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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran frankykeno's Avatar
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    Digging up the yard

    Well Bella the Lab, being Bella she's just got to figure out a new way to make me crazy LOL.

    We just moved into our home last month and have a lovely fenced back yard. Unfortunately the fence isn't quite high enough to contain a very high jumping, high energy Labrador. We have a very long cable tie out for Bella but she also gets off lead free and very active play at least twice a day. At first she was just fine being left tied out for a few hours here or there. She has shade available, a full water dish at all times and tons of dog toys available to her (sticks, kong, various balls, etc.)

    Apparently none of these things have become as much fun as excavating huge holes in our yard this week! Every day Mike and I are busy filling her latest dig site and it's driving me batty. It's not like she's left out there alone for the whole day or she has nothing to play with. She seems to like being tied out for a bit each day and will resist coming in when I call her so I don't think she's upset by being in the yard alone for short periods during the day.

    I'd love to have a backyard that looks decent and I've never dealt with a dog that digs to this depth before. Any ideas on how to break this habit before it gets worse?
    ~~Joanna~~


  2. #2
    No One of Consequence wilomn's Avatar
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    Re: Digging up the yard

    I've used two methods over the years.

    First try putting her own poop in the hole when you fill it. Most dogs don't like getting poop on their paws.

    Second, if the first method doesn't work, fill the hole with water and put her nose in it until she is uncomfortable. It sounds terrible and is not easy, but a smart dog will make the connection. When she blows bubbles, let her up and fill it in.

    Short of those two, a new puppy may work too.

    Good luck.
    I may not be very smart, but what if I am?
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  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran OFRD_GRL's Avatar
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    Re: Digging up the yard

    Well... we have a dog that used to dig (right out under our fence). And it took a couple of times of catching him in the act and showing him who was the boss before he caught on to quit.
    Yelling didn't do it for him (nor did any other trick I was told). I had to literally put him on his back, hand on the throat and let him know he was not the boss dog and he was not following protocol.

    Hopefully your dog isn't that stubborn. You need to spend a while watching the dog from far enough away that it forgets you are there (behind glass door w/ curtain or something) but so that you have a good view and can open door and yell IMMEDIATELY when Bella starts to dig. It won't fix it overnight, it will take awhile of constant supervision....
    You could also try a shock collar if the yelling doesn't work. My dog however is oblivious to those LOL.

    Good luck!!!
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  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran tonkatoyman's Avatar
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    Re: Digging up the yard

    I had the opportunity to hear a pro dog trainer tell how to solve the problem. His solution is to do the following all while having a real playful voice encouraging the dog.
    1. put on very old clothes.
    2. get a shovel and a screw-in dog anchor, the kind that you tether a dog to.
    3. dig the hole bigger.
    4. fill the hole with water.
    5. tie the dog to the screw down anchor after screwing it in the ground near the hole filled with water.
    6. Play with the dog for a minute then take said dog and put him or her in the hole filled with water and try to hold him down in it. The trainer said you will not succeed. He will escape.
    7 repeat step 6 several times, then release the dog drain and fill the hole.
    He will try this one more time in a few days. even with the slightest hint of a hole repeat the process. He will associate hole digging with the unpleasent experience and quit.

  5. #5
    BPnet Veteran frankykeno's Avatar
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    Re: Digging up the yard

    Oh those are some excellent ideas! Thanks folks, I just knew if I posted here with so many experienced dog owners around, I would get some good ideas.

    I don't mean to be a hard case about this and I do understand all dogs dig a little but geeze she's digging to China out there LOL. Not even near the fence line either - three huge and deep holes dead center of the yard. I actually caught her starting one and when I hollered out the kitchen window at her she flopped down on the hole, covered it with her body and gave me the most innocent look you can imagine. I swear you've never seen a more innocent face until a Labrador gives you the "who me?" look.

    Wes, we are actually planning on getting a second dog next year. My favorite breed is the Labrador, Mike's is the English Mastiff so if all the plans work out we'll be looking for a reputable breeder to purchase a pup from early in 2010. English Mastiff's being a giant but very low energy breed, he should make a nice compliment to my very hyper 2.5 year old Labrador (maybe he can teach her that EVERY single thing in the world isn't worth getting all excited about LOL).

    Oh, before I forget - for those that offered so much great advice over our issues with getting Bella to let us trim her nails, she is getting much better. We are at the point of being able to do her nails without fear of getting scratched up as she flails around and it only takes Mike to hold her still while I do the trimming (it used to take Mike and Luke to pin her so I could get those nails dealt with). She doesn't urinate in fear anymore when I clip her nails and that's a nice change. I figure another few months of regular trimming and her feet will finally look like I want them to. Thanks for all your help!
    ~~Joanna~~


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