Yes, it is true, Bali has taken up the nasty habit of digging. What I have been doing to deter the behavior is shaking cayenne pepper in the areas he digs and when I catch him digging spray his snoot with binaca spray. He hates that, and won't dig in the same spot, but still finds new spots to dig. Any suggestions on how I can try to prevent him from digging?
Short of burying chicken wire underground, I don't know of any foolproof solution. I have heard people suggest cayenne and burying the dog's poop in the hole, but as you discovered, that only deters them from digging in that particular place.
Some people say that if you give them a particular area to dig and then teach them "dig" and "no dig," that allows them to get it out of their system. It might work.
Koehler recommended filling the hole with water and holding the dog's head under until it thought it would drown. I don't recommend that one.
Personally, I think management is the only way to go. If he's not outside unsupervised, he's not digging.
I have to agree w/ TheoConBrio -- I tried putting poop in the holes and it definitely worked -- but only for those holes. She just moved on to new territory & made new holes. I will say that she has outgrown that a bit now. Really I think supervision is the only answer. I still can't leave Sami alone outside -- she is a master destroyer and will rip up grass and chew down hedges or small trees in minutes.
Well, you bought yourself a dog and all the doggy acts that go with it* * Having said that, digging is genetically hard-wired into dogs (some more than others).* Consequently, they find it innately rewarding and there is nothing you can do to change that.*
First, here is the problem I have with the Binaca spray.* Unless you catch him the first time, he has discovered what wonderful fun digging holes can be and he has learned that digging holes is rewarding.* Then, after several fun hole digging sessions, you come along with the Binaca spray and spray him on the muzzle.* What has he learned?* Well, he hasn't learned that digging holes is not rewarding.* He has either learned that digging holes around you is dangerous or that you are dangerous.* Either prospect isn't desirable* :
So, what do you do about the holes then?* First, you need to look at what is driving the behaviour.* I would expect that boredom, lack of exercise, and/or frustration would cause a dog to dig.* If he is digging at the fence and trying to get out of the yard, that is likely something different.* The first thing I would do is make sure the dog has enough physical exercise and enough mental stimulation to prevent the digging.* You could place some toys in his yard.* They don't have to be expensive.* Try filling a plastic pop bottle with kibble or ice and watch the fun start.* You could also hide some kongs and yummy treats in the yard and he can spend his time hunting for them.* Let him see you spread them around at first, then start getting more sneaky so he has to work harder to find them. Give him a carboard box to shred...it is a pain to clean up, but what fun for dogs!!!* Use yourr imagination.
This things will definitly help, but at the heart of it, we still have a hard-wired behaviour and your dog is driven to dig.* So you need to give him an outlet for his digging.* Give him a sandbox to dig in.* Remember when he was a puppy and tried tasting your couch?* Instead of telling your puppy he couldn't chew (impossible for a puppy not to chew!!!), you redirected him and taught him that couches and shoes are not OK to chew on, but nylabones and toys are.* Do the same with the digging.* If he is sufficiently exercised but just thinks digging is cool, then teach him that digging can only occur in his little digging area (make the boundaries obvious), and not elsewhere.* So if you catch him digging, tell him his is wrong, take him over to his digging area, encourage him to dig and praise him when he does.* Just like puppies chewing on your shoes, he will soon get the idea and begin to use his digging urge in his designated digging area only and leave the rest of the yard intact.
Make sense???* You will have very little luck teaching a dog not to do what dogs are innately driven do.* You will have much better luck redirecting that behaviour to a place where you will both be happy.* *
To err is human:To forgive, canine."
I have to agree with Nathan on this....if you aren't able to supervise outside...you're going to get holes.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
SHR Endeavor Put Me In Coach, RN, WC, CGC
Member Since 6/2003
Yep, and I realize that supervision is key, but when I hear him go out the dog door, many times I rush to the window and there he is at it again! I have been trying to exercise him as much as possible, but since he hasn't finished his shots yet (he will next week THANK GOD) the vet doesn't want me taking him outside of our property at all because right now Parvo is rampant in Tucson. The other problem is the yard itself. It is a small yard (we live in a little condo), and since we have a dog door that is a partition in the arcadia door, we can't open the arcadia door to go into the yard and have to go out the front door and all the way around the house to the gate to get to him. This introduces a delay...so although I am supervising through the window and door, it takes a minute to get to him. Hopefully things will get better with it when I start him in doggy day care and can take him to the park after his last vaccinations.
Molly used to dig even if somebody was standing 2 inches away from her. It took a lot of patience but a lot of "leave it" if she would go near a hole or "no dig" if she started seemed to help a lot. Now at 8 months old she hasn't dug a hole in about 2 months *knocks very hard on wood* Every now and then she'll dig in that sand at the beach but then she lays in her hole lol.
~Abby, Molly, and Penny (the honorary lab)
Great advise above. Hopefully once he is able to get more excercise he will stop digging. In the meantime give him a sandbox to dig in - bury his toys in it to get him started.