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Dani Rabwin
Dani Rabwin,
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 90
Experience:  Associate Veterinarian at Broadway Pet Hospital
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In the last 4 weeks my 4year old Labrador has developed a

Customer Question

In the last 4 weeks my 4year old Labrador has developed a habit of digging a deep hole when I leave her at home alone. As a released seeing eye dog she is obedient and well mannered, apart from being intolerant of small, vulnerable, white dogs. I keep her away from these dogs, but the digging is a big problem. Do you have any suggestions, apart from food filled toys, please?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dani Rabwin replied 1 year ago.

Hi this is Dr. Dani, I'm a small animal veterinarian and I'm happy to help with Maddie. How long have you had her? Did anything change in the situation in the house that she may be reacting to? Does she have access to the entire house and yard when you are gone? Does she only do these behaviors when you are gone? Please give me any additional information you have and I'll be able to give you some suggestions.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Maddie has lived with me since she was18 months old. I can't think of any changes. She has the front garden when I go out. Yes, she only digs when I am out. Her holes are deep, about 40 cms and in the same spot beside the garage wall. They are not holes to lie in. There's nothing that she is digging for. Once I am at home ahe is happy and content. She enjoys socialising with any dogs medium to large sized at the park or beach. She is ball mad and very fit. I walk her twice a day but I don't want to have to take her with when I leave the house. She sleeps happily outside in the garage at night.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I not sure whether has message has gone to you.
Expert:  Dani Rabwin replied 1 year ago.

Hi yes I did get the message. I am working up a response now and will send to you shortly...

Expert:  Dani Rabwin replied 1 year ago.

I am wondering why she would suddenly develop this behavior when she has never had signs of separation anxiety or other issues? Is she getting adequate exercise? I see you said that you walk her twice daily - are the walks as long and vigorous as before the digging started? And you feel confident there is not anything under the house she is trying to get to?

My first thought is to block off the side of the house that she is digging. Is that possible?

Also, in case there is some anxiety, I really like the thunder shirt which you would put on before you leave (and before she has any cues that you are leaving); as well as Adaptil which is a calming pheromone. I also like Rescue Remedy for this behavior.
I will include links below:

Please let me know any other questions or thoughts you have based on this information.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your suggestions. Joan.
Expert:  Dani Rabwin replied 1 year ago.

You're welcome! I hope it goes well. Please let me know if you have any other questions, and please make sure to rate me when you're satisfied with the service you have received as this is the only way I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Dani Rabwin replied 1 year ago.
Hi Joan,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Maddie. How is everything going?