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Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: SteveO
Date: November 19, 2008 08:27AM
Our shepherd mix is convinced there is a family of rabbits or something beneath our deck (which is about 6" above ground). I stained the deck with two coats of premium deck stain this summer and she has managed to "dig" through the stain in 3 or 4 places and is ruining the wood in the process. I'm thinking some pepper spray [from Petco?] sprayed liberally all over the deck might help, but I'm taking suggestions. What has worked for you? Where did you buy it? I really need to stop this behavior ASAP. Thanks!
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: rgG
Date: November 19, 2008 08:51AM
A small strand of electric fence should teach her quite quickly. After she gets shocked a few times, you will probably be able to turn it off, since she will equate the area/wire with a shock. We had to run an electric fence wire on top of our wooden fence because one of our Rhodesian Ridgebacks liked to climb out over the top. After a few shocks she wouldn't go near it and we didn't have to leave the wire hot.

This is similar to the unit we had.

[www.acehardware.com]



$24.99.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: billb
Date: November 19, 2008 09:47AM
Most of our labs used to like to dig holes and sleep in them, mostly when it was hot in the Summer. We had one that would dig down four feet, right under the concrete steps. I think she was trying to get back in the house by coming up under the basement. Putting up fence worked until she learned she could dig under it, then I had to bury the fence about 18 inches. I had to paint the fence to blend in.
If I had to do it today, I'd try the shock behaviour modification.
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: November 19, 2008 11:16AM
The normal behavior mod approach involves being there and stopping the behavior with a sit/stay command sequence. Is it fair to assume you don't have the time to go outside with the digging dog ?

Alternatively let her slip under the deck to see that the critters aren't there. Fortunately our deck is up off the ground about 3 feet, so the dogs just slip under there and make sure there's no insidious rodent invasion in process.

Of course the skunks like that area just fine for nesting, since it's also got some dried leaves in it. We keep that enzyme de-stinkant handy.
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: Acer
Date: November 19, 2008 11:34AM
A non-electrical thought: How about a section of chickenwire fencing, laid down flat on the deck. Can't dig through it, but you can use the deck. Hopefully, after the habit is broken, you can take it up. Long term it might stain as the wire corrodes.
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: S.Taylor
Date: November 19, 2008 02:35PM
Huh.

I thought this was going to be about a "Dog-Destroying" deck.

My bad.



This remote controlled tree is a must for the person who wants to be on the cutting edge of Christmas technology.
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: SteveO
Date: November 19, 2008 03:23PM
Thanks, all. While the electric fence sounds like a great idea, the deck is connected to the back door and it is just unrealistic for us as we have several other pets as well and only the one needs conditioning, not all of them; it just would not be fair to the rest of them. Plus we hang out on the deck together in nice weather as a "family" and I don't want them to be scared of even sitting down on the deck. Plus I can see this leading to "accidents" in the house if they think they are gonna get shocked a few moments after stepping out the back door. It clearly is a great idea for other behavior modification, though, thank you.

Showing her what's under the deck is impossible as the deck sits near the ground as mentioned and there are 2x8s underneath each side that go within an inch of the ground, so it's impossible to get under although not for lack of trying on her part. (I've had to blockade an entire side of the deck with upturned lawn furniture to keep her from digging there.)

Being with her the entire time she is out is impossible (work-, weather- and sanity-wise), although I've been chiding her through an open window whenever I see her acting badly. (And I"m sitting out here now as the weather is tolerable.) The problem is she is not overly bright and does not seem to remember/learn quickly. So now she doesn't get to stay out very long which I'm sure doesn't exactly make her happy. And yes, we do walk and run with her, she gets a ton of exercise.

I'll spray vinegar along with hot pepper flakes and see if that helps. If anyone else has suggestions, I am open to them, thank you.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/19/2008 03:28PM by SteveO.
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: Racer X
Date: November 19, 2008 03:41PM
don't dogs hate citrus? Could lemon juice dumped on the deck help? Assuming it doesn't was away too soon.
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: dmann
Date: November 19, 2008 03:50PM
Do you have any way to attach her to a lead that won't reach that spot when you can't be out there with her?

When you are together, you can keep an eye out and correct the behavior, but when she is out there alone, tethering her might be a good option.

DM
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Re: Help with Dog Destroying Deck -- STAT
Posted by: kap
Date: November 19, 2008 07:48PM
Use vinegar if you want she has her 'accidents' on that very spot! I have been told that dog urine has similar elements as vinegar. I'd try citronella spray and tethering until behavior is corrected. Good luck.



SoCal for now.
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