour.

When the behaviour starts like that you can just put him on the leash, thats all you have to do.

In your own yard you can set up a 'dig' spot for your dog and that will be his only area he is allowed to dig in. They usually catch on quite easily Esp if you till the area or turn the soil and take him to it when he starts to dig somewhere else.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 11:21 PM
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keep the dogs nails trimmed very short (not so short that they bleed though)
this is a good way to curb random digging. at your place you can make a designated sand box for them to dig in. Once you have it, you can hide treats and toys in it. They'll love it.
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Old August 17th, 2004, 11:49 PM
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Yes, Luba, she really seems to just looooove to dig! An yes, I was mortified. My Dad's garden has become his life's work ever since he retired. Seeing a part of it strewn in every direction was heartbreaking for him, and brought back some really scary childhood memories for me (Wasn't me, Dad!)!!

Thanks Kona Dawg. I keep her nails very short. Our last dog hated having her nails trimmed - it was a 2-man job with constant treat-popping involved. I vowed that this one would be used to regular grooming from day-1!!

I'd still like to train this out of her, if at all possible. I don't mind the digging in my yard, but something tells me Hubby isn't thrilled with the idea. Besides, I'd be constantly worried about what she's doing in other people's yards when we visit - and a visit isn't much fun for her if she can't frolick in the yard with her doggie buddies!
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Old August 18th, 2004, 01:48 AM
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You're not going to like this, I bet. But it worked with a digging dog of mine.

Find the hole the dog just dug.

Fill the hole with water.

Drop the dog in the hole.

She hated water! This cured her for almost a year- no digging. Maybe she forgot after that year because I did have to do it once more.

No problems after that.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 07:25 PM
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Cactus flower, that is a bit much.

I've heard of puting some of the dog's poop into the holes. They don't like to dig up their own poop. Puting chicken wire in the bottom works to.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spoiled
Cactus flower, that is a bit much.

I've heard of puting some of the dog's poop into the holes. They don't like to dig up their own poop. Puting chicken wire in the bottom works to.

We put a piece of their poop in the hole and it works. However, this only makes them dig another hole!

Our trainer suggested we get a kiddy pool and fill it with sand. Bury their toys in it etc. This will give them a good place that they can dig and get their digging wiggles out.

Cactus Flower, I really don't think that I would recommend your suggestion to anyone. Training the dog with fear is not a good idea. It falls into the same line as pushing the dogs nose in their accidents in the house.

Heather and her 3 Goldens
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Old August 18th, 2004, 08:03 PM
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but you can't argue with results, can you? pushing dogs noses into their poop is not only disgusting, but unhelpful. filling the hole up with water may seem a little on the mean side, but if it works that well, it's actually less mean than reprimanding the dog all the time. also, isn't digging dangerous? in my hometown, there were some diseases dogs could catch from digging.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moontamara
but you can't argue with results, can you? pushing dogs noses into their poop is not only disgusting, but unhelpful. filling the hole up with water may seem a little on the mean side, but if it works that well, it's actually less mean than reprimanding the dog all the time. also, isn't digging dangerous? in my hometown, there were some diseases dogs could catch from digging.
I can argue, but I am not going to start up another disagreement. Excellent results happen I am sure with scaring the bejeebers out of a dog, but that is not my philosophy on "positive reinforcement" training.

Digging is natural for dogs and in most cases, not harmful to them. They get a thrill out of finding "treasures" when they dig. All my girls love to dig anywhere, anytime. Its up to me to find them something else to do with their time and energy.

Heather
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Old August 18th, 2004, 08:30 PM
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Heather, LOL! Bad choice of words on my part! I assure you that "you can't argue" was just an expression in this case!

I agree that using fear doesn't seem to be the best way (and arguably it is one of the worst ways) to train and I only resort to it when I have to for safety reasons, and ONLY after I've tried a host of other ways. I've had pets that don't need that kind of training EVER, but my current puppy isn't one of them.

In NWOntario there was definitely a problem with digging, some kind of parasite in the earth... but I have no idea if it's a problem elsewhere, or even if it's still a problem there now.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moontamara
Heather, LOL! Bad choice of words on my part! I assure you that "you can't argue" was just an expression in this case!

I agree that using fear doesn't seem to be the best way (and arguably it is one of the worst ways) to train and I only resort to it when I have to for safety reasons, and ONLY after I've tried a host of other ways. I've had pets that don't need that kind of training EVER, but my current puppy isn't one of them.

In NWOntario there was definitely a problem with digging, some kind of parasite in the earth... but I have no idea if it's a problem elsewhere, or even if it's still a problem there now.

Honestly, have never heard about the parasites.

When I read about the dog being put in the hole of water, it reminded me of someone telling me that their dog hated water and didn't like to swim. So what do they do? They carry it out far in the lake and let it go. The little beggar swam for his life to get back to safety and probably left a trail of you know what on the way back. It seems so cruel to me. They don't HAVE to swim for goodness sake. You wouldn't throw a child in the water that was terrified of it.

Heather
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Old August 18th, 2004, 09:01 PM
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DO you have a pic Writing4Fun ?
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Old August 18th, 2004, 09:18 PM
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I wouldn't put the dog in the water hole either, sorry CF. It may just 'insert fear response here' type behaviour!

However putting some poop in the hole may be a good idea, if your dog doesn't eat poop LOL

Sadies digs sometimes but I've been able to distract her. I dont want to make any sand pits for her as there are a lot of raccoons and stray cats around here that would use it as a litter pan. They already use the garden enuf!
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Old August 18th, 2004, 09:41 PM
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Phoebe doesn't eat her own poop (anymore ), but she's not especially grossed out by it either. I don't think it would deter her much! She also looovveeess water, so I really doubt that would work anyway. I'd like to try the chicken wire solution. Would you put it under a layer of earth so she hits it while trying to dig, thus making the digging unpleasant for her (we hope )?

Rexie, I tried posting some pics here. But the only way I can get them to load is if I reduce them to the size of a pinhead . I've posted a couple in the Picture section, though. There are 2 threads - "My Turn" and "Cats and Dogs".
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Old August 18th, 2004, 09:44 PM
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Putting Delaney's poop where she liked to dig stopped her. Even Delaney thought that was disgusting.
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Old August 18th, 2004, 09:44 PM
Goldenmom Goldenmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Writing4Fun
Phoebe doesn't eat her own poop (anymore ), but she's not especially grossed out by it either. I don't think it would deter her much! She also looovveeess water, so I really doubt that would work anyway. I'd like to try the chicken wire solution. Would you put it under a layer of earth so she hits it while trying to dig, thus making the digging unpleasant for her (we hope )?

That is exactly what you do. The dogs hate when their nails get stuck.

Heather
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Old August 19th, 2004, 01:03 AM
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Did I say my dog was afraid of the water?

Methinks not.

I said she hated the water. That is, she hated to get wet. If your dog does not like to take a bath, does that mean it is afraid of it? Nope. Just doesn't like it.

I thought most of you knew me better than to think I'd use fear tactics
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Old August 19th, 2004, 01:29 AM
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Quote:
When I read about the dog being put in the hole of water, it reminded me of someone telling me that their dog hated water and didn't like to swim. So what do they do? They carry it out far in the lake and let it go
Ok folks. I said I knew you wouldn't like my idea, and that's fine. It worked for me when nothing else did, so I thought I'd post it anyway. But you're really running with the ball here....

Perhaps I should have explained myself better.
First of all, the dog was just a bit smaller than a labrador. Not a tiny pup.
The holes were not even a foot deep. I live in the desert. We're talking loose sand. A dog can't dig much deeper than about half a foot in loose sand, as it just begins to slide back into the hole as they are digging.
(It would help if I'd remember that not everyone lives in the desert, and your dogs might be digging deeper holes than those which I was referring to with mine).

Anyway,...

Big dog.
Half a foot of water, tops.
Not dropping the dog into some gaping chasm or "water hole". And perhaps "dropping" is the wrong choice of words, too. That was one heavy dog and I'd be proud of myself if I could actually lift her more than an inch or two . So lets just say I "put" her there.

Goldenmom, please don't put me and someone who would dump their dog in the middle of a lake in the same category. I hope my clarifications here help derail that train of thought.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 07:22 AM
Goldenmom Goldenmom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cactus Flower

Goldenmom, please don't put me and someone who would dump their dog in the middle of a lake in the same category. I hope my clarifications here help derail that train of thought.

I was only using that example to show how people think that scaring the crap out of their dog will 'help" their dog.

I still wouldn't do what you did, but then again, I probably do things that you don't like either.

I don't see you as this terrible evil person, don't get me wrong. Actually, I think the very opposite. I just don't agree with something you did, nothing more, nothing less.

Heather
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Old August 19th, 2004, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
but you can't argue with results, can you?
If someone beats their dog in punishment to teach the basic obedience commands, and the dog ends up learning them, you can argue with those results.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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Digging in the desert, ya now that would be a challenge
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Old August 19th, 2004, 12:03 PM
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Putting poop in the hole would not have been an option for me. My dogs are not allowed to poop in the yard, and they know it. They have acres and acres of unpopulated land to poop (and dig) on, outside of the yard. Their "potty spot" is about fifty yards from the yard, a place on the property where I seldom walk. Putting poop IN the yard would have confused them, I believe. It might have shown them that it is ok to poop in the yard. And that would have been a lot of poop, as there were lots of little holes all over.
I don't think I would have used a sandbox or pool full of sand with toys, either. To me that sends a mixed message. It says "It's not only ok to dig, but you get rewards when you do!".
What I did got my dog wet, did not instill fear, and it worked.

I am interested in the comment about keeping the dog's nails clipped short. Has anyone else has success with this? I wonder if some of them do dig to wear down their nails.
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Old August 19th, 2004, 02:25 PM
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Nail clipping didn't work for me They keep trying until they get somewhere. It's all fun and games for them!
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Old August 20th, 2004, 01:38 AM
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Spoiled, you've just reminded me why I have to reread everything I write at least 5 times before pressing "Submit Reply." Thanks...I guess
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Old August 20th, 2004, 10:05 PM
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Does the stuff I say make sence? Or does it just sound crazy?
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Old August 20th, 2004, 10:27 PM
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Aww, not at all, Spoiled.

I think Moontamara was referring to her comment "You can't argue with the results" that you quoted, and then proceeded to argue with LOL. I believe she was saying she should have known not to post "you can't argue"...in this forum

She's off getting married so she won't be ablet to clarify until next month. But that's my take on it, anyway.

Your posts make sense and do not sound crazy
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