How do I stop the digging???
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Thread: How do I stop the digging???

  1. #1
    Senior Member lforrest0913's Avatar
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    How do I stop the digging???

    Argus has been digging in our back yard. He didn't when we first got him, but after my SO and I planted a bunch of tulip bulbs this fall he has been curious about why we were digging and has picked up the habit. He's even dug up several of our bulbs and eaten them!

    Does anyone know a good way to train them to not dig? If we catch him in the act, we yell "no!" and take him back inside and we cover the hole back up again. We try to not leave him out long enough to start the act - he seems to mostly dig when he's bored outside - but this morning we let him out for maybe 5 minutes to pee and when my b/f went out there to let him back in, Argus had dug several large holes and eaten a few more bulbs.

    I want to let my dog hang out outside - we have a large-ish fenced yard where we'd like to let him stay out during the day while we work this summer. I think running around the back yard would be better for him than sitting in his kennel, but if I can't trust my dog to not excavate my dog I don't see another option.

    Please help!

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: How do I stop the digging???

    I admit that I haven't found a way to stop an unsupervised dog from digging. When I'm watching, I use "No Dig" as a command and remove the dog from the yard for a minute and repeat as needed. It works pretty well.
    Providing an appropriate digging area can be a solution- a sandbox or an area ringed with bricks or something to designate it as "different" to the dog. It gives you someplace to redirect the dog to when he starts to dig in the inappropriate area although without you there to redirect, I'd be surprised if he contained his digging to that area.
    For garden areas, a small decorative fence works well to teach a boundary for a "do not enter" area. But again, I wouldn't rely on boundary training when the dog is alone.

    If your dog digs because he is bored, he's likely to be a far worse digger if he's left outside all day. He won't run around the yard all day, he will get bored and get into mischief and possibly even dig himself out of the yard. If you want to leave him outside during the day, I suggest an outdoor kennel with a dig-resistant floor (something like a wire mesh covered with dirt and then some kind of flooring/matting) and a shade screen.

  4. #3
    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: How do I stop the digging???

    Yeah, you don't want him eating bulbs - some might get him sick.

    You can try spreading pepper, hot sauce, capsaicin in the area to dissuade him. You also might place chicken wire on the ground .... Many dogs don't like to walk on chicken wire, or to try to dig through it.

  5. #4
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    Re: How do I stop the digging???

    Quote Originally Posted by lforrest0913 View Post
    - but this morning we let him out for maybe 5 minutes to pee and when my b/f went out there to let him back in, Argus had dug several large holes and eaten a few more bulbs.
    If your dog is making a habit of it, and is actually ingesting the bulbs, I would be concerned enough to take immediate steps towards prevention (ie: chicken wire or remove existing bulbs).

    Close observation and a call to your vet may be warranted.

    http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal...c-plants/tulip

  6. #5
    Senior Member lforrest0913's Avatar
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    Re: How do I stop the digging???

    Luckily, he's not ingesting the bulbs. Argus will just chomp down on them enough to ruin the bulb so we can't replant it.

    I'm going to try chicken wire first. I also have the added difficulty of snow (Argus has been digging through the snow and into the dirt) so I can't do any real changes. In the future I may put up little fences or something like that, but I need a quick, temporary fix until the snow melts.


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  7. #6
    Senior Member Shell's Avatar
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    Re: How do I stop the digging???

    A plastic silt fence on t-posts would be easy to string around a garden area and the t-posts can usually be put into even somewhat frozen ground.

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