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Discussion Starter #1
Hamilton has always had the run of the house and usually sleeps in our bed with us. My husband is a very heavy snorer so I tend to sleep in the extra bedroom if his snoring wakes me up. It doesn't bother Hamilton who usually moves in my spot and sleeps there all night. However, for the past week Hamilton has been coming into the extra bedroom and scratching at the carpet. He will scratch three or five times, lie down and then get up and scratch again. I tell him to stop, he does and then starts again as soon as I get back into bed. I finally have to take him out of the room and shut the door so he can't get back in. He will then go and sleep on the couch in the living room. Now as far as we know, Hamilton only does this at night when someone is in the room, during the daytime he will sleep on the extra bed if he goes into the extra bedroom. Any theories as to why Hamilton is doing the scratching? I have tried to get Hamilton to jump on the bed with me when he comes into the room but it's a twin bed and I guess he doesn't like sharing such a small bed.
 

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It's instinct. Maybe you should put a dog bed on the floor in that extra bedroom so that when he comes in there he has a nest he can park himself in.
 

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Nesting. Be glad he doesn't do it in bed. Judy will scratch at the bedding until it's all in a pile then lie down on it. Give Hamilton an old throw or blanket and let him scratch and arrange it to his heart's content.
 

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Have to agree with the arranging thing. I'm a fairly light sleeper & every so often, I will hear Lexi scratch like a maniac at her dog bed. I've always figured something was not right & she was fixing it. On those nights, I will find her bed all shifted around & her blankie in the corner.
 

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I was going to say what the others said, but isn't Hamilton the pup who scratches the carpet during the thunderstorms? Do I have the right doggie?

If so, I'd say it's anxiety. Maybe he's anxious because you're not in your normal pattern for sleeping which disrupts him? Maybe he wants to be with you, but he wants to be in bed too?

Sorry if I got the wrong dog. I'll have to go look for that post.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, Hamilton first started doing the scratching during a thunderstorm, I've tried putting towels and an old blanket down for him on the carpet, he just pushes it aside to get to the carpet. I understand fully about nesting, my blankets all have holes in them as does one mattress. He does have a thundershirt but I'm not sure if it can or should be used every night.
 

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Sophie does it. She will even try scratching out a bed on a tile floor! It is just something they do.
 

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Holes in blankets and the mattress??!! I get the nesting, mine do that but they have never done that to the point of putting holes in blankets and a mattress. Maybe it is anxiety and you should talk to the vet about it. My Emma used to get super anxious when she was left alone, during thunder storms, etc, the vet put her on a Prozac type medication for a few months and it really helped her. She still does not like to be left for any length of time but she does not get as frantic as she used to. Thunder storms no longer send her in to a full blown panic either, she just hides her head under the blankets. It might be something to talk to the vet about.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It is hard to know if this is an anxiety issue or nesting, Hamilton is a rescue, his background is totally unknown, all that is known is that he was in a shelter in South Carolina, rescued from the shelter by a rescue group and then when conditions became overcrowded at that rescue group, they asked the New Jersey group to take him. We adopted Hamilton 8 hours after he arrived in New Jersey. From his medical records that followed him up North, it appears he was at the rescue group for almost a year, no idea how long he was at the shelter prior. That is why it is hard to say if he is anxious at nighttime or just over zealous with his nesting. I had mentioned in another post that he does have a thundershirt but I do not know if that can be worn every night or if overuse will cause it to stop being effective.
 

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Poor guy, thank goodness he has you to love him forever. I have never used the thundershirt but would definitely try it if Emma's anxiety ever gets to the level it was when she is younger. I have no idea if you can use it "too much" but maybe someone who has used it or even a behavorist could help you with that question. My lab that died in June was a zealous nester but he never actually put holes in blankets, etc. He would just "bunch" everything up, including a large area rug we used to have in the living room of our old house! I hope you are able to figure out what is going on with Hamilton.
 

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Ernie is a nester.He will have a bed pulled apart in nano seconds digging his way to China. He will do it on the floor, or Tessas bed too.

When you say holes in blankets. Does he chew? Erns chews big holes in blankets or bedding, or anything he feels like chewing.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ernie is a nester.He will have a bed pulled apart in nano seconds digging his way to China. He will do it on the floor, or Tessas bed too.

When you say holes in blankets. Does he chew? Erns chews big holes in blankets or bedding, or anything he feels like chewing.
Can't say because we never caught him making the holes but we have seen and heard him digging in the bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update: we put Hamilton's bed in the bedroom, last night he got off the master bedroom bed, went into the extra room, ignored his bed and started scratching the carpet. Now I'm wondering if I should put his thundershirt on before bed and see if that makes a difference?
 

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I would probably crate him at night. Give him a space that's just his, that he can do what he likes with, throw some blankets in there for him to nest to his heart's content. :)

Maybe it's anxiety, but realistically speculating over the cause of the behaviour usually just causes confusion and emotional reaction. I also have a rescue with some anxiety issues, and I found that when I stopped focusing on that and just applied the same limits and boundaries to his behaviour as I would with my other dogs, he improved 10-fold. :)

So bottom line, he's exhibiting an unacceptable behaviour that needs to stop. Best way to do that is to remove opportunity. :)
 

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Or, keep the door to the spare bedroom closed at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
My son went to his bedroom tonight and found that Hamilton took all the bedding off the bed and then dug a hole in the mattress, pulling out the stuffing. Now the bedroom doors are being kept closed, Hamilton is banned from the bedrooms unless we are with him and I have to buy my son a new mattress this weekend.
 

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My son went to his bedroom tonight and found that Hamilton took all the bedding off the bed and then dug a hole in the mattress, pulling out the stuffing. Now the bedroom doors are being kept closed, Hamilton is banned from the bedrooms unless we are with him and I have to buy my son a new mattress this weekend...
I second Kate's suggestion on crating, especially after he destroyed your son's mattress. It sounds like things are progressing. You might be coming home and finding the couch in the same condition some day. If I were you, I'd be closing the bedroom doors like you said, but also crating him at night and when I wasn't home.
 
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