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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone else have a dog who does it?

Bus has been a digger since I got him, but over time his "style" has evolved from mostly digging with his paws no matter what the surface, to preferring to use his mouth on dirt and sometimes sand as well. I don't really care, but it has resulted in a few minor issues, he regularly turns the water bowl into a mud pit when he gets a drink after digging because his mouth is packed full of dirt. He also has both choked on a chunk of dirt and pooped out (literally) a small pile of sand, so I make sure to supervise him outside and not let him do it at the beach anymore (the sand must stick to his mouth, because he doesn't intentionally eat it). I have discouraged him from doing it in the past, but he is persistent and I've pretty much given up at this point. On the plus side, it seems that the abrasive nature of the dirt keeps tartar to a minimum, and he "flosses" frequently with grass and roots :)

I had considered that he might be doing it because he smells something down there since he frequently stops and takes deep breaths of the newly dug dirt, but I've never seen him pick anything out to eat, nor have I seen anything alive (or dead), and he does it at pretty much every hole he digs these days so it's not specific to any one area. I would be happier if he stopped, but it's (obviously) very rewarding and not something he's going to give up just for the sake of it. I can't see using aversives for something that's not particularly harmful, just obnoxious. I can keep him out if I'm actively playing with him or there to redirect, but if my attention is elsewhere? Forget it :)





https://youtu.be/ZfebddVV2tc
 

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Our Pin does the same when chasing gophers - digs with his paws, rips and tears sod with this mouth trying to get down the hole. It's what they do. Have some water on hand and all is good. I wouldn't discourage it.
 

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My beagle mix does that a lot. She winds up getting mud stuck in her nose, and sometimes will puke up quite a bit of straight mud, but she doesn't seem to mind and it doesn't actually harm her, so I just let her be. It's a little messy but dogs like to be as messy as possible.
 

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Gopher holes and white fluffy dogs are a nightmare...........but I'm really happy when she gets one..... even if it means I have to hose down her face and feet afterwards!:thumbsup:
And yes, she has also pooped grass!


WHO SEZ POODLES ARE FOO FOO DOGS?.......NOT FOO FOO AT ALL!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's a nice catch! :) We rarely see small rodents because of the large feral cat population in my 'hood. He'd enjoy it but there's not too much hunting to be had, as I discourage him from chasing the rabbits, which are the only smaller furry prey we have. And I feel considerably better that he doesn't puke the dirt back up, I think he doesn't intentionally eat it and it seems to mostly stay stuck in his mouth.

In some of the spots he's digging, I know there aren't any critters because he's hit mud/water while digging (maybe that's what he's smelling for?). He's never flushed a critter out, but it's possible he's chasing them sometimes, though it looks more like he's just trying to tear up as much grass as possible! Thankfully he usually "self cleans" in the water, but I don't let him drink that, he has to wait til we get in the the house to make dirt soup- err... get a drink. Oh well... my favorite part is that he's usually quiet as a mouse while digging dirt- no machine gun barking, no whining, just the quiet ripping sound of the lawn being pulled up, mouthful by mouthful :)
 
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