Nothing can be more frustrating than waking up in the morning and realizing that your beloved dog dug around your flower beds. For many folks, this can be quite a horrific sight. Keep in mind that it’s not your dog’s intention to annoy you. Many dogs can’t help but dig into flower beds and gardens because it’s natural for them. Others find comfort lying down on freshly dug soil, especially during a hot day. Fortunately, you can correct the behavior using some simple techniques and behavioral adjustments. Learn more about these tips and tricks as you read on.
Find out the reason why your dog keeps on digging
If you want to eliminate the digging behavior successfully, you need to know what’s causing it in the first place. Note that there’s a long list of possible reasons. Is it because of the hot weather? Do you think it’s because of boredom? Does your dog feel anxious? Is your dog trying to get your attention? Observe your dog closely so you can determine the triggering factor.
Possibly, your dog is just trying to attract your attention. Before using the techniques we list in the next few sections, it may help if you pamper your pooch a bit more than you do now. If your dog’s doing it because he/she feels stressed out, you can try setting up a special nook or a kennel where he/she can stay to relax.
Put up fences over your prized flowers
Discourage digging behavior and protect your plants by putting up fences. You don’t need to put up extra high fencing materials to deter bad behavior. Just make sure that it’s enough to keep your pup away. Some puppies tend to jump higher than the rest, so you should adjust the fence’s height accordingly. In case you’re not keen on installing chicken wire or picket fence, you can always grow hedges around your garden to conceal it from your pups.
Make the area unattractive to your dog by adding pebbles
A typical dog’s paw comes with a thick protective layer. Over time, this layer thickens even more as the cushioning material becomes calloused. However, that doesn’t mean that your dog has enough protection against pebbles. If these tiny rocks get stuck underneath the paws, your dogs would feel extreme discomfort when they move around. This is why you can discourage your dog from going into the garden by putting pebbles around the area. Besides serving as a decorative addition to gardens, pebbles and gravel can also double as an effective and inexpensive dog repellant.
Keep your dog entertained
Many dogs end up digging holes in the garden out of boredom. To solve this problem, you can offer new and more exciting toys. You should also schedule regular walks to help your dog release pent up energy. If your dog gets tired, he/she will less likely wreak havoc in any part of your house.
In addition to these two techniques, you can also teach your dog some new tricks. It will strengthen your bond and help your dog learn useful skills like socializing with other dogs and humans.
Spend more time with your furry friend
Sometimes doing wrong things such as digging up holes in the backyard or the garden is your dog’s way of calling your attention. That’s why it would probably help you solve the problem by spending a bit more time with your dog. You can do all sorts of things together, like attending training classes and meeting with other dogs and their dog parents. Dedicate enough time for cuddles and belly rubs. Undoubtedly, your dog will love getting pampered by you and the rest of the pack.
Create a dedicated play area
Speaking of keeping your dog entertained, you can also set up a play area filled with your dog’s favorite toys. Ideally, you should set it up far from the garden. You can place it inside the house, or if you have extra space in your backyard, you can build a nice playground.
Be sensitive to environmental changes
During summer months, it’s common to see dogs digging around. That’s because your dog is trying to find a way to cool his/her body. Experts suggest keeping your dog inside the house, specifically in a cool and well-ventilated area. You can also try other dog cooling techniques, such as offering frozen dog treats and providing a wading pool.
Scan the area for signs of animal infestation
Dogs are by nature hunters. If they keep on digging around the garden, it may be because they found an infestation of pests. Look for animal burrows and other potential habitats near the garden. If you spot any nesting animals, be sure to handle them properly. As much as possible, you should avoid using pesticides and other chemical substances that could potentially hard your dog. You can also contact pest experts to help you get rid of unwanted guests around your garden.
Experiment on dog repellant
Another effective way to discourage your dog from sniffing around your flower beds is by using dog repellant. This should be your last resort because it can cause skin irritation, especially to highly sensitive dogs. As you may know, dogs have very sensitive noses. According to Canidae, they don’t particularly like the scent of chili peppers, vinegar, mothballs, and rubbing alcohol. Ideally, you can try creating your own dog repellent mixture using spices such as pepper and mustard. Spray a tiny amount all over the flower bed and observe how your dog reacts.
Get help from a professional
Do you feel utterly helpless about your dog’s behavior? If none of the techniques listed above worked for you, you might need to see a pet behavior specialist. You can also enroll your dog in a behavioral training program here at Delaware K9 Academy. With proper training, your dog can become well-mannered, allowing you to enjoy a more harmonious relationship. It also helps you avoid issues such as garden or lawn digging.
Contact Delaware K9 Academy today for more information about the training programs your dog can join. We’d be happy to lend you a hand, regardless of the breed, age, and temperament of your pup.