If your backyard is a minefield of holes created by your canine digger, it may be time to consider making him a designated digging area or sandbox. With proper training, this will provide him with his digging playground while keeping your yard flat and free of holes.
Why He Digs
Dogs dig for a variety of different reasons. Certain breeds, like terriers, were bred to dig, so digging comes to them naturally. Boredom causes other dogs to dig. During the summer, dogs looking for relief from the heat may dig to create a resting place in the cool dirt.
Approved Digging Spots
An approved digging spot offers your dog a place to dig while keeping your yard free from holes. One way to do this is to designate a dig spot, or natural sandbox, in your yard. Loosen the dirt in this area or add and mix in additional sand. When you catch your dog digging in a different area, tell him no and bring him to his approved dig area.
Kid pools or plastic sandboxes offer a mobile and regulated digging option when filled with sand or dirt. Sandboxes with lids keeps the sand from getting wet and can be covered on those days when you don’t want him digging. Some dogs like to dig when they see you digging and doing yard work. If this is the case, move the sandbox where you are working and you can dig together.
Now that the sandbox or designated digging area is set up, it is time to let your dog know he can dig. Grab some of his favorite toys and treats. Let him watch as you bury these items in his sandbox. Once you have buried his toys and treats, give him the command to dig and watch as he searches for his items. Praise him for digging in his spot. When he digs outside of his location, tell him no and bring him to his sandbox. Regular hide and seek games in his sandbox will show him that this area is okay for digging.
Deborah Lundin is a professional writer with more than 20 years of experience in the medical field and as a small business owner. She studied medical science and sociology at Northern Illinois University. Her passions and interests include fitness, health, healthy eating, children and pets.