Lawn Care Tip – Training Dogs to Not Dig Up Your Yard

July 14, 2014 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

If you’ve ever wanted to train your dog to not dig up your yard, but thought it was impossible – it’s not. In fact, the method for training dogs to not dig up your yard is much like the method you use to housetrain puppies. Here’s what you do:

1. Choose an area of the yard where it will be okay for your dog to dig. Cover the area with loose soil or sand. You could use a child’s sand box.

2. Try to catch your dog digging in an unacceptable spot. Interrupt the activity with a loud noise and a scold command such as “No Dig!”. Immediately take your dog to the approved digging area. Encourage the dog to dig in the approved area. This may involve starting the digging yourself or even covering up an irresistible treat. When the dog digs in the approved area, praise the dog. This is called setting up a competing behavior.

3. When your dog chooses an unapproved spot in the yard to dig, make that spot less attractive to the dog – even if only temporarily. Place rocks or chicken wire into the area.

4. Tempt your dog to dig in the approved area by letting the dog see you dig there and by burying rewards there for him to find (i.e. toys).

This training method can help modify digging behavior that is motivated by boredom, anxiety, or heat avoidance.

Train to not dig

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