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I would appreciate your best tips to stop my dog digging up the garden

(11 Posts)
Fenton Fri 12-Apr-13 11:23:25

He is just over a year old and it's not a HUGE problem but he has one particular hole he is particularly fond of which, when he's digging in it you can only see his hind legs and tail. hmm (and it's at the root of a very lovely dwarf maple tree)

Now the better weather is here I have filled the holes, and spent much of last weekend out in the garden with him, - he had a go a couple of times, which I put him straight and he seemed to understand. Then I noticed he'd started on a new one under the trampolene.

But yesterday when my back was turned he's dug up his favourite hole, and because it's been raining again has made quick and light work of getting shoulder deep in it. I caught him in the act and as soon as I called his name he lay down flat looking guilty - so he seems to know it's wrong but just can't resist it.

Any tips on training or deterrents, citronella any good?

Help, please and thanks.

Floralnomad Fri 12-Apr-13 12:00:10

Our terrier digs huge holes and really quickly so for that and a variety of other reasons we fenced off our large patio area with an ornamental metal fence so that he doesn't go on the garden unless we are outside with him ,supervising . We got him a sandpit that lives on the patio and although not particularly deep he can bury bonios etc in it and dig them back up and that seems to satisfy the digging habit . Our garden looks better than it ever has and I know he's safe if he's outside on his own .

Fenton Fri 12-Apr-13 12:04:11

DO NOT get me started on the sandpit, - if we don't cover it up he digs immediately and excavates and tries to eat the childrens' dinosaurs hmm

I had thought about sectioning off areas but felt a bit mean, - perhaps I might have to if only temporarily.

Callisto Fri 12-Apr-13 12:35:04

I have two terriers, the older one used to dig but doesn't bother now. The young one has a real digging instinct and will dig furiously in his bed, on my bed, on the carpet etc as well as in the garden. He has dug a couple of small holes in the lawn, but he can't resist freshly dug earth. I planted some lovely bedding plants last weekend, 10 mins later they were strewn across the garden looking decidedly worse for wear.

My solution is to try and ignore the small holes and temporarily fence off the bits of gardening I have done. I'm hoping that he will grow out of it eventually.

thegriffon Fri 12-Apr-13 12:48:29

The only thing that worked for us was not to let dog in the garden on his own while we trained him. Typical lab puppy, given the opportunity he'd decimate shrubs, carry plants in pots around and then drop them so they smashed, dig up and eat bulbs and anything else he fancied.
We made sure that when he was in the garden he was watched constantly and any attempt at digging or destruction was averted (saying "leave it", then praise, treating etc) and dog learnt what he could and couldn't do. By 15 months he was fine to be left on his own in the garden.

Floralnomad Fri 12-Apr-13 13:12:08

I couldn't wait that long ,I resorted to the fence after the first daffodil bulb eating incident ( typically on a Sunday afternoon) ,my nerves couldn't take the stress of a dog who didnt care if he kills himself.

Lilcamper Fri 12-Apr-13 13:52:58

He didn't look guilty, he looked worried because you were telling him off and he doesn't know digging is wrong.

I agree it would be an idea to get him a sandpit, make it mega interesting by burying treats and toys and let him dig to his hearts content. If he has a place he IS allowed to dig, he is less likely to do it where he isn't.

Fenton Fri 12-Apr-13 14:21:31

Lilcamper - no I didn't tell him off, - I merely called his name, not shouted, - so his reaction told me he must have some understanding of what he was doing was wrong even if he didn't get the full idea.

Ah, Flora yes, the bulbs, - you would think they'd instinctively know what stuff they shouldn't eat wouldn't you?

I think perhaps the lure of the fresh patches was just too much, - will try the fencing off - Thank you.

fanoftheinvisibleman Fri 12-Apr-13 14:56:30

No advice I'm afraid as my terrier likes digging holes and I have just removed the plants and left him to get on with it. Every now and then I look out of the window and just see his bum sticking out of the hole. Can you tell I am not a gardener?

littlewhitebag Fri 12-Apr-13 15:00:37

My lab pup loves to dig holes. DH is going to build her a sand pit as our garden resembles war zone now.

Callisto Sat 13-Apr-13 09:30:53

I encourage molehill digging when on walks in the hopes that it will get the digging urge out of his system. He does seem to dig less in the garden if he has dug up some molehills.

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