Solve Your Digging Dog Problem
By allowing your dog to dig in the garden, you may think he is just being a dog and he should be allowed to express his natural instinct. But if he decides to destroy your flowerbeds with his digging, you may think differently. Here are some suggestions on how to solve your digging dog problem.
If your dog is already in the habit of digging and has begun damaging your garden, it will take some clever manipulation on your part to put a stop to it. Dogs and flower gardens can exist together quite amicably, but it will take some time to retrain him.
There are certain breeds which are more prone to a digging dog problem than others. So, if you are at the point of contemplating buying a dog, you should take this into consideration before your purchase. Those breeds that particularly like to dig are terriers and Nordic breeds (Malamutes, Huskies, and certain members of the Spitz family). It’s not guaranteed that these will be diggers, but it is more likely that they will be more so than other breeds.
Here are some of the usual reasons for your digging dog problem:
- Boredom: Dogs with nothing to do will usually find something to keep them busy. If they feel the need to keep occupied, this is one way to solve the problem.
- Curiosity: For some dogs, even getting enough attention and exercise will not stop them digging. They need to see what is in that hole!
- Lack of exercise: Digging lets dogs make up for the need for exercise. They need to get rid of that vent up energy.
Once you figure out the cause of your dog digging problem, you should be able to come up with your own solutions. If the reason is lack of exercise, try taking your dog for longer walks. If it is boredom, let him play with some chew toys while you are away, or tire him out so he will sleep a good part of the day. If your dog digs just because he enjoys it, you may need to keep him inside or crated while you are away.
For dogs who like to dig as a pastime, here are some basic tips to solve your digging dog problem:
- Natural deterrence: If your dog’s digging is destroying your fragile plants, consider replacing them with more resilient ones with deep roots.
- Limit your dog’s access: Being there to supervise your dog at all times will minimize his opportunities to dig.
- Roll up the turf: You may want to consider this extremely effective method. It will take a little effort, but try rolling up an inch or two of grass and laying some wire mesh under it. After a few attempts at digging, your dog will be convinced that it is futile and he’ll give up.
If your dog is determined to dig, find him an area that you can live with and that is not destructive. Then you’ll both be happy. Some dogs are natural diggers and curtailing that behavior can be detrimental to them. It is part of their personality and they need to express that. Do this by allocating him a corner in your yard, which is his own personal area to dig in. If he tries to dig in other parts of the yard, you will need to let him know that digging outside of his designated spot is not acceptable.
If you don’t happen to have a spare corner for your dog, provide him with a sandbox. If you’re handy you can make one yourself. You can use a sand and soil mix with grass or leaves on top. Make sure it’s deep enough so that he will have plenty of room to dig his holes. At first, your dog may need you to set the boundaries. Hide a few of his favorite bones under the sand. Praise him profusely when he starts to dig in the sandbox. If he starts to wander and digs somewhere else, say, “No!” or “Ah-aaah!” Then send him immediately over to the sandbox. When your dog starts digging again, give him praise or a reward immediately. With patience and persistence, your message will get through to him.
More information for a digging dog problem
For further reading on how to solve your digging dog problem, click on this link, Secrets to Dog Training. This step-by-step guide is full of information on how to raise a happy, healthy, well-behaved dog. It shows you in detail how to discipline your dog in a caring, loving way.