For the past two days Gemma (now 8 mos and spayed) has spent a lot of time pacing the kitchen/dining room area- her part of the house about 500 sq ft. She's gated off from the rest of the house. I'm usually in the kitchen area cleaning or working on the computer when she's doing this, so she's not alone. She seems to just want to be outside. When she does rest she lays under the table for a few minutes then she's up again. Next, she looks out the sliding glass door and occasionally barks, whines or "talks". I'm guessing she's bored, but this is new behavior, so she's never seemed this bored before. When she does go outside in the yard, she just wants to bark or chew on inappropriate stuff like leaves, tree bark and big chunks of wood that she finds. We're always having to say "leave it" and call her back in or follow her around in the yard to see what she's eating. I'm worried about her getting an obstruction or poisoning, she'll eat just about anything. I know she would love more time in the yard but she'll just dig and eat the dirt or eat other stuff. We take her outside to play "fetch the ball/ rubber stick" a few times per day and at least one neighborhood walk per day, and a training session or two.
Another thing I thought of that could be part of it is we changed our schedule last week and she was crated for 8 hours a day (with a mid day potty break) on M-F. She usually has only been crated 3-6 hours on most days (plus sleeping at night) so this was the first time she was crated a lot. Maybe this is a reaction to that boredom and too much rest last week?
So, my questions: What things are okay for her to chew on/eat in the yard? Is it okay to let her dig a little or is this a bad habit we should keep training her not to do, and could she get parasites from the soil? Could her restlessness be a sign of pain as I've read in some places? She's eating, drinking and sleeping fine. Could she just need a lot more exercise? I was told by our breeder to limit her walks to 1 mile or less until she's over 1 year because of stress fracture risk but she seems like she would like more.
She's finally resting right now after about an hour of being restless.
As long as she seems healthy I would guess boredom. If you can manipulate her tummy and legs and she seems OK then the next guess would be boredom. Try giving her things to chew on, and treat balls, stuffed Kong, etc. Stimulate her mind by hiding toys or treats around the room.Play tug with her and other non-walking/ running games to burn excess energy. Even my 5 year old corgi needs this, and Gemma is still a puppy.
If you Google poisonous plants for dogs you will find a TON of things they shouldn't eat, and if you are like me, you don't know the names of everything in your yard. Dog training books will tell you to set up a digging box; an approved place where they can dig. They don't usually eat dirt once they get past the puppy stage. I assume you are feeding her a name brand dog food, so she's not missing some vital nutrient.
Good luck, and remember they grow up way too fast!
Camber has grown to be an outside dog over this summer. Odd considering she is probably 8-9 years old... She can sit in our back yard all day under the table. Two nights ago, we let her out two hours before sun set. We forgot about her and at 9:00 PM, she was still under the table in the back yard just loving life! Nothing will deter her from leaving that area like the table is her dog house. She does run back to the house when we call her.
We check on her every now and then, but she just loves our back yard....
Even in the terrible heat we have been having, Tenby loves to sit on the deck, over looking his kingdom. Chepstow prefers to study the inside of his eyelids in the air conditioning.
We buried the poop in the holes years ago and it did stop that dog from digging.
Thanks for all the helpful responses. I do think she needs more exercise. We tried a local park with a trail and an off leash area yesterday and she was in heaven playing with the dogs. She was completely exhausted when we got home. I will try not to worry so much about the rough play and longer distance walking possibly leading to injury. I know corgis can be more prone to it because of their length and short stature, but if others take their pups on long walks I'm guessing Gemma will be fine.
I'm looking forward to the days when she just lays on the grass or the deck and enjoys being out in the yard without being a scavenger. Thanks for the tips on the digging. I'll try burying the poop and look into a digging box.