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JulieRatts
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10-11-2012, 10:17 PM

Bert the GWP (carpet scratching)

Hi all
my name is Julie and we lost Max last November who was nearly 15 and was a rescue wheaten cross mix puppy when we got him. We now have Bert who is a year old German Wire Haired Pointer.... a very big differnce! and don't we know it! We got him when he was 7 weeks old... but absolutely adore him. We don't work him, but do lots of mental stimulation exercices with him as well as 2 half hour walks a day and one big one in the late afternoon for about 2 hours in the woods.
One thing he does do and we cannont seem to break him of it... is after he has had his long walk and dinner and been out in the garden... he digs at the carpet in the living room in all different places..... but the more you tell him off the more he does it more fiercely .... tried positive reinforcement, removing him, sending him in a different room, giving him another toy to distract him...... NOTHING any ideas why he does it and how to stop him?
THANK YOU
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Meg
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10-11-2012, 10:25 PM
Hello Julie and welcome

after he has had his long walk and dinner and been out in the garden... he digs at the carpet in the living room in all different places..... but the more you tell him off the more he does it more fiercely .... tried positive reinforcement, removing him, sending him in a different room, giving him another toy to distract him...... NOTHING any ideas why he does it and how to stop him?
My first thought is that Bert is bed making prior to settling down
What kind of dog bed does he have and where is it?

Digging/scratching the carpet can also be a displacement activity (an action a dog may perform when it is unable for some reason to execute another behaviour).

What does he do immediately before and after the 'digging'?
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JulieRatts
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11-11-2012, 07:46 PM
Well tonight he came home from his walk, then after his dinner he started digging the carpet, the more I said no the more he did manicly then started to get agitated so and barking at me... so I put him out in the coservatory, after 3 times he learnt then went in the bedroom (we live in bungalow so the bedroom is next to the living room). This is where he leaid at the foot of the bed. He has a quilt in our bedroom as his bed and also another quilt in his crate, but he only goes in this when we go out although the door of the crate if open all the time now... it is habit that he goes in there when we first go out.
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labradork
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11-11-2012, 08:15 PM
Sounds like an adrenaline burst if it happens just after exercise. Basically it is difficult for some active young dogs to be suddenly expected to chill after a really exciting walk when they are still buzzing.

3 hours of walking sounds like a lot for a one year old GWP. Too much exercise can make this type of dog even more active and can achieve the opposite of what you hope (tiring them out). I would cut back the exercise and when you return from a walk, ask him to go on his bed with a chew for distraction.
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Meg
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11-11-2012, 10:05 PM
Originally Posted by JulieRatts View Post
Well tonight he came home from his walk, then after his dinner he started digging the carpet, the more I said no the more he did manicly then started to get agitated so and barking at me... so I put him out in the coservatory, after 3 times he learnt then went in the bedroom (we live in bungalow so the bedroom is next to the living room). This is where he leaid at the foot of the bed. He has a quilt in our bedroom as his bed and also another quilt in his crate, but he only goes in this when we go out although the door of the crate if open all the time now... it is habit that he goes in there when we first go out.
Hi Julie the first thing I would do is to get a proper dog bed with a solid bottom in it and a blanket Bert is allowed to scratch . Next I would teach him to go to his bed but not as a punishment and with shouting but by hiding high value treats/toys in the bed and giving lots of praise when he goes in it.
When he starts scratching I would direct him to his bed calmly no shouting and give him lots of praise when he goes in it.

My dog does carpet scratching but I know in her case it is defiantly a displacement activity.
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maxine
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11-11-2012, 10:19 PM
My GSP has very high standards when it comes to his bedding. If it's not up to his high standards he won't settle and he will dig his bed and the carpet. I have spent a small fortune on bedding over the years, but most get flat and lumpy very quickly, resulting in more digging. I have just splashed out on Tuffie beds and so far he seems happy with them.
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redowl
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14-11-2012, 07:46 PM
If it is hard determined digging it could be that he can smell something or where something has been and is digging down to get to it.
Or if it is more scraping rather than digging hard then I would think perhaps he is trying to create a bed.
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JulieRatts
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14-11-2012, 10:09 PM
Hi
Thank you for all your advice.. He definately digs and not scrapes..... I wonder if you have hit the nail on the head.... he is doing it where our old dog that died last year used to lay all the time. As he has got older and he is a gundog.. could it be possible that he has picked up his smell? he does seem to only do it after a walk and dinner and does it rather manicly... more we say no the more he gets agitated and then gets challenging...it took us nearly 2 hours to settle him this evening !!! could it also be his age.. going into adolesence (he has just turned one) he is also getting dominating with other dogs, wanting to either play nicely, or bark and growl at them or just want to hump them !!! I appreciate all your advice
Julie
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redowl
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15-11-2012, 07:36 AM
Originally Posted by JulieRatts View Post
Hi
Thank you for all your advice.. He definately digs and not scrapes..... I wonder if you have hit the nail on the head.... he is doing it where our old dog that died last year used to lay all the time. As he has got older and he is a gundog.. could it be possible that he has picked up his smell? he does seem to only do it after a walk and dinner and does it rather manicly... more we say no the more he gets agitated and then gets challenging...it took us nearly 2 hours to settle him this evening !!! could it also be his age.. going into adolesence (he has just turned one) he is also getting dominating with other dogs, wanting to either play nicely, or bark and growl at them or just want to hump them !!! I appreciate all your advice
Julie
I think if it is on one particular spot and he is digging in a determined way then it is very likely he can smell something which he is trying to dig down to. Digging down is a very natural behaviour for alot of dogs. If he was doing it for other reasons then he wouldn't be choosing this one spot.
The fact that the more you try and stop him the more he gets agitated and challenging could well be his age especially if he is like it when you try and stop him doing other behaviours as he could be testing the boundaries.

As he is doing it every day at a certain time it is probably becoming a habit and he thinks excercise, dinner, garden and carpet digging. So you could try and change the smell of the carpet in that one area and when it is the time he would normally start digging or shows interest in it give him a staghorn or similar. I find it is better to try and redirect unwanted behaviours to something else rather than try and just stop an unwanted behaviour. HTH
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