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I have a dog that I adopted almost 2 months ago. He is somewhere near 1yo give or take a month or two. He is a mutt, but looks a bit like a lab and as my vet and I speculated dutch shepherd (beautiful brindle coat) Clover is a bit of a digger. I understand that he needs distractions in the day while I am not home and am working on different ideas to entertain him and I also try to give him lots of exercise but I would like to try some more deterrents also. So far I have tried burying his feces in the holes, now I am trying vinegar. Any ideas? Anybody have success teaching a dog to use a sand box? I do not correct him for digging because I do not know what the best correction is yet, but I do try to distract him from it. I take him to the beach and allow him to dig there, is that too confusing for him?



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I have a dog that I adopted almost 2 months ago. He is somewhere near 1yo give or take a month or two. He is a mutt, but looks a bit like a lab and as my vet and I speculated dutch shepherd (beautiful brindle coat) Clover is a bit of a digger. I understand that he needs distractions in the day while I am not home and am working on different ideas to entertain him and I also try to give him lots of exercise but I would like to try some more deterrents also. So far I have tried burying his feces in the holes, now I am trying vinegar. Any ideas? Anybody have success teaching a dog to use a sand box? I do not correct him for digging because I do not know what the best correction is yet, but I do try to distract him from it. I take him to the beach and allow him to dig there, is that too confusing for him?

The sand box is a great idea...also keep redirecting him from digging...its much easier tho if you had the box up and you could take him there and tellhim to dig since thats what he really wants to do.

Bury toys in it and show him they are in there, you may have to dig in there with him at first. :)



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I actually saw the sand box thing on "It's Me or the Dog". They buried toys in the sand box so the dogs had something to dig for.
 

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It depends on if you are happy with the redirected digging as a solution or not. As a behaviorist I would rather attempt to eliminate the behavior first. the best correction to use is a verbal command that is not a word. Victoria uses a loud "AAH AAH!" Ceaser uses "TCSSHH!" I use both depending on how far away I am from the dog. AAH AAH at a distance, TCSSHH! if im close. If the dog is resistant to your redirections then you might decide that the "sandbox" idea is an acceptable solution. However, most dogs dig out of boredom or anxiety. You might try and enrich the environment in the backyard first, or consider a playmate for Clover.
 

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It depends on if you are happy with the redirected digging as a solution or not. As a behaviorist I would rather attempt to eliminate the behavior first. the best correction to use is a verbal command that is not a word. Victoria uses a loud "AAH AAH!" Ceaser uses "TCSSHH!" I use both depending on how far away I am from the dog. AAH AAH at a distance, TCSSHH! if im close. If the dog is resistant to your redirections then you might decide that the "sandbox" idea is an acceptable solution. However, most dogs dig out of boredom or anxiety. You might try and enrich the environment in the backyard first, or consider a playmate for Clover.


haha, ok, im game...


You are describing corrections and no reward markers not redirections.

how does that prevent the behavior when the dog is unsupervised? The dog now associates the correction with the owner. If the owner is not present and the behavior continues uncorrected then it is reinforced.

I wouldn't call it redirection in the long term, sure you are redirecting to teach the behavior, but in the end the behavior is modified and the original behavior (digging elsewhere in the yard) is extinguished.


Are you certified? If so with whom?



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I do not correct him for digging because I do not know what the best correction is yet,
This was addressed by this part of my comment

Buckleysdad said:
the best correction to use is a verbal command that is not a word. Victoria uses a loud "AAH AAH!" Ceaser uses "TCSSHH!" I use both depending on how far away I am from the dog. AAH AAH at a distance, TCSSHH! if im close.
This was my suggestion to help stop the digging

Buckleysdad said:
However, most dogs dig out of boredom or anxiety. You might try and enrich the environment in the backyard first, or consider a playmate for Clover.
Sorry, if I wasn't that clear... I'll try to be more specific if I post here again. I'll admit I should have proof read my comment more thoroughly before I posted.

My Main problem with the sandbox is that it doesn't completely address why dogs dig. Boredom, Anxiety, or to find a cooler spot to lay down, if its warm outside. By enriching the environment (including a sandbox if you want) you can reduce boredom, anxiety, and you can give your pup a cool place to lay down.
 

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It is my impression that the problem is occuring when the OP is home AND when they are gone.

You are absolutely correct about the possibility that the dog is bored. Of course its equally possible that the dog just wants to dig, simply because he wants too. If hes doing it in the OPs presence during interactions hes probably not bored.

how does that prevent the behavior when the dog is unsupervised? The dog now associates the correction with the owner. If the owner is not present and the behavior continues uncorrected then it is reinforced.

I wouldn't call it redirection in the long term, sure you are redirecting to teach the behavior, but in the end the behavior is modified and the original behavior (digging elsewhere in the yard) is extinguished.


Are you certified? If so with whom?
I'd still love to hear your answers to these. :)



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