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How to Stop Dog from Digging Holes?


#1

I made this post this morning, but it disappeared so I have to retype it.

So, I got a new dog a few months ago, and she's an 8 month old Australian cattle dog X. The problem is that she keeps digging holes in the yard and is ruining the lawn!

I understand that hole digging is natural dog behaviour, and that the cattle dog is a high energy breed of dog that needs lots of physical activity because they are working dogs. Usually the hole digging is something that happens when the dog gets bored and I'm not at home to play with her. But, I can't be around all the time, as I have to work, go to the gym, go out, etc.

What can I do to stop my dog from digging holes? Diversions such as giving her toys doesn't seem to stop it. Most people I talk to say that you have to discipline the dog by beating it; for example, my friend said that he trains his dogs by using a piece of rubber hose. If they do anything bad, he gives it a good solid whack across the nose.

But, I don't want to beat my dog...is there any other way to stop this behaviour?


#2

If she is only doing it when you are not home it may be an expression of not just boredom but anxiety. Some of the dogs I work with dig only in high-stress situations. And in my opinion she is too young to mentally deal with you being gone without being crated (for most dogs, 1 1/2 to 2 years old is when they gain the maturity to be able to handle being left alone). I would highly recommend crating her when you leave her.

Also, even most dogs with yards to play in need walks and runs because they have a roaming instinct which is satisfied by these activities.

As for discipline, she will not associate punishment with the crime if you do not catch her IN the act. And hitting is never beneficial.