We all love our dogs. There is no doubt about that. They are man’s best friend and that will never change. However, just like our human best friends, our canine best friends can cause trouble and destroy things. For instance, my mother is always working on her flower bed, but our little border terrier keeps digging holes, breaking roots, and uprooting plants and flowers.
He loves to dig holes everywhere, but nowhere more so than where the flowers are. This is a big pain in the butt, one that can cause sprained and broken ankles, and cost quite a bit of money too. Flowers, dirt, and lawns are expensive, so this is definitely a problem. So, how do you stop your dog from digging holes everywhere?
It Could Be Because They Are Bored
One of the biggest causes of dogs digging holes in the backyard or in your flower bed is due to boredom. This is especially true for dogs like terriers, huskies, or anything else that requires a lot of attention, exercise, and occupation. If you leave your dog outside a lot and it starts destroying your precious lawn, you can rest assured that it is bored. Your dog needs something to do. Take it on more walks, run with it to get rid of energy, get it a bunch of squeaky and chewy toys, take your dog for agility classes, or just go for a swim.
The point here is that a dog that has spent all day playing or training in an agility class is much less likely to go around digging holes. Just think about it, there are definitely things you do when you are bored, things you would not usually do if you had already used up your energy or just felt generally satisfied.
The number one way to make dogs stop digging in the yard is to ensure that they are properly occupied and have their energy used up. It is just like with at risk teenagers and after school youth programs. Keep them busy and they will stay out of trouble.
The Bone Problem
Another reason dogs tend to dig in the yard is bury bones. We are not sure what is so darn attractive about burying bones just to dig them up later, but dogs definitely see the merit in it, whether we do or not. If you give a dog a bone, if the dog is hungry, it will most likely just eat the thing, thus your problem is solved.
However, if your dog is hungry, it might chew on the bone for a while and then go bury it in a hole to save it for later. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the best way to prevent your dog from saving the bone as a snacking the whole of its choosing, is to only give them bones when they are hungry.
Create A Special Digging Area
Another good thing to do is to create a special digging area for the dog. Now, try not to yell, pout, and scold too much when your dog digs up a big flower bush. It won’t bring you too much good. IT’S better to just gently correct the behavior and direct your dog to an appropriate digging are. You can always buy some dirt or sand and create a little digging spot for your dog.
Redirect your dog to dig there when you catch him in the act. It will be almost like a reward, like positive reinforcement to go dig where it is supposed to. You might not be able to outright stop your dog from digging, but at least you can direct traffic and have it dig in the spot of your choosing.
Treat The Ground
If you can’t seem to put a dent in the number of holes appearing in your yard, you can try treating the ground with something. There are a number of sprays and liquids on the market specially designed to smell bad and deter dogs away from something. You can put the spray on the dirt or the surface of your lawn.
The horrible smell will likely keeps the dogs at bay. Some people use spices like chili flakes to deter the dogs. This works too, but it might be a little hot for the dog. However, once they get a chili flake in their mouth, they are likely to stop dead in their tracks.
Setting Up A Cool Spot
Dogs might dig a deep hole because they are hot, especially in the summer time. Digging down into the ground exposes the deeper dirt which is very cool. On a hot summer day, your dog might just want to cool down a little. Well, to prevent them from digging a cool hole, there are some things you can do. First, a well-insulated dog house that keeps the heat out is probably the best solution.
Also, any other kind of shady area you can provide might help. Next, something like a kiddy pool with cold water in it always feels nice. Finally, you can dig the hole yourself in the spot of your choosing.
The point is that there are more ways for your dog to keep cool than laying in a hole, but it is up to you to provide your dog with those means of staying cool. Heck, even a simple haircut and trip to the groomer might be a good solution.
Make Sure There Are No Vermin/Infestations
Most dogs love hunting and yes they like to kill whatever they can get their mouths on. So, is your dog digging because there is some kind of gopher, mole, rat, or any other kind of animal living in your yard?
If this is the reason your dog is digging, you know exactly what you need to do to stop the problem. You need to get rid of the couch surfers living in your yard.
If you want to save your flowers, keep your lawn intact, or just not break an ankle whenever you stroll through the yard, you should definitely try any of the above methods to stop your dog from digging. They may not all be effective, but there are several causes to the problem. It is up to you to find the cause and then apply the appropriate solution.