How to Keep My Dog from Digging...???

Updated on July 07, 2009
S.B. asks from Omaha, NE
11 answers

Our family adopted a beautiful black lab puppy in March. (She was approximately 5 1/2 months at the time and is now a little over 8 months old.) She's a great dog, but had a few issues initially. We've made lots of progress on most of those issues, but are still having problems with one: DIGGING. Actually it's not just digging, she's also really into pulling out grass in clumps and PLAYING with it. She seems to always have some in her mouth! I'm not sure that she's eating it, or if it's just a form of amusement for her. Needless to say, our backyard is not looking so great lately! Does anyone have any ideas about how to stop this frustrating and destructive behavior?

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answers from St. Cloud on

If you can, find a fresh pile of dog poop and put it in the hole and lightly cover it with dirt, otherwise, I use Cayenne pepper over the ground. As for pulling up clumps of grass, I have a cocker spaniel who likes to pull weeds with me, so in the garden, try tossing them to the dog. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Minneapolis on

By the way you describe the playing with grass, it sounds like she is creating toys/play for herself. The best way to stop this, besides maturity which you can do little about, is to create an acceptable alternative and reward her for engaging in it. When you see her digging up patches of grass, grab a ball/stick/toy and get her excited about it, then reward her with a treat (having a lab, I assume that yours is equally treat motivated). Then reward her with each step toward playing with the appropriate toy: throw it, bring her over, and give her a treat; put in in her mouth, give her a treat; if she fetches, give her a treat. Pretty soon you can ditch the treat because the play will be reward enough. Then you'll be encouraging her to go back to self-entertaining because she won't give you a moments rest from throwing her toy! Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Des Moines on

I have seen on a few animal shows where they provide the dog with their own sandbox so they have an appropriate place to dig. They buried toys so there would be 'rewards' for digging in the approved spot.
I find providing my dog with plenty of toys for amusement and chews to keep her busy keep her better behaved. We have even found if we leave the TV on when we are gone keeps her happier while we are away!



answers from Milwaukee on

when we got out lab and she started digging hole my mother in law told me to put her stool in the hole. That way they stop digging there. It took a while but she stopped digging holes. I don't know about the grass thou. I get pig ears for my dog to chew on and she likes chewing on sticks.



answers from Minneapolis on

Good morning:
I saw this idea on the show "Its me or the dog" they put a snadbox just for the dog. filled it with sand .. and some dog toys.. they also got a item that makes nosie when the dog dug in the wrong place. It took some time and some treats .. but the dog did obey to only dig in the sand box.



answers from Green Bay on

Labs LOVE to dig! It's one of their finest qualities :) Is she getting enough exercise throughout the day? Not that she's digging because she's bored. I don't think you can really stop it... it's built into her breed. We have a 6 week old lab and I'm just waiting for the day that she starts :)



answers from Milwaukee on

When my dog was digging they told me needed more exercise. Labs are one that need a lot.`



answers from Minneapolis on

I 2nd what Valerie wrote....our lab stopped digging when I started putting her doggie poo in them. Sounds gross, but it worked for us.



answers from Omaha on

When our golden was a pup she liked to dig by the fence. We sprayed deer urine along the edge of the fence and that kept her away. I'm sure you can get that at any pet store.



answers from Minneapolis on

Puppies and dogs need exercise and mental stimulation. I would just designate the part of the yard where she wants to dig as "her space" and let her at it. In fact, just fence off a "dog yard" separate from the people yard. When she gets older and less interested in digging, it's not hard to add soil and grass seed.



answers from Rochester on

Hi S....we have a 3 yr old chocolate lab and fortunately for us, we have never had the digging issue. I know that if labs get bored, digging is what they do! And mouthing stuff is totally part of the puppy phase. Does she have chew toys? Our Piper loves pressed bones and also her Kong - especially if we put a treat or peanut butter inside of it!

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