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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19829
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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When we leave our deaf boston, french bulldog mix he pushes

Customer Question

when we leave our deaf boston, french bulldog mix he pushes large rocks around the yard barking if anyone comes by the yard. it is wearing his teeth down to nubs.
we thought about putting a bark collar on but even at the lowest setting that seems harsh.
I think it is a separation problem?
Not sure what to do.
Thanks Deb
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Hi Jacustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

If he is just pushing rocks around, then he shouldn't be wearing his teeth down. Is he picking them up or gnawing on them or other objects?

Is he biting the rocks?

Is the barking the issue or the teeth more of the issue?

Does he have any toys in the yard?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He brings the rocks in the house.
And picks them up outside also.
Then pushes them and barks all over the yard pushing them.
No toys outside they have toys inside .
I really don't like either behavior but only does it when we are gone and people go by walking or postman delivers or when we come home.
We put him on leash when we come home and walk him to get his mind off the rocks.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the additional information. His picking up the rocks is wearing down his teeth, so that does need to be addressed. Depending on the size of the rocks and then number of the rocks, you could clear the yard of the rocks themselves. You might also limit the rocks to one area of the yard and use an underground fence system to keep him off that area of the yard. Some owners have problems with dogs actually eating small rocks and stones and developing gastrointestinal blockages. Underground fence systems work well to still allow owners rock gardens and driveways while keeping the dogs from ingesting rocks. Your situation is similar. See an underground fence system here:

http://www.petsafe.net/fencing/in-ground-fences

They are much cheaper used making them very affordable. Since it is wired, it can be put in any configuration you want. You can also keep him out of your gardens as well. A different solution would be to have him wear a basket style muzzle. You can pick the style that would prevent the stones from being picked up but still let him drink and breath normally.

Get him some toys to play with outside that won't hurt his teeth. There are plenty of balls and chew toys that he would probably love to play with if he had them outside. Toys also need to be rotated or the dog gets bored with them so only put half of the toys out at any one time. Get a couple of kong toys with the treat compartments and fill one with yogurt and another with meat baby food that does NOT have garlic or oniion. Freeze them and give one to him outside when you leave. These can keep a dog busy for hours trying to get the treat out as it thaws. It will help keep him occupied and off the rocks and stones.

You could stop allowing him unsupervised trips outside by locking any doggie door or crating him inside when you leave. You might even clear one area of the yard and contain him there with a dog house, food ane water when you are gone. You do need to stop that behavior though or he will ingest one accidentally that might lead to a life threatening obstruction. Read about obstructions here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/gastric-stomach-foreign-body-in-dogs/page1.aspx

For barking they have bark collars. If you are against shock collars they do make citronella spray collars. Some are triggered by barks and others by an underground wire. As for the shock collars, you should let one shock you a couple of times. The actual intensity of the shock is very low, but the unexpectedness of the shock is what ends up stopping the barking. These also have a tone that sounds before it delivers the spray or shock. They learn that when that sound occurs they will get the spray or shock. Thus when they hear that tone, they stop moving or barking. At that point you switch to tone only and no longer need the spray or shock to keep them contained. Eventually you don't even need the tone. They learn their boundaries or to stop barking after one alert bark. If his deafness includes that particular tone, you might need a collar that vibrates first rather than a tone.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

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