Author Topic: Digging in the House - Please Help  (Read 6599 times)

Offline mim

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Digging in the House - Please Help
« on: August 27, 2006, 04:25:50 pm »
I've been reading a lot of helpful information on this site. I haven't been able to find anything specific to digging in the house - violent, relentless, destructive digging.

We adopted our adult Great Pyrenees from a shelter a little over a year ago. I has been a hard year - she was a rescue case and had a hard time adjusting to normal life. She is the best dog, has gained confidence and is happy. Except lately she's developed some bad habits. The worst is the digging in the house. She started doing this some time ago but it has gotten so bad and we can't take it anymore. We're pretty sure she grew up as a farm dog. We live in the city. We keep her very entertained, considering she's a big lazy dog. It's been hot so she hasn't been able to go out as much, maybe this is part of the problem.

The digging is awful. It started out as what looked like nesting - digging in the spots she slept in the house. We'd move her bed and she'd stop. Then she'd start digging in a new spot. She ruined two large areas of hardwood floor when we decided to confine her to the kitchen. She did very well at first. Now, she's a monster! Digging digging digging! Digging the grout out of the tile! Digging the vents out of the floor! We hear her at night and yell. She'll stop for a minute then start right back up again. I've read a lot about the stubborn independent Great Pyrenees, but this is ridiculous. We don't want to go downstairs when she digs because that's what she wants. I can't fall asleep at night knowing there is a destructive monster in my kitchen.

I don't want to move her to the basement all night and all day when we're at work. It's a dungeon down there. I don't want to kennel her because a kennel big enough for her to be confortable in would take up our entire kitchen. My current solution which I'm trying out tonight is socks on her feet. I sewed two socks to a strap that will go around her shoulder blades. We tried socks by themselves, she just pulls them off. This won't prevent the digging but will hopefully save my kitchen temporarily.

What do I do???

SA_horses

  • Guest
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2006, 04:33:46 pm »
Wow!  :o  Hopefully someone here has had experience, because I have never heard of this before.

The only thing I have heard is that with digging outside in unwanted areas, re-direction to a sandbox or a similar designated digging area can help.  I don't know that that would work in your situation, however.

I guess the only other thing I am wondering is if her nails are maybe too long, since she has the ability to be that destuctive?

I hope that you find a solution.  This must be driving you nuts.  :(

Gypsy Jazmine

  • Guest
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2006, 04:51:35 pm »
Is she allowed to dig in the yard?...My Pyrs have a designated digging area in the yard that they use for the most part...If they dig elsewhere they are corrected & redirected to the digging spot...Pyrs dig...They dig Pyr sized holes...It is one of the things that I first mention when explaining the great Pyrenees breed.

chaosndestruction

  • Guest
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2006, 05:09:53 pm »
Oh boy do pyrs ever dig big wholes! I grew up with a Pyr/springer spaniel cross... and she would dig MONSTER holes in our yard...while the great dane watched.

Offline mim

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2006, 01:21:08 pm »
I wish we had a bigger yard for her to dig in. When we take her to my mom's, she digs like a monster. We try to keep the grass in our tiny yard so she can have somewhere to sleep. It really is tiny. I'm sure you all would laugh. There is another Pyr that lives down the street in a high-rise condo. No yard at all! She was raised there from a puppy so has no bad habits. I almost wish we could take our poor girl back to the mountains where she belongs!  :-\

We have her nails trimmed regularly so that can't be it. A squirt bottle would have to be more like a fire hose for her to even feel it or care. And that would require us coming downstairs TO her, which we don't want to do. We don't want to give her any attention for bad behavior. And it's really hard to be mad at her when she hears you coming and greets you with a big Pyr smile and wagging tail.

Last night she wore the socks/harness thing I sewed together. It was off in the morning. We put it on her again when we left for work and she must have been sleepy because it was still on when we got home from work. Then we noticed the huge claw holes in the socks where her claws had come through!!! What a monster!!

Someone here has to have a solution!! Please?

Offline NoDogNow

  • Grand Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 601
    • View Profile
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2006, 01:35:55 pm »
To be honest, I think you're just going to have to give up the grass.  Teach her that she's allowed to dig outside only.

And you'll probably have to put her in the basement with a bunch of toys while you're at work.  If you give her a couple of frozen kongs and some toys to play with, and buy a thrift store couch for her to lay on, she won't mind the basement a bit! ;)
Sheryl, Dogless and sad

Offline mim

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2006, 01:51:38 pm »
What is a frozen kong? I know what a kong is, but why frozen?

And, do Pyrs play with toys? Our girl has no interest. She rarely even plays with other dogs at the dog park. She'll play with a ball maybe once every other month. Sometimes if she has a half-eaten bone in the yard she'll throw it in the air. Then she's done and goes flat in the grass to sleep. She must think she's retired!

bigdogs@5501

  • Guest
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2006, 02:18:09 pm »
So no way she could be upstairs with you guys at nite? Maybe this is an obsessive compulsive type thing? My 2 pups would dig to china if thier attention span was not so short. And they are allowed to dig when they are in the enclosure- but again- they lose interest and go and do something else. My Pyrs also love thier stuffed toys and one of them is compulsive about jerking the stuffing out of each and every one of them. I wondered about her sleeping upstairs with you because of what you said about her reaction to getting you to come downstairs. The older Pyr we have is quiet content to sleep beside my bed. One of the younger girls sleeps on my bed and the other has to sleep in front of her fan.

Offline mim

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2006, 02:40:53 pm »
Stella doesn't do stairs very well. She's afraid of them. She'll do a small flight of 5 or 6, but our old house has a long looming staircase from the first floor to the second straight up with no turns. We tried at first to coax her up but quickly realized it wasn't going to happen. I'm almost glad because I'd worry she would fall when we're gone. She can be very clumsy. Sometimes she'll take the back deck steps to the yard at a run and miss the last few.

I also wonder if the digging is a mental thing. Because of her background she is afraid of everything. It took a long time for her to get used to people, other dogs, cars, trash cans, strollers, bikes, etc. She has weird bursts of anxiety. Which is mostly unusual because she is so mellow all the time. We've tried lots of toys but she just looks at us like "are you kidding?" and then goes on her merry way.

Kiahpyr

  • Guest
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2006, 02:46:16 pm »
I'm so sorry you are going through this. Must be very frustrating for you. Have you tried rescue remedy? It's herbal and is for anxiety in animals as well as humans. Has for the kong fill it with peanut butter and freeze it overnight. This way it takes the dog longer to get the peanut butter out. Another thing to try is a treat ball. You put her favorite small treats in it and she'll have to move it around to get them out.

Offline kab416

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • 2 Saint Bernards - Henry (2.5yrs) and Darcy(1.5yr)
    • View Profile
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2006, 01:48:47 am »
We haven't had a problem with digging in the house, but we were having other destructive issues with our female saint.  She was chewing on everything when we left, even if there were two bones and ten toys to play with.  The only thing that helped the situation was exercise.  Once we started taking her on two long walks a day, the behavioral stuff started to dissipate.

I hope you can figure something out though, because its enough to drive a person crazy!  Good Luck!

cricket36580

  • Guest
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2006, 01:56:40 am »
Sounds obsessive compulsive to me too.  And I'm sorry but there isn't going to be a hard and fast rule to correct the problem.  I agree, you're gonna have to give up the grass.  The up side to that is when you move you can always go get sod from the sod farm for little to free.  Ok, I was trying to find an up note here...  Long walks are also going to be a requirement.  Obviously she has some serious energy to expend, even if it's in short bursts.  And treat balls too.  And the basement. 

They're wonderful dogs but every so often the cat genes kick in and make you crazy.  Good luck.

Gypsy Jazmine

  • Guest
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2006, 03:24:32 am »
I forgot to add that you need to make sure she is getting exercised so she is tired at the end of the day...A couple of nice walks a day & some playtime in the yard should do it because typically Pyrs aren't high energy...Howev er, lol, I have a 6 month old Pyr girl that you'd swear was a Lab!...She is like the energizer bunny! :-\ :D

Offline mim

  • Gnawer
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2006, 04:50:41 pm »
We walk her long and hard and wear her out at the dog park. She's SO lazy. It's hard to get her moving sometimes. Dogs will be running in circles around her and she'll just be standing there watching. Sometimes if we hang out downstairs too long she'll start getting crabby, wanting us to go upstairs so she can have peace and quiet to sleep. Not much later we can hear her snoring from upstairs. Sounds like Darth Vader!

Now that it's getting cooler outside I'm hoping that she'll have more energy to play harder so she'll have less energy to dig our kitchen tile up.

Frozen kong is an awesome idea, I'll pass that along to my sister. Her German Shephard mix is a chewer. But I know Stella would take one look at that and say "You must be kidding. I have no time for that." Her day is booked solid with SLEEPING.  :D

I'm looking at these boots. Has anyone ever tried these? Or something similar?
http://www.shop.com/op/aprod-p37583245-k24-g4-~Paw+Tectors+Paw+Protectors-nover?sourceid=3

Offline greek4

  • Majestic Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 966
  • Kole with Maia, Baxter, Rocco, and Cody
    • View Profile
Re: Digging in the House - Please Help
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2006, 04:09:48 am »
Rocco digs my floor and carpet in the kitchen before he lays down, he has yet to do damage.  When I hear him do it I just yell "no" and he stops and lays down.  I crate my guys in the basement during the day so I don't know if he would do it when I am not there.  I think it is just one of those quirks that some dogs will have.  I agree with giving her plenty of stuff to do.

My dogs will chew on a raw bone for hours for days straight if I let them.
Thanks,

Emily and 1 husband, 1 boy, 1 on the way, and 4 crazy dogs