DS: Spayed 3 year old dog *nesting*?


I am not familiar with this type of behavior. I have had multiple males & females for years. But my soon to be 3 year old American Pit Bull Terrier has started a behavior I have not witnessed before.

~Before going any further, she has had a full medical exam with blood work & is extremely healthy~

Launi has always been a *digger in the bedding* dog. She will scratch around in circles on her bed and/or on the couch blanket for about a minute until she gets it just right then curl into a tight ball & go to sleep.

Recently, within the last 2 weeks, she has been doing this to ALL the dog beds. Since I have 9 dogs, they all have beds. She actually will remove the small dog beds from the kennels and dig in them. Some she will lay down (or try to–they are rather small) some she will just *dig*.

She is digging on my senior Lab’s bed to the point she is removing the covers. Not tearing them up, just moving them around.

I keep her kennel cage door shut when she is out of it. There has never been a problem with this in the past. Last night she would not lay beside me on the couch, but proceeded to dig almost all the beds then I heard her trying to get into her kennel. She has NEVER done this.

My vet has no idea. I am perplexed. Is this behavior in any way related to a pregnant b^tch?

It is concerning me to the point I feel like I should take her back to my vet and have him do ex-rays or something…..(I KNOW she is not pregnant).

Anyone have experience with this in spayed females?
When I correct her she stops & either goes outside or into the living room and lays on the floor. But within a few minutes, she is at it again.

Julie: No. Same detergent. Nothing new.

Voelven: Nothing has changed. No new dog. No new people. It is getting hotter & we do flirt pole at least 5 nights a week. Instead of an hour I have had to cut it back to 45 minutes because of the outrageous humidity & 77 degrees at 6:00 pm.

This is just not her on an every day basis. I made an appointment for her to have a FULL blood panel (everything: Thyroid etc) and full body ex-rays on Sunday. Really disturbing me.

To state this again: She was spayed at 6 months. I was there……

Rotten: No change in detergent. She is also acting submissive. Weird. She has super exercise, goes on car rides with me……..she does have a skin infection right now. It is from the pollen. On antibiotics. (Same antibiotics she has taken in the past) Not itching or scratching at herself, though.

Other Dog Kennel Accessories Sites of Interest

14 Responses to “DS: Spayed 3 year old dog *nesting*?”

  1. ☆ Memphis Belle ~ Wild 'N' Wicked ~ ☆ says:

    In the rescue Dobermanns I have seen obsessive behavior is normally a coping mechanism to because something in the dog’s environment was causing too much stress for the individual temperament of the dog to tolerate [mistreatment, being left to mentally fester, unspent energy ect], but if nothing has changed I am at a loss.

    Typically hormone driven behaviour of an unsprayed b*tch, so baffling!

    Have you tried applying a thin coating of Vaseline around the opening of Luani’s nostrils to catch the pollen? Works like a charm for dogs that are reactive to pollen.

  2. Nikko,Loves GSD,Pekes says:

    I have one female that goes around and scatches all beds,even mine and the blanket on the sofa,,She was the female from the mill that gave birth 5 yrs ago and still does it to this day,but that has always been her..
    You said at the very end that she is on antibiotics…Just because she was on them before does’nt mean she is going to be fine with them now..Meds have some awful affects on dogs and just reading up on the one you are giving her is a start,,Instead of scratching herself she is scratching the beds so something is irritating her and it could be the medication..

  3. Chix or a Corvid formerly known as Raven says:

    My dobe is a digger. And nothing you wrote here would give me cause to think there is any physical disorder. In fact, I agree with another poster, it sounds more obsessive compulsive.

    I would rather go holistic then invasive at this point- to me, a bunch of tests can just aggravate it.

    Please consider Crab Apple- its a Bach flower essence. It is harmless and inexpensive – you can either just put a few drops in her water bowl (and don’t worry if the other dogs drink from it) or dispense 2 drops in her mouth directly from the dropper. Do it about 4 x per day – most important at night before they retire.

    If I’m wrong – it wont hurt her. But if I’m right – superficial upsets (indicated by recent change in behaviour vs long term) will be addressed in 24 hours.

  4. Jessica says:

    All dogs nest male and female… If your sure she is not pregnant, then it will just be her behavior. pit bulls do just have one pup in some litters…. are any other dogs pregnant around her.. My female pit is three and she randomly nests..

  5. G♥ldenp♥ny says:

    My 10 year old rottie did something similar for most of her life. She would dig and nest all the time on the floor, bed, crate, and hard area she was sleeping at. She would take her nose as if to move and pile things up…even when there weren’t anything to scoot around. She would bring her "baby" with her and that could just be the toy of the week. I always attributed it to her just wanting to be maternal and never getting to since she was spayed.

    Now I have a year old aussie that nurses on her blanket every day (we show her so she isn’t spayed yet). She lays there like a cat making biscuits and sucking with a glazed look in her eyes. I honestly can’t explain this behavior but I guess it is something that gives them comfort and doesn’t hurt anything so I just let them do it 😉

    ADD>>> my rottie didn’t start her odd diggy-diggy behavior till about 3 and my aussie started it around 9 months. My other rottie out of the same litter didn’t do this if that helps any. Also, when she started digging on something that would move like a blanket, she would almost violently take her front feet and scoot it in a ball up under her the quickly move in another direction and keep doing this…no rhyme or reason to it. Even if I pushed her off she would very deliberately go at ti again …sometimes for minutes before finally settling down and laying down.

  6. landi_lou says:

    My male toy breed does this to ANY soft surface. Digs and digs, sniffs, snorts, and then walks away. Doesn’t try to lay down, but he’s pretty much always done this.

    Any chance you’ve washed them so they smell differently as Julie suggested? I would check over the beds in particular.

    A friend of mine who raises Sibes for sledding and skijoring found her dog suddenly digging almost compulsively and she found bugs in his bed. Not saying you have bugs! But maybe it’s the beds, not the dog?

    If she’s digging and running or hopping around, to me it would seem playful and goofy. But if it’s like a total determination then I could see how it would be disturbing.

  7. Voelven says:

    I’ve never seen this in spayed females, but my guess would be that she either somehow has a hormone imbalance, caused by some of the other hormone producing glands, since I assume her ovaries were removed as well as her uterus…or, it could be stress related instead of hormone related. Did something change in her daily routines? More exercise, less exercise? New pet in your home? etc. – my bet would be the latter, though, especially since she’s always been a "digger in the bedding" dog.

    EDIT: Good answers about laundry detergent etc. I didn’t think of that. 🙂

  8. Julie D. says:

    Never had this and have no idea what the reason could be, but I did think of something kind of stupid. Have you washed all the beds with something different than you usually use? Like I said, just a dumb idea.

  9. Danielle M. says:

    well i have a male pit bull and he scratches at his bed before laying down but not at all that much. when he was 1 year old he did it more so i went out and bought a different bed and he stop doing it know he does it a little bit so im sure ill be buying another bed here in the next year. try a different bed depending on how long your dog has had it. wash it maybe too

  10. Captain Awesome says:

    That’s very odd.

  11. Siouxsie says:

    If she’s not preggo (and if she is spayed, she isn’t) then this seems to be compulsive behaviour. I would let her sleep in her kennel when she wants to. It could be she is stressed for some reason, and wants to feel safe. If you have a large number of dogs, and she is one of the younger dogs, she could feel low on the totem pole and want to be out of the way of the other dogs.

    I don’t know that this is a big worry, but it’s hard to stop compulsive behaviour, you can modify it and keep it from escalating, perhaps, but it’s what she does!

    Good luck!

  12. DaBasset - just go to the vet! says:

    I’ve never had that with ANY of my b*tches – pregnant or not, spayed or not.

  13. Dogzzz says:

    What happens if you tell her to knock it off?

  14. Rotten Rotts Lets Restore Sanity in the DS says:

    Oh yes you need to spay her{roll eyes}
    You know I am clueless with female dog issues, the only think I can think of is have you changed laundry detergent that you use or something else new you are using around the beds.
    Is there any increase slobbering, or signs of stress? I don’t know it sounds like something physical

    Sorry can’t help but will star for you