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pet digging up my garden

February 3rd, 2004, 09:49 AM
I don't know what to do anymore about my 11 month old cross (rottweiler and american bull dog). She's as adorable as can be but she cannot stop digging up my garden at night, she only does this at night. I am desperate for a solution because i love my dog but she is destroying my garden. I have read books and tried numerous things like playing with her at night before I go to bed so she does not feel neglected. I bought her toys for her to play while I am not around. I go to the spot she has dug up and tell her no and tie her up for a couple of hours. I hit her nose with the plant and make her smell it and tell her no, I give her her toys after words and tell her to play with those. She has her toys to play with at night too but the ones that she likes the most, she chews to bits in less than two days and cannot play anymore. Nothing seems to work. She started doing this when we went away for a week on vacation. Now it is almost every night. Some people tell me I have to chose between her and the garden. I don't want to have to do that. There must be something.
I have read that my solution should be to send her to a trainer but I live in Haiti and there are no trainers here. I can't even find her favorite toy here, I have to order it my mail and by the time it comes it will only have lasted 2 days since she chews it to death. She does not like bones to play with.
What should I do? What am I doing wrong? Otherwise she is a great dog, very smart, and obedient.

Lucky Rescue
February 3rd, 2004, 10:55 AM
To me, it sounds like this puppy is bored and frustrated. This is a dog who needs a lot of exercise. Is she getting it?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like she spends most of her life alone in the yard...?? She is of two breeds who do not do well left alone all the time. They need to part of the family, and included in your life and activities.

Digging comes very naturally to some dogs. I have a pit bull who would rather dig than do anything else, almost.

Hitting and tying up your dog is going to do no good at all. As you see, it doesn't stop the digging, but makes her do it when you aren't around (at night)

I suggest fencing an area of the garden just for her to dig in. Hide little treats in the ground for her to find. Also, take her for long walks, play ball or frisbee with her. Practice obedience. Tire her out - she needs this and will be less interested in digging if she has other diversions.

Bring your dog in the house with you at night - she'll be much happier not being alone.

Dogs left out in backyards often develop behavior problems.

February 3rd, 2004, 10:56 AM
Is it possible the dog wants to be indoors with you?

I never let mine stay out all night. Course mine sleep in bed with me. Makes for fun nights sometimes.

I watched a show that says if the dog sees you dig and planting plants they think its ok to do it too. Mine like to play chase in mine. I don't care cause gives me an excuse to puy new plants.

One thing you might want to consider is that some plants are highly toxic to dogs. Research what you put into the garden.
I had Monkshood or Wolfbane....not knowing its seriously toxic. Needless to say it went bye bye awful quick.

February 3rd, 2004, 11:03 AM
First of all I have to say do NOT hit her on the nose with the plant or anything else.And please don't tie her up.

No you don't have to choose between her or your garden.

You say you play with her before you go to bed.What about the rest of the day?Is she an outdoor dog?What I mean is she left outside all night.

A great toy to get is a Kong.You fill it with treats.You can put some of her dry food in there or a bit of her canned.They go at it for hours...Or even a Nylabone....You say she doesn't like bones.Have you tried soup bones or knuckle bones or even smoked bones?

When you see her digging,give her a stern "NO" when she stops,praise her and give her a treat,or her favorite toy.This may take a bit of time.She is still a puppy.

Also,if she's obedient and is good in the house,why not keep her in with you at night?

I'm sure the regulars on her will also give great advise.

Here is a link for you to look at.

February 3rd, 2004, 11:05 AM
Wow guys,I guess I type to slow.No one posted yet.....

I must be a slow typer.....LOL

February 3rd, 2004, 11:08 AM
Aslo,here is a link that tells you what plants are poisonous to dogs.

February 3rd, 2004, 04:51 PM
firstly, do what LR says, give her a special place to dig and bury treats to make it hers and she will have fun. to make sure she understands she must dig in that place, praise her for digging there and no where else and keep putting treats there and she will soon figure it out. i was advised that when my girl digs (and i have been doing this for years with her and it works) bury her own poo in the hole and sprinkle the top of it with curry or chilli powder (just a little, they will get it), most dogs dont like digging up their own poo and the chilli is a big surprise, it wont hurt them either. occassionally it doesnt work the first time but it always works the secound time around. we have had posion plants in our garden and i just sprinkle these with chilli powder and she soons learns not to touch them. but let me repeat hitting her wont acheive anything but making you feel frustrated and guilty when it doesnt work;)

February 4th, 2004, 09:11 AM
I thank you all for your useful information and encouraging words. I won't tie her up again or hit her nose because you guys seem to be right about that, it does not work and I feel very guilty.
For those of you who ask me about her excecise. She has a big yard, front and back, and I gave her a rope toy and bounce ball. She always destroys the bounce toys, and those are the ones she likes the most. It's hard for me to get them, as I said, I live in Haiti and those things don't exist here. I order them online, I had ordered four, thinking it would last but in less than 2 weeks they were all gone. I ordered again but it takes a couple of weeks before it gets here.
I am going to apply the suggestion of giving her her space to dig up, I think that should work, and I have a spot in mind already. I tried putting a powder like pepper on the plants but she dug them up anyways. She loves to dig holes for her bones, that is not really a problem because she does not eat the plants. What really bothers me is when she digs up the flowers and detroys them.
I am a working woman and work all day long, I leave at 7 and come back at 6 at night. But during the day she is not alone, I have people who stay at home all day who take care of her and sometimes play with her. She is just overly active. I love her to death though and hopefully with all of your encouragement and help, I will be able to get out of this problem with her.

February 4th, 2004, 10:26 AM
I used to have a lab that was like that. When we would leave she would destroy what ever was within her reach, but when we were home she was an angel. It was seperation anxiety. We were never able to cure her of it, so we just adjusted. If she was inside when we left, we put the trash up high and made sure doors were shut so she wouldn't chew up the kids stuff. Outside we made sure she had a place that she could dig. We did have to chain her up when we left (sorry guys) because she could dig her way out of the fence in no time, and we live on a busy high way. So if we were gone she would run off. BUT she didn't stay on the chain when we were home.

February 5th, 2004, 06:15 PM
I haven't read all the replies....

but if you need to put her in the backyard, take her out on a lead while u supervise her..

give her the exercise and stimulation she needs for the day & keep her distracted with kongs (I skimmed through that last suggestion)


February 5th, 2004, 10:10 PM
Okay, I guess I am really having a slow day. What are kongs?

February 5th, 2004, 10:17 PM

ENJOY!!! it's an excellent 'toy' :D

February 6th, 2004, 06:52 AM
I have never heard of them. That is a wonderful idea. Could keep them busy for quite a while. I will have to order a few of those. Thank you for the tip!

February 6th, 2004, 06:31 PM
you're welcome!!

tho I would recommand you talk w a sale associate to make sure u'r buying the correct size for your doggie.

perhaps they'll even give u ideas as what to put into them.


February 6th, 2004, 06:47 PM
I will make sure and do that. I have three fur children of the canine type! (Three more of the feline!) So I will ahve to purchase three of them, and each has their own tastes so it will be interesting!