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Kohl is three years old... He is just now starting to dig in our yard.. How do I make this stop ASAP? He is also eating the sod..

Thanks!
 

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Personally I would watch him while he is out there and correct his behavior. Tell him no or keep him on long line so you can control his digging until he knows this is not okay at all.
You can put stuff on the parts he is digging, like cyanne pepper or bitter apple. Some people have even had success with putting poop in the holes or places they dig.
 

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Sounds like he's bored. If he's not after a critter (mole), digging is entertainment. I would make sure he's getting tons of exercise daily. Dog-tired dobies don't dig.
 

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I agree with both Sooz and D&D. I know when my girl is bored, she would become destructive. Keeping them well exercise has helped out termendously. We have atleast 30 to 45 minutes of heavy duty play each day....and that does the trick. I wouldn't let him be unsupervised until he learns its not proper to dig. My girl would pull out chunks of grass and just stare at me like, "What?". I have done both things mention above and it worked for us.
 

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My girl has just started digging too. We are in a new house (location) and she has just stated that. Thanks for the advice. Will try.
 

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I have had good results puting dog poo in the holes I don't want them digging. This works for all four of my dogs.

I don't think bitter apple or cayene pepper would work for my guys. My dogs eat green apples off the tree and habernero peppers off my pepper plants.
 

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Sooz said:
Sounds like he's bored. If he's not after a critter (mole), digging is entertainment. I would make sure he's getting tons of exercise daily. Dog-tired dobies don't dig.

That's for sure! My Apollo started digging in the backyard where there is a rock (maybe he thinks it can lead him to china, who knows). Yet when I walk him his 2 mile sometimes more walk, there's no more digging :cool2:
 

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Toro has really made some craters in my front lawn...

I walk him 2 miles every night and that seems to curb the digging thing. Yeah, a bored Dobe is a naughty Dobe..
 

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I would have to agree with the exercise part will help. Before my girl was one, she would pull chunks of grass up. If we did some strenous playing or exercising, it curbed it pretty quick. I know I have a fetching/catching monster that we have to have atleast an half hour or more of this a day, but it keeps her mind off of digging. No problems with it since she learned to catch frisbees.
 

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Rebel73 said:
I walk him 2 miles every night and that seems to curb the digging thing. Yeah, a bored Dobe is a naughty Dobe..
I have a digging issue with my 8 month old Dobe. We rescued him 6 days ago. It does seem to be boredom that triggers it. However, exercise has been no cure. We take a brisk 3-mile walk every morning and night (with me leading and him following at my side). That's 6 miles a day!! Plus, he gets plenty of fetch time as well. I added a doggie backpack with a 5-lb. weight on each side to make him burn off a little more energy, but he still digs and barks a bit excessively in the yard when we're not there to entertain him. Is my problem different since he is still in the "puppy" stage?
 

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OK, I'll jump in here...Eph94, I don't think it's really any different. He sounds lonely and bored, and you cannot exercise that out of them. This is not a "blob" breed that's content to lay around outside for hours and do nothing. Dobies need company and constant mental stimulation, even (especially) as a puppy. Good for you for rescuing a dog and kudos on the exercise routine, but...and I mean no offense, but if you got him planning to leave him alone outside while you're away at work or wherever, this was not the best choice for you or him. JMHO. Perhaps you could make him a sand pit and bury some bones/toys in it to hold his interest for a little while, but he will eventually lose interest in that with no one around and return to barking and digging and other yet-to-be-discovered destructive behavior simply out of loneliness and boredom. Perhaps others have a different take on it or better suggestions.
 

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Mental stimulation is needed just as much as physical. You could try practicing obedience exercises, with them, or teach them tricks. We taught our dog to airscent for fetch. We take him to an area and one of us distracts him while the other throws his stick and then we point him in the right direction and tell him to 'go find', then he needs to use his nose and his head to find the stick, it's a great way to have them exercise their minds as well as bodies.

Here is a link on how to train for this if anyone is interested:

http://www.canadiansearchdogs.com/games.htm
 

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I would suggest you give him a place that is acceptable to dig and when you see him trying to dig anywhere but there take and show him where he can do this. Also you can lay chicken wire staked down over the ground where he is trying to dig to stop that and the poop also works well.
 

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Sooz said:
He sounds lonely and bored, and you cannot exercise that out of them. This is not a "blob" breed that's content to lay around outside for hours and do nothing. Dobies need company and constant mental stimulation, even (especially) as a puppy. Good for you for rescuing a dog and kudos on the exercise routine, but...and I mean no offense, but if you got him planning to leave him alone outside while you're away at work or wherever, this was not the best choice for you or him. JMHO.
I agree. If you don't want him to dig, then keep him inside with you and don't let him outside unsupervised. Dogs dig, it is what they do, they dig, bark, etc. They dig and bark more when bored and not watched. Having dog bark all the time is not nice for the neighborhood, if you live in one. It is not good for the dog himself either.

Mine go outside lots during the day, but never without supervision.

One likes to dig but I trained him not to so he doesn't do it. I tell him no and he stops. But I provide him with other things to keep his interest so he doesn't dig, he hasn't tried digging in such a long time I can't remember the last he did it. Barking is normal but can and should be controlled really well with training, play time, and supervision.

Everyone gave really good suggestions, Dobermans are not a breed that you can stick in your backyard for hours on end and expect all to be fine - esp with a puppy. That goes for most dogs anyway. Dobes are pretty time intensive and NEED attention, they don't do well being left alone in a yard.
 

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I am also not saying you do leave him outside alot, I might have mis-read your post about him. But I think you will find bringing him inside as part of the family full time will help a lot and make for a happier puppy and ultimately a better dog.
 

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Thanks for the replies folks.

I'm inclined to think that loneliness isn't the problem, but I'll defer to your expertise. Here's why I say this. I'm currently on leave from my job and my wife is a stay-at-home mom of our six year old son, so we're almost always with the dog. I've said that my current full-time job, which started last Friday, is raising Harley. We've been joined at the hip and my wife has (jokingly) said to me and to my son that I have a new favorite member of the household.

I do think I have found out the catalyst of the digging, though. I have discovered that he LOVES chewing on acorns and then spitting them out. We have a wooded lot where I cleared and fenced a 105' by 30' area for outside playtime. Apparently squirrels historically have been in the habit of burying acorns in this area and now Harley is making it a mission to undo their work.

Now about some of the advice here, I'm getting a conflicted message. I've also read on this forum that Dobes need some "quiet" and "alone" time too, so I give him a couple of hours in the yard by himself. That's when he makes it his mission to find those acorns. I don't mind taking away this freedom from him, but I also don't want to create an overstimulated and overdependent toddler either.

I wonder if tracking is something we might eventually do together, given his ability to unearth his treasures. Also, as someone suggested, I already do play different variations of "fetch" where one of them is hiding the ball and giving him clues to finding it. He absolutely adores that game and I can see the sense of accomplishment he projects when he finds the ball. He's also as quick as a cat... I actually witnessed him CATCH a chipmunk. No, not with his mouth, but he swatted it with his paw. Unfortunately, finesse is not a trait he yet possess so he crushed the poor thing. Afterward, he kept playbowing and barking at it, wondering why it wasn't moving. I ran in, took a look, and scooped away the carnage.

Maybe I left the wrong initial impression as an ill-prepared and throw-the-dog-out-back-and-forget-about-him household, but we filled out an extensive adoption application, had a telephone interview, had an home visit, and interviewed with the president of the Doberman rescue organization before adopting Harley. (All they do is rescue Dobermans, where they have 40 to 50 of them at a time, and dogs are all fed a raw diet!) The adoption process took over a month, where the adoption coordinator hammered home the breed-specific needs of the Dobe. And before we got the actual ball rolling, we researched and discussed rescuing a dog for half a year before we took the plunge, making absolutely sure we were dedicated. I'm not saying that I'm a super owner (otherwise I wouldn't be asking newbie-type questions here) but I'm trying to everything in my power to make sure Harley has a fulfilling life, from studying dog psychology to enrolling him in obedience classes with my family...

Now back to the digging, do we still think its loneliness and boredom, or is unearthing those acorns a stimulating challenge to him? I just can't imagine him being a lonely dog with only a couple of hours to himself a day... and I CAN take that away from him if that's what we need to do.

Oh, and about the barking, we noticed that much of time when Harley barks, he looks over at the screen door to see if we're coming out. I think HE trained US during our first couple of days when he would bark and we would go outside to make sure everything was OK... the little devil. However, after ignoring the "frivolous" barking of the past couple of days, it seems that he cut way back on it today. I saw him spending more time soaking up the rays. So many times I wanted to run out there and grab the ball, but he looked so content, so I watched and waited until he stood up before joining him.

Thanks again for the suggestions folks.
 

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eph94 said:
Now about some of the advice here, I'm getting a conflicted message. I've also read on this forum that Dobes need some "quiet" and "alone" time too, so I give him a couple of hours in the yard by himself. That's when he makes it his mission to find those acorns. I don't mind taking away this freedom from him, but I also don't want to create an overstimulated and overdependent toddler either.
QUOTE]

I don't see ANYTHING wrong with having a dog spend a couple of hours outside by themselves. IMO, it's important for dogs to learn they can function just fine alone and without their owners..this is a vital part of raising an emotionally healthy animal to me.

This is something I make a point of doing with every puppy-starting them out in an expen with shade, water, etc..obviously for short periods of time with little guys, gradually increasing the time.

I'm not saying that it's a good thing for dobermans to spend MOST of their time out in a backyard. But a couple of hours out there by themselves does no harm, and goes a long way towards producing a confident animal that's free from separation anxiety.
 

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eph94 said:
I have a digging issue with my 8 month old Dobe... he still digs and barks a bit excessively in the yard when we're not there
Eph, my apologies if I understood something different from the above quote than you meant to convey. Sounds like he's just playing a game of "find the acorn", not digging monster craters because no one is home. Thanks for clearing that up. Definitely those acorns are lots of fun! I don't see any problem w/a puppy just being a puppy, and since he's very obviously not being neglected, I'd say your family is doing everything right. Sounds like Harley has a good life. Based on your last post, I wouldn't change a thing.
 

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If I left Mocha outside alone she would drive my neighbors NUTS! I am too paranoid to leave her to her own devices out there, she's in the house when I am not here and when we are home and it's warm the back door is open. She rarely if ever chooses to be alone. She can do what she wants really, but you will normally find her next to me or my hubby.
 

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Puppies are different and need to be watched closely, it takes just a spilt second for the puppy to get a hold of something and you not know and the results be very sad. Just yesterday with my puppy I left the room for 2 seconds to answer my cell phone, and she crunched some expensive glasses. Thank goodness I got there before she could consume any glass.

Costly mistake, :sadcry: over $300 later after an eye exam and new glasses I remembered that even though she looks grown up and her puppy behavior is getting much better, she is still a puppy, and needs to be watched closely until her manners fully are there. She is usually very good about not eating stuff, and the glasses incident came out of seemingly nowhere.
My male can be left with most anything at anytime in the yard or in the house and never bothers human stuff anymore, but it didn’t come overnight for sure.
I do know many dogs are most destructive and excessively barky during puppy hood, but get better with age.

I do think an animal can be emotionally healthy and very confident without being left outside. I do think Murreydobe is right, it is important to teach the dog they don't have to be with you at all times for sure.
They can be left alone in the house as well for awhile and entertain themselves. I do agree that dogs should be dogs and be allowed to do doggie things outside, some are more okay alone than others depending on age and temperament and the situation at their “home”.

By "home" I mean some dogs live next to kids that bother or tease the dogs even though there is a fence there, or live next door to neighbors that don't like the dog which means they might be mean to the dog, or kids that throw bad food over or feed the dog, or live on the other side of a fence aggressive dogs, some dogs are highly prized and I have known dogs that were stolen out of their very own yards, so some yards just aren't safe, but others are.
 
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