Help my dogs keep digging

DroopyOctober 13, 2002

I have a dog who is constantly digging on the side of the house how can I make him stop??? I bought some of the stinky stuff and threw it on the ground that didn't work, I also tried moth balls and that didn't work any other ideas? someone said go and get some of there poop and throw it on the area.

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Why not cede a portion of the yard to Bowser
It may be possible to train him to only dig in one spot

    Bookmark   October 13, 2002 at 6:16PM
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If a rolled up newspaper and a "Bad Dog!" doesn't fly with you, I would try trimming the nails back or burying wire mesh around the offending area. Anything but dog crap, please! Maybe try asking the vet how to remedy it would help. Dogs are pretty simpleton creatures. I doubt that it could understand a designated digging area, but if it bothers you,(as it would me) take the bull by the horns. Unfortunately punishing won't work unless he's busted redpawed. Maybe he's just this a new thing or an old habit?

    Bookmark   October 13, 2002 at 8:27PM
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Try posting this question (rephrased) in the Pet forum. You'll get some good answers there.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2002 at 9:12PM
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You could also try sprinkling cayenne pepper where he digs. The dog poop idea worked best for us though. I would do my regular yard clean up and put a decent amount of poop at the corner of the house where they liked to dig. Bad thing is that they just keep finding other places to dig..... AND don't let anyone convince you that the dog is lonely - you just need to get another as a playmate to solve the problem. Biggest mistake I ever made because we then had twice as many holes!

    Bookmark   October 13, 2002 at 9:54PM
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I'd seen a product at KMart some years ago that is granular, comes in a green and white bag, that is a dog repellant for gardens. Smells bad and keeps fido at bay.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2002 at 3:05PM
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I have the same problem. My little dog digs to bury her raw hide bones and the big dog digs them up. My solution has been to place large river rock and flag stone over all the dirt areas in the flower beds. I've given up lawn in the back yard in favor of flagstone. The rest of the yard is pool and concrete.

You might try laying chain link fencing material under the soil a few inches if you don't want to get rid of the lawn. You could also try an electric fence to create a barrier around the area you want the dog to stay out of. You can buy them for about 30.00. I saw them at the local feed store. You have to supply the wire and poles. I think the shock is adjustable. After a few experiences with the "correction" you could probably turn it off.

My ex husband lives in the inlaw unit of a house whose owners have 3 large yellow labs. The entire back yard was a disaster area until they put up the wire two feet of the ground to keep the dogs out of the grass and flowerbeds. Worked like a charm.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2002 at 12:16PM
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I know it sounds yucky but try the dog crap. It works. put a bit in each hole before filling the dirt back in. Do it each time they dig and soon the dogs will decide it's yucky to dig.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2002 at 4:44PM
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Lucky is right, it works like a charm.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2002 at 10:14PM
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Keep in mind as I make my suggestion that the holes are not only an annoyance but potentially a liability. One of my insured's is currently being held liable for a party goer to their home falling in a hole the dog dug, numberous expenses associated to this fall. When I brought my dog home 10 years ago she dug a couple of holes herself. I tried everything and the thing that worked, although it may sound harsh, fill the hole with water and stick the dogs nose in it, it only took one time and we have since had no holes. This should take no more than a couple of seconds if that. They get the message very fast.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2002 at 11:59AM
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I read that if you bury water balloons where they are digging they will soon quit. Most dogs don't like getting the suprise splash in their face when they hit the balloon.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2002 at 2:27PM
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Droopy, have you found something that works?


    Bookmark   November 23, 2002 at 8:41PM
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ask the butcher for a large bone, like a cow leg
gives it something else to do.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2002 at 10:20PM
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Yep, I found something that worked, I moved some of there own poop into the area and he stopped digging.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2002 at 9:38PM
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I need help, bad. My dog has always been a digger. It is a beagle. The poop method won't work with her because she goes around the yard eating it. She is worse now since it rained and made the ground soft. She tilled up the whole lower end of my back yard. I would fuss at her when I saw her doing it, but she would always go right back later. We have a fenced in yard so we just added some fence to it on the inside and put her in it late in the evening until later in the morning. That is when she does her digging. Well now I looked and she is digging up her small pen. I guess that is better than the whole yard. She is also chewing something, I don't know if it is the dirt or something in the dirt. It doesn't seem to make her sick.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2003 at 8:05PM
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Put meat tenderizer in her food. That will make her own poop unpalatable, and she won't eat it.

As for the digging, I have a large lab who is a digger. Most of my yard is pool and concrete but there are flower beds and a small patch of dirt that was once grass. I covered all the flower beds with river rock on top of landscaping fabric around the plants. No more digging. In the patch of dirt I put down several inches of gravel. The dog still dug through the gravel so I had it raked aside and put down more landscaping fabric and a layer of chicken wire and replaced the gravel. So far, this has stopped her!

You could put down chicken wire or chain link and put dirt and sod over it in her pen. She sounds very bored. A tired dog is a good dog. make sure she gets enough people attention and exercise.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2003 at 8:00PM
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Give up the backyard was my solution. I will bury their holes and replant grass once or twice a year. I have considered paving their pathways, too. But so far my best solution is below.

Here is a link that might be useful: paw washing station

    Bookmark   October 22, 2003 at 12:21AM
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My neighbors dog keeps digging at the side of my house against my basement window. I've addressed this with her, but nothing has been done yet. The hole is actually in her yard but causing a problem with my foundation, water is getting into my home due to this hole/tunnel her dog has dug how do we get hime to stop what are my options?

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 5:06PM
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Kim, spray the dog with a water hose every time you catch it digging. it will soon find another area.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 6:01PM
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what someone else suggested. bury 2x4 wire fencing about 3 inches below the ground. extend this about 2' into the yard..

i used to have 2 dogs the loved to try to dig out the the kennel. When I placed the wire fencing underground they quit digging. one figured out how to open the kennel door, but that's another story that 2 gate latches didn't fix. i'm sure some dogs only think about how to get out of a kennel.
the most interesting part was the kennel was divided into 2 parts with a gate between. I didn't bury the fencing between the 2 halves. this is where the dogs tried to dig out!!:)


    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 11:18PM
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There's a reason the dog-poop remedy works. Dogs are den animals by nature. They dig their holes just big enough to lay down and turn around in to hide from predators while they sleep, or to bury their "treasures" in, such as bones and whatnot to hide them from other predators as well. It is a dogs nature NOT to sleep where it deficates or eats. Thus, putting a little of their own poop in the hole is a big turn-off for them. You're working with the dog's natural instincts when you do this, rather than trying to teach them a new behavior to suit a human.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 1:53PM
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I wanted to add that you should make sure they have a "den" or doghouse already. Usually they're trying to create a den area for themselves. Its just nature for them to change up the location.

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 1:55PM
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I have a one-year-old Golden and she is smart and full of energy, but she chews everything and digs constantly..She has completely chewed apart the back deck, even chews on the fire logs, and has dug so much under the deck, that the foundation to the house is visible!!...We have tried spraying any number of things on the areas where she is not to chew, and we have filled holes with poop, but nothing works...HELP...thanx..lj

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 6:02PM
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Another vote for the dog like a charm, it completely broke my dog of her digging habit!

idecipher, in your case, I would guess your dog is bored! I would suggest something like a peanut butter filled kong, entertain her.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 1:45AM
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I second the peanut butter filled kong and the dog waste does work like a charm to stop the digging.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2006 at 7:09PM
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I agree, boredom's a big cause. Poop does work pretty well, but my dog's then gone off and started a new hole somewhere else.....currently she's digging under the rear patio slab and I don't really want her undermining it, so I'll have to put some poop there and find something to backfill it with, the soil she digs out seems to just disappear, I guess she's top-dressing the lawn (which really needs it!) for us...

Our dog's a Labradoodle, which means she's a water dog on both sides. We bought a cheap kiddie wading pool for her, which she loves, and it doubles as a water dish she can't tip over when we're a wading pool may be an option for a bored dog....I agree solutions that work with a dog's way of thinking (re the natural den thing) are best...

The other possibility is, dogs will dig themselves a 'wallow' to keep their bellies cool, on the bare soil - make sure in the warmer weather, he/she has shade, also, see the wading pool idea....but sometimes it IS boredom.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 2:52PM
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Poop, cayenne pepper, and solid rump swats made no dent in my wild child's behavior. The flower beds predated the dog, the dog was foisted on me by some friends who found her as a stray on their lawn but couldn't keep her, so I was about as emotionally committed to the flowers as the hound in the early days. Now of course she is Princess 1 and the entire earth is arranged for her canine pleasure.

How I solved it:
1, got another dog...Princess 2...couldn't believe it would help but everyone said 2 easier than 1 and this proved to be the case
2, put the radio wire system around the beds...worked great, I would alternate necks with the collar, they had 3/4 of the yard to rampage and I had flowers and dogs

If this is a daily emotional hassle for you, invest in one of the radio systems (light weight kind, not the heavy duty invisible fence product) will be a terrific investment. Also get another dog if yours is bored/lonely. Peanut butter kongs don't last all day.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 6:30PM
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This is a really old thread but I thought I would add my own thoughts.
Dogs are WORKING animals. Some are bred to herd some to chase and some to dig up other small critters etc. Boredom is a big thing, but EXERCISE is more important than anything else in getting a dog to behave. They need to work and some dogs need to work a LOT. If a dog is tired it won't do "bad" things. Run with it, walk with it, throw a ball for it and do it daily and if you already are- then add weights to the work out and that will make the dog more tired.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 5:10PM
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My dogs aren't bored. I have 2 and they keep each other busy. I also keep a few toys out there for them to play with and that doesn't seem to help. I can't imagine burying their own poo when they eat it anyways, so they would just dig it up and that would give them even more of a reason to dig.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 11:51AM
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DO NOT use mothballs. they are extremely toxic to both humans and animals if ingested and could cause death.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2008 at 8:43PM
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Put 5 coins in an empty soft drink can and every time the dog starts digging, throw the can down right beside him/her. We learned this method in obedience training.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2008 at 4:55PM
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well, since everyone else is responding to this old thread i guess i will too.

my labs, and most of the other dogs i have owned, have always dug to get cool. they dig a shallow hole and lay in it. when the dirt warms up, they dig further. simple solution was to put a 8.00 plastic kiddie pool in the yard. no more diggin.

now this does nto work in all cases, but it works great with mine. my current lab won't lay in the water though, he just gets his feet wet!

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 1:07PM
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Hey, I know this is old but I'll keep it going as well. I have 3 rescues, and they will not get in my inground pool. Oh, they are allowed, they just won't do it. A kiddie pool (Kmart $20) seems to suit them. However, rileysmom and kats had some good points....

2 dogs really ARE easier than one.. they entertain each other rather than the human having to do all the entertaining.

Working dogs -- KNOW YOUR BREED. know what breed you have (or its mixes - try to identify them if possible). A dog needs a job.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2008 at 3:22AM
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lobotomy...or make them wear mittens

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 2:18AM
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Good post, Wallance.

My dogs don't dig because I don't want them to. I have three beagles (two of them quite old) and a fenced-in yard.

My dogs respect the boundaries we give them, which includes not destroying our property. To help the youngest keep his
"promise" we make sure he gets plenty of exercise - just running around in the backyard with the other two is NOT enough - and has toys that he likes. In addition, my dogs are never left unattended outside for more than a few minutes at a time; it is a lot easier to prevent undesirable behavior if you are there to see it coming and express your wishes at the moment they start leaning in a bad direction.

I know this is a really old thread, but I've had plenty of experience with "stubborn" dogs (LOL) and exercise and supervision really are the key. There's just no substitute for that.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 11:36PM
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