I don't ignore my dog either. She spends at least half her day in the house, is kenneled at night, and is free on my acre lot most of the rest of the day, while I am in and out the back door. She's 11 months, a Doberman, and she has made my yard dangerous for walking with her 10-inch deep 12-inch-across holes. She has torn out many of my husband's wonderful planting. Otherwise she is an admirable dog: intelligent, well-trained, quiet, friendly to all and sundry. But if this digging can't be stopped, I'll have to give her away--or have her put down. I'd have to be honest (not that I could hide the minefield), and who would want her? Any hope she'll grow out of it? Has anyone ever tried muzzles? Hobbles? Until the dog's mature and quits on its own, I mean.
Edited by Harriet Hodges (12/03/2008 09:43 PM)
Edit reason: left out phrase
But if this digging can't be stopped, I'll have to give her away--or have her put down.
That is a rather harsh sentence for a behavior YOU allowed to develop. You can most definitely stop the digging by never leaving her unattended in the yard. If you are not interacting with her, training,and playing etc, tether her to you so you can immediately interrupt if she should start to dig. I would definitely not give her free reign of the yard.
You might also try creating a safe digging zone. I use a child's wading pool and fill it with sand. Hide treats in the sand and when she digs here praise and the treats will reward her making this her preferred place to dig.
If you have her tethered to you and she begins to dig in another area I'd interrupt by walking away but do not give any attention. I wouldn't physically correct her at this point because after months of turning the yard into a minefield she has no idea digging is unacceptable.
As Randy said she needs a job.....maybe heeling beside you as you go in and out the back yard? It doesn't have to be elaborate but she is a highly intelligent breed that needs to focus that intelligence somewhere and if you don't determine where that somewhere is she has already proven she will make that decision on her own.
Loc: North-Central coast of California
I agree with everyone.
Quote: harriet hodges
Until the dog's mature and quits on its own, I mean.
That isn't the way it works.
The dog has nothing (or certainly not enough) to do, and has had nothing to do for long enough to create "a minefield." Some dogs who are bored to this degree will destroy walls, furniture, and themselves. Control of her environment and physical and mental structured activities are called for.
Sheila has covered it perfectly.
There's nothing like a tired dog. Even games of fetch where the dog runs around like a nut and you stand in one spot can make a huge difference.
And yes, allowing the dog free rein of the yard is definitely not working out.
Please post back. Have you ever tethered her to you? Have you done basic ob work? Does she get good long walks a few times a day?
P.S. In what way is she well-trained? This is not at all a snide or flippant question. I am really asking: What kind of training has she had?
Have you tried marker training? It could be a lot of fun for you and her, and it works her brain.
i just wanted to agree - i have a husky/jack russell 8 month old, and if i allow him to, he will dig....a lot. the only time he's ever had free reign to dig is when we were camped on a beach during a canoe trip. he does dig in his crate sometimes as well.
i think what sheila said is great.
he is always supervised when outside in the yard (all my dogs are), and when we're outside, we're doing one of three things: pottying, playing tag or another game, or training.
with some small changes to step up your supervision, you should be able to control the behaviour, and teach your dog behaviours that you do want in place of the digging, and if you do offer her a place to freely dig, to channel the behaviour to that area.
Edited by Jennifer Mullen (12/04/2008 08:29 AM)
Edit reason: outside in the yard
I have a German sheperd and rot mix about 6 months old, got him from the local shelter. He is very active and friendly but wants to jump and bite at me often although it is only play it is also very annoying, how can i effectively correct this?
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