PDA

View Full Version : OT - Puppy Keeps Digging Under My Fence! UPDATE


auburnchick
03-02-2007, 09:03 PM
Some of you may remember my dd adoptiong a puppy right before her knee surgery a few weeks ago.

Well, alas, this puppy is quite the digger. He has "escaped" to my very understanding neighbor's yard several times. Every time I cover one hole, he digs another a couple of feet away.

I've googled this topic and have a couple of things I am going to try, but I was wondering if any of you have successfully conquered this problem.

One thing that I found suggests putting the puppy's doo in each hole and covering it with dirt. The premise is that dogs don't like the smell of their own waste and won't dig further in this spot. However, I can just picture myself having to dig a "latrine" around the perimeter of my fence. YUCK!

He's a pretty smart little fellow and tends to learn quickly, so one of two things is going to happen:

1) He outsmarts me by continuing to dig in new spots
2) I outsmart him and WIN

Anyhow, thanks for your suggestions.

:muah:

bailsmom
03-02-2007, 09:34 PM
Do you walk him everyday? (Please don't take that as sounding accusatory.) I'm just curious. I'm sure if you don't walk him then that will help the situation. Not cure it, just help it a little bit.

I'm sorry, I don't have too much to offer here, other than it's in their nature? :??

Aren't they great!!! :teehee:

Thank heaven's ours never had the desire to dig.

auburnchick
03-02-2007, 09:38 PM
Do you walk him everyday? (Please don't take that as sounding accusatory.) I'm just curious. I'm sure if you don't walk him then that will help the situation. Not cure it, just help it a little bit.

I'm sorry, I don't have too much to offer here, other than it's in their nature? :??

Aren't they great!!! :teehee:

Thank heaven's ours never had the desire to dig.

No offense taken. ;)

I read that dogs need to be exercised a lot. But I figured that since I have an older dog, they play really hard. I would think he is getting quite a bit of exercise. BUT, he does spend the day in a crate, although either my dh or I go home to let him stretch and pee every three or four hours. I only work six hours a day, so he's not in there too long. Still, I could see the need for exercise.

I really think he's either getting bored or can smell the dog next door and wants to play. They have a doggie door to their house and Pele (my puppy) goes in "unannounced." :teehee:

Silver
03-02-2007, 09:40 PM
Is he neutered? When we had a dog, once we got him fixed, he quit digging all together. It's a territory thing and "natural" males are very prone to exploring, especially if there's a female anywhere in the vicinity.

If you want to keep him natural, you can do a little clever landscaping... lay chicken wire on the ground around the perimeter of the fence. You can tack it down with dirt, but eventually the grass will grow up through it and hold it in place.

That poop in the holes never worked for me. He just found another spot to dig.

auburnchick
03-02-2007, 10:04 PM
Is he neutered? When we had a dog, once we got him fixed, he quit digging all together. It's a territory thing and "natural" males are very prone to exploring, especially if there's a female anywhere in the vicinity.

If you want to keep him natural, you can do a little clever landscaping... lay chicken wire on the ground around the perimeter of the fence. You can tack it down with dirt, but eventually the grass will grow up through it and hold it in place.

That poop in the holes never worked for me. He just found another spot to dig.

He hasn't been neutered yet. He's about four months old. As soon as he's old enough, he will be, though.

I was really, really hoping to avoid doing chicken wire thing. Call me lazy. It just seems like soooo much work!

He only seems to be digging in spots that don't have grass. I thought about buying tufts of sod for these areas, but he'll probably dig right through them...not allowing them to "take."

Oh, and my other dog is a female (spayed).

Braden
03-02-2007, 10:40 PM
I think it is just in their nature.

Knitting_Guy
03-02-2007, 10:44 PM
Check the pet shop or your vet. They sell products like "NO!" for outdoor use. The dogs don't like the smell and won't dig wherever it's been sprayed.

Cayenne pepper has also been known to work but it might be expensive buying enough to cover your fence line.

HamaLee
03-02-2007, 11:03 PM
I can't really offer any advice, but I can sympathize :hug: .

Our second family dog, a female Samoyed adopted from a shelter, took it upon herself to turn our entire yard into a crater park. We tried many of the things mentioned here and they all helped to some degree--but still, she was a hard worker and loathe to give up her pursuits.

When he's old enough (like as soon as he gets all his shots and neutered, I forget when that happens), long leashed walks will help. It's a much more structured exercise for him than playing with another dog (which is still great! especially for socialization). The long walks will help tucker him out and also introduce him to some discipline and whatnot. So all these things will probably help--but as others have said, looks like you've got a digger! :shrug:

I can at least tell you there's probably relief somewhere on the horizon, our dog eventually grew out of digging on her own....when she was oh, 9 or 10 years old :teehee:

auburnchick
03-02-2007, 11:11 PM
Oh gee, thanks. You're REAL encouraging!

I keep hoping that he'll get too big to fit under the fence, but I figure that the holes will probably just get bigger.

I may investigate putting in an invisible fence. We'll see how the dog doo piles work first. ;)

Oh, and Hama, my dog likes yarn -- just like your's. I don't dare leave my stuff sitting around where he can get it. :teehee:

HamaLee
03-02-2007, 11:25 PM
Oh gee, thanks. You're REAL encouraging!

Oh doggies...it's a good thing they're so stinkin' cute!

I happen to be very suspicious of mine at the moment. I have a feeling there's a surprise somewhere in the apartment because pup is currently engaging in his "guilty" behavior...meaning he's cuddling up behind me in the comfy chair and getting all snuggly like an :angelgrin: :whistle:

:nails: :out:

auburnchick
03-02-2007, 11:28 PM
Oh gee, thanks. You're REAL encouraging!

Oh doggies...it's a good thing they're so stinkin' cute!

I happen to be very suspicious of mine at the moment. I have a feeling there's a surprise somewhere in the apartment because pup is currently engaging in his "guilty" behavior...meaning he's cuddling up behind me in the comfy chair and getting all snuggly like an :angelgrin: :whistle:

:nails: :out:

Yes, the cuteness of this puppy has my neighbors forgiving him easily right now.

And I suggest that you allow your nose to lead you...

:roflhard:

Yarnlady
03-03-2007, 08:59 AM
I have a chow and nothing worked until we dug a trench at the base of the fence, dropped in concrete blocks on end and the filled in the trench.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/SamplerLady/th_misc_edited-1.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/SamplerLady/misc_edited-1.jpg)

miccisue
03-03-2007, 09:28 AM
I have a chow and nothing worked until we dug a trench at the base of the fence, dropped in concrete blocks on end and the filled in the trench.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/SamplerLady/th_misc_edited-1.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/SamplerLady/misc_edited-1.jpg)

That would have been my suggestion, or using patio tiles or "Stepping Stones" type things as edging - probably wouldn't have to bury them.......

Jan in CA
03-03-2007, 01:53 PM
I have a chow and nothing worked until we dug a trench at the base of the fence, dropped in concrete blocks on end and the filled in the trench.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/SamplerLady/th_misc_edited-1.jpg (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v478/SamplerLady/misc_edited-1.jpg)

That would have been my suggestion, or using patio tiles or "Stepping Stones" type things as edging - probably wouldn't have to bury them.......

Yep these were all my thoughts about it as well.

auburnchick
03-03-2007, 04:12 PM
Well, this morning I put the dogs out nice and early and went back to sleep. When I woke up an hour and a half later, I could see him sticking his head under the fence...just about through that hole again.

I got on up and filled his latest hole with his dog doo. I watched him later, and he was funny. He went over to it, sniffed at it, walked away, walked back, looked at it, and walked away. This has happened a couple of times today.

A brief respite...how nice... :teehee:

Limey
03-03-2007, 06:09 PM
Hi

Sorry if I missed it but what breed of dog has your daughter got?

Some dogs, such as beagles and spaniels, are scent driven and so pay alot of attention to the niffs neighbouring dogs give off.

Whatever the breed of dog though, he needs excercise - it needn't be too long and taxing for you but a walk around the block or to the park will fill his mind with other sights, sounds and smells.

It's also maybe a good time to introduce some loose leash training and a bit of basic obedience, such as 'sit' and 'stay'; nothing heavy - make it fun for him!

All the best, anyway, with your little Digger.


Limey

(Sam Pup's Mum)

auburnchick
03-03-2007, 07:02 PM
Hi Limey.

Thanks for the feedback.

Pele is a lab-heeler mix. I realize that we should probably take him out for walks. We've just had such a crazy schedule lately, but that would actually be a good thing for both the puppy and my daughter, who could use an easy-paced walk each day to work her knee.

I've already been teaching him some basic commands. He caught on to sit very quickly. I'm working on "stay" and a couple of others. Today I noticed that he is now responding to his name. That's definitely progress given the fact that he was used to a different name (he's adopted from our local animal shelter).

So...one step at a time.

Thanks for all of the suggestions and encouragement. This is just like having a baby again. Gotta re-train myself as well as the little guy. :teehee:

ecb
03-03-2007, 09:34 PM
if you have a good neighbor
the chicken wire is best
you can get cheap tent spikes to hold it down until your grass grows in

If your neighbors are cool, you should overlap under the fence by about a foot
2 - 3 feet into your yard is pleanty
its cheap and it will work for ages
your dog gets its claws caught in the wire 2-3 times and learns but good

we had an English Springer Spaniel, she DUG horribly, my Neigbor did the cinder blocks and lumber along the fence, never worked well enough
but the wire did wonders

the grass gew through it in about a month, and after 9 years it was still somewhat in eveidence (when I dug to plant flowers, I found pieces of rusted out wire) but she would try to dig with me, and STOP as soon as she hit the wire, and would NOT try again

ecb

auburnchick
03-04-2007, 12:27 AM
Thanks, ecb. I will definitely remember this if the dog doo doesn't "do" the job. :teehee:

buddhistcats
07-06-2007, 10:51 AM
Must absolutely have enough exercise and physical and mental stimulation. Neutering may help. I'm not real fond of these but have you considered an electric fence? Good luck.

Ingrid
07-06-2007, 11:51 AM
The solution is right here in this book. Withhold dessert!

LoAnnie
07-06-2007, 12:27 PM
My dog used to dig. She also only dug in dirt spots with no grass (like flower beds). You could try planting, it may work. What worked for us was her poop put in the holes with Tabasco sauce on top, then bury it. Sometimes she does find a new spot, but if we quickly do the same thing to it, she won't dig there anymore. She never digs under the fence though. That would be extremely dangerous in my neighborhood. She has tried the Tabasco, and doesn't like it. I would think cayenne would work about the same. The invisible fence will definitly work, but may be expensive.

LoAnnie

debinoz
07-06-2007, 01:33 PM
We have a yellow lab that loves to dig so we did he chicken wire thing. She doesn't dig anymore, except under the edge of her house. Then she discovered that she could put her paws on top of the fence so it will lean in and she could jump out. I actually have never seen a dog jump that high. We had to add extra fence posts.

Dangles
07-06-2007, 02:40 PM
Cayenne pepper has also been known to work but it might be expensive buying enough to cover your fence line.

Not necessarily. You can be amazed what you find at the dollar store :)

auburnchick
07-06-2007, 05:01 PM
I guess this would be an update...

I wound up purchasing the PetSafe wireless pet containment system (http://www.thepetstoreonline.com/nowifesa.html?gclid=CPrnooXok40CFRE4OAod73z6oA). It was pretty easy to set up and did not require me to dig a trench or install wiring.

Let me tell you...it works great! You put a collar on your dog, and when they go past a certain point (you set up the perimeter), the collar starts beeping. If they continue, they receive a shock. There are several different settings, so you can start out with no shock and raise the level from there. I purchased an extra collar since I have two dogs. One good thing about this system is that it's portable. You can just pick up the box (what emits the transmission) and take it with you whereever you go. I haven't done this, but it's nice to know that if we move, it can go with us.

The first evening of "training" was traumatic for my older dog. She refused to go back into the yard for several days. But the younger one did fine. I managed to coax my older one out by feeding her chicken (per the vet's instructions), and now we don't put the collar on her. But the little one still gets to wear it since he still "forgets" and tests the boundaries.

I know it probably sounds like a cruel method, but it really isn't. Pele, the younger dog, has learned to heed the beeping. He does not get shocked any more. The dogs don't "visit" my neighbors anymore, and we're comfortable leaving them outside together.

HamaLee
07-06-2007, 05:09 PM
:thumbsup:
Aversive stimuli to the rescue! I'm glad your digger responded to it.

I'm certainly a fan of least-to-most teaching and least-restrictive environment behavior modifications, but honestly...sometimes you need to make the jump if the learning process will end up putting your dog's safety at risk (for example...get out of the yard and flattened by a passing car, etc etc).

Most dogs catch on real quick, I bet it took less than a day for Pele to learn how to avoid the shock. My roommate has 3 dogs (yes, we have 4 dogs over 60lbs :rollseyes:) and two of them were causing neighbor tension because they barked all damn day long in the yard. She bought two shock collars for them and it took them less than two hours to realize not-barking would be more fun than getting shocked. Now they continue to wear the collars as a reminder stimulus, but no batteries or anything in it. Still no barking, hooray!

auburnchick
07-06-2007, 05:32 PM
Thanks Hama! It's nice to hear your positive feedback. :muah:

And you're right. Pele learned rather quickly, although we still have to turn the box on. One day I put the collar on him but forgot to turn on the box. Next thing you know, they are under the fence! I was digging sand out of the collar's batteries. Mama is also a quick study. :teehee:

mel.b
07-06-2007, 08:22 PM
Oh gee, thanks. You're REAL encouraging!

I keep hoping that he'll get too big to fit under the fence, but I figure that the holes will probably just get bigger.



LOL...yep, the holes will just get bigger:roflhard: I have an Alaskan Malamute and trust me - the holes get bigger! However as you mentioned, you suspect that your dog is trying to get to the dog next door, which was the case with my girl. She would dig occasionally, but never actually under the fence just down, down, down. Then we got new next door neighbours who had a dog and BAM! She started digging under the fence so she could get next door and play:rofl:

As this was happening in a fairly confined area I was able to put wire in the hole and then refill in, but Chloe (who is too smart for her own good) learnt how to remove the wire from the hole:?? The only real way we found to stop it (or at least prevent escaping) is to put something that is going to continue to move down into the hole and fill it up as the dog digs. For example, if you put a log or rock in the hole, as the dog tries to dig under the rock the rock will keep moving down and prevent the dog from digging. Does that make sense? It worked with Chloe and I no longer worry about her escapin (even though the next door neighbour was more than happy for Chloe to come over for a 'play'!)

Mel.b

JessicaR
07-07-2007, 07:06 PM
I don't seem to understand how the transmitter for the fence knows where the boundaries are. I'm interested in something like that, however, I had heard that if a dog breaks the line with the Invisible Fence that they won't return to the yard. This one sounds like it won't stop unless they do.

auburnchick
07-07-2007, 08:55 PM
The transmitter is actually a small container-like thing that you strategically place somewhere in the center of the area you want to cover. You test out the boundaries by carrying the collar with you, at the dog's neck height. The collar has a battery and some kind of contraption that "communicates" with the transmitter. I guess it's kind of like a radar. You can adjust the transmitter to make the area larger or smaller, according to your needs. We left about a two foot perimeter around the fence, leaving plenty of yard for the dogs to roam about in.

The collar proceeds from beeping to the shock when they near (and pass) the boundary. I think it does shut off eventually, so if the dogs get out and can stand the duration of the shock, they would be out for good. That's where you should adjust the level of shock on the collar itself. You can slowly increase the level if your dog proves to be very stubborn. We have our's set to the second level. The first one did nothing to our bone-headed (errr...loveable) dog.

By increasing the level, the dog doesn't want to remain in that state, so it returns back to safety.

I hope this answers your question.

JessicaR
07-07-2007, 11:20 PM
So it's like a circular perimeter? You can't block off areas like with the in ground stuff?

auburnchick
07-08-2007, 06:51 PM
So it's like a circular perimeter? You can't block off areas like with the in ground stuff?


I guess it is circular. You could move the unit to one end of the house to make it cover a particular area. Or, if you have a larger area, you can use more than one unit to cover different areas.

Arielluria
07-10-2007, 08:18 PM
Bury chicken wire at the base of the fence, he'll give up when his nails get caught and he sees he's not getting anywhere.

Another trick is to put powdered red pepper on the dirt (make it nice and red and thick), it will taste and smell bad to him and he won't want to mess with it. You need to reapply periodically and especially after a rain though.

The best thing are those shocker fences. Make sure you get one that's low voltage for a dog, because there are some for cattle which might be too high and hurt him. I found that was the best thing. No reapplication and no back-breaking work.