View Full Version : pulling up grass

28th February 2007, 03:31 AM
The past week or so Lexie(5 months) has been real bad about going in to the yard(garden) and pulling up grass runners (roots & all) and leaves. She knows she is not supposed to do it; she will start running from me as soon as I tell her to drop it. I've tried the drop it, leave it with the treat but it doesn't always work. Time out has not helped much either. She is making us crazy in the evenings because she will get obessed with getting some grass and will be ringing the bell to go out every 10 minutes. Her top canines are coming in, does this have anything to do with teething? or is she being a typical puppy?

28th February 2007, 04:16 AM
I think its typical puppy. Kodee thought she'd died and gone to heaven last wk when it became mild and some grass poked out. Now we have had snow since and she is making me freeze to death while she tries to dig through a 1' snow pile to find that grass again :roll:

My older dog sometimes ate grass but that was because they do it when their tummies hurt. But that is different than what your describing this time.

28th February 2007, 04:38 AM
If your pup watches you garden, they'll "help" by digging up whatever you've just planted.

Our Charley once dug up a whole garden of annuals that we'd planted the day before.....lol

They're only copying what they see.

As for your grass, I suspect it's becoming a game with the pup.

Maybe keep her elsewhere while you're actively gardening. :flwr: :flwr:

Scouty girl
28th February 2007, 01:11 PM
Unfortunatley, it is a puppy thing. Hopefully it will end soon. Scout is almost 11 months old and 'grazes' when she goes outside. She's even gone over to the trees in my yard and pulled off bark and chews it and sometimes eats pieces.

She does the same thing Lexie does when she gets the bark or piece of a stick....runs...I've tried lots of things to try and get her to drop it. Sometimes they work. The one thing that does work is going over to my other dog and hugging her, then Scout is jealous and runs right over...LOL

2nd March 2007, 12:38 AM
It's definitely a young dog thing. Holly's phase of it lasted from 6 months right through to 18 months or so :yikes And it wasn't just grass either- anything and everything in the garden found it's way into my kitchen. And that's saying something since most of the garden is paved!!! Amber had a very short thing for doing it a while ago but seems to have stopped. She does like the long grass though!

2nd March 2007, 06:31 AM
Pulling up plants sounds like a game -- you don't seem to be saying she's eating what she pulls up? It wouldn't have anything to do with teething, this is just something she obviously enjoys. Nor does it necessarily have anything to do with being a puppy, though puppies can enjoy digging more than adult dogs. But many adult dogs LOVE digging and some cavaliers so much so that owners have to sink concrete blocks for a foot or two under the fencing line to keep their dog(s) from digging their way underneath. If you have a digger, this is not something that is easy to stop but you can work to train her to dig in an acceptable area, such as a sandbox.

The issue right now, though, is that she has learned that she rings the bell, you let her out to do what she enjoys -- digging up plants, not doing her business (BTW lots of dogs go thru this phase when being taught to ring a bell to go outside -- they start to ring it all the time to keep being let out -- the good news is, eventually that tends to lose its attraction).

She really has NO idea this is 'bad'. Indeed the fact that she runs indicates she thinks just the opposite -- that this is really, really a fun game and a great way of getting your attention. In other words, she has trained you perfectly to open the door, let her out without supervision so she can have great fun ripping out plants, then get you to fuss over her as well! It is a total win from her perspective. :lol: You have to look at what is happening not from a human point of view, but from a dog logic point of view.

So, if you dont want her doing this, then you need to stop rewarding her for all the behaviours you don't want. Ringing the bell to go out needs to only ever have the goal of wees or poops. The best way to do this is to stop letting her out on her own when she rings, and instead take her out to do her business on a lead (at her age this is a much better idea anyway-- you don;t want her to now get into the habit -- as often happens -- of going out, doing nothing, coming back in and going inside). Right now she has too much freedom to go out and do things you don't want her to do. Being on a lead completely removes her ability to tear up plants, run away, and do basically everything else besides a wee or a poop. You no longer are rewarding her unwanted behaviours.

It would also be a good idea generally to break this habit anyway -- do not let her out unsupervised where she can get access to the plants. Bring her out in the garden on a long lead for a few weeks so she can;t grab at the plants, or just stop letting her play in the garden fully for a few weeks and instead, get her out on walks. And consider setting aside an area where she is allowed to dig and take her to that area.

2nd March 2007, 03:07 PM
Karlin: lady's breeder warned us that cav's could be diggers there determined little buggers if you have to sink concete block under the fence boundary to stop them escaping. How anyoyed would that pup be if it had done all that digging and still couldn't get out. :p

2nd March 2007, 05:19 PM
The need to prevent the diggers from getting out comes up regularly on the main breeder discussion list as they can dig pretty fast. Most seem to put concrete blocks or bricks below the fence line for about 1-2 feet as the norm. Some are pretty good fence climbers too! :shock: Mine never have the opportunity for either but Jaspar is a good jumper -- easily can jump the thigh high baby gate I have if he is so inclined. :roll:

Mine are all serious grass EATERS though, especially Leo.