Taking deep breaths...and trying not to kill the them...

natalie78

Did you die?
O.G.
May 6, 2008
5,035
12
Texas
Belle and Bear love to dig. Their digging used to be confined to one spot, so I let them have at it. Every other day, I would go cover the hole and let them go at it again in the hopes that they wouldn't dig anywhere else. But, other spots got their attention and they started digging around the house foundation. Not cool at all. I figured that planting some hedges may keep them away from the house. Over the weekend, I spent $300 buying hedges and supplies for my new project.

What do I find waiting for me last night? They dug up every hedge and dragged them around the yard. I was furious. DH went outside and put them all back in the ground. I got some decorative fencing to put around the hedges last night and stayed out until 10:00 to fix everything. DH just called me and said that B&B are digging the fencing up. I want to scream.

Just needed to vent before I smack my head on the desk.
 

Green Zebra

love to nap
Oct 17, 2008
1,768
1
Second City
No!! Don't smack your head on the desk!! LOL Aww, just look at those cute doggy faces???

I don't know if you just want to vent, or if you want some advice...

Some dogs are just diggers by nature...some do it because they're bored. From what I understand, letting them dig in one special spot JUST for them is okay (just as you've done)...the problem began when they began digging in other places (around the foundation) and they weren't stopped and led back to their special place to dig.

Leaving them unsupervised in the yard is not a good idea until they're retrained to dig in only their spot. Try making a nice spot for them to dig, maybe with sand? Maybe surrounded with railroad ties or something? Try burying dog toys in that spot only, and redirect them to their spot if they wander.

Of course, the best idea would be to train them not to dig at all, if possible..

(oh, sorry about your shrubs and fence, too...)
 

candice19

Member
Oct 21, 2007
872
0
My friend's dog used to do this - but the solution was more exercise and walking/running to drain them. Can you try this?
 

Cindi

My baby, Bellis
O.G.
Aug 8, 2006
9,872
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54
PA USA
You have to make their special area a lot of fun and the other areas a negative experience. Hide dog toys and treats in the area where they are allowed to dig. They will soon learn that digging anywhere else will just get them an unhappy mom and dad. I know exactly what you are going through. I have 2 diggers of my own. My white female likes nothing better than to dig a big hole and lay in it. Instant brown dog. LOL Try to be calm and give it a try. That's why they made them so cute you know. So you don't kill them ;)
 

Brooke11

polisher
Apr 13, 2008
3,780
0
east coast
oh no :sad: I agree, it sounds like they are bored and are digging as a way to vent. Walking them more and making the backyard more 'fun' might help (toys, treats, obstacles to run through or jump over). I would have thought the shrub idea would have worked -- I'm surprised they dug those up. Maybe give them an area just for digging?
 
Sep 7, 2008
20,931
12
33°53'S,151°10'E
My friend's dog used to do this - but the solution was more exercise and walking/running to drain them. Can you try this?
Great advice. Give the dogs something to do - walk them every day and play with them in the yard. My guess is it's probably boredom, frustration and stress making them dig incessantly.
 

natalie78

Did you die?
O.G.
May 6, 2008
5,035
12
Texas
I always make it a point to play with them at least two hours a day when I get home from work. Belle is the big digger. I think Bear is just copying when she is doing. I've calmed down and now I am going fix the fence...
 
Nov 30, 2008
3,307
146
Under a Palm Tree
I know how frustrating that can be, but I cant help but chuckle! I had a dog once that dug up a whole bed full of flowers I had planted as well. They then look at you with those innocent eyes though... :P

A suggestion that I received when I had my older dog was to bury some chicken wire just a few inches below the soil. Since you have to plant in deep holes and shrub roots are usually larger than plants, you will want to snip apart the chicken wire and feed it around the plants, then cover with a few inches of soil. The dogs hate the feel of it on their paws and they should stop digging in that area.
 

queenvictoria2

psalm 25:4
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Sep 18, 2006
6,859
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Saving the world ....One dog at a time
Oh I am so sorry!
My girl boxer Sammi was just like this, she drove me NUTS! She destroyed just about everything we owned. My other boxer Joe had no use for her :P so once we brought home William (French Bulldog) she completely stopped acting crazy :shrugs: It was like she just wanted her own little puppy to mother and she was happy as a clam :girlsigh:
 
Oct 21, 2008
4,544
4,074
Sorry to hear about your garden natalie78.

In dogs versus gardeners, dogs usually win :P

Still, look on the bright side - at least they're not tunnellers!! :nuts:
 

canadianstudies

1 <3 Lyndee!
O.G.
Oct 19, 2007
9,153
7
^^ I know someone whose papillon ate through the drywall from the dining room to the living room... and papillons are only about 7lbs, so that was quite a feat!

OP, so sorry to hear about your hedge and fence troubles!
 

BlueKat

Queen of the Castle
Jul 20, 2008
756
1
USA
natalie, my dog does this too, including digging near the foundation of the house. Sometimes she digs because she wants to hide a toy or bone, but sometimes she digs just for the fun of it! Luckily, we had some left over flagstone, and have arranged them near the foundation of the house, and other areas. And this has stopped her from digging in those areas. In addition, DH has started exercising her more this summer, and I have noticed that, overall, she does not dig as much anymore.
 
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natalie78

Did you die?
O.G.
May 6, 2008
5,035
12
Texas
^^ I know someone whose papillon ate through the drywall from the dining room to the living room... and papillons are only about 7lbs, so that was quite a feat!

OP, so sorry to hear about your hedge and fence troubles!
During the winter, we kept them in the garage when we were at work and Belle (it's ALWAYS her) ate through the drywall in the garage. I spent a week trying to keep up with her, but she won in the end.

I got everything back into the ground and dug the fence in really deep. Belle spent an hour barking at the fence and giving me stink face! I had to laugh. I cannot stay mad at her for long. But, they left it alone during the night. I cannot wait to see when scheme they come up with today. They are both only about a year old, so I still have hope that they will grow out of their mischevious ways.

And thanks to everyone for their advice.
 

Loganz

will work for shoes
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Dec 16, 2005
8,252
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Colorado
Our dogs get to free-roam inside the house while we were gone - if left outside they would eat every blade of grass, leaf, piece of mulch, etc etc....both of my yellow labs were HUGE destroyers/diggers as pups (carpet/couches/pillows,. beds, etc) - then after age 2 1/2 they just stopped.
Dogs are so cute when they dig too, it is funny to watch - I am not a gardener - I figure they dig holes outside so that I may fall into them and twist my ankles...lol

I think 2 1/2 is the magic # for no more digging/acting out. Best of luck - and they really are so very cute - hard to mad (for long), yes??