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Constant digging. - dog_behaviour [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
it's me or the dog

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Constant digging. [Oct. 21st, 2006|07:16 pm]
it's me or the dog


[mood |confusedconfused]

My neutered male standard poodle, 6, Mookie (named after Mookie wilson), has a habit of digging a lot. He digs actual holes outside during walks, and when he is indoors, stand on the couch and try to dig a hole between the cushions, it's actually really bad for the upholstery. It is not uncommon for me to wake up at night to find him standing on the foot of my bed trying to dig a hole in my mattress. We think this a nervous habit of some sort, but I thought it would be helpful to ask here before we pay for a professional trainer. It's been happening ever since his puppyhood. When we catch him doing it, we scold him, call him a bad dog in a mean tone of voice and we furrow our brows to look angry, and he sulks off, knowing he's done something to displease us. Here is a bit of medical history, in case it may have something to do with it: Three years ago, he was acting very lethargic and we noticed he had to urinate a lot. We immediately took him to the vet and after some X-rays and a blood test, they determined that his liver was failing. Antibiotics did not work, and they could not do a biopsy because bilirubin (I'm not sure what that is, but I know it's a liver thing) affects how well your blood clots so there was a high risk of him bleeding too much. After about a week of vets working around the clock trying this and that to save his life, they told us that we will probably have to say goodbye forever because his condition was rapidly deteriorating, and all they were able to do was scratch their heads. But every vet learns in school not to give up on a mysterious ailment until you attempt prednisone. The prednisone wound up causing him to get better after several days. About a year and a half ago, Mookie was diagnosed with a thyroid issue that causes him to underweight by about 5 or 10 pounds, and it is also apparently the source of his nervousness and territoriality. He lives with his female littermate, Maggie. Maggie is, oddly enough, the dominant dog.

[User Picture]From: hike_on
2006-10-23 10:03 pm (UTC)
Hi there. Poor upholstery and garden! Whilst I'm sure this community and its members are all too willing to help anyone that seeks advice, there is no substitute for proper training. Afterall, we are only hearing a little bit of the problem and to be sure of what the problem really is, behavioural patterns need to be observed over a period of time.

The only reason I can suggest why he is doing this digging, is out of boredom. I certainly wouldn't allow him in my bedroom at night if he was going to be waking me up at 3 in the morning. He needs to have a place he knows as his own, a bed or a crate.

I also found this link on google which may be of some help to you...http://www.ehow.com/how_2206_stop-dog-digging.html

It may be the beginnings of seperation anxiety if indeed he is left alone. Let us know how you get on or if you ave any further questions or info...
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[User Picture]From: flyingcoffin
2006-10-24 03:54 am (UTC)
Thanks! Other than that, he's excellently behaved. That's why he hasn't driven me up the walls. It could be boredom or separation anxiety, because we're out of the house a lot during the day. That never occured to me, I though Maggie and toys would keep him occupied. The digging on my bed thing doesn't happen often enough for me to have the heart to kick him out of my room. If I had to put a number on how often it occurs, I'd say once every two weeks. He has a dog's bed but he loves to cuddle. Frankly, I'm pretty impressed by how talented dogs are at digging. =) I'll try the balloon method in spots where he should not dig. He's actually terrified of balloons because he played with one as a youngster and it popped, traumitizing him. Thanks so much for the advice and the link!
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