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#1 Miss Scarlet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:07 AM

Scarlet LOVES to dig in the backyard... If she'd have a special place to do her digging, I could live with that. But last night she dug down around our liac bussh and laid down in the hole! She also dug a 9" deep 4" wide divit under our pool deck, right next to the pool wall. Our plants aren't safe either. I think it's just boredom that's set in, but is there anything we can do to stop this behavior?

#2 painted_ponies

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:34 AM

Scarlet LOVES to dig in the backyard... <snip> is there anything we can do to stop this behavior?


Lemme know if you find out. :lol:

My five have excavated tiger pits in my front yard. Seriously - I dropped my F150 into one of them and had to call a tow truck to pull me out.

In our case, it started over moles - cause y'know, it's so much better to have enormous craters in one's yard than moles. :rolleyes: Now it's just entertainment, I reckon, although they still present us with the occasional mole corpse.

My husband (who leaves before it gets light in the mornings) built a stone walkway from the front door to the gate so he wouldn't break his leg and lie there in the dark waiting for discovery. They still try and undermine it, so every few weeks we fill in the recent excavations from the oldest horse manure pile. We have a really green lawn almost all year. :D

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#3 MaryP

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:21 AM

I have a foster dog right now that loves to dig, so I feel your pain. I find that some dogs just take great pleasure in digging, and there's not much that you can do to stop it, other than not leaving them in the yard long enough to dig. I also have a yard that is very attractive to dogs that like to dig. It has places where there is just bare ground and the soil is like sand. The only thing that I've heard of to help refocus a dog that likes to dig is to give them a baby pool that you fill with sand and hide lots of toys in for them to find. Then, you teach them to dig in the sand box. I've never tried this, so I don't know if it would work. I'm sure they would dig in it, but I don't know if they would cease digging other places because of it.
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#4 rushdoggie

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:30 AM

digging? we know nothing about digging...

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I can tell you for sure that screaming "stop that digging you little #!@$!@!" while running outside in your nightgown doesn't work very well. :)

Seriously dogs dig for fun, but will often dog because theres something to hunt there, or because they are hot. Argos mostly quit digging as he matured, except now and then when a mole hill starts smelling too tempting.

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#5 Donald McCaig

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:30 AM

Dear Doggers,

Tony Ancheta, the most prominent Koehler trainer, suggests you put a one strand electric fence around the popular hole and sprinkle pungent, distinctive cologne (no, not what you'd ever wear) into the hole.

Dog is shocked, yelps, starts a new hole. Fence and cologne. Pretty soon you quit using fence and just use the cologne.

I haven't tried this but can't see why it wouldn't work.

Donald McCaig

#6 Root Beer

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:51 AM

The only thing that I've heard of to help refocus a dog that likes to dig is to give them a baby pool that you fill with sand and hide lots of toys in for them to find. Then, you teach them to dig in the sand box.


If I had a dog who loved to dig, I would probably try something like this. If the dog is bored, why not use something the dog loves to do to work his or her mind? All sorts of interesting things could be hidden in that pool. I might even get a few of them to provide a real "search" area.

To curtail digging in other areas, I would not leave the dog out, unattended, where I didn't want the dog to dig. I would probably use temporary fencing to cordon off the digging area until the dog understood that particular area as the digging spot.

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#7 Smalahundur

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:09 PM

Dear Doggers,

Tony Ancheta, the most prominent Koehler trainer, suggests you put a one strand electric fence around the popular hole and sprinkle pungent, distinctive cologne (no, not what you'd ever wear) into the hole.

Dog is shocked, yelps, starts a new hole. Fence and cologne. Pretty soon you quit using fence and just use the cologne.

I haven't tried this but can't see why it wouldn't work.

Donald McCaig

Oh I do, we are talking border collies here. I think (hope ;)) a smart dog would soon realize never to dig in an existing hole, just make new ones....

#8 juliepoudrier

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:20 PM

My five have excavated tiger pits in my front yard. Seriously - I dropped my F150 into one of them and had to call a tow truck to pull me out.

In our case, it started over moles - cause y'know, it's so much better to have enormous craters in one's yard than moles. :rolleyes: Now it's just entertainment, I reckon, although they still present us with the occasional mole corpse.

We must be living parallel lives, only my tiger pits are in the back yard, and hidden by overtall grass. And it's me who falls in them, even though I know where they are. I'm learning to live with them. I have cordoned off plantings, etc., to keep the dogs from making "shade holes" there. And I haven't gotten a vehicle stuck, but have lost wheelbarrow loads of wood or feed to a tiger pit now and again. Grrrrr....

And yes, it all started with moles, whose damage, as Sally points out, was much less horeendous than what the dogs have done in their pursuit of the vermin.

The funny thing is that I rent so if I ever leave, I'll need to fill in those holes. And yet when I walk past my landlord's house with dogs in tow and stop to talk to him and his wife and Twist starts to dig and I correct her, my landlord habitually corrects me for correcting her because "digging is what dogs do." I'll ask him how he feels about that when he falls in one of the pits in my back yard. ;)

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#9 Miss Scarlet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:33 PM

I have a foster dog right now that loves to dig, so I feel your pain. I find that some dogs just take great pleasure in digging, and there's not much that you can do to stop it, other than not leaving them in the yard long enough to dig. I also have a yard that is very attractive to dogs that like to dig. It has places where there is just bare ground and the soil is like sand. The only thing that I've heard of to help refocus a dog that likes to dig is to give them a baby pool that you fill with sand and hide lots of toys in for them to find. Then, you teach them to dig in the sand box. I've never tried this, so I don't know if it would work. I'm sure they would dig in it, but I don't know if they would cease digging other places because of it.



#10 Miss Scarlet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 12:41 PM

A baby pool is a pretty good idea! When we first rescued 2 year old Scarlet in September,she would drop her squeak toy in the water dish..
See the video:

We bought her a galvinezed tub that holds about 10 gallons, and she LOVES it! Our problem now is that it's getting closer to winter, and that may be just a warm weather sport... BUT.. we COULD hide toys and stuff in sand for her.... Great idea! A mind is a terrible thing to waste! B)

#11 Donald McCaig

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:37 PM

Dear Doggers,
Mr Smalahundur wrote;

Oh I do, we are talking border collies here. I think (hope ;)) a smart dog would soon realize never to dig in an existing hole, just make new ones....


Yep. Makes a new hole. It promptly gets stinky shocky. Next hole too: stinky shocky. Even a Border Collie can put stink and shock together = no dig. At a minimum, you can protect your precious new plantings with cheap cologne.


Donald McCaig

#12 Carson Crazies

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 02:47 PM

Mine aren't as much into digging as they are into flippin' eating dirt. Sigh. There is one tiny crater in the yard, but I filled it with poop once and they stopped digging there. I'm frankly surprised that they didn't just eat the poop and keep on digging. Occasionally there will be a smallish hole here and there, but for the most part mine aren't terrible diggers. They're mostly content to just EAT the dirt and then poop it back out again. I'm convinced there is some sort of nutrient they're missing in the dirt in this one spot that they like. Or they're weird. Or some combination of both.

ETA: Oh wait. I forgot this, but Pia actually dug up my phone line when she was younger. Fortunately, these days she's mostly contented to just bury her toys in the blankets on my bed.
Laura Carson
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#13 Root Beer

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:04 PM

I'm frankly surprised that they didn't just eat the poop and keep on digging.


:lol: :lol: :lol:

They're mostly content to just EAT the dirt and then poop it back out again.


Ugh - Speedy likes to eat dirt. It drives me nuts!!!! I have to be very careful when I pot something in potting mix that contains fertilizer. Something about that attracts him like there is a buried steak in the pot that he has to eat his way to . . . .

ETA: Oh wait. I forgot this, but Pia actually dug up my phone line when she was younger.


A thread on what our dogs have dug up might be very fun (uh, or not in some cases)!! When he was young, Sammie dug up a headless statue at our old house!!! It was . . . odd.

Coal, too. He dug up quite a bit of coal. Not sure why there was coal buried in the back yard. They did have a coal furnace in there originally, and maybe they used to empty the ashes into the back yard with some bigger pieces still in the mix.

Kristine
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#14 juliepoudrier

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:38 PM

Mine also scratch at the dirt and eat it. Sometimes I think I cat must have used that spot; other times I think there just must be something there that they want/need (and, no, cat excrement does not fall into the need category).

J.

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#15 MaryP

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:48 PM

My dogs also eat dirt. And wood chips. And rabbit poop. The rabbit poop is the BEST! They can't wait to go out every morning and forage on the poop.

I also had a dog that would continuously dig up my phone line. That same dog would also dig up the PVC pipes of my water line and pool lines.
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#16 Miss Scarlet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:04 PM

...It's good no know that we're not alone! :rolleyes:

#17 Carson Crazies

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

My dogs also eat dirt. And wood chips. And rabbit poop.


This reminds me - back in another life my exhusband put down something like 3 or 4 of the giant bags of pine bark mulch along the back walkway. My dogs gravitated to that stuff like it was candy. 5 years later there is finally very little mulch to be found, but that's because they've eaten it all.
Laura Carson
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#18 geonni banner

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:04 PM

Mine also scratch at the dirt and eat it. Sometimes I think I cat must have used that spot; other times I think there just must be something there that they want/need (and, no, cat excrement does not fall into the need category).

J.

It's been awhile since I read about this, but I seem to recall that cats' digestive tracts are relatively short, and what comes out is substantially different from what dogs leave. This has been suggested as the attraction factor of cat poop for dogs. Also, cats can't synthesize taurine so most cat foods add significant amounts. Could this be a factor in the "Almond Roca for Dogs" scenario?

Maybe some of our veterinary professionals could shed some light on this.



 


#19 Olivia

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:48 PM

Mine aren't as much into digging as they are into flippin' eating dirt. Sigh. There is one tiny crater in the yard, but I filled it with poop once and they stopped digging there. I'm frankly surprised that they didn't just eat the poop and keep on digging. Occasionally there will be a smallish hole here and there, but for the most part mine aren't terrible diggers. They're mostly content to just EAT the dirt and then poop it back out again. I'm convinced there is some sort of nutrient they're missing in the dirt in this one spot that they like. Or they're weird. Or some combination of both.

ETA: Oh wait. I forgot this, but Pia actually dug up my phone line when she was younger. Fortunately, these days she's mostly contented to just bury her toys in the blankets on my bed.



Ha!!! I have a dirt eater but she thinks it's fun to eat the dirt (and poop if I think I'm smart and fill the holes with poop) and then vomit it up once back in the house. Nothing like the smell and appearance of freshly vomited up dirt/poop on the hardwood floors. Thank doG I don't have carpet!!! She even did it once in the back of my car. I tried sprinkling her dirt holes with cayenne pepper thinking that might deter her but she just thanked me for spicing her dirt and kept on eating. I finally lost my sh*t one day and went running outside screaming and jumping up and down and pitching a southern-crazy-woman hissy fit and I think I scared her so bad she hasn't eaten dirt since. Of course she was scared to leave the porch for a few days too but, hey, it got the job done! :-)

#20 ejano

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:57 AM

Lemme know if you find out. :lol:

My five have excavated tiger pits in my front yard. Seriously - I dropped my F150 into one of them and had to call a tow truck to pull me out.

In our case, it started over moles - cause y'know, it's so much better to have enormous craters in one's yard than moles. :rolleyes: Now it's just entertainment, I reckon, although they still present us with the occasional mole corpse.

My husband (who leaves before it gets light in the mornings) built a stone walkway from the front door to the gate so he wouldn't break his leg and lie there in the dark waiting for discovery. They still try and undermine it, so every few weeks we fill in the recent excavations from the oldest horse manure pile. We have a really green lawn almost all year. :D


Love the husband story :). My husband spent a whole morning filling in craters, then came in for a cup of coffee, looked out and dirt was just flying as they re-excavated. What fun! Easy digging! Our boys dug like gophers in their first year. I hung up a tether ball and gave them some other big yard toys and it gradually stopped.

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