A lot of puppies and dogs love to dig, it’s in their blood and is quite often their favourite pastime! This is especially true for the sporting, terrier and Nordic breeds.
I know this only too well having 2 terriers myself!
In the early days there were lots of holes in our garden and although I didn’t want to stop them from doing what was natural for them to do, I didn’t want a garden that looked like an assault course!
I realized that the answer was to teach them to dig in an area that was safe for them to do so and a place that we were happy with too.
I’m delighted to say that I found a win-win solution where everyone was happy, so if you have a problem with your puppy or dog digging up your garden this is what I suggest you do…
1. The first thing you need to do is to find an area that your dog can dig in to their hearts content without causing any damage either to themselves or your garden.
I looked to see if there was part of our garden that ticked both those boxes but couldn’t find the right place.
So I bought a shell shaped paddling pool (usually used for young children) and half filled one side of it with sand…perfect!
2. Next make it fun for your puppy or dog to dig by burying some of their favourite toys underneath the dirt or sand.
Now play with your dog and start digging with them so you can both play the game of looking for their toys while digging. It’s a lot of fun to watch your dog dig along with you in search of their hidden treasure.
Whilst doing this introduce a ‘digging command’ such as ‘go dig!’ so your dog associates that this is a good place to dig.
3. Every day, go back to your dog’s digging area and repeat your digging command and encourage them to start digging. It won’t be long before they immediately begin clawing at the dirt in wild anticipation for the fun that lay ahead.
4. If you see your dog or puppy digging in any area other than their digging spot, correct them with a confident “NO!” and guide them to their special digging place saying your digging command. Eventually, your dog will look for his digging area when he feels the urge to dig away.
I remember seeing my terriers initially still digging in other areas of the garden, I’d go outside, say their name followed by ‘go dig’ and they would run with delight and excitement to their sand pit and happily start digging there instead.
Nowadays they never even consider digging anywhere other than their sandpit and in the summer I fill the sandpit cover with water which they love to splash around in and cool themselves down.
They also use the sandpit as a good place to sun bathe in as you can see below!
It really is a dog’s life!
Let me know in the comments below how you get on or if you’ve got any other methods that have worked for you 🙂