Digging comes naturally to dogs, especially breeds, such as terriers, that were bred to dig. Stopping your dog’s undesired digging is essential to the aesthetic value of your property. If you still want to allow your dog to dig, a digging pit might be the answer. For the pit to be effective, you must redirect your dog to it each time he starts digging craters.
Making the Digging Pit
A digging pit doesn’t have to be an elaborate piece of work. You’ll need to reserve an area of the yard for the pit. The area should be at least twice the width and length of your dog. Border off the area with large boulders or wooden planks, or for a less labor intensive solution, transform a kiddie pool into a digging pit. Then cover the ground in the digging zone with loose soil or sand, or a combination of both. To make the pit attractive to your furry pal, bury some dog toys and treats in it at different depths; bury some shallowly, and bury some deeper to make for a greater challenge.
Using the Digging Pit
If your dog is used to digging up the yard, he might be drawn to other areas besides the digging pit. To keep him from digging in these areas, spread chicken wire over the soil. Watch your dog closely when he goes into the yard. When your pet companion starts digging in an off-limits area, rattle a can filled with coins, blow a whistle or clap your hands, and say “no dig.” When the noise stops his digging, grab him by his collar and walk him to the digging pit. To get him to start digging, set the example. Dig with a trowel or your hands through the dirt until your find a toy or treat. When you find one show it to your dog to encourage him to join in on the fun. When he does, say “good dig,” and reward him with praise and petting. By consistently correcting your dog, he might eventually start using the digging pit over any other areas in the yard.
Keep it Fun
To ensure the digging pit stays effective, regularly refill it with a variety of treats and toys. You might also periodically have to add some soil or sand to the pit. If your dog makes the mistake of digging in an off-limits area, don’t harshly punish him, because he might start fearing you. Besides, it’s really your fault for not watching him. Instead, vow to observe him closer, so it doesn’t happen again.
Dog Friendly Gardening; Karen Bush