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Why is my indoor dog digging INSIDE?

Our dog, a Jack Russell/Beagle mix, digs at the couch and recliner when nobody's home. She's pulled all of the stuffing out of one of the cushions! She only does it sometimes. We left for over 8 hours and she did just fine, but then the next day we were gone maybe 15 minutes and she trashed the whole living room!


Asked by sparrowprincess at 5:25 PM on Mar. 1, 2009 in Pets

Level 3 (20 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (10)
  • Some breeds do this and others do not. My dogs aren't the "digging" and burying type of dog who hides food and bones, etc, but one of my Shih Tzu's does this on the couch when he's building a comfortable nest to lie on. Goofy dog. We make him stop immediately.

    You have to train a dog like you train little Ones. Keep the dog with you and near you for several days, not letting him out of your site. When he begins the digging, use a deep throaty voice and say "Stop". Don't yell or swat him, just use this deep growly type voice. He should stop, and if not, push him off the couch.

    I would kennel the dog when you are away from the house. Like the previous poster said, dogs do get bored and find things to do when you are away. We love the kenneling method and have found it to be an excellent tool to train and also for dogs b/c they do need their 'cave' area for rest and relaxation.

    Answer by lifeasinoit at 6:10 PM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • That is caused by boredom and loneliness. You should get a book on correcting dog behavior by Cesear Millan aka The Dog Whisperer. He has great insight on dogs and their neurotic behavior.


    Answer by brandyj at 5:31 PM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • my dog does that too. we just had to buy a new couch. he digs the furniture, floors and when he was a puppy he even put a hole in the wall.


    Answer by marissad at 6:10 PM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • Boredom and having too much pent up energy are most likely the culprits. Jack Russels are notorious for having too much energy. Try walking the dog several times a day. Rotate his toys so that he always has something 'fresh" and new to play with. They are very smart dogs so finding toys that let them use their intellect are important too. There are several toys, usually made of harder rubber, that you stuff with food . the dogs have to figure out how to get the food out. It's lots of fun for them and takes time.
    And as a last resort, crating him when you go out is always an option. Just introduce him to the crate as his "special place" and not a punishment place.
    Jack Russels are great dogs...have fun with him!

    Answer by companygoddess at 6:45 PM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • becouse its a hunting breed its in it's nature to dig, plus he might be bored... get him to exercise more

    Answer by Albi1623 at 6:46 PM on Mar. 1, 2009

  • If she only does this when you're gone, you could also try leaving on the TV or radio when you're gone so she thinks there's someone in the house with her. That might keep her from being too lonely and make her behave out of fear of getting caught in the act.

    Answer by Koukla12905 at 1:44 AM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • I agree somewhat with Albi1623.

    Jack Russells were bred to dig. Bred to hunt in burrows. And your beagle in him? Beagles are easily bored and can be mischievious when left alone.

    You've got a hard mix that REQUIRES lots of attention. Not just in people/animal rights morals... but they literally HAVE to HAVE it, or they form vices... Try taking the dog to the park a few nights a week and just let him run. Off leash, let him run. (Of course, make sure he minds you very well!)

    Or you can give him a job. Teach him to stay at the front or back door and "guard" it. Pick a game he likes, and teach him to wait to respond... he needs a challenge.

    Answer by matobe at 10:52 AM on Mar. 2, 2009

  • Like many undesirable canine behaviors, destructive habits usually develop because a dog is bored, lonely, or both. It's not fair or realistic to expect your dog--especially a working breed --to spend long hours quietly sitting and waiting for your return. By nature dogs are curious and sentient beings; see that she has enough mental and physical stimulation to minimize the impulse to dig and chew.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:08 PM on Mar. 3, 2009

  • Digging:
    Give her plenty of attention. If you're away for more than a few hours at a time, hire a dog walker or consider doggie day care.Tire her out. Make sure she receives daily walks, play fetch with her, teach her to catch a Frisbee. Most dogs require a substantial amount of exercise, and they become antsy or anxious when they don't get enough.Consider channeling her drive to dig. Provide her with a "legal" digging area--a small portion of the yard (away from the rose bushes) where she can dig to her heart's content. Cover the area with sand or dirt and bury treats and toys there to entice her to begin digging. When you find her mining in an "illegal" area, immediately interrupt her, show her to the appropriate spot, and praise her for digging in the right place.If possible, limit her

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:09 PM on Mar. 3, 2009

  • How to prevent the problemDigging
    Make sure to keep her busy--provide plenty of interesting toys, and rotate in new ones regularly. Create a puzzle: Stuff a Kong with peanut butter and then freeze it for several hours before letting her go at it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:09 PM on Mar. 3, 2009