Isn’t it a huge pain when you’ve just planted a gorgeous garden and your furry friend of the house comes along to dig it all up? Or building a new fence to find that Spot already knows how to get around (or more literally, under) it?
Dogs are instinctually driven to dig, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train them to respect your yard.
First of all you should ask yourself why your dog is digging. Is he bored? If this may be the case, look into investing in more chew toys or treat dispenser toys that dogs have to play with to get food out of. You want to create a doggy Disneyland using tug toys tied to fence posts, a tire swing and anything else you feel will occupy your dog
Aside from boredom, stress may be making the dog misbehave. Before you proceed any further on fixing this behavior, ask yourself if there are any recent changes in your lifestyle or home life that might be making your pet act up. Are you remembering to take him out often enough? Are there any other stresses that may be affecting him? If you still aren’t sure about what the problem is, try these tips to getting them to stop digging.
The most obvious method that people use to try and stop digging is to catch their dogs in the act and scold them. While this may work while you’re around to enforce it, many dogs will just wait until their owner is gone and go right back to digging.
A better idea is to make your dog think you are not involved in the consequences they receive after they dig. Use a throw toy like a soda can with some pennies in it. The noise will distract your dog, but don’t let him see you throw it.
A similar idea to this is to have a sprinkler set up near the area your dog likes to dig. If you can, turn on the sprinkler when you see your pet tearing up the ground. This works especially well if you can leave on the sprinkler for short periods of time while you are away. Once again, they will not realize where the correction is coming from; they’ll just know they don’t like it.
One really good trick to keeping your dog from digging is to place their own feces in the holes they like to dig. Dogs do not like the smell of their own droppings (remember, it must be THEIR feces, not any other dog’s), and will refuse to dig in the hole anymore if they smell them.
If you are having problems with a dog digging under a fence, make sure there are no gaps in the fence. Lay down concrete in any holes or put chicken wire from the bottom of the fence to the ground. If there are no gaps, consider laying concrete blocks along the bottom of the fence.
Digging is a huge pain and certainly doesn’t improve the looks of your yard. Remember to keep your puppy entertained and find ways to encourage him to play in positive ways over destructive ones.