We got a Mixed Lab from the pound a couple months ago and it has begun digging in the yard. It takes 15 minute breaks out there so it's not a matter of long boring excursions (our fenced yard offers plenty of entertainment besides...rabbits, squirels, etc.) I've tried watching from a window to correct him immediately, but of course it NEVER happens while I'm on duty.
What drives them to this behavior?
Any way to stop this besides babysitting him, which hasn't worked yet?
Les
1 2
Any way to stop this besides babysitting him, which hasn't worked yet?

With the one digger I had, I encouraged her to dig in a mutually agreeable area.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
We got a Mixed Lab from the pound a couple months ago and it has begun digging in the yard. ... duty. What drives them to this behavior? Any way to stop this besides babysitting him, which hasn't worked yet? Les

I seem to recall reading it helps to mix up a portion of the dirt with sand (for easy digging), and distribute chew toys through various layers of the 'allowed digging area' (the sandbox, basically) so the dog is rewarded for digging there, instead of elsewhere. Make sure some of the toys stick out of the ground, so the dog has a hint to start there.
We got a Mixed Lab from the pound a couple months ago and it has begun digging in the yard. ... on duty. What drives them to this behavior? Any way to stop this besides babysitting him, which hasn't worked yet?

Digging is FUN. It's great exercise. Moles, voles, all sorts of things may intrigue a dog to dig.
Apparently, 15 minutes is as long as it takes for your dog to be bored by the fun rabbits, squirrels, etc (they leave pretty quickly and then there's nothing to play with!). I can't think of why I'd need my dogs to be outside for 15 minutes without supervision, but one would get really bored and bark to come in, the other would just hang out - different dogs.
You can teach an approved digging spot, but that means you need to be out there and training. General obedience training is a good idea as well.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
I can't think of why I'd need my dogs to be outside for 15 minutes without supervision, but one would get really bored and bark to come in, the other would just hang out - different dogs.

Statements like this have always confused me. Maybe it's a breed thing, I don't know. My sighthounds aren't big on spending a lot of time outside; they run around, race each other to the back fence, bark at squirrels and neighbor dogs, and they're done. When the weather starts to get nice, I make them stay outside for a while so they can get some sun. The huskies, on the other hand, are another matter. Snow or sun, they want to stay outside for hours. Am I supposed to sit out there and watch them?
I don't get what's wrong with dogs being outside in a fenced yard by themselves.
Mustang Sally
I don't get what's wrong with dogs being outside in a fenced yard by themselves.

Nothing, although I don't leave dogs out if I'm not home. I just don't force them to stay outside "for their own good" - it doesn't make sense to me.
When I was a little kid, we played OUTSIDE, period. If it started to rain, we were told to stand under the overhang. Now, I see the benefit in outdoor activity for all beings, but geez..

Lucy doesn't like being outside for long without humans. I don't make her stay out to get "sun and fresh air". I like going out with her, playing, training, doing yard work, whatever. She likes being inside with me, and there's no reason for her not to be. Franklin OTOH, loves being outside, prefers humans too, but is happy to stay out on his own. *I* don't need him to though, so how much time he spends out there varies.
One day, while having flooring work done, I had the cats shut in a room and the dogs gated upstairs with me. It was a lovely day. so I left the door to the deck open (since cats weren't on the loose - they stay IN 24/7 BTW). Both dogs went out, then Lucy came back in, went to my bedroom and napped. Franklin napped on the deck, came in once in awhile to check on me, then back out of the deck. I check on dogs in the yard if they're out on their own - not going out with them, but look through the window.
To your question "why is there a problem with dogs outside on their own?", I'd counter with "why is it a problem to have dogs in the house?" A matter of personal preference on the part of dog and human. If I had a dog destroying the yard, it wouldn't be a hard choice.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
When the weather starts to get nice, I make them stay outside for a while so they can get some sun. The huskies, on the other hand, are another matter. Snow or sun, they want to stay outside for hours.

when it's warm and dry, harriet wants to live outside. she would spend all day basking on the front deck if i let her. in cooler weather, elliott's the one who wants to stay outside.
Am I supposed to sit out there and watch them? I don't get what's wrong with dogs being outside in a fenced yard by themselves.

as long as someone is home, the fence is secure, and the dogs are checked on regularly, i don't think it's automagically a bad thing. it's a quality of life trade-off. my dogs are often happier putzing around outside by themselves. it makes them happy and they're reasonably safe doing it, so i usually let them. under different circumstances, or with different dogs, i might not.

shelly
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
http://cat-sidh.blogspot.com /
http://letters-to-esther.blogspot.com / (updated 4/3/05)
in thread Janet B (Email Removed) whittled the following words:
We got a Mixed Lab from the pound a couple ... to stop this besides babysitting him, which hasn't worked yet?

Digging is FUN. It's great exercise. Moles, voles, all sorts of things may intrigue a dog to dig. Apparently, 15 ... but one would get really bored and bark to come in, the other would just hang out - different dogs.

I can. It was a gorgeous day outside yesterday. I left the kitchen door open so the dogs could come and go as they pleased while I did some painting. (Helps to fumigate paint fumes too)
The two elkhounds spent most of the day playing/wrestling and generally sniffing around. They spent time basking in the sun. Had I forced them to be with me, they would have been sitting on the floor with me. I feel their unsupervised voluntary outside time was far more beneficial to them than being forced to mommy sit while i tried to keep them out of the paint.. JMO
Nothing, although I don't leave dogs out if I'm not home. I just don't force them to stay outside "for their own good" - it doesn't make sense to me.

I don't leave dogs out when I'm not home either. That's a safety issue. And I don't force them to stay outside, but I didn't think that was what we were talking about. You said you couldn't think why your dogs would need to be outside for 15 minutes, and I'm having trouble seeing why that's such a long period of time for dogs to be outside.
Lucy doesn't like being outside for long without humans. I don't make her stay out to get "sun and fresh ... stay out on his own. *I* don't need him to though, so how much time he spends out there varies.

I don't need my dogs to stay outside either, including my huskies. But if they prefer to be outside on a given day, I don't see a problem with letting them have their way on that issue. When I'm home, those that prefer to be inside with me are welcome to be inside with me. Those that prefer to be outside for whatever period of time are welcome to be outside. I don't see that preference as a measure of how much they like humans, or of their devotion to me.
I check on dogs in the yard if they're out on their own - not going out with them, but look through the window.

Yeah, I do that too.
To your question "why is there a problem with dogs outside on their own?", I'd counter with "why is it a problem to have dogs in the house?"

Why is there an assumption that it's a problem for the dogs to be in the house? If a person is leaving the dog out because the dog wants to be out, then the person isn't putting the dog out because he/she doesn't want the dog in the house, right? I just don't see why there's an implication that dogs that choose to be outside are necessarily put outside to get them out of the way.

Mustang Sally
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