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Dogs Digging in Yard Solutions

         Hannah in dog run

Best Dog Runs

There is one and only one way to keep puppies and/or grown dogs from tearing up the landscape while you are away. Put them in a dog run. The best runs are fenced with chain link and have smooth concrete for the floors, which are easy to clean and good for the dogs’ feet.  Let the puppy out when you’re home and everyone will be happy—you, the puppy and the landscaping.

Solutions for Dogs Digging in the Dirt

Q:  I own two dogs, a Great Pyrenees and a mut. In the past month, the mut has developed a taste for some sort of bug or grub in the lawn of my backyard. I see her sniffing around the yard and stopping to dig shallow holes and eating whatever it is she is digging up. I have not been able to determine what exactly she is digging up as she immediately stops when I go outside. I have tried spraying Hot Pepper wax (3% capasaicin) mixed at a rate of 3 Tablespoons/quart (stronger than recommended, but lower doses had no effect). This stops the Great Pyrenees from even going into that part of the yard, but the mut only ask for tortilla chips to go with her snacks. I need help, my backyard is beginning to look like a 50 lb. skunk lives in it. She has "tilled" up a large portion of the yard and is beginning to go back over areas previously dug up. I have thought about treating the yard with Milky Spore, but it says it takes a month or longer to kill the grubs, and at this point, I am not even sure if it is grubs. Is there another option, short of getting rid of the mut? R.O.

A:  It might be grubs, earthworms or even tree roots that the dog likes. Some dogs just dig because they are bored and don't know what else to do. My solution to this problem requires an overall program. First of all, the dogs need to be left in dog runs when you are away from home. Dog runs can be small but need to have smooth concrete floors and strong fences. I use chain link and paint it black. Then let the dogs out when you are home. They will be interested in spending most of their energy with you. Digging can still happen but should be less of a problem. To limit the digging further, work some of the dog's poop into the soil (just under the surface) as you backfill the holes. It stops them from digging in most cases.

Dogs that Dig

There are two solutions to dogs digging in the yard. Placing their own poop in the digging site usually makes them go elsewhere. It has to be redone from time to time. If it is your own dogs, put some of their poop just under the soil where they are digging and the problem usually stops.

This sounds gross, but it really works. Put some of the dog waste in a 5 gallon bucket and fill with water. Let this "manure tea" sit for an hour or so then sprinkle or pour on the problem areas. The dog will pick other spots to use. How long it lasts varies, but with our dogs, lasts for weeks. This works to prevent digging as well.

Tip from an OCA Member on Digging Dogs:

If a dog digs a hole and you fill it back in and then he digs in the same spot, blow up a balloon, put it in the hole and cover with dirt. When the dogs digs the hole again, he hits the balloon and it pops in his face. Chances are he will not dig the hole again. Depending on the dog, you may have to do this method a few times.

Also, you can put a little amount of water into the balloon. It will not hurt the dog, but it helps make the treatment more effective. 



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