How To Stop Your Dog From Digging Holes In Your Garden

How To Stop Your Dog From Digging Holes In Your Garden

Guess what? My new dog Forbes started digging holes in​ my rose garden!

As the​ owner of​ the​ web site (as well as​ the​ Southern California dog training company South Bay K-9 Academy for six years) I'm going to​ let you​ peek into my world and learn how a​ professional dog trainer solves this type of​ behavior problem.

First,​ I need to​ figure out when he is​ digging. Since I know the​ dog and his lifestyle,​ I can rule out several factors such as​ boredom or​ puppyhood or​ gophers,​ etc...

I noticed that every time he would start digging holes he was in​ the​ yard playing with a​ friend's dog,​ unsupervised.

So,​ I first need to​ MAKE SURE that it​ was ACTUALLY MY DOG that was the​ perpetrator. a​ quick look at​ his feet would suggest that it​ was.

Next,​ I needed to​ figure out if​ he would dig ANY TIME he was left alone in​ the​ yard or​ if​ it​ was only when another dog was present.

To figure this out,​ I simply left the​ dog in​ the​ yard alone with access to​ the​ rose garden several times... and came back to​ find that he had not dug.

So... it​ stands to​ reason that the​ only time my dog is​ digging in​ the​ yard is​ when there is​ another dog in​ the​ yard. (Who knows why? There could be a​ million unexplained reasons that only the​ dog knows. All I need in​ order to​ fix the​ behavior is​ knowledge of​ the​ dog and the​ circumstances).

Now,​ I know that to​ fix any behavior problem I need to​ make the​ dog experience a​ NEGATIVE ASSOCIATION with the​ actual ACT of​ doing that behavior. in​ this case,​ digging in​ the​ garden.

And he needs to​ experience that same negative association EVERY TIME HE DIGS!

In this case,​ I must be 100% diligent to​ never leave Forbes unsupervised in​ the​ yard when there is​ another dog in​ the​ yard.

Of course,​ if​ he was digging by himself,​ then I'd need to​ confine him to​ a​ kennel run where he cannot dig when I'm not supervising him. or​ if​ there is​ another dog visiting then I will need to​ bring Forbes inside,​ put him in​ the​ kennel run,​ or​ use the​ presence of​ the​ other dog as​ a​ "set up."

The next step is​ to​ make sure that he associates that negative (correction) just as​ he starts to​ dig.

There are two ways I can do this: the​ Lazy Man's Way and the​ Old Fashioned Way. Both methods are based on​ the​ same principle.

The Old Fashioned Way to​ make sure that the​ dog gets a​ motivational negative association when he digs is​ to:

Step 1.) Leave a​ pinch collar and tab (one foot leash) on​ the​ dog when he's outside in​ the​ yard with another dog.

Step 2.) Bury hardware mesh or​ chicken wire in​ the​ spot where he's been digging. the​ chicken wire should be buried two to​ three inches below the​ surface. Dogs don't like scraping their paws against this stuff. So,​ right off the​ bat you've got an​ immediate negative association.

Step 3.) Spy on​ him and just wait until he start to​ dig.

Step 4.) as​ soon as​ he begins to​ dig,​ yell "No No No!" as​ you​ run outside and give the​ dog a​ correction. as​ long as​ you​ continue to​ say "No no no" as​ you​ run to​ the​ dog,​ the​ dog WILL still associate the​ correction with the​ behavior.

Step 5.) Be 100% consistent until you​ are 100% sure that the​ dog isn't digging any more.

The Lazy Man's Way to​ fix this problem behavior is​ to​ use a​ remote electronic collar (e-collar). Everything else remains the​ same. (Click on​ the​ link above to​ read about my recommendations for buying a​ remote electronic training collar).

When using the​ e-collar for this behavior,​ I'd turn the​ setting up to​ the​ high level. Your goal is​ to​ create absolute avoidance to​ this behavior (digging in​ the​ garden). And you​ want him to​ think that the​ dirt just jumped up and bit him! Usually if​ you​ correct the​ dog with the​ electronic collar for this type of​ behavior,​ you've only got to​ do it​ twice before the​ dog decides that it's in​ his best interest to​ leave your garden alone.

That's all for now,​ folks!

How To Stop Your Dog From Digging Holes In Your Garden

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