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Discussion Starter #1
Baylee is a digger. I have tried many thing to get her to stop other than building her a sandbox. She is tearing up my yard! We spent over $2k last July landscaping our yard. We did it ourselves.

Baylee is 8 months old and is a RottieX. She can have a hole dug that is about a foot deep and a foot wide in less than 5 mins. She will also tear up chunks of sod and start eating the sod as well as the dirt. She has been digging since we rescued her when she was 3 months old. It wasn't too bad though cause we had a couple of feet of snow for her to dig in. We would correct her when she started to dig but it didn't make a difference.

I do training with both Baylee and Bayne throughout the day as well as walks, tug and fetch. I don't leave them unattended very often or for very long at a time when they are. She digs right in front of me and is very hard to distract her from it when she starts. It's gotten to the point that Baylee can't be outside for more than a quick potty trip... If she is, she will dig. She hates being cooped up in the house with me when we aren't doing anything. She will pace and whine to go outside, then as soon as I take her out... she runs to dig a hole :( I am at a loss. I don't know what to do. I saw suggestions about filling the hole with poop but I can't do that. It wouldn't do anything cause she eats poop.

Also I'm having issues with her going after my cat. I do have gates and such set up that the cat can get through but it's gotten pretty bad. She cries and whines to get to the cat. She will stalk her and it is extremely hard to get her distracted away from the cat. The cat is starting to react badly to this. I can tell that she is upset or something. She(the cat) isn't eating or drinking the same amount that she used to and peed in my plant(which she NEVER has done before). My cat has a clean bill of health, is up to date with vac's and is spayed. My cat now avoids us all as well. I just don't know what to do.

Baylee is the newest addition to our family. We have had her for 5 months. My hubby is getting pretty upset over the yard and I understand why. I know we can't afford to keep fixing all the holes and replacing all the sod that she wrecks. I have tried almost everything to distract her from the cat and from digging. Like I said, the only thing I haven't tried is making her a sandbox. I am hesitant to do that cause of my kids and stray cats. My kids would play in the sandbox and the stray/outside cats would use it as their personal litterbox(I know cause we have tried to have a sandbox numerous times).

I am at a loss and I'm upset and I don't want to start thinking about the fact that maybe Baylee isn't happy with us. I just don't know and that is also why I have been so quiet lately... :(
 

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Maybe try giving her a place she's allowed to dig in, like a little kid sandbox with sand in it. Hide toys or something inside, and praise her when she digs in it, and correct her for digging at the grass.
Maybe try removing her from the yard when she digs, make her go inside for a few seconds or minutes, then try again?
Not sure if I helped at all, but it might be something to try.
 

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the thing I've always heard is that dogs who dig need a special place where they are allowed and encouraged to dig.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you Chels_girl :) I have done the time-out thing. When she starts to dig, she gets corrected (told no) and brought inside for a couple of mins. She freaks out when I do that if Bayne is still outside. She'll bark, cry and paw/scratch at the door. I don't put her in her crate for time outs cause I don't want her to think that her crate is a bad thing. I am extremely hesitant to try a sandbox again... the last few times we had one, it was bad. The outside/stray cats used it as their litterbox and it was disgusting :(
 

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Try making a cover for the sandbox. The only part is everyone in the family must be diligent about keeping the lid on when the dogs aren't outside to play.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will talk to my hubby about the sandbox again but I think it'll be a no go. He doesn't want the mess from all the cats and It is also a health hazzard for the kids I take care of, as well as my own kids, because of all the cat feces and urine :( I will ask for some tips about sandbox care from the agency I was contracted through... they may have some new ideas about keeping cats out.
 

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While digging is quite natural....to bury a bone, to cool off, because it's fun....there is another side to it....done out of frustration. That's the one thing you want to make sure isn't happening here. I'd be tempted to increase the exercise and see if there is an improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's what I am thinking Tooney... I think it may be out of frustration :( I don't think I am giving her what she needs. When I was able to take her and Bayne to the DP everyday, her digging was managable. Now I can't do that. I no longer have a car so trips to the DP and to the other places we went are now out. I try to get in a much mental stimulation as I can without over doing it and we go on 2 walks a day. I would do more but I physically can't... both my knees are blown. That is where the DP came into effect lol! It allowed for offleash fun and expending that pent up energy. She was still pretty bad with the cat though...

Is it fair to her to keep her knowing that I can't do more than I am now? I do the training suggestions in the training forum. We play games. I just can't run her like I used to be able to when I had a car. I also can't do any agility courses or stuff like that cause I have no way to get there now and money is tight (which is why we no longer have a car :( ). I also can't hire someone to come in and take her out for a run.

I'm lost and I feel really bad cause I don't know what to do. Thank you all for your suggestions :)
 

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How about trying a flirt pole? It'd be a good source of exercise without alot of work from you. If you can get your dog to play with one they work really well.
I don't see why you shouldn't keep Baylee, she just needs some creative thinking and ideas.
 

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For a correction to be useful it must be motivational (to the dog), well timed, and one the dog understands. While timeouts are useful in many ways, they are not corrections. The dog isn't sitting in time out thinking that it's there because it did X.

In Baylee's case I think the primary problem is one of frustration and boredom. She's just not getting enough physical and, even more importantly, mental stimulation. The ongoing obedience training is a good start. In addition, if not already, put her on a strict nilif program, and take her for at least 2 30 minute power walks each day. A power walk is one where she's required to walk on a loose lead by your side. She does not have to be at a perfect heel but must walk politely without sniffing, pottying, marking, lagging or forging ahead unless you first call for a break. All three, obedience training, nilif, and power walks exercise both her body and her mind. Also, play games that require her to use her mind, games such as doggy versions of hide n seek, follow the leader, red light green light, and find it (find an object or treat) are fun to play. A flirt pole would also be a good tool.

Consider taking her through an obedience class and an agility class to help expend some of that energy and provide even more mental stimulation. Baylee sounds like a dog that requires a lot of mental stimulation to keep her from being bored and getting into trouble.
 

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What about just blocking off a corner of the yard she can dig in, instead of making a sand box. Just block it off with wood pieces or big rocks or something to create a boundry to it. If cats start pooping in it you can always make a cover.

Since she likes to chase the cats she would probably LOVE a flirt pole.

Can you ride a bicycle? You could teach her to run alongside of it and instead of 2 walks a day she can get 2 runs a day.
 

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There is one other possibility that you might look into..if she's still on puppy food you might want to consider changing over to adult food. Puppy food is pretty high calorie (ie; high energy) and she's getting close enough to switch over anyway. When you switch, choose a brand that has more meat than grains (corn/wheat, etc)...grains are sugars....more high energy. Three of the top four ingredients listed on the bag should be meat....chicken, lamb, venison...etc.
 

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Get one of those plastic sandboxes that have a lid. I found a turtle one at K-Mart. A "shell" lid goes on top--just put it on when the sandbox is not in use.
 

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How often do you walk the dog? A lot of dogs will dig because they're bored and have excess energy they need to burn off somehow. Have you tried feeding the dog it's meals out of a toy like a tug a jug or food cube?
 

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A lid to the sandbox (I'm not sure if she saw that) would solve the neighborhood cat problem with using it as a restroom. I also agree that a flirt pole would be helpful. This is my primary avenue for exercising my two dogs. 30 minutes of hard flirt pole work, and they are pooped. It's not too much work for me either. no real walking or running. Mostly upper body (minimal).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank you all :)
How about trying a flirt pole? It'd be a good source of exercise without alot of work from you. If you can get your dog to play with one they work really well.
I don't see why you shouldn't keep Baylee, she just needs some creative thinking and ideas.
I will for sure try the flirt pole... I can't believe I missed that lol
For a correction to be useful it must be motivational (to the dog), well timed, and one the dog understands. While timeouts are useful in many ways, they are not corrections. The dog isn't sitting in time out thinking that it's there because it did X.

In Baylee's case I think the primary problem is one of frustration and boredom. She's just not getting enough physical and, even more importantly, mental stimulation. The ongoing obedience training is a good start. In addition, if not already, put her on a strict nilif program, and take her for at least 2 30 minute power walks each day. A power walk is one where she's required to walk on a loose lead by your side. She does not have to be at a perfect heel but must walk politely without sniffing, pottying, marking, lagging or forging ahead unless you first call for a break. All three, obedience training, nilif, and power walks exercise both her body and her mind. Also, play games that require her to use her mind, games such as doggy versions of hide n seek, follow the leader, red light green light, and find it (find an object or treat) are fun to play. A flirt pole would also be a good tool.

Consider taking her through an obedience class and an agility class to help expend some of that energy and provide even more mental stimulation. Baylee sounds like a dog that requires a lot of mental stimulation to keep her from being bored and getting into trouble.
Both Bayne and Baylee have been on nilif since we got them. I will work more on the loose leash walking, Baylee is not very good at that LOL. Obedience training or agility courses are out :( I don't have a car or the money to go to them with her.

What about just blocking off a corner of the yard she can dig in, instead of making a sand box. Just block it off with wood pieces or big rocks or something to create a boundry to it. If cats start pooping in it you can always make a cover.

Since she likes to chase the cats she would probably LOVE a flirt pole.

Can you ride a bicycle? You could teach her to run alongside of it and instead of 2 walks a day she can get 2 runs a day.
We(my hubby and I) talked about blocking off the one side of the yard. That, I think, would work better than a sandbox even with lid. My kids would play in the sandbox and would forget to put the lid back on. I would be able to watch more often than not but it would still happen.

Unfortunately, I don't have a bike and neither does my hubby. My kids do but they are not allowed to take the dogs out by themselves.
There is one other possibility that you might look into..if she's still on puppy food you might want to consider changing over to adult food. Puppy food is pretty high calorie (ie; high energy) and she's getting close enough to switch over anyway. When you switch, choose a brand that has more meat than grains (corn/wheat, etc)...grains are sugars....more high energy. Three of the top four ingredients listed on the bag should be meat....chicken, lamb, venison...etc.
Both Bayne and Baylee are on the same food. They both eat Acana Pacifica which is an all life stages food with no grain. They have been eating Acana for quite some time now. Before we switched to Acana, they ate TOTW Pacific Stream. They both do very well on it. Neither are over weight or under weight. Both very healthy.
Get one of those plastic sandboxes that have a lid. I found a turtle one at K-Mart. A "shell" lid goes on top--just put it on when the sandbox is not in use.
My fear with that is that my kids wouldn't keep the lid on. And I think if we were to do that, the lid would need to be heavier duty. The wind where I live is pretty bad on most days and things get blown away all the time lol. If I could anchor the lid down, I think It might work.
How often do you walk the dog? A lot of dogs will dig because they're bored and have excess energy they need to burn off somehow. Have you tried feeding the dog it's meals out of a toy like a tug a jug or food cube?
The dogs get walked twice a day. A few times they have missed one walk but not very often. I haven't tried feeding her out of a toy yet. I will try that though.
A lid to the sandbox (I'm not sure if she saw that) would solve the neighborhood cat problem with using it as a restroom. I also agree that a flirt pole would be helpful. This is my primary avenue for exercising my two dogs. 30 minutes of hard flirt pole work, and they are pooped. It's not too much work for me either. no real walking or running. Mostly upper body (minimal).
I will for sure try the flirt pole. My upper body is good, just not my lower body lol
 

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While digging is quite natural....to bury a bone, to cool off, because it's fun....there is another side to it....done out of frustration. That's the one thing you want to make sure isn't happening here. I'd be tempted to increase the exercise and see if there is an improvement.
This.

This dog sounds EXTREMELY frustrated to me and I would be subject to think he isn't getting near enough exercise.

Is swimming with your dog a possibility?
 

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My other suggestion would be to get a pack, load it with bottled water and have your dog carry it on the walk. How long/far do you walk the dog? Puppies have tons of energy. Walking 30-45 minutes with a pack will wear out most dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
This.

This dog sounds EXTREMELY frustrated to me and I would be subject to think he isn't getting near enough exercise.

Is swimming with your dog a possibility?
Not yet but soon we will be able to. The subdivision that we live in has trails that go through it as well as a man made pond with a fountain. We walk the trails everyday and go around the pond. It should be warm enough soon to let them go in it.

My other suggestion would be to get a pack, load it with bottled water and have your dog carry it on the walk. How long/far do you walk the dog? Puppies have tons of energy. Walking 30-45 minutes with a pack will wear out most dogs.
Not sure how far it is but we walk pretty much the whole subdivision. I don't walk slow but I don't jog, it takes us less than an hour depending on how many times we stop. We do that at least once a day with another walk added in at some point. So, altogether I'd say it averages out to be about 1.5 hours of walking a day. I won't be able able to get a pack for her though. Those are pretty pricey and out of my budget. I also don't know anyone that would be able to make me one.
 

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mine is a real digger too [ 10 months old ] and always has been regardless of how much exercise she gets, she's also likes to pick through her poop and eat it as well but I think there is a difference in their eating it and digging their paws in it. I did put her own crap in the holes she's dug and she doesn't dig anymore in those holes so that's helped but.... she keeps digging NEW holes:eek:
 
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