Joan: Every now and then, my daughter brings over her
dog to spend the day or night with us while she is away
on business. The dog is a mixed breed, I guess, but
looks a bit like a friendly Doberman with a long tail.
daughter lives in a condo with no yard; our home has a
fair-size yard. Consequently, the dog loves to run
around in our yard and dig holes in our lawn. By
“holes,” I mean small craters about 10 inches deep
and 12 inches round, and sometimes 24 inches long. There
might be five or six holes to as many as 14, dug during
a three-hour period.
the holes and patching them with new grass doesn’t
last. The next time the dog is here, the repaired spots
are dug up all over again.
also bites off branches from the smaller trees.
fence this all in nor keep the dog on a leash away from
the lawn. Is there any way to keep the dog from ruining
The first step is to figure out why the dog is so intent
are more naturally prone to digging than others, but
because the dog spends a good deal of time in a condo
with no access to a yard of its own, I think when he
comes over, he’s burning off hours and hours of
inactivity. He is the canine equivalent of a kid in a
candy store. Dirt! Trees! Grass! Must run, must dig,
must taste it all.
have a dog like that, there are some things you can do.
The first is to find other distractions for him. Take
him for long walks and play fetch with him to help burn
off some of that energy.
need to stay outside with him and every time he starts
to dig, say no and then distract him with a treat or a
toy. Invest in some toys for him to play with on his
own, including ones that dispense treats but require the
dog to work for them, or sturdy chew toys.
of trying to fence the dog out, consider fencing him in.
If possible, create an area where it would be OK for him
to dig such as a fenced sand pit or sand box.
also a chance the dog might be after gophers, moles or
some other critters living in the ground. You should
check that out and get rid of them, if you do.
to run and play to be happy and healthy, but they
don’t have to be destructive. Aim for the middle
ground — and hope the dog doesn’t dig it up, too.