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More digging help please

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by McKenzie, Feb 22, 2021.


  1. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I posted a thread about this a while ago but need some more advice.

    Elliot is still digging in the carpet when I leave him. I've covered all the spots he was digging and he stopped for a little while, but today I found two new patches of carpet he was digging on while I was at work.

    He has a dog walker come and take him and Kenzie out in the middle of the day. He's currently left in the living area. The only other place I could leave them would be in the bedroom but it's not very big, plus he can stand on the bed and look out the window.

    I'm in a rental and I can't afford to be replacing carpets!

    Any suggestions? I don't understand why he's started doing this. We've been here close to 2 months now.

    He would be so much happier living with someone who is home all day :( Feel like I'm failing him :(
     
    #1 McKenzie, Feb 22, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    If you can use film to obscure the window it might be worth trying him in the bedroom.

    Is he crate trained? I’m not keen on them myself but if he’s happy in one it might settle him and it could be as big as you can fit in so he has lots of space but can’t damage floors.

    Can you film him to see when he actually does it? Is it when you leave, the dog walker leaves, a noise happens, just before you’re home, etc.

    Have you tried the plug in, spray on calming products?

    I don’t think he’d be happier with anyone else so don’t beat yourself up - I’m sure you can resolve this - it’s just finding the right switch.
     
  3. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Thanks so much for replying. I got myself into a bit of a state.

    I've just ordered a radio to leave on all day to see if that makes a difference. Yes tried Adaptil and calming treats.

    He slept in a crate for a few years but to be honest I don't think he'll be particularly happy being left in there during the day, and I'd have to crate Kenzie too. I think that would have to be a very last resort.

    I do have a camera on during the day. I just had a brainwave - my last camera didn't record anything, just alerted me to noise, but I had to buy a new one and I think this one does record. So will definitely check that out. My hunch is it happens after the dog walker leaves, but I'll see tomorrow if he does it.

    I've got window film in the living room which works well, but didn't really want to do the bedroom too as the static stuff is quite expensive here, but again I will if it comes to that.

    If worst comes to worst I can get the dog walker to look after him during the day, but that's not ideal for lots of reasons.
     
  4. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    How long are you out of the house?

    Maybe he’d be better without the dog walker “upsetting” his day if that would be possible (toileting, etc.).

    Or as late as possible so she keeps him for only a short spell (or could she “sit” then until you get home?).
     
  5. Nicola234

    Nicola234 PetForums Senior

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    The pet remedy plug in get a good write up, I’ve read lots of good things about them, hopefully you get this sorted soon as you must be so stressed about it x
     
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  6. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    The shortest I can be out is 7.5 hours, but I can't do that every day. I can see what happens without the break in the day (they can easily do that time without toileting). Although the other day I just went out for about an hour to run a few errands and when I got back he had dug on the spot that I forgot to cover.

    Thanks, I've already tried Adaptil which I don't think makes any difference - I think it's a bit 'bigger' than that.
     
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  7. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Does the walker have them on their own or with other dogs (or meet other dogs out).

    If the latter, perhaps he gets over stimulated and/or a bit stressed?
     
  8. Magyarmum

    Magyarmum PetForums VIP

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    I'm taking it as read that the carpet in question is fitted? Otherwise I'd suggest you take it up, which is what I did when I first had Grisha because he was weeing on it.

    Don't know how expensive things are in NZ but have you considered buying a cheap carpet and some rugs to entirely cover the one he's trying to dig? I have a nice carpet (not fitted) in my kitchen which in winter I cover with the cheap washable rag rugs to stop the carpet getting dirty.

    Just a thought.
     
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  9. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    On their own, and on lead. They might meet dogs in passing but that wouldn't bother or excite him.

    Yes fitted throughout the house I'm afraid.

    I've tried putting various covers down but he will still dig on them - in fact I think he digs more if there's something down. My living room is really large and there's no way I could cover it all. I've used a combination of furniture/items and puppy pen panels to cover the spots he digs in so far.
     
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  10. Nicola234

    Nicola234 PetForums Senior

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    What about a heavy rug in the place he digs? Does he look stressed when you leave the house?
     
  11. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    He's always had a touch of separation anxiety but this is the first time we've had the digging.

    The problem is my living room is large and he digs in multiple different places. I would need to buy lots of rugs to cover all the spots, so it's just as easy to cover them with other things.
     
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  12. Nicola234

    Nicola234 PetForums Senior

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    I take it you’ve tried the picking up the keys and leaving for a minute and returning and making the gaps longer. Separation anxiety is such a hard one to fix.

    Ah I presumed it was always the same spot
     
  13. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I just realized I posted this in the wrong section :confused:
     
  14. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    Is he stressed or does he just enjoy digging. Candy is a bit of a digger but she just does it for fun.
     
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  15. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Well, I think he’s stressed but don’t know for sure. He never does it while I’m home, and he’s a bit prone to stressing, so I think it’s probably that.
     
  16. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I found the record bit on my camera. Both places he dug in between 2 and 3. Dog walker dropped him off around midday, I got home around 3.30. He didn’t look particularly stressed but was wandering around a bit. Not sure what to do with that though.
     
  17. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    Looking outside of the box, is he trying to hide/bury something. It can be a bit of a disjointed activity because sometimes the item they’re trying to hide is nowhere near where they’re actually digging.

    Tod does it, but only to one particular sheepskin rug. I almost always come home to it scragged up into a heap; I’ve seen him do it on camera and at one stage I wondered if he was humping it while I was out, but he’s digging. He doesn’t look particularly stressed doing this. He’s never managed to hide his Kong under it yet, but still trying.

    If Kenzie doesn’t seem stressed by his digging occupations then would he dig just in one spot if you gave him something ‘diggable’ like an easily scragged rug?
     
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  18. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Hmm interesting thinking but I don’t think so, he hasn’t really got anything to hide when I’m out. I have quilts on my sofa and he will dig there too, which doesn’t bother me really. I’m happy to put something on the floor for him to dig but previously when I had fleece blankets on the floor he would still end up scratching the carpet under it.
     
  19. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Oh dear. I expect it's more habit now than anything, although it started as a stress thing (new house etc) he's now just formed a habit of doing it between the walker leaving and you coming home.
    Not really sure what you can do other than continue to manage the environment and maybe get the walker to either sit with him or pop in randomly in the afternoon, or maybe try a later walks? You want to kind of break the pattern that's been established in his head. Or move him into another room, but not every time, just try to break the routine.
     
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  20. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Yes you might be right. I've covered over the new places he's scratched and will try leaving him for a short day without coming home/having the dog walker. The problem is it's so hot here at the moment (31 degrees in the afternoon yesterday) that getting the dog walker to come later isn't an option. I'll have a chat with her to see whether she would come later and just sit with them.

    When I accepted my new job for this year, I did so because my work hours were going to be much more manageable and I would be home with the dogs more, but this is the year he's struggling!
     
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