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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I have been commenting a lot lately about how much better Riley is doing, in so many ways. He isn't biting as much, he behaves better in the living room, and is just generally becoming a nicer puppy to have and be around. Don't get me wrong, we have loved him all the way, but this puppy thing has been harder than we thought!

BUT...he is proving to be a real digger and it's driving us mad! When I put him out, I check on him constantly. Every time I look out, he is playing with a ball, laying in the leaves, chewing on a stick, etc...so I leave him out for a little longer. The next time I look, he's face first in a brand new hole in the lawn, going to town. :doh: Once, I swear he almost made it to China before I caught him.

My husband is going to throttle him if we lose anymore of our lawn!

Does anybody have any advice?
 

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I am sorry I really do not have much advice on how to correct the problem.

I will say with Luck we do not allow him at his age outside by hisself. I do not know if that is possible for you. The one time he did he was a muddy mess! Rolled in every bush and mud puddle he could find.

I hope someone can help you more than that.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Never, ever leave your dog outside alone.

Starlite cannot be out alone at all- he goes right under the gate and meets me at the front door.
 

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Dogs dig strictly out of boredom. They have nothing else to do, so they become destructive and try to find something to stimulate themselves, which can result in digging. It is best to interact with your pup and play fetch in the yard, go for walks, do some one on one training, etc. Leaving a dog outside alone will result in a bored dog and destruction.
 

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Debbie
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We have a Riley too and she is also a digger. I never leave her out in the yard without me because of this. As far as the boredom....not so sure. We will be outside playing, she'll be having her zoomies all over the yard and it's just like she is struck by something and she has to stop and dig! I have had success with burying her poo in areas she has dug in. She doesn't dig in these areas, just finds new ones.
 

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I feel your pain but I don't know the solution. Dodger is also a digger. I was told to teach him a command for digging so that he would then only dig when he was told to. But to teach him I would have to reward him for digging, which doesn't make sense to me. I've also heard that you can give them a specific area to dig in and burry things for them to dig up, but I don't really have a space for that. So I just keep a super close eye on him.


Dodger was never left unattended for long periods. He would go out to pee or run around with my roommates dog for a few minutes while I checked on them from the window, and then all of a sudden he would be tearing up the lawn or garden. He's over a year now and I still have to stand there and watch him everytime he goes outside.
 

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I've seen all good people
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We have a Riley too and she is also a digger. I never leave her out in the yard without me because of this. As far as the boredom....not so sure. We will be outside playing, she'll be having her zoomies all over the yard and it's just like she is struck by something and she has to stop and dig! I have had success with burying her poo in areas she has dug in. She doesn't dig in these areas, just finds new ones.
Merlin does the same thing! LOL! Definitely not out of boredom. I will say, that at 2-1/2 yrs old, it doesn't happen as often anymore.

After being at the beach last month, we are seriously thinking of putting in a sandbox for him. :wavey:
 

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Like someone else mentioned, make a space for him that he can dig. My mom got some landscape timbers to block off a section of the yard. She then helped them start the digging by overturning some of the soil with a shovel. Now anytime her dogs feel like digging, they go over there to dig. She said it's much better to forfeit a small portion of her yard than to have holes all over. I have heard of other people filling a kiddie pool with dirt and letting the dog dig there.
 

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Nancy
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Hank is a digger. He's not out there alone for any length of time so it's not boredom. I believe some dog like to dig more than others. My labX was a digger big time, Maggie never dug holes. He digs in the landscape beds where the soil is soft. I'm hoping by next spring when the perennials come back he'll be over that phase.
 

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Dogs dig strictly out of boredom. They have nothing else to do, so they become destructive and try to find something to stimulate themselves, which can result in digging. It is best to interact with your pup and play fetch in the yard, go for walks, do some one on one training, etc. Leaving a dog outside alone will result in a bored dog and destruction.
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Totally agree with this- goldens are so smart & want to learn new things from you. Fetch of course- we will hide toys & name them & say “find squeaker” or whatever, & they love that stimulation & really need it. And walks & runs at a state park to run them ragged cause when they are puppies the energy is never ending. Its exhausting but if you do puppyhood right it makes for a great dog.
 

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Dogs dig strictly out of boredom. They have nothing else to do, so they become destructive and try to find something to stimulate themselves, which can result in digging. It is best to interact with your pup and play fetch in the yard, go for walks, do some one on one training, etc. Leaving a dog outside alone will result in a bored dog and destruction.
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Totally agree with this- goldens are so smart & want to learn new things from you. Fetch of course- we will hide toys & name them & say “find squeaker” or whatever, & they love that stimulation & really need it. And walks & runs at a state park to run them ragged cause when they are puppies the energy is never ending. Its exhausting but if you do puppyhood right it makes for a great dog.

I still think some dogs just like to dig. At the time when Dodger started digging he was going to puppy socialization classes at the vet clinic, as well as attending puppy kindergarten with obedience practice every day, plenty of walks, and lots of playtime. He would be outside for two minutes running around and would all of a sudden start digging. He actually taught my friends border-collie cross to start digging as well :doh: . I don't think he was bored and he could have come inside at any time for more attention.
 

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Missing Molly
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Ok, here is the most unorthodox solution you are going to here, but it has worked on all 3 of our goldens. What do you do when they dig a hole, fill it back up right? Well you are still going to fill it up, but first drop some of their own poop in the hole. I am not sure why but they don't like to dig in that hole anymore, LOL. After a few times of this my dogs stopped digging. I like being able to leave the dogs out to play in the yard.
 

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If you have a spot in the yard, let him dig there. And when you see him digging take him to the spot and let him dig. Put little goodies in there hidden when he isnt look and then let him dig to find them. Keep doing it and he will catch on to where he can dig.
My foster pup that just left was a digger. She would go out and run like a maniac then just stop and start digging. I woudl tell her to stop and she would run off and then when I turned my back she would start digging again in that same spot.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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I just say NO and bring them in. I can't stand dirty dogs in my house either, so I cannot imagine letting them dig and roll in the dirt and then come inside my house. There's a time and a place. Hanging out on the nice lawn is fine- rolling and enjoying the sunshine. But digging is for the beach only- followed by a bath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Many good suggestions so far, thank you!

I should add that he is never outside for long - 5 minutes maybe. I do also walk him both morning and night.

I will definitely try to ramp up the walks/interaction/training as well, but didn't want anybody to think that I just toss him outside for long periods of time and ignore him the rest of the time!

Thanks again for all the advice, I am really enjoying being part of this group. :)
 

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This is why I have a double-fence perimeter :)

Gilmour is a digger too.

I know of no realistic way to stop this behaviour

Never, ever leave your dog outside alone.

Starlite cannot be out alone at all- he goes right under the gate and meets me at the front door.
 

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Yep. G-Man's breeder has a MAJOR digger and she is definitely not bored :)

I still think some dogs just like to dig. At the time when Dodger started digging he was going to puppy socialization classes at the vet clinic, as well as attending puppy kindergarten with obedience practice every day, plenty of walks, and lots of playtime. He would be outside for two minutes running around and would all of a sudden start digging. He actually taught my friends border-collie cross to start digging as well :doh: . I don't think he was bored and he could have come inside at any time for more attention.
 

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Old Gold is the Best Gold
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Yeah I let him out with the others and I stand there with the baby. His is all separation issues, probably from all he's been through. He never ever does it if I am there, he only does it to get to me if I leave him out there. Once was enough- I now just never put him out alone.
 

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We have a digger too, and I'm sure that its not boredom. I doubt that there is a 6 mo. old puppy that gets any more exercise or attention than Runner. We are active seniors and live next to the beach and a running trail and who are with her almost 24/7. Turn your back and she'll be armpit deep in 20 sec. The trick with the poop works maybe 25% of the time. I think she has trouble understanding why its OK on the beach and not OK in the yard (which is pretty much sand too). Since digging is pretty much her only serious fault and she seem to take so much joy from it, we correct her on the spot and try not to stress too much over it. Based on our previous 5 goldens or golden mixes I think this too will pass. DW may not totally agree with my more laid back approach, but they're only puppies for a short while.
 
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