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Old 11-19-2012, 06:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Any Ideas?

I have a 5 yr old WGSD mostly an outdoor dog because I take care of my 87 yr old mother and have to respect her wishes. Any way I got pretty sick myself here awhile back and didn't spend much time outdoors with Hope. (Dogs name)
She did fine, but now that I'm feeling better and spending time outdoors Hope has developed some issues that I don't understand. At night she barks at nothing (I can tell by her tone) and when I go to the door to correct her she acts like she knows she's doing something she shouldn't, and after a couple times she quits. Also she has 2 dog houses with a canopy built between them for shade, she has started to dig there, I'm talking 2 ft x 1 1/2 ft deep. When I go outside after she has dug, she knows she's in trouble and keeps a distance but also acts very proud of herself. I tried putting a concrete block in the hole before filling it back in but that didn't work. Although I'd have loved to watch her pull that block out of there LOL. I even had someone suggest pouring household ammonia in the hole before filling it back in, didn't help. I haven't gotten all my strength back yet from my illness and it takes all I have in my tank to fill in the hole. I've always been pretty good at dealing with my dogs and their quirks but this has me puzzled. Any ideas?
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Old 11-19-2012, 07:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like boredom. Can you pay someone to exercise her a few times a week?
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
It sounds like boredom. Can you pay someone to exercise her a few times a week?
Well like I said I could understand it if it would have happened when I was under the weather, and not spending time with her, but I have to build my strength back up, so we have been walking and playing like before. So why now when everything is getting back to normal?
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You've got a lot on your plate taking care of your mom and having been sick.

I also suggest more exercise for Hope.

As far as the digging, have you caught her in the act and corrected her? My dogs like to dig as well, and I keep a close eye on them to prevent it. I WOULD NOT recommend pouring ammonia in the dirt where she digs because this could poison your pup :c

I'm glad you're correcting her for barking. I think she'll get it if you keep at it. Try giving her a command such as 'quiet' and then rewarding her for not barking after a few minutes. Repeat so she understands why she is being rewarded.

Also, have you tried clicker training?

Last edited by Zeeva; 11-20-2012 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback all. It's almost like she's saying, "I was good while you were sick, now you owe me extra time" LOL Before if she barked it was because someone was close to the yard, and you could tell how close they were by her bark, so it's not like her barking was out of control before. Hopefully as things are getting back to normal, she will too. I decided to build a floor where she was digging, and since she only digs in one place, we'll see what happens.

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Old 11-21-2012, 03:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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GSDs are people dogs. They don't like living outdoors, apart from their humans.
Especially if she was inside before.
She's not retaliating, she's bored and needs outlets for her energy and her affection for you.
Give her stuffed kongs, have someone exercise her, etc. as others said.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The timing could be a fitness thing, at least in part. If she was lazing around while you were sick and now she's starting to get more exercise as you spend more time outdoors, she may be getting more fit and thus have more energy to spend, so now the boredom is showing up. Dogs get fitter a lot quicker than we do, particularly when we've been ill.

I agree with the others that those are classic boredom behaviors. Whatever the reason, I expect that she's understimulated. Hiring a dog walker or doing more obedience and other less physically intense but still mentally stimulating exercises might help. Correction won't do much good if she's bouncing off the walls with excess energy and nothing to do (and a bored dog can cause destruction in virtually any environment), so I'd focus on providing her more mental stimulation and/or exercise rather than coming up with creative ways to fill in the hole.
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