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Ways to Stop Your Dog Digging in the Wrong Places

Dogs will dig - it's in their DNA. In the wild, a dog digs to create a den in which to sleep or to protect and stash away food for future eating.

But, just because they're coded to dig, doesn't mean they should be able to go at your tulips at will.

So, instead of simply trying to stop your dog digging all together, let's take a look at how to minimize destructive digging and refocus all that energy into something that won't bring out that bulging vein on your forehead.

The Digging Spot

First up, give your dog a special place to dig that is all their own. This can be done with a pen or a plastic swimming pool filled with sand or specialty dirt. Simply telling your dog no when you want to stop dogs digging in your lawn doesn't usually work.

However, if you correct the dog behaviour problem by directing them to their designated digging spot, they will learn that the digging is okay, but only where you say it is.

Minimize Attractive Digging Locations

Another easy tip is to minimize how many spots look appealing for digging. Fertilizers, sweet smelling sprays and certain plants will always attract dogs. You'll need to use them in some areas, but minimize the amount in areas your dog can reach.

If you need to cut off part of your yard, do so. A dog will be just as happy with a small area that they can run in as they would with the whole yard. Just be wary that the dog doesn't start digging under fences.

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The Right Plants

Some plants are especially unappealing to your dog. Roses are a good example - their thorns are unpleasant to a dog and can quickly teach them not to dig in a given spot. Use such plants intermittently in your flower plots and the dog will quickly stay away from the entire garden.

Additionally, any plants that don't require watering every day are good because they are not regularly wet. Most dogs look for cool, moist areas to dig.

Use Deterrents on Hot Spots

If your dog has specific spots that they like to dig, use a deterrent to keep them from digging there. One example is to use cayenne pepper or bitter apple mixed in with the dirt. Many dogs will bury their heads in the dirt to stay cool. If they dirt is unpleasant, this will deter them.

You may need to use more extensive deterrents while your lawn is regrowing, such as chicken wire that will keep them from getting any dirt up.

Exercise Your Dog

Finally, just get out there and exercise your dog. All dogs dig, but many will only dig excessively when they are bored and need something to do. This is easy to fix with a distracting activity like fetch or going for a good long walk.

This also plays well with the special digging area you created for your dog. If the dog has a space they can go to get that extra energy out of them, they will be far easier to control when it comes time to regrow your grass and flowers.

Dogs love to dig and they're not going to stop doing it lightly. So, rather than yelling yourself hoarse and trying to change a dog's behaviour when it is so engrained, work toward offering viable, exciting alternatives.

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