If your dog is digging up the garden,
the answer might be here.

If your dog is digging it could be an inherent part of your dog’s instinct behavior. Keeping your dog from doing it through dog training is one area that is somewhat difficult to teach.

In fact, many dogs were actually bred for this very purpose. In the past, it was also a part of their dog training exercise.

Terriers, for instance were required to do it to find small animals, which burrow underground.

Many dogs feel the need to dig a hole to bury a bone. This behavior goes back to their ancestors when wolves would bury their kill to save it for the next day.

Before you start with your dog training on how to stop him from doing it, try to figure out exactly what is causing your dog to behave that way.

If he is very persistent into doing it in one area, you may use the dog training command “leave” while using treats to distract him.

You can also distract him by using a particular smell that excites him. These dog training methods typically work very well.

Try to figure out the source of why your dog is digging.

If your dog happens to like a particular spot, you could try replacing the old dirt with new, or you can plant large shrubs to distract him from that area.

If your dog is digging for a cool place to lie down in, you can make a shady spot for him some place else or just keep him indoors on hot days.

Again, move your dog away from the area where this is taking place by using the dog training command “leave”.

But if your dog is digging because it is just a part of your dog’s behavior, you are better off just forgetting dog training him and laying down arms and letting him have his fun.

Although this does not mean surrendering to your dog’s hobby and letting him go through your flower garden. What you can do, however, is giving him his own special place where he can go it to his heart’s content.

This can be in the form of a sandpit or a specific area in your garden where he is allowed to do it.

You can encourage him to bury his favorite toys in that area,or bury a bone for him to unearth.

Soon, he will hang on to the fact that this particular place is his very own area. If he insists on doing it in an area where he is not permitted to, you can use the dog training command “no” in a firm voice and return him to his spot.  No need to be aversive, just clear. Gently redirect, without anger.

A benefit of digging is that it wears down the claws, meaning you don't have to cut your dogs nails. Another positive is the satisfaction your dog gets from digging - take him to the beach and let him go! 

In the garden, train him to do it on command or cue so he can dig burial spots for small creatures that have met their end, or to plant a tree or shrub.


Dog is Digging - Dog First Aid Articles