Ask Alecia: My Dog Digs At the Carpet!

Dear Alecia,

Our German Shepherd is generally well behaved. Sweet, playful when he needs to be, relaxed and lazy when he needs to be. Our only problem is him scratching at the carpet. But he doesn’t do this all the time, just when my fiance and I are together. When it’s just me & the dog or my fiance and the dog, he doesn’t do it. But when my fiance and I hug, cuddle, play around with each other or whatever our dog starts digging away at the carpet. I’m pretty sure it’s an attention thing but I just don’t know how to stop it. — Lou

Dear Lou,

That is an interesting habit your GSD has. When dealing with a very specific situation as this, which is not dangerous just a bit annoying I recommend doing some redirective behavior work. As soon as you and your fiance begin getting cozy or playing, stop for a moment and give the dog a command, like sit and stay.

Start again with your fiance and, if the dog moves, redirect his behavior again. Repeat until the dog is comfortable enough to relax into his command and he allows the excitement/stress to subside. Praise him each time and if a treat is warranted then give it to him.

Repeat this for 2-4 minutes each time he begins doing it and soon he will be redirecting his behavior with ease. It may dampen your mood with your fiance for a little bit but that will come back as soon as your dog is settled.

Paws Up!

Alecia

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Alecia Evans is the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System with her exclusive 5 Minute Manners Makeovers using the Walk In Sync™ Harness and Accu-Grip Leash, along with her Walk In Sync™ 3 Easy Steps to teach any human/dog duos to Walk In Sync in just minutes.

The former host of the award-winning GrassRoots Aspen TV Series, The Whole Animal-An Alternative Approach to Animal Care, Alecia takes a natural approach to dog training and health care. Her work has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Sandra Glosser Show, NY 1, and in Aspen Magazine, DogTipper.com, The New York Daily News and Woof Report.

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.