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My Border Collie is digging the grand canyon...

Discussion in 'Woof Memorial Critter's Corner' started by IndyGunFreak, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    First and foremost....

    Excellent dog, about 10mo old, plays with the nephews, never worry about biting, housebroke easily, etc. A little hyper, but I'm hoping he'll eventually grow out of that(yes he's fixed). Unfortunately from a lot of things I read, that may not be the case..lol.

    One minor issue, this dog digs, A LOT. My backyard looks like a minefield..lol. Most of the holes are around 4-5in deep, and about the same diameter. However, he's dug quite a few out there, a couple of them are at least a 1.5ft, and probably a foot in diameter. It doesn't appear he's digging/burying, he just digs holes, and thats it.

    I sometimes work long hours, so on occasion, he's outside for a while(in a doghouse), before I get home. When I get home, he's inside. I'm thinking part of this might be boredom. I've been off work for the most part here the last few weeks w/ a broken ankle, and for the most part, it seems digging new holes has stopped, but he's been inside a lot because I've been home.

    Probably unrelated, the dog is allergic to grass. Took a few vets to figure this out, eventually though, they got it under control with shots, and 1 Benadryl in the evening keeps him from breaking out in hives. Unless his master plan to rid my backyard of grass, I don't think this is related.

    Any ideas?

    IGF
     
  2. lethal tupperwa

    lethal tupperwa

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    fill the hole with water and put his nose in it.



    Or




    since he learns quickly, catch him digging and tell him NO!!!

    Do it when he Starts to dig. Add a disapproving look and let him know that You don't like that behaviour.

    Dogs key off your attitude.
     

  3. sdsnet

    sdsnet NRA Member CLM

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    A similar thing happened with my lab years ago. Filling the holes with water and dunking his head in the water stopped it.
     
  4. Dandapani

    Dandapani

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    Brisk 45 minutes walks daily. (Haven't you watched the Dog Whisperer? You have a working breed dog. He needs a job - frisbee chasing, herding ducks, something, and daily walks to bleed off all that energy. Gotta treadmill?)
     
  5. 220-9er

    220-9er

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    +1 on the exercise advice.
    I have owned a Border Collie & she was a great dog. However they do need a lot to keep them busy or they will find something. Holes in the back yard are not the worst way they could channel their energy.
     
  6. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    He gets walked fairly regularly, although since I've broken my ankle, walks haven't been to regular. Unfortunately telling him "no" isn't an option, as he usually does it while I'm at work. I've never caught him digging a hole, ever. Thats why I figured it was probably just boredom.

    A treadmill, now thats interesting. Never thought of that. Pretty comical when I think about my dog on my treadmill..lol.

    220, I have really no serious complaints about the dog, the hole digging is just an annoyance. You're right, there's a lot worse things he could be doing than digging holes.

    I might try the water trick and see what happens....

    Any other suggestions, feel free.

    IGF
     
  7. Blinky

    Blinky Rocket Surgeon

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    Is there a reason he can't be inside while you're at work?

    And yes, Your dog is bored out of his mind and has a lot of pent up energy. He needs a good long walk (45-60 min) in the morning and evening. Supplement that with time on the treadmill and play time and that should solve the problem.

    If you are pressed for time the treadmill is great idea. It gives you to option to take the dog on a short 15-30 min walk and then put him on the treadmill while you are getting ready for work/dinner.

    I would skip the water "trick". It's the same principal as rubbing your dogs nose in his crap if he makes a mistake in the house. Just a dumb idea all the way around.

    eta: I'm talking about a proper walk too. There is a right and wrong way to walk a dog.
     
  8. Try having one English Shepherd and two Dachshunds in your backyard. The ES digs the initial hole, the the doxies tunnel it.
     
  9. 220-9er

    220-9er

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    Does the dog have plenty of chew toys or other things that might help keep him busy?
    Our living room sometimes looks like the Elephants Graveyard with so many Nylabones but it has minimized other bad behaviors by keeping our indoor herd busy while we are gone.
     
  10. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Other than when I housebroke him, I broke him to go outside, and sometimes I work as long as 12-16hrs in a day, I don't think it'd be reasonable to expect the dog to hold it that long. Besides that, the dog is in to EVERYTHING..., and the house would be a wreck by the time I got home. Thats really secondary though as I could work on "dog proofing" the house. The bigger issue, is my hours are very unpredicable. I may work a normal 8hr day, may work 12-16...

    I like the treadmill idea, especially until my ankle heals. I try to walk him in the mornings before work, usually around 30min. Its sporadic though, definitely not every day. At night, even on the short days, I'm to tired to take him out. I like the treadmill idea, I might try that. As for toys, this dog has more ropes for tug of war, throw toys, etc, than alot of dogs I see.

    I've gotten good ideas from this thread, I appreciate everyones response.

    IGF
     
  11. David Machen

    David Machen

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    I currently own two border collies. Great dogs. My first dug up my yard...until I fugured out she was bored. Got a second one and the problem was solved. I also determined that two bc's are better than one.

    Another benefit...they will hunt as a pack. My girls keep my yard squirrel and marmot free.
     
  12. Tazlima

    Tazlima

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    Just a bit of additional info about the toys. It's not just the number of toys a dog has that will keep it interested but the variety. If you have a bunch of toys, put some of them in your closet. Then you can switch them out occasionally. That keeps the toys from getting boring. Believe me, when you pull that old raggedy toy out of the closet after a couple of weeks, the dog will act like it's brand new from the store.

    Also chews (like rawhide) offer a different sort of chewing satisfaction from toys. I've learned the hard way that if I don't supply something for the dogs at my house to chew on, they'll find something. One of them is also an anxiety chewer. The solution? They each get a rawhide right before I leave for work. By evening the rawhides have vanished (no matter how big they are), but the house is intact. Sometimes I'll switch the rawhide out for hooves or a new toy, but something about toys that are also food really appeals to my dogs. (Reminds me of candy necklaces and ring pops when I was a kid).
     
  13. w30olds

    w30olds My cats breath smells like cat food

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    We own a Border Collie as well. She was a handful as a pup. She's 2 now and has began to mellow out some. She was a digger also, but we got her a buddy to pass the time with. Since then the digging has basically gone away. We now have 3 dogs. 2 German Shepherds and our collie. They all get along great and keep each other company. The digging, bad behavior is a thing of the past. Being able to burn up energy with her buddies has helped tons.

    Collies are scary smart. When she was a loner she found ways out of the fence and left us scratching our heads in disbelief. I think she had a map of the yard hidden somewhere that showed the weak spots in the fence. That and a rope to scale over the top. Just give them plenty of exercise and things to keep them occupied. Maybe look into getting him a buddy to pass the time with. It will help greatly.
     
  14. BishopA.P.

    BishopA.P. Member

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    Since you don't want grass anyway, how about building a giant sandbox!

    Hold the dog's nose underwater? Do you people work for the CIA?!
     
  15. mufasa1023

    mufasa1023

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    some good advice in here....I would go with get a second dog....

    the dogs will keep eachother company and will almost certainly help clear up the digging problem...add to that the exercise and toy ideas and you're good to go

    the thing about getting a second dog is that they are twice the love for half the work....you already have to let one dog out to piddle how much more effort to do it for two dogs? virtually none....minimal increase in effort to exercise with proper equipment....food costs increases but since you're already buying it just buy twice as much etc etc

    buying the second dog was the wisest dog decision we made this time around

    oh...and since this is a BC we are talking about take some time to teach him/her a job....fetching the newspaper, cleaning up dirty clothes, transporting objects between rooms for your comfort (use a dog friendly bucket to put the thing in and teach him to carry the bucket to somebody else) or if all else fails teach him to perform a seemingly arbitrary task while you are gone just to keep him occupied....such as spreading 50 tennis balls around the yard and teaching him to pick them all up?

    but really get the second dog :thumbsup: