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Thread: penning?? yes or no

  1. #11
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    Digging is self rewarding and some dogs just do it more than others. I would think the penning is a management tool, not a training tool and is to be done when you are not home.

    Have you tried filling in the hole with a very inflated balloon, or have you tried hot sauce sprinkled on favourite areas of digging or have you supplied a digging area, eg sandpit and encouraging or luring to dig there by putting fun things for the dog to find.

    It is natural and instinctive for dog to dig and therefore one of the harder things to train a dog not to do and requires consistency.

    I always give my dogs bones in their crates because if they eat it on the lawn it inevitably leads to digging, at other times chasing a small lizard or worm sets off digging. We also have a lot of grubs and worms near the surface of our lawn as we've got lots of small holes (bandicoots visiting of a night when dogs are locked away) and kooka's hovering around again which sets off digging. Have you noticed anything like that which could be the reason for excessive digging.
    Last edited by MAC; 01-16-2012 at 01:10 PM.

  2. #12
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    Also if you have redone lawns and garden areas etc, did you use fertilizer. No fertilizer can be used here it would cause excess digging.

    If you've already got a dog yard I would make that more secure. Changing natural ingrained behaviours like digging takes a lot of effort, time and consistency before seeing results and often their is actually an increase in the undesired behaviour before it improves.

    Does she dig when you are home or only when you are out?

  3. #13
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    I'm no expert and it really is hard to tell from a written description anyway, but is there any possibility that she suffers from severe separation anxiety? It does sound like rather obsessive behaviour...

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    I'm no expert and it really is hard to tell from a written description anyway, but is there any possibility that she suffers from severe separation anxiety? It does sound like rather obsessive behaviour...
    Yes, Beloz, I agree that the behaviour has an obsessional quality. Again, another factor which makes it extremely hard to modify. Medication would perhaps be another possible avenue to explore, but not "Plan A", IMHO

  5. #15

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    yeah thats no worries i have signed a confidentiality waiver, so they can continue to "sell" there product. i am not overly happy with the methods but have no idea where i would stand on getting any money back to pay for another trainer.
    there methods revolve around teaching them who is the "boss" or i suppose teaching them subbmissive behaviour.
    maybe i can privately msg you and discuss further?

    the fence is roughly 4 foot high and then we have put lattice at the top which they keep destroying to get through

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyharley View Post
    the fence is roughly 4 foot high and then we have put lattice at the top which they keep destroying to get through
    Just with regard to the fencing, to keep Bella in we've had to put ours up to 1.42m high because she could jump over the 1.22m high fences we had. She hasn't escaped yet though. I would consider putting it higher - it blew my mind to see how high such a little dog could jump!

    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

  7. #17

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    don't really want to try medication but it is something that has crossed my mind. i have thought it might be seperation anxiety or soemthing like ADD. but i have taken her to the vets and everytime they have said she seems fine.
    **MAC** in responce oh my i have tried everything LOL absolutely everything! and with no avail. as there are holes all through the lawn it might be bugs that cause the smaller ones which is something i have pondered but the big ones are huge and have no idea what starts them?
    She mainly does it when we are at home or on a few occasions i have let them sleep out as it was cooler outside at night to weake up to a minefield, yet on occasion it has been when we are home but rarely is it when we are at home.

    and nope we never use fertaliser nor do we allow them out to "watch" us when we are doing garden work as do not want to "promote" that we can do it!

  8. #18

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    Firstly i have never actually tried to do this but it made sense when i read it ....

    Set aside an area where your dog is allowed to dig. Bury bones and other rewards in this area and then be ready to give her an extra reward for digging in the right place. No doubt it will take a while to retrain a 3yr old ....

  9. #19
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    Your trainer has offered nothing but how to build more frustration in the dog. Your fences firstly are totally inadequate for the breed you own. You need at least 6-7 feet tall, SOLID and strong. If your dog is just jumping then you can do things like this



    Just some steel tubing or solid timber and heavy netting. If the dog is still getting through, electrify it either attached to the fence or offset with tread in posts. I do a bit of electric fencing if you need a hand having it planned out for the best price PM me.

    As for the digging, your dog has way too much energy. Go to the local tip or ebay and get yourself a big old cheap treadmill. Get your trainer to show you how to train your dogs to use this treadmill. You literally need to get them on this machine until they drop if you have to. Don't let them snooze the day away either, no feeding out of bowls they have to get them out of incredibly difficult chew toys or even shove kibble into plastic bottles and squish them. If your dog is eating anything with colours, flavours, preservatives, or high in wheat and grain byproducts, toss the diet. It tends to create manic behavior. Every morning too put 2mls of Troy Calming Paste down their throats, it's a natural supplement and NOT a sedative but can take the edge off the need to constantly be manic.

    If you insist on giving them an area to dig, mark it off with old sleepers or tyres and let them dig in there. You do need to find the root of the problem, escaping and digging sounds like anxiety which is so common in staffy crosses and those types. They need to burn off so much of that anxiety. If they're not already doing obedience they need to use their brains too as exercise with no brain training will still create a dog that looks for things to do.

    And if all else fails ... buy a bubble machine.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyharley View Post
    yeah thats no worries i have signed a confidentiality waiver, so they can continue to "sell" there product. i am not overly happy with the methods but have no idea where i would stand on getting any money back to pay for another trainer.
    there methods revolve around teaching them who is the "boss" or i suppose teaching them subbmissive behaviour.
    maybe i can privately msg you and discuss further?

    the fence is roughly 4 foot high and then we have put lattice at the top which they keep destroying to get through
    Sandyharley, please do feel free to PM me if you'd like, but I do (finally, lol) get the gist of their "method", and would not like for you to get into any trouble. I often worry with trainers who have " a patented method" which is to be kept "confidential" because I tend to think it restricts their flexibility to work with each unique dog and removes the ability to have "peer review".

    In my opinion, I would not be using what I'd call "pack dominance behaviour" to promote submissive behaviours to deal with a digging issue. Unfortunately it is a) more likely to promote subversive behaviour in your dog (ie digging when you arent looking) and b) negatively impact on the bond you have with your dog.

    Using simple leadership strategies and basic training is excellent and often teaches your dog to be more confident and compliant both at home and out of home, with you and away from you, but this has little to do with "submission" and more to do with "team work". Simple leadership means showing your dog the rules and boundaries, rewarding well for compliance and introducing consequences only when you are sure the behaviour is really known to the dog. Akin to "good parenting" if you like the analogy.

    I like to say training = increased competence = increased confidence (ie ability to think and chose the right choices) = increased freedom.

    It may be that your dog does have an obessional focus on digging- but it does not have to be separation anxiety or ADHD (or the like) to have an obession. The only way to really diagnose this would be to consult a qualified, reputable vet behaviourist- which could also be costly.

    In your scenario, I'd be increasing your fence height to 1.8 meters if you can, with angled in wire at the top which not only inhibits jumping, but also stops climbing (something Staffies can be very good at). Try to use a good, solid wire and avoid materials like lattice that can be (happily) chewed through. I'd be setting aside an area in the "run" that is a designated digging area, as MyMateJack has suggested. Reward heavily for digging there, and take absolutely no notice of digging anywhere else. Your dog then has the chance to think to him/her self "If I dig here, I get good stuff, if I dig there, it's not as good". You may find, over time, that the digging then begins to focus on the designated area.

    And, lastly, if you wish, it could be really beneficial to find a good, reputable dog club where you can go and work with trainers regularly on your basic obedience skills. It's fun (yes, really, lol), can mentally stimulate your dog, allows you to be able to trouble shoot areas where you might be able to increase leadership and understanding, and provides another outlet for your dog's energy, AND will increase your network of doggy and human contacts.

    Which state/ area are you in? there are a few members here who might be able to give recommendations :-)

    ETA: have just read Nekhbet's post and will second the treadmill. I have one at home for my Dobes and it is absolutely one of the best investments I ever made- works the mind and the body.
    Last edited by Villain & Flirtt; 01-16-2012 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Added Info

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