Digging problem.

Posted by hogcreek
Sep 14, 2010
Hello, I have a 5 1/2 month Vizsla male. He's a very nice dog, a bit rowdy but I think that goes with the breed. He frequently digs holes in the back yard lawn/flower area. I have tried to place wire mesh in holes, as I have read about, but he doesn't seem to be deterred. Any other ideas to help stop the digging?
Thank you
Posted by kjd
Sep 14, 2010
Hi, hogcreek!

I've go a digger too. I fill up the holes with stones and dead weeds (no seed heads). Doesn't always stop the digging, but it seems to help.

Another suggestion is to get a sandbox and teach him to dig there. Hide treats and toys so he has a reason to dig in the box rather than the yard. Of course, with a good digger, you'll have to replace the sand, but at least your lawn and flower beds will be safe!

Posted by KOPCaroline
Sep 15, 2010
Hey hogcreek,

Any idea what the reason behind the digging is? Some dogs do it out of boredom, is your boy getting lots of excercise and enrichment daily? Is he actually burying something, or searching for a toy or something, or is it just random and seemingly "for fun"? It could just be instinct, some dogs are just diggers, or it could be related to anxiety, does he show any other symptoms of being "wound up"? (wrecking things when you're away, nervous in new situations, etc?)

If you can find a reason, thats great, it'll help you figure out how to decrease the behaviour. If its just instinct or a fun thing, there are still things you can try:

I like kjd's suggestion of a sand box. Providing a place designated for digging and putting toys in it to encourage digging in this place is a great way to decrease destroying your yard!

If you see your pup digging, do your best to startle him. Associating negative stimuli with digging is a good way to get him to stop. You can even try blowing up balloons and burying them in his common digging places, so they pop when he gets to them and hopefully work to startle him out of it.

Blocking access to the places he most commonly digs is another tool you can use; temporary fences or heavy objects placed on top are suitable. This might only lead him to dig elsewhere though, so use this method in conjunction with others.

If you catch him digging, and the startling isnt working, try immediately removing him (telling him NO at the same time) from the area and tying him up (to his kennel, or put him in a crate, whatever you've got set up), and leaving him for at least 10 minutes. Do it everytime you see him digging, he should get the idea that digging = no more fun.

I hope these help you, let us know how it goes!