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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my dog for a year and a half now and in that time she's definitely stopped digging outside as often. Our yard is paved so she can't really dig there but she used to dig on walks and at the park. She doesn't really do that anymore occasionally at the park if she finds a smell she's really interested in. These days she's digging inside though and that's a problem. she digs at the edge of my area rug until the corner flips over, she digs on her dog bed and sometimes grabs it by the corner and shakes it. I know she's frustrated because I've been working from home so I'm here but not playing with her during the day. I feel like a lot of this behavior comes because she's bored and she knows I'll come to stop her, I usually give her a small time out. In order to give her the time out though I have to catch her first so I think that we've gotten to a point now where she does it so I'll chase her because thats become a game.
She also does this when we visit my parents and frequently when someone is sitting on the ground playing with her, she'll start digging behind their butt or between their legs. I'm at a loss as to how to stop her now because I don't want to reward her with attention but I can't just let her destroy things. Any advice?
 

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Digging is a very natural dog behavior (as well as one that many of them find super fun!) Your best bet is to channel her urges, rather than try to suppress or eliminate them. Invest in a kiddie pool & fill it with sand to create a 'dig box' for her to engage in. Encourage her to dig/explore in the sandbox with verbal praise & also burying small toys or treats for her to 'find' there.

You might also want to consider adding additional foraging types of enrichment to her daily routine. Serve her meals in a puzzle feeder or Kong toy. Play 'find it' games where you scatter her food around the house or garden/yard area. Put her meals in a box for her to rip up & destroy (some dogs simply love to rip up cardboard boxes for the sake of ripping & don't even need any treats or kibble inside to have fun!) Google some ideas for simple nosework games. You can set out several boxes/containers & put treats in some & then allow her to hunt/sniff around to find them. This can be made progressively harder as she gets the hang of the game.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Encourage her to dig/explore in the sandbox with verbal praise & also burying small toys or treats for her to 'find' there.

You might also want to consider adding additional foraging types of enrichment to her daily routine. Serve her meals in a puzzle feeder or Kong toy. Play 'find it' games where you scatter her food around the house or garden/yard area. Put her meals in a box for her to rip up & destroy (some dogs simply love to rip up cardboard boxes for the sake of ripping & don't even need any treats or kibble inside to have fun!) Google some ideas for simple nosework games. You can set out several boxes/containers & put treats in some & then allow her to hunt/sniff around to find them. This can be made progressively harder as she gets the hang of the game.
I'm assuming the dig box would be outside? that might have to wait till weather permits its too snowy here right now. my landlord put in pee gravel in the back yard last summer when he got a dog and she used to like digging in there but shes started avoiding that spot, I think because it smells too much like their german shepherd. She does have a puzzle feeder, a kong and a snuffle matt. The snuffle matt I was originally using because she ate too fast and I stopped using it when she started eating slower, but giving her breakfast using it could help I'll try that. The box idea is interesting she does love to destroy things, I'll just have to come up with a way to signal when a box is for her to destroy and when she needs to leave it.
 

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I'm assuming the dig box would be outside? that might have to wait till weather permits its too snowy here right now. my landlord put in pee gravel in the back yard last summer when he got a dog and she used to like digging in there but shes started avoiding that spot, I think because it smells too much like their german shepherd. She does have a puzzle feeder, a kong and a snuffle matt. The snuffle matt I was originally using because she ate too fast and I stopped using it when she started eating slower, but giving her breakfast using it could help I'll try that. The box idea is interesting she does love to destroy things, I'll just have to come up with a way to signal when a box is for her to destroy and when she needs to leave it.
Yes, unless you're very brave (bordering on completely crazy! lol) the digging box is an outside game. As far as her knowing/learning how to differentiate between boxes that are legal for her to destroy vs those that are off limits, it's simply a matter of creating a routine of sorts so she has a specific context in which to engage in the game. Have her 'sit' on her mat/bed (or other specific spot - place training is hugely useful for so many things!) and have her 'wait' while you prepare the box. Then present it to her with a "get it" (or whatever cue you want to use) This way it isn't just a random activity, but an organized game to play when you do the set up, and to 'leave it' becomes the default.
 
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