That age old question every trainer gets, weekly “how do I stop my dog from digging?!” I think the best way to fix this problem is to first ask “why is the dog digging holes” is he/she bored or anxious? Dogs don’t just destroy things to spite you as much as it may feel like it.
Most of the time I have found the problem to be boredom which is easily solved in theory, just give the dog more things to do, and exercise them more, however this isn’t always easy for a busy dog owner there are cheats and short cuts you can use.
The easiest solution is to give your dog a sand pit and leave treats and toys in it this means the dog has a place they are allowed to dig and they are rewarded with treats and toys for digging in these spots, pour some vinegar or put the dogs poop in the old holes and hey presto the digging should stop. You can get a cheap ‘shell’ sandpit from Bunnings or Kmart for about $20 (Aus stores & price)
BUT that is only a band aid solution! You should also consider adding more exercise to the dog’s routine teaching your dog fetch means you can work them out while doing other things or if you aren’t up to going for a run. I have a chronic illness and sometimes I’m too sick to walk the dogs so a 20 minute fetch session really works wonders to wear them out, It’s also fantastic to do while hanging out the washing!
Here is a great video to help teach a perfect Fetch:
The aid of mental stimulation toys can be a lifesaver for people with bored dogs, things like Kongs and dog IQ tests can really keep a dog busy for a while. Kong have a wide variety of toys that are for big and small dogs that can help keep a dog entertained using their brains and bodies. Dog puzzle also have a range of IQ test toys that I love to use with my boys. Mental exhaustion can help exponentially in keeping your dog from becoming bored and getting up to no good, this can be done through short training sessions, keep it interesting and try training your dog some new tricks 15 minutes of training can wear a dog out as much as an hour walk.
If your dog is still digging and showing signs of anxiety I advise you contact a local trainer or look into some anti-anxiety training. Which we will be posting about soon!