- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Help! My yard is full of potholes, how do I stop the digging?

September 21st, 2008, 03:59 PM
Hello! I am having trouble with a digger. I love my Ruby very much but the digging is driving me crazy!! She is almost a year old and we recently amputated one of her front legs. She was quite the digger before her surgery and I just assumed that with only one front leg she wouldn't be able to dig. Well I was wrong! Before the surgery I tried some things I read on another site (chili powder and menthol rub/Vicks in the holes and refil to name a couple). We thought she was trying to play with sprinkler heads but we don't let her out while the sprinklers are on anymore. Ruby is an indoor dog and doesn't spend a lot of time outside without one of us with her but since it has been so nice here we are keeping the back door open and she gets to come and go as she pleases. Any suggestions to keep my too cute tripod from digging up my entire yard??

September 21st, 2008, 05:23 PM
A couple of things to try...

First of all, since she loves to dig, is there a spot in your yard you could set aside for her to dig in? Maybe square a large spot off with timbers, then every time she digs, bring her to 'her' spot and let her finish there. Eventually she'll get the idea that it's okay for her to dig there, but not elsewhere in the yard. You'll have to supervise her faithfully till she gets the idea, though. If you mix the dirt there with sand to loosen it a bit, it might be more attractive there for her to dig in.

To discourage digging in a particular off-limits spot, get some chicken wire and and some landscaping staples (they look like a squared off U with very long legs). Fill the hole, lay the chicken wire over it and use the staples to secure it to the ground. The wire will work a bit into the soil and the grass will grow up through it. By the time the staples rust out, the wire will be pretty secure. Dogs don't like the feel of it when they dig, so they stop digging at that spot. We have chicken wire laid down along almost the entire length of our fence. :rolleyes: Took a few years for the dogs to find all the unprotected spots, but eventually we covered the perimeter pretty thoroughly. :D

Be aware, though, that till she gets the idea of going to her official digging spot, she may just try to start a new hole right next to the mesh you've already laid down over her old favorite digging hole.

September 21st, 2008, 10:09 PM
Ditto the ckicken wire, it worked So well for us. My 11 year old Dal suddenly started digging a few months ago and we did the same thing except we anchored the wire down with bricks. There were a few small patches around the original area and it took a few tries to get him away but now he digs at the back in 1 area only.

Gail P
September 21st, 2008, 10:43 PM
When you're doing clean up duty in the yard use the poop to fill the holes almost to the top and then rake the soil back over top. That's what I do and it works quite nicely as it kills two birds with one stone, taking care of the holes and waste disposal. Not to say that they won't decide to dig a new one elsewhere, but they don't dig in the same spot. I've heard of lots of other people doing the same. A few people have expressed concern over worms being picked up that way, but if the dogs are on a proper de-worming schedule it's really not a concern, they shouldn't be shedding any worms or worm eggs in their feces.

September 23rd, 2008, 12:38 PM
I've read articles about the digging boxes - and apparently lots of folks have good results with those.

I've personally used the feces in the hole trick, and also have buried large rocks in the bottom of the hole. Both methods have worked although my collie/hound x has a thing about burying his toys, so he just moves over a bit from where we've buried in his previous hole with feces and digs a new one. LOL It's not a big deal for us as he never digs in the grass, just in one area where dh is planning on putting a small brick patio. Maybe once his area is covered up he'll need a digging box. :)

October 4th, 2008, 07:25 PM
Ahh!!! So we tried the poo in the holes and she just dug it up and then flung the poo all over. I have also tried the chicken wire in a couple places and caught her playing with a piece of it in the yard. She dug it up and was tossing it around the yard. Had anyone used balloons in the holes? I read about it on another site and thought I would check here. You blow them up and put them in the holes so when the dog hits it it explodes and scares the dog. It said you can fill them with water too so of will spray them in the face. The only concern I have is that she will eat the balloon after it pops. (I think Ruby is part goat!! She eats everything!!!!) Any way....Has anyone used the balloon in the hole?

October 6th, 2008, 09:50 AM
Happy to hear that Ruby is feeling so good after her ordeal :thumbs up

Dog Dancer
October 6th, 2008, 11:46 AM
I have heard the digging hole has great results. My friend who trains dogs recommends them highly, but she recommends that you put treats into the digging box. Pieces of weiners and cookies and such. That way it becomes even more self rewarding for the dog if they discover goodies in that area. Good luck, and I'm glad to hear that Ruby is herself after her surgery, even if that hasn't helped your issue. Like you, I wouldn't have thought they could dig that well with only one front leg!

October 6th, 2008, 12:51 PM
I taught my lab to only dig in one part of the yard, I, buried toys, bones and tennis balls, anytime she'd start digging, I'd grab her collar, give a firm "NO DIG"....take her to her "spot" and let her smell around till she started digging, took a bit of time ( a couple weeks) but in over 2 1/2 yrs we haven't had an instance of yard digging in unappropriate places

October 12th, 2008, 03:02 AM
Thanks for the info! I am pretty sure we will build a dig box for her in the next couple weeks! If I can catch her in action I will post pictures!!