IS YOUR DOG A KEEN GARDENER?
Do you have a dog who has the best fun digging holes all over your garden? You may not really mind but, if your garden is beginning to resemble looking like landmines have gone off, mud & flowers scattered everywhere & muddy paw prints all over the house, then read on.
The problem with digging is that it is a natural instinct for dogs & can occur for various reasons. For many it starts because they’re just bored & have nothing else to do, they then learn that digging is great fun so will just carry on, so try the following:
Own Space - provide them with their very own area so they can dig as much as they like. In this area be creative! Use something like a sand pit filled with earth, sand or water & pop some of their food, treats and/or toys. Use beakers or flowerpots & hide food for them to find. If you have a washing line or tree then. with some string, dangle a frozen treat or a bottle with holes filled with food, or even a ball for them to play with. If they have a specific area to dig & have lots of fun, then they will always choose to go here instead of anywhere else. Prevent - If you don’t have the space to do the above then. to help them stop, you need to manage them so they have no opportunities to start. When in the garden with them, keep them busy, regularly call them back, toss some food for them to find, interact & play with them, so they don’t get bored & then need to find ways to amuse themselves. You can also mange by attaching their lead so, if needed, you can gently guide them back to you (giving lots of praise/rewards).
Extra tips to help:
Don’t join in – if you find yourself shouting ‘stop it’, trying to call them away or going to get them, all this may be doing is encouraging them. Not only are they having fun, but the added bonus is they are getting attention/a reaction from you too. Drop/leave – teaching these exercises may help but will be ineffective if they are outside on their own. Ignore – will this work? Probably not. Digging is self-rewarding for dogs. They enjoy doing it so if left alone they will just carry on.