How to Stop your Dog from Digging up your Garden.
Dogs usually dig up your garden for a variety of reasons, and it is important that you diagnose why they are displaying this kind of behavior. For the most part, dogs will dig because they are bored and have nothing else to do. However, it is also likely that they may be digging because they are trying to break out of the garden, or they have hidden a bone and are digging to find it. Furthermore, certain breeds are genetically predisposed to dig such as the Dachshund, Jack Russell, Beagle, Siberian Husky and the Basset Hound. If this will be an issue for you, you need to research the traits associated with specific breeds before you buy or adopt.
I have also had to deal with this problem with my own dog as she will dig any chance she gets. Shouting at her to stop does no good as she ignores me and continues digging.
However, after trawling the internet for help, I discovered that there are certain steps you can take to curb this behavior. But bare in mind that it is normal for a dog to dig so you may never be successful in eradicating this behavior completely.
First, I determined why she was digging. In my case, it was out of boredom as I noticed that she would never dig near a wall or a gate so I know she was not trying to escape, and she would usually eat her bones rather than bury them. Therefore, it had to be out of boredom.
To combat this, I provided her with toys and chews to distract her. For me, I find that the best type of toys to buy her are the treat dispensing ones. These have holes in them for food and keep her entertained for hours, and she forgets about digging holes. I also find that if she is tired, she is less likely to dig, so I ensure that I bring her for at least two walks every day, that way she is usually too tired to dig up anything and is much more interested in a nap.
It is also important that you do not make the same mistake I initially did, this is shouting at your dog when you find them in a hole. Not only will your dog likely not understand why you’re screaming but this type of behavior does not fix the digging problem. It can actually exacerbate it, as it can result in them digging even more out of fear and anxiety.
Along with walking your dog and providing them toys to play with you can also designate a particular area in your garden where they are allowed to dig. You can bury their toys and treats in this zone so it will appeal to them. You should make sure that you praise them or reward them when they do dig in this area to show them it is ok.
However, if you find them digging in an unacceptable place, you should firmly tell them no and bring them back to the designated digging area. They will eventually realize that they are allowed to dig in this spot only.
While you are training them, you can surround the places where you do not want them to dig with flower pots or garden furniture to deter them from this spot, and this will entice them to dig in the permitted zone only.
Not only will this will keep your pet happy as they can dig when they want to without fear of reprimand but it will also keep you happy as you know they are not destroying your flower beds.