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This is getting out of hand


berocca
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Well, what can I say, my dogs like to dig. Or more specifically, Delta likes to dig and Charlie goes along for the adventure. They have a sandpit I have encouraged them to dig in, there is also a garden bed where they like to loosen the dirt and lie. They love to bury things which Im not too fussed about either, holes can always be patched up. The issue is the sudden inclination to dig under the fences and visit the neighbours.

 

I noticed a hole behind the shed about a week ago that looked rather large, when I looked over the fence I saw one of their toys in the neighbours yard so I know they were definitely in there. I dont actually know those neighbours so I quickly wrote them a sorry note and explained that I would be fixing the problem ASAP. This morning I went to check their water and noticed a hole alongside one of the other fences that they had obviously been through aswell. I was running late for work so I put a trampoline bed over it and weighted it down. I have come home to find a note from that neighbour explaining that where they had dug through they have destroyed the memorial garden for their beloved old dog who was put to sleep last week. I cannot describe how upset that has made me and how sick I feel about my dogs adding to these peoples heartache.

 

Can anybody suggest ways to discourage these visits to other yards? I am renting so I am limited in what I can actually do in terms of digging trenches for wood panels or putting down chicken wire.

 

I am out of the house about 7-8 hours a day. Is this too long to crate them inside? I have never crated a dog for anything longer than between runs at training so would it be a shock to them to suddenly crate them all day? I only have soft crates and while Charlie is happy enough to stay in there Delta knows how to bust the zipper and get out. If I went with this option I would have to buy metal crates so am I better off with 1 each or a bigger one that both can go in together?

 

There is a possibility that it is related to boredom with me being out of the house from about 8-3.30. I try to give them things to do in the yard while I am gone. I hide treats, give them kongs, give them marrow bones, they have a heap of toys and I am always buying more. They also have the sandpit and a kiddie swimming pool. The main problem with giving them lots of food things though is that 9 times out of 10 they will bury it before I am out of the driveway :rolleyes:

 

Once I get home we go down to the offleash area for a few hours where they run, play and swim. 4 nights a week they also have official training (2x agility, 1x flyball, 1x obedience) and they also do herding on Sundays. I try to do extra training with each of them at night and they sleep in the house with me.

 

After this week I am on holidays for 2 weeks so I thinking about ordering some really large brick things to put around the perimeter. My uncle has given me some old railway sleepers but they are too heavy for me to move on my own. I am going to call him tonight to see if he has any more that he could bring over.

 

Anyone have tips? Being a real dog person I have always had the "well that is just what dogs do" attitude. But now that it is affecting others something needs to be done.

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Guest WoobiesMom

I second the dog poop suggestion, but then they sometimes just go dig elsewhere. Crating them that long isn't a problem either. I've crated Woobie for 10 hours (once or twice) when I got tied up at work. As long as they get a nice long stretch of their legs or get to go run around when you get home, it's not too bad. If the transition seems to sudden, can you enroll them in doggie day care for a few days each week and then transition it to being 5 days a week? Good Luck!

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I recommend crating them.

 

Dean was a major digger in his original home. He had excavated their backyard - to which he had free access.

 

I crate him and he has only dug one hole here - and that is a particular place where Sammie sometimes digs, as well.

 

I'm not saying it will fix everything, but it's worth a try.

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Ive tried poop in the holes, balloons in the holes, "get off my garden" crystal things in the holes, pebbles in the holes, etc. Nothing like that seems to work.

 

My holidays start on Monday and go for 2 weeks, so as of Saturday I would be able to start getting them used to longer and longer periods of time in the crate. Surely after 2 weeks it would be built up to 8 hours?

 

Someone on another board suggested very low voltage electric wire running along the fence line. They said the buzzing is usually enough to deter them and if kept low wont give them more than a little zap. What are your thoughts on that?

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The low voltage electric fence was the only thing that kept my girls in our yard. They dug a trench deep enough for my husband to step into up to his waist.

 

Now that they are older, I don't put batteries in the collars and they don't go near the fence. When we are home and they don't have collars they are forever going over near the fence sniffing and digging what they missed during the day with the collars on!

 

But for peace of mind sake (mine!) we had the fence installed and never caught them digging out again. We too tried the poop thing, they just started new trenches.

 

Good luck!

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If you have any spare brick around the house try filling the hole w/ them before covering it back up. At least if they dig in the same spot again they can only go so far. I do think it would be a good idea to keep the dogs inside in crates though if at all possible.

 

I do hope that the neighbor wasn't too upset w/ you and your dogs for going under the fence. I think it probably went a long way that you sent an apology note before they had to come to you w/ it. Or at least it would go a long way w/ me in that case. Hope all of the suggestions you have been given help. :rolleyes:

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  • 1 month later...

When I worked and my dogs were in big 1/5 acre runs -some with pea gravel- easy diggins- I put hot pepper in the holes. Guess what? They found a new "project" I used to call them, for me to trip into and fall when the lights were off- LOL. My dog now is a non-digger. Thank doG.

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My BC is also becoming a digger and is teaching one of my ACDS to join in. I now shut them in the house when I am out and at work.

 

I used to crate the BC because she was the main trouble maker. I now leave her free with the ACDS inside the house and there is no problem.

 

A friend of mine has a virtual fence running inside the main fence. When her dog tries to cross this invisible electric field it gets an unpleasant sensation and doesnt even bother to try.

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You are very lucky that your dog digs instead of pole vaults without a pole. Meg will jump a 7 foot fence or chew through it, use wire cutters or claw it to shreds if she wants to get to the other side. Since I consider our perimeter indefensible, she does not go out without one of us. She is not crated when we leave her for up to four or five hours and she is extremely well behaved in the house. On rare exceptions she has been crated for longer but only once or twice in her two years. Doggie day care or home visit is our preferred solution. Luckily I'm home these days.

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Now that they have learned to dig to get out-stopping them is going to be very hard. The best thing to do is crate them. 8 or 10 hours is not going to hurt them and a lot safer then getting into other peoples yard. Some people are not very tolerant of other peoples dogs getting into their yard-your dogs may come up missing.

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:rolleyes: Try using the bricks. That should work. But the bad thing about that....is that you'll have to buy ALOT of bricks. It'll be hard covering the whole perimeter of the yard, too...if you don't have a problem about that, then bricks should take care of the problem. I used bricks for my dog and it worked. (But she doesn't dig all the time) I'm sure that if you crate them, it'll work too.

rah_gem.bmp

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Several of my family members live at the beach and everyone who has a dog has put one strand of electrical fencing along the bottom of their fence. Sand is just too easy to dig out of. It doesn't take long for a dog to realize it is better to stay away from the fence.

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I too say keep your dogs inside. Just because you may "fix" the problem of them digging out doesn't fix the problem of them digging. Digging dogs are bored dogs. Keep them inside when you are not there. It has the added bonus of keeping them safe as well.

 

Jennifer

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