Dogs dig for one of two reasons - they simply love to dig, or they're bored and in need of exercise.
To stop a dog digging holes in your garden, you'll need to determine in which of the two categories your dog belongs before you can take effective action.
Following are a couple of solutions to stop your dog digging that are guaranteed to work and guaranteed to keep your garden looking beautiful.
Reason One - For The Love of Digging
It's relatively easy to figure out which category your dog falls into. If your dog digs whether you're home or not and no matter how much exercise he gets, then it means he just loves digging. Terriers are breeds that have been bred to dig into tunnels to pull out vermin. In general, terrier dogs tend to dig for the fun of it.
Terriers are working dogs and always need some work to do. So if you've got a breed with Terrier mix, you can expect he'll want to dig just for fun.
Still, this is no consolation to you when you've discovered that your dog has dug up your prized garden. If you have a Terrier, youll want to find a solution fast!
Reason Two - Anxiety and Boredom
At a minimum, all dogs need to be walked for 30 minutes a day. High energy dogs need to be walked 1 hour a day or taken to a dog run where they can roughhouse with other dogs. A dog that doesn't get mental and physical stimulation will become bored and anxious.
A bored dog will have pent up energy and he'll look for an outlet in which to release this excess energy. Unfortunately for you, your garden will be his target. His digging behavior is a sign that he needs more stimulation in his life.
Remedies For The Dog That Digs For Fun
For the dog that digs for fun, your challenge as a dog owner is to redirect his digging by implementing the following procedures:
- Supervise your dog when he's in your backyard until you've trained him to dig in designated areas.
- Use deterrents such as cayenne pepper. Sprinkle the cayenne pepper liberally around the soil where you don't want your dog to dig. His mucous membranes will become irritated, and he'll back off fast.
- Place dog poop down in areas where you want him to keep his distance. However, if your dog likes to eat poop, this method may not work.
- Designate a section in the yard where your dog will be allowed to dig. Section off your prized garden area first. Then, start digging a hole in the designated area of the yard and bury a bone in the hole. Call your dog over and let him watch you bury it. Then encourage him to dig it up. Praise him when he does. He'll always expect something to be in that hole for him to dig up going forward.
- Place chicken wire under the soil where you most want to protect your garden. The chicken wire is highly effective, but of course its not practical to place it under your lawn, which is what your dog will start tearing up if it can't dig up your garden.
Solutions For the Dog Thats Bored or Anxious
For the dog that's anxious or bored, you must take him to the dog run and let him run around for at least an hour.If there are other dogs in the dog run, that's even better.
Dogs tend to tire quickly when they roughhouse with one another, A simple walk won't do.Your dog needs to run around with other dogs.
Hire A Dog Walker
Remember, dogs are pack animals. They need to be around other dogs or humans, and they need exercise..lots of it! So if you're gone all day at work and are too busy or tired when you get home, then you need to at least find a dog walker that can come to your home and pick up your dog for a long walk.
Dog walkers are relatively cheap. If you cant afford a dog walker and work close by, maybe you could come home during lunch time and walk him yourself.
Either way, your dog can't be left alone for prolonged periods of time, or he will become bored and anxious.
Tire Your Dog Before Going To Work
If you exercise your dog by taking him to the dog run or for a long walk before you leave for work, he will most likely fall asleep for a few hours at least until lunch time. Then, if possible, come home and play with him during your lunch hour.
Stimulate his mind as well. Implement a 15 minute dog training session with him and be sure to praise him lavishly during these sessions.
Invest In Fun Dog Toys
Buy your dog some toys that will keep him preoccupied while youre gone.
It's generally best to purchase toys made specifically for dogs as most of them are made of material that can take a lot of punishment.
The main thing is to provide toys that won't cause an intestinal blockage if ingested. Dog toys made of hard rubber that you can put treats in are a great choice.
Get A Second Dog For Companionship
You really need to think carefully about this suggestion before going out and getting another dog. Although having a companion is an excellent idea, it's also an expensive one. You also have to keep in mind that picking the right dog with the right temperament is crucial. The two dogs have to get along well before you leave them alone together.
If you think you would like to introduce another dog into the family, take your first dog with you when going to pick out your new dog. Let them play with each other for a while, then arrange to come back a second time to let them play some more. If you have socialized your first dog properly, he will probably get along well with any dog, but be very wary and observe the way the new dog interacts with your dog at all times during both visits.
Hopefully, this advice will help put an end to your dogs digging. Remember to be patient and give your dog enough time to learn new and acceptable behaviors in the garden. Now that you know how to stop a dog digging, you can put these techniques into practice, and your dog will be much happier as well.