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How To Stop Dogs From Digging - Get Your Dog Or Puppy To Stop Digging In Your Yard Or Garden

In this department you will find a collection of articles and resources on how to stop dogs from digging.  Information here includes:  Stop a digging dog, how to stop your dog or puppy from digging holes in your garden or yard.

Guess what? My new dog Forbes started digging holes in my rose garden!

As the founder of the web site (as well as the Southern California dog training company South Bay K-9 Academy for seven years) I'm going to let you peek into my world and learn how a professional dog trainer solves this type of dog behavior problem, so you can also learn how to stop dogs from digging.

First, I need to figure out when he is digging so I can see how to stop the dog digging. Since I know the dog and his lifestyle, I can rule out several factors such as boredom or puppyhood or gophers, etc... I noticed that every time he would start digging holes he was in the yard playing with a friend's dog, unsupervised. So, I first need to MAKE SURE that it was ACTUALLY MY DOG that was the perpetrator. A quick look at his feet would suggest that it was.

Next, I needed to figure out if he would dig ANY TIME he was left alone in the yard or if it was only when another dog was present. To figure this out, I simply left the dog in the yard alone with access to the rose garden several times... and came back to find that he had not dug.

So... it stands to reason that the only time my dog is digging in the yard is when there is another dog in the yard. (Who knows why? There could be a million unexplained reasons that only the dog knows.

All I need in order to fix the behavior is knowledge of the dog and the circumstances). Now, I know that to fix any behavior problem I need to make the dog experience a NEGATIVE ASSOCIATION with the actual ACT of doing that behavior.

In this case, digging in the garden. And he needs to experience that same negative association EVERY TIME HE DIGS! In this case, I must be 100% diligent to never leave Forbes unsupervised in the yard when there is another dog in the yard.

Of course, if he was digging by himself, then I'd need to confine him to a kennel run where he cannot dig when I'm not supervising him. Or if there is another dog visiting then I will need to bring Forbes inside, put him in the kennel run, or use the presence of the other dog as a "set up."

The next step on how to stop dog digging is to make sure that he associates that negative (correction) just as he starts to dig. There are two ways I can do this: The Lazy Man's Way and the Old Fashioned Way. Both methods are based on the same principle. The Old Fashioned Way to make sure that the dog gets a motivational negative association when he digs is to:

How to stop dog digging:

Step 1.) Leave a pinch collar and tab (one foot leash) on the dog when he's outside in the yard with another dog.

Step 2.) Bury hardware mesh or chicken wire in the spot where he's been digging. The chicken wire should be buried two to three inches below the surface. Dogs don't like scraping their paws against this stuff. So, right off the bat you've got an immediate negative association.

Step 3.) Spy on him and just wait until he starts to dig.

Step 4.) As soon as he begins to dig, yell "No No No!" as you run outside and give the dog a correction. As long as you continue to say "No no no" as you run to the dog, the dog WILL still associate the correction with the behavior.

Step 5.) Be 100% consistent until you are 100% sure that the dog isn't digging any more. The Lazy Man's Way to fix this problem behavior is to use a remote electronic collar (e-collar). Everything else remains the same. When using the e-collar for this behavior, I'd turn the setting up to the high level.

Your goal is to create absolute avoidance to this behavior (digging in the garden). And you want him to think that the dirt just jumped up and bit him! Usually if you correct the dog with the electronic collar for this type of behavior, you've only got to do it twice before the dog decides that it's in his best interest to leave your garden alone.


Get my personal assistance on how to stop dogs from digging.


Read about my "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer"

More Advice On How To Teach Your Dog To Not Dig In The Garden
By Adam G. Katz
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How Do I Get My Dog To Stop Digging Holes In My Yard?
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He is trained to assist me with balance and braces me as we walk, he also anticipates my gait weaknesses which is always changing due to my Multiple Sclerosis and he will adjust himself to meet my balance needs.
He is also trained to help me get up from a sitting position or if I fall he will help me to stand, or get help for me if necessary. He loves to go get the mail or deliveries and bring them back to me with a single command, and our driveway is over 200 ft long! He has a totally reliable retrieve and can identify over 10 different objects by name. Most of this I attribute to your wonderful insight and advice through your website and newsletters.
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My son took the attached picture. He was shocked that I allowed Abby on the couch. It's a rare thing, so don't slap my knuckles! I told him to take a picture because it would last longer." -- Laurel, Salt Lake City, Utah.
"My name is Suzi Schaefers, owner of Suzi's Custom Dog Training in Morrison, CO. I've been a professional dog trainer for 19 years and have owned my own business for 8. I wouldn't want to do anything else, ever. I absolutely love what I do for a living.
I am writing to you to let you know that I am happy to see that another dog trainer (people trainer) who uses virtually the exact same training methods and techniques that I do.... all are done by you the way they're done by myself.
Here in CO there are dozens of dog trainers in the metro area, each with his or her own ideas on how a dog and its human should communicate. Only one, my mentor, trains dogs the way I do, the way you do. Short, sweet and to the point and with lots of positive reinforcement for a job well done.
Just out of curiosity, I downloaded 'Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer' many months ago and I felt like I was reading my own book!
Thank you for your time, effort and dedication to our line of work. The world needs more dog trainers like us!"

Very sincerely,

-- Suzi Schaefers
Owner Suzi's Custom Dog Training
Morrison, CO. USA 80465
"Old, young, pit bull, mastiff, chihuahua, healthy or ill... they are loved here with my hubby and the 3 cats. And no fights, no running loose outside, no chewing of furniture. I know I train mainly with my heart, but I go by the same tenents you do: Understand their pack life and use it to your advantage.
Love your site!"
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We would like to speak with you about possibly being a guest on CBS Network ---talking about how to keep your dog from barking. If you are a dog whisperer we would like a live demo.
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Producer, CBS News