Friday, February 13, 2015

Embrace Your Dog's Digging

Stop ripping your hair out every time your dog digs up the yard!  Dogs like to dig, it's what they do.  Some breeds are more prone to digging than others.  Terriers, for example, are champion diggers.   The name Terrier comes from the word Terra, meaning earth so it's no surprise they love to dig!

Rather than lose your sanity over Fido ripping out every flower and shrub you've ever planted, embrace it!  Am I crazy?  Maybe, but that's beside the point.  When Icy was just a puppy she began digging all over the yard.  It looked like an army of Moles had invaded our yard.  I tried all the recommendations;

  • Bury her poop in the places she usually digs; it just made a giant mess and didn't even work.
  • Bury large rocks where she likes to dig;  She started digging up & playing with the rocks!
  • Bury wire mesh a few inches into the dirt; her nails got caught in the mesh and it frightened her.

Icy used to scour the yard, digging holes everywhere!
Finally, some solid advice came my way - Let Her Dig!  Huh?  Yes, let her dig  to her heart's content, but only in a place you designate.  A sandbox or designated patch of earth to call her own.  So I looked around the yard for a good place to make a Dig Pit for Icy.  I decided that behind my husband's prized shed made the perfect spot!  She could dig to her heart's content there behind the shed, out of site.  Once I had chosen the perfect spot for a Dig Pit, here's what I did:

# I sectioned off the Dig Pit area behind the shed, about 6' x 4'. 

# I started digging it up, just to loosen the dirt and make it nice and inviting.  Dogs seem to love freshly dug up soil, which is probably why they love to dig up our plants moments after we've planted them!

# Now I  needed to let her know there was a Dig Pit just for her.  I took 2 or 3 chew sticks and placed them into the ground, with about 2 inches sticking out of the dirt so she could easily find them.

# I walked her over to the Dig Pit and showed her the first chew stick.  It was so exciting for her, she had found buried treasure!  She found and scarfed down all the chew sticks in minutes. 

# I continued to bury treats, rubber toys, and chew sticks in her Dig Pit once or twice a day.  She quickly learned that good stuff awaited her in the Dig Pit!  Before long, her preferred spot to dig was the Dig Pit, and eventually she almost never bothered to dig anywhere else in the yard!


Icy, enjoying her special Dig Pit behind the shed!
Finally, I had conquered my dog's annoying digging habit..... by embracing it!

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Is your dog a DIGety Dog?  Have you solved the problem of your dog's digging in another way?  Please leave us a comment, we love to hear from you!!


18 comments:

  1. Ha - I've always encouraged my dogs to dig. Sadly, Blueberry has very little interest in digging. She taught the foster puppy, Linus, how to dig and it was such fun watching them! But now, she mostly digs just when the mood strikes her. I guess that makes it extra special for me to see it when it DOES happen.

    When I had my dog Shadow, she dug holes all over the yard. I had piles of dirt that I never got around to spreading the dirt where it needed to go and she'd dig in them, nap on top of them, etc. I remember one time my parents visited and actually filled all the holes in the yard in as well as flattened all of Shadow's hills - withOUT my permission. I was so angry. But that's okay, Shadow resumed her hole digging when they left. Dogs are dogs - they get to do so few things that truly "doggy" -why inhibit that??

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    1. Thanks for sharing your dogs' digging habits! I like that you let Shadow dig to her hearts content. I bet when your parents covered all the holes & flattened the hills, she had a ton of fun digging them all up again! I let mine dig as long as it's in one area not the whole yard. Thanks for visiting us on the blog!

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  2. Oddly enough, digging is the one terrier thing Mr. N does not do. I've tried to encourage him at the beach and he is like whatever.

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    1. Oh how funny! I think Mr. N is the first Terrier I've ever known that doesn't like to dig! At least he doesn't dig up the entire yard, or try to tunnel out of the yard. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. It drives my hubby crazy, but I don't mind that the dogs dig. Our yard is pretty much just for the dogs anyway, so I say let 'em have fun! :)
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. That's a great attitude! No use getting annoyed, there just doing what comes naturally. I'm good as long as it's in one area, not all over the yard & digging up all the plants! Thanks for stopping by Janet!

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  4. What a great idea! Bentley doesn't dig often, but we have moles and Pierre goes berserk over them! Our yard looks like a minefield at times! BOL!

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    1. Oh no! Moles are such a pain, they can really make the yard look like a disaster. Pierre better get his army booties on & get rid of those moles!

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  5. I'm so glad you brought this up, so many people go absolutely crazy trying to stop the digging when it truly is pointless for the pet parent, and dog to go through all the stress. I did have one client that was absolutely against allowing digging of his beautiful lawn. When that happened I suggested a kiddie pool in an out of the way spot, fill with dirt and place in a similar area like you mentioned, behind the shed. Again, exactly what you mentioned; bury chew sticks and toys and let them know it is okay to dig there. No more hair pulling, and the dog was having a blast. Thanks for getting this out there for all the pet parents with digety dogs, it's the perfect solution :-)

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    1. Thanks for sharing your client's experience, I'll be he's so grateful to you for that suggestion! Perfect idea to use a kiddie pool filled w/ dirt & buried treasures (treats). Thanks for stopping by and sharing that story Suzanne!

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  6. Hi Y'all!

    Oh that makes so much sense. They always say that you have to satisfy our urges if you want a happy dog. My Human works hard to satisfy my drive to retrieve. If you have a dog with a drive to dig, give him an appropriate place to dig. Kuddos!

    Y'all come on by,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

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    1. Hello Hawk! Great advice, satisfy the dog's urges in an acceptable way rather than torment the dog & the human! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Dachshunds are bred to dig! Mom covered her flower beds with rocks, pretty much put an end to that! Happy Valentine's Day! Love Dolly

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    1. Oh, great idea to cover the flower beds with rocks, thanks for sharing! Hope you had a grr8 Valentine's Day!

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  8. hahaha!!! One of the typical husky traits! They LOVE to dig!!
    I did a post on this a while back. I found that giving them their own section to dig was definitely the only solution!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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    1. P.S thanks SO much for linking up to FF with us!

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    2. Yes, it's a definite Husky trait, which is why I had to give Isis her own Dig Pit! Thanks for hosting the FF blog hop!

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  9. Although we don't need a special dig spot our yard is all dirt with a forest floor and the yard is for the dogs. We let them dig and love watching them.

    I've always heard to section off part of the yard for digging, but I never heard how you entice them to go there. I think this is pretty cool. Thanks for sharing!

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