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My husband is fed up with my white GSD. He's a lovely old soul (though not yet 2 years old) but he is a MESS. We live in a not-very-big city lot, fully fenced. He likes to dig, and to run along the fence line looking at people and other dogs. Between the dirt from digging, wear on the grass from pacing at the fence and the snow melting, our yard is a DISASTER. Which means the dog is muddy. Which means our floors and children are a mess... It's a cycle.

We had been planning to use part of our tax return to have our yard leveled out and new sod put down (wasn't a gorgeous lawn to begin with when we moved in last summer) but my husband says he doesn't want to bother fixing the lawn "when the dog is going to tear it up anyway." That really is not an option. Our neighborhood is a pretty one. The neighbors all take good care of their homes and put thought into their landscaping. So our lawn being a disaster on such a pretty street makes it look a hundred times worse. Right now I'm thinking my options are A) get the lawn done and don't let the dog have freedom in it. Not a great choice for him because he would have supervised potty breaks and be brought right back inside unless we were playing outside anyway and could supervise him. I don't wanna do that to him. B) Put up a dog kennel in the back yard and that can be his outdoor space when he's not supervised. Again, not ideal. He's a 90 pound guy. Also, I don't know if he would potty in a kennel. I'd have to put rubber mats down or something to keep it from getting muddy and I cannot imagine he'd poop on that.

Please advise. I want to keep my dog! And I especially don't want the KIDS to lose their dog. But I can't let this become a regular problem in my marriage either.
 

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I suggest a double row of patio stones as edging around the fence.The digging is a training issue.You will have to supervise in order to correct that.
 

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I have a large yard but with the moles and all the melting snow turning the clay ground soft, my dogs love to dig. So that means no unsupervised play in the yard.

I have seen a video where someone got a large rubber feeding trough and put a couple of bags of sand into it. It seemed to work well for their dog.
 

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Pacing, you see that in the zoo with animals who cannot do anything else anymore and it has turned OCD. Do not leave him in the yard by himself and interact with him when he is there. He is wired for it. Being alone in a yard with nothing else to do can turn him into a fence fighter and bark-a-holic at everything he sees as this is the only entertainment for him. Take him places. He has cabin fever and is bored and that is not good for a working dog.
 

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Initially I was always facing this issue but I trained it. This is basically a dog psyche issue. You need to train it in order to solve this digging issue. My husband recommended me a dog training brain training for dogs and it also had the information on how to solve digging issues in dogs. It might also help you. Just stay focused.
 

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I wouldn’t leave the dog unsupervised in the yard. I don’t know how else you would solve it if you’re not out there redirecting or correcting.

My dogs are never outside without me. I have a six foot privacy fence and I still never let them out alone. So mine never developed this behavior.

However, I grew up with Huskies so I feel your pain.
 

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I vote to get rid of the unempathetic husband, the dog would be happier, you would be happier and the kids can keep their dog.
dogs do what dogs do. they're not always clean and perfect. Husband needs to stop complaining and be a part of the solution that doesn't include threats to get rid of a 'supposed' family member. Geesh!
 

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I'm on my 7th GSD, and all I can say is dogs and a nicely landscaped yard just don't go together. At my new place, I have solved the problem by fencing off part of the yard for the dogs. Unfortunately, there's a garden along the house at one end of it. The temperature got above freezing the other day, and BOTH dogs decided they just HAD to dig! There are holes close to 2 ft. deep at each end of the garden.

For fence-runners, patio stones will work, but the only sure cure is supervise, supervise supervise, and train them not to do the behaviours you don't want.
 
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