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Old 04-09-2010, 01:31 AM   #1
pennycantu
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digging!!!! OMG!!

My lab is digging holes in my back yard. my other dogs never did this. How do i discourage this behavior?? i've never seen her do it so it's hard to catch her. she's indoor/outdoor dog. she sleeps in her kennel inside but is usually outside during the day unless it's hot or cold and she wants to come in. i know that i should start exercising her every day which i'm working on but she's not reponding well to the leash so it's hard to walk her when she's thrashing. that issue has let up though. i've been working with her every day. tomorrow if we don't go to the city, we plan to start a walking regimin with her. if not tomorrow then saturday but she does get some form of activity she just doesn't have a "routine" yet. i'm kinda hoping we don't go to the city tomorrow so we can start.
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:01 AM   #2
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In the areas where she digs you can pick up her poop and put it in the hole then fill it in. Make sure you do this when she is not watching.
You can get a mister from the garden store and leave it on when it's hot. Dogs dig cause they are hot sometimes.
You could give her an area that it is ok to dig. Like a sandbox. Bury some toys of hers in the special area to encourage digging in that area.
Digging is a very natural dog behavior but most do it because of boredom. The walking may help.
There's a few suggestions, I hope this helps. Good Luck!
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Old 04-09-2010, 04:27 AM   #3
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Yep, putting poop where they dig works. Worked on my doxies (terrible diggers) and my Border Collie. They would pick out spots and dig to their hearts contient, then I would put in a bucket of poop. Yep I saved it up in a poop bucket just for this reason. It works. =)

If your dog is hot, I might suggest a coolaroo or a raised dog bed of some sort, where they can lay on. They are pretty much chew proof and tough as can be.

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Old 04-09-2010, 12:56 PM   #4
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she's not outside long enough to get hot. we are going to get her a doggie pool though to put inside our gazeebo. i want to take her swimming with us tomorrow but my husband says no. his dad has a pool and we are going but my brother in law acts like he runs everything and doesn't want my dogs there (he doesn't bring his dogs either though) so....Bella will just have to wait to swim some other day. We ARE starting her on a routine today. we were going to go see sean hannity tonight with my brother in law, but they are going eat out at ruth's chris and me and my hubby are on strict diets right now and can't eat anything cooked in butter or oil so we just aren't going

i'm going to pick up a pooper scooper this weekend and start filling in the holes though. if it's worked for 2 or more than it's bound to work for me. it makes sense though. no one wants to play in their own poop
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Old 04-09-2010, 02:51 PM   #5
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I have found that most dogs dig because of boredom, frustration or anxiety. Many of which can be dealt with by increased exercise, working their minds through training a skill and keeping them occupied when not being supervised by you. Get a large kong or knuckle bone and give it to the dog only when you plan to leave the dog unsupervised for any time. Fill the kong full of goodies add, some water and freeze, it will slow the dogs ability to get at the treats in the kong and he will spend his time trying to get at the treat - they use this frozen food technique in zoos all the time.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:55 PM   #6
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I had a lab/shepherd mix once who dug a moat around the back of my house. I tried the poop-in-the-hole, black/red pepper. Nothing worked for me. Seriously, they need attention, play, etc. This was a foster dog so to speak. My kids brought home momma and six pups and I agreed to keep them until they found homes. I am not a big-dog person so I didn't spend a lot of time with them. I do like the kiddy pool idea and the sandbox thing but I think really the bottom line is a lab needs to be stimulated and exercised. Maybe no time for walks but an hour out there tossing the ball perhaps?
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Furbilator View Post
I have found that most dogs dig because of boredom, frustration or anxiety. Many of which can be dealt with by increased exercise, working their minds through training a skill and keeping them occupied when not being supervised by you. Get a large kong or knuckle bone and give it to the dog only when you plan to leave the dog unsupervised for any time. Fill the kong full of goodies add, some water and freeze, it will slow the dogs ability to get at the treats in the kong and he will spend his time trying to get at the treat - they use this frozen food technique in zoos all the time.
This is great advice ... Some dogs are just prone to digging. If you cant catch them it's almost impossible to get them to stop. A lot of times its much easier to redirect the behavior.

To that end, I'd strongly suggest that you concider building a 6' x 6' or larger sand box and put the dog's toys in it. When the dog starts to dig, redirect it to the sand box. You can also incourage the dog to dig in the box by going to it and then start digging WITH your dog .... Your neighbor's may call the "loonie wagon" on you but it won't take long to show the dog that it's OK to dig in the box. As for putting the toys in the box, if you sit on the edge of the box and play with the toys in the sand, the dog will do it also.

The sandbox should help a lot with the boredom, frustration and anxiety but should not take the place of daily walks human interaction and training.

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Old 04-09-2010, 07:27 PM   #8
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Personally I would never encourage the digging behaviour, because that behaviour is never a good thing. It is a sign that something is wrong either physically or mentally. Dogs that dig are trying to tell you something - "I need more attention, exercise and stimulation." I have known some dogs to paw their paws bloody on a cement kennel pad because they lack the stimulation they need.

The same thing with excessive barking it too is another symptom of a dog that needs more from you than you are giving him. Not saying anyone is a bad owner, quite the contrary, your asking for help means you want to stop the behaviour and enjoy/keep the dog. It is just that with some dogs they need more from us than others; just like humans they are all unique regardless of the breed.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:31 PM   #9
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i was addressing the leash lashing issue and then this digging stuff came up lol! i knew that she needed to be worked and we did start hand signals. she needs a lot of work though b/c she was responding well at first then she got loose yesterday and decided she didn't have to listen to me and ran up the street. she's just mischevious and i really need to spend more time with her.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:50 PM   #10
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oh no! yikes!
I unfortunately do not have any experience with that. I hope you can find a way to get him to stop. Maybe keep an eye on him when outside and use a spray bottle if it starts?
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