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Question
Posted by: Marshall | 2004/12/04

Dog Digging up the Garden<br>

Please help , I have a nine month old Boer Boel , who just cant stop digging up the garden and lawn. Is there any repelents I can use on the garden and lawn to prevent him from digging or is there any thing that I could do the dog that will make him stop.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

Hi Marshall
Dogs dig for a reason. Puppies often dig one or two holes out of curiosity, but soon grow out of it. However if your puppy is digging excessively then it may be that he is bored and needs some stimulation, other than digging. Make sure you take him for at least one 20 minute walk every day on a long loose lead, outside of your property and allowing him to sniff and meet other dogs along the way. He will also need to go to training at this age, which will help with general obedience and keeping his mind occupied. Get him lots of chewy toys like cowhooves, rawhide, ostrich sinews etc. and a few "smart toys". These include Congs (can be stuffed with food), Buster Cubes (put his dog pellets inside), Treatballs or homemade versions of these. You can take a large plastic Coke bottle and put some of his pellets inside. He then has to roll it around to get one out every now and then. Give him new toys every day, by rotating them. All dogs need company most of the day (another dog/cat/human), access to the house and a view out of your property. You can put his own faeces in the holes to deter him, but you will have to decide (at least in the beginning) where he will be allowed to dig. A digging pit is a good idea and to encourage him to dig there, instead of in the flower beds or lawn, you can bury some of his chewy toys in the pit every now and then.
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
ANIMAL BEHAVIOURIST

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2004/12/04

This is an eternal problem, especially with young dogs.

Try to give him as many toys as possible to play with, so that he's too busy to dig.

You can get repellents (try the petshop, supermarket or your vet) but what I have found to be effective - although not without drawbacks, especially if you're a keen gardener! - is to place heaps of the dog's own faeces where they like to dig - that seems to put them off ok.

If all else fails, then take consolation from the fact that MOST dogs will outgrow this by the time they're about 2 or so... only a year and 3 months to go!

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