Help! Dog is digging through wall

abbey_cnyOctober 9, 2011

Looking for some help for my friend, who recently adopted a dog from a rescue group. Eliza (dog) is a 10 month old spayed female. She is half Norwegian Elk Hound and half Austraian cattle dog. She is a sweet dog but is causing major damage in my friend's house. They have a crate for her, she has a fenced in back yard, but they sometimes keep her confined in a small area near their panty/back door because she doesn't like the crate. When confined in the small area she has dug 2 large holes in the plaster walls, apparently almost through to the outside. Is there anything that can be done to prevent this digging? Eliza is not happy in the crate, but she cannot have free unsupervised reign in the house due to the potential damage. Will she grow out of this? Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks for any assistance


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your friend needs to talk to a vet or even better a board-certified behavior specialist. This type of behavior is indicative of a very stressed dog and will lead to a break in the human-dog bond, which inevitably leads to a dead dog. Nobody can, nor can they be expected to, tolerate such destructive behavior.

And how do you think the dog feels to end up doing this type of damage? It must be scared out of its mind- literally! The dog needs help, in the form of probably medications, definitely with behavior modification. Be forewarned, these are very difficult cases and require a LOT of time, energy, and money to resolve. There is no magic pill. There is no magic training course. It will take a lot of effort. If the dog is truly sweet and otherwise a great dog, she may well be worth the effort.

Frankly Norwegian Elk Hounds and Australian Cattle dogs are both very active breeds, both require an incredible amount of exercise both mentally and physically, and neither breed is a good match for every family. If the dog's needs can't be matched she will continue to exhibit these destructive behaviors.

I hope your friend is really committed to making the dog well. It's a big commitment but it seems like she is trying to make things work. I wish her well.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you Meghane for your honest reply. My friend and her daughter love the dog very much, and have tried the exercise route, although perhaps not enough. She seems to be very needy and wants to be with them all the time, which is not possible. My friend has talked to her vet, who didn't want to prescribe any medication, but I will tell my friend to look into a behavior specialist. I know she will give it all she can to help this dog. Thanks again.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 11:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Besides the lots of exercise that this breed needs, have they worked on making the crate a positive place to be? I recommend that people save high value, special toys and chews just for use in crates. Kongs filled with frozen canned dog food is a good activity for crates. And leave the door always open so they can use the crate as a place to hide and nap or sleep. And to feed in the crate and give treats in the crate so that the crate becomes a nice place, not a scary place that the dog just associates with her owners leaving.

But if they're leaving her in there for a very long time or very often and on top of this, not providing sufficient outlets for the dog's energy, a crate will become a negative place almost no matter how you try to build it up as a positive place.

Also, if the dog can get reach out and destroy things outside of the crate, it sounds like they need one that doesn't have such a large grid or holes. That's dangerous.

If they're gone for a long time for work and such, cage free and SUPERVISED doggie daycare is a wonderful place for most dogs. Or AT LEAST they should invest in a dog walker.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 12:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Until you can train the dog and properly walk it (this mixed breed needs alot of stimulation - lots of walks, lots of learning stupid pet tricks.
Buy a harness (take the dog to get fitted)
while buying the harness - buy a cable run...
Tie one end ot the cable to a fence or a tree, put on rolling hook, tie other end to tree or fence (needs to be sturdy tree or fence) put harness on dog, clip cable to run, provide water and shelter.
Next *the most imprtant* everytime your buddy gets up in the morning he takes the dog for a walk. Everytime someone comes home they take the dog for a walk. In between walking the dog, they teach the dog stupid pet tricks...everyday, each day, walks AT LEAST A HOUR, stupid pet tricks AT LEAST AN HOUR - cant commit??? Take the dog back or it is going to go insane (no joke)

    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 6:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all of the helpful hints. They are very much appreciated. Eliza does get walked at least an hour a day. She also spends time in a fenced in back yard. She is walked on a gentle leader? I think it is called. I will tell my friend about the stupid pet tricks. I also got her the name of a trainer so I am hoping that will help also.


    Bookmark   October 10, 2011 at 10:29PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Smelly dog ears
I am not used to having a long floppy eared dog (Dachshund)....
Poison Control link
Some time ago Christine shared the following link to...
Dog still has fleas after using Frontline Plus..
Two weeks ago, I gave my dog a bath and then applied...
How to get my new cat to stop fighting old/current cats
I posted a few weeks ago for advice on introducing...
Help with death on my dog
perianal fistula disease. Does anyone have experience...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™