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My dog, Tee, loves to dig! He loves it so much that I made him his own "area" where he can dig until his heart is content.

He does pretty good for the most part but once in a while he will dig in an unauthorized area. And he can dig FAST! and DEEP!

This morning, Dug - who has never been a digger - went over to see what Tee was doing and next thing you know, I have a 4 ft x 4 ft hole! Ok... a little digging is ok but that was a huge hole!

I read somewhere to put pepper in the places that you don't want them to dig, but will that hurt him? I don't want to screw up his sniffer since he uses it a lot when we play the "find" game.

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One of my dogs loves to dig too so we got him a sandbox.

When he digs in unauthorized areas, I make him stop, yell "NO!" at the hole, and then redirect him to his sandbox and praise him when he starts digging there. Unfortunately, there is the occasional hole where there shouldn't, but for the most part he obeys. Hopefully there will be some other ideas!
 

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You can put chicken wire down, they don't like that feeling. And, you can try cayenne pepper, but I think the wire is more effective.
 

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My dog, Tee, loves to dig! He loves it so much that I made him his own "area" where he can dig until his heart is content.
Very good idea. You are on the right track. Congratulations.

He does pretty good for the most part but once in a while he will dig in an unauthorized area. And he can dig FAST! and DEEP!

This morning, Dug - who has never been a digger - went over to see what Tee was doing and next thing you know, I have a 4 ft x 4 ft hole! Ok... a little digging is ok but that was a huge hole!

I read somewhere to put pepper in the places that you don't want them to dig, but will that hurt him? I don't want to screw up his sniffer since he uses it a lot when we play the "find" game.
Dogs are not machines or computers. Did you never make a mistake yourself? I'm sure you did, so please give your dog the same consideration when he makes one.

In most cases, you don't need to use such aversive techniques at all. They often cause more unforseen problems then they solve.

Go to the dog while he is digging and firmly say whatever you want to use as a 'stop' command (perhaps something like "NO DIG"). Immediately move the dog over to the "digging allowed area"- it's not necessary to say anything while moving. When you get to the "digging allowed area"- say your release cue (maybe it is something like "OK"), then give a positive command ( maybe something like "DIG"). If he starts to dig, mark-and-reward. if he doesn't, don't worry about it. Do all this EVERY time he starts to dig in a forbidden zone.


Every time he does dig in the permitted area, make sure that you mark-and-reward AND have a party. Some people wouid also give some additional verbal praise - I don't think that is absolutely necessary, but please do put on a happy face. Dogs are very sensitive to facial expressions.

I don't see any problem with your other dog also digging in the permitted area. That's what it is for. But you may have to consider enlarging it if two dogs are going to use it.

Some further suggestions:

(1) we've found that this works best if the digging area is delineated in some way. It doesn't have to be anything fancy - some 1X2s or plastic strips staked to the ground will do fine.

(2) Bury some 'treasures' - like their favorite chewing items - in the digging area when your dogs aren't around. Most dogs love to 'discover' one of their chewing items and they will have a party themselves when they 'find' it,
 

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I've used chicken wire in some areas (along the wall or fence line) and have put their poop in other areas, where there were just random holes here and there. Both stopped the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great ideas!

I just made the "digging area" 2 weeks ago, so I keep reminding myself it is going to take some time to teach the boys where they can dig.

I've also taken some of their racket balls (their favorite) and buried them in that area. Its pretty easy to redirect them to their "dig area" just sometimes hard to keep them there. I have moles/gophers out in the yard that Tee thinks he needs to go after, so if I can figure out a way to get rid of them - maybe mothballs? - I hope that will decrease the chances of the yard getting dug up. I also took some old wooden planks and outlined the area area that digging is permitted, hopefully that will help by making some clear boundaries :) It's a pretty big area - about 1 1/2 acre just for digging! I've also fenced another area - one of our old sorting pens, probably close to 2 acres - that is our new doggie playground... :)
 

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Great ideas!

I just made the "digging area" 2 weeks ago, so I keep reminding myself it is going to take some time to teach the boys where they can dig.

... It's a pretty big area - about 1 1/2 acre just for digging! I've also fenced another area - one of our old sorting pens, probably close to 2 acres - that is our new doggie playground... :)
Two acres for digging and playing just for themselves? Your dogs will think they are in heaven. There are some dog parks that aren't much bigger than that
 
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