how to stop digging?!
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Thread: how to stop digging?!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tollerowner's Avatar
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    how to stop digging?!

    I have a 2 year old Toller. Our backyard, about 100'x25', is fenced and she has run of it.

    One side was heavily overgrown by a privet hedge. We trimmed it back severely and put a chainlink fence right next to it. That left some bare dirt that had been shaded by hedge where I planted grass seed. She spent a lot of time digging there. I bought some powder that was supposed to keep dogs away, but she liked it. I put down some plastic fencing; she tried to get through it, but then gave up.
    That was a year ago, and moving the plastic fencing every time I mowed or raked got to be a pain; so I removed it. She started digging again. She doesn't dig anywhere else. I suppose I should be grateful for that, but would really like to stop her from digging next to the fence.
    Any suggestions?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Lillith's Avatar
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    Re: how to stop digging?!

    First thing, she's probably going to need to be supervised when outside so that you can catch and redirect her if she starts to dig. You might also try making her a special "dig box" so she has an appropriate place to dig. Almost like a sandbox for children. When she starts to dig in the wrong spot, redirect her to dig in her sandbox.

    Is she digging because she wants a cool place? Many dogs dig because they want a cool place to lay down. Would getting her a cool mat help?

    Is she getting enough exercise? Some dogs dig because of boredom.

    If the above options aren't going to work for you, the other option is replacing the plastic fence. Hopefully the habit dies if she can't physically dig in her favorite spot.

  4. #3
    Senior Member gingerkid's Avatar
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    Re: how to stop digging?!

    Supervise her when she's out in the yard so you can redirect her digging.

    If she is digging for entertainment, you could try building her her own digging pit/sand box out of a cheap kiddie pool, and then teach her to use it by redirecting her when she tries to dig near the hedges. BUT you would need to be consistent about it. No being outside unsupervised until she's got the idea.
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  6. #4
    Senior Member Tollerowner's Avatar
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    Re: how to stop digging?!

    The fence (laying on the ground) stopped her from digging for a year. As soon as I removed it she went back to digging.
    In that year, she didn't dig anywhere else; so I don't think it is digging per se.
    She walks 2-4 miles a day and we play fetch with her most days; so she gets lots of activity.
    It is is relatively cool there, but so is the north side of the house and she doesn't dig there.
    It is soft and easy to dig, but so is my wife's garden and she doesn't dig there.

    She is a persistent little thing.

  7. #5
    Senior Member PatriciafromCO's Avatar
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    Re: how to stop digging?!

    vermin or septic line ? (digging and sniff deep) or to have cool spot.. that is what my guys dig for. you could try a cheap plastic pool and fill it with dirt or water and see if that is an activity they would like.. bury toys or floating them to making it interesting.

  8. #6
    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: how to stop digging?!

    One old suggestion is the use of chicken wire. Cut a section of chicken wire, or multiple sections and bury them flat on the ground, shallowly, where she is digging. It serves a similar function as a cattle guard: most dogs don't like the feel of digging into chicken wire, so they stop when they hit it. Grass and flowers will grow through the chicken wire, so you can leave it in place.

  9. #7
    Senior Member Tollerowner's Avatar
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    Re: how to stop digging?!

    I guess I should have asked last year. When I was replanting, it would have been easy to embed chicken wire, but not now.
    My wife was not enthusiastic about giving Chloe a pool of dirt to play in.
    She spends hours outside and acts differently when we watch her, so supervision won't work.
    I appreciate the help, but I guess we will have to stay with the fence for a while anyhow.

  10. #8
    Senior Member gingerkid's Avatar
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    Re: how to stop digging?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tollerowner View Post
    She spends hours outside and acts differently when we watch her, so supervision won't work.
    It sounds like you're not interested in actually teaching her not to dig there, just in stopping her from doing so - which is totally fine, since management is often a simple solution to prevent an unwanted behavior. But it also means that when the management "fails" or stops (i.e., the fence comes down) she'll go right back to doing the problem behaviour.
    Snowball CGN NTD, American Eskimo Dog - Est 2004
    Ida NTD, Samoyed Floof Mix - Feb 2015
    Tessa , Border Pap Extraordinaire
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