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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20178
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My rescue dog has recently been spayed. Since then she keeps

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My rescue dog has recently been spayed. Since then she keeps clawing/digging away at the carpets and furniture as though she's trying to make a hole. Also she finds a toy which she carried around with her. Why? I know she's not yet allowed her usual walks, but I can't see it's just boredom as she's still getting walked. I would like to know why she's like it. She's only about a year old, and was found a stray - they reckon some unscrupulous dog breeder probable dumped her when she didn't sell and she's been kennelled all her life - she's not house trained yet and is very nervous of humans - dogs are OK.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Another thing she has started doing, is trying to find some small place she can get into. She's currently wedged herself under my desk behind the computer unit. On the day she came back from the vets, she was trying to get behind the TV, and other places and chewing wires.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. I've also been a breeder for over 20 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

If she was recently spayed, it is likely she is experiencing a false pregnancy. The sudden change in hormones may have triggered it. Dogs experiencing a false pregnancy will often have weight gain, breast development and even milk production. Some even go through false labor where they scratch and build a "den" and "adopt" a stuffed animal or other toy baby for several weeks just as they would if they had had puppies. What you are seeing is something we see depending on when the spaying occurred.

It is likely she will continue to display these symptoms for a few weeks. It will help if you give her a pile of old blankets for her to dig in and make herself a little whelping area and give her a few of her favorite toys to baby. This will help give her a place where it is acceptable to dig and display nesting behavior without ruining your home. It will pass and probably a little quicker than normal. Be sure to put the blankets in a low light out of the way place where there isn't much traffic and keep other dogs out of the area if possible to reduce her stress level during this period of adjustment and recovery. Some sites will recommend against allowing her toys and nesting but that can really cause a lot of stress during this recovery period. I've found they settle quickly if given the opportunity to care for false pups.

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.

Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you, ***** ***** makes sense. Not sure why she sleeps for a bit then has to make her den etc at every morning! But we'll put up with. Thank you