Can you train your dog to dig a hole in a particular spot? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Can you train your dog to dig a hole in a particular spot?

Seven has a dug a hole in a flower garden area of our yard. We don't really care, and are just happy she left the grass alone. She did a pretty good job on it, and I was wondering if you could (or anyone has) train your dog to dig in a particular spot for planting a tree. I want to add a couple trees and thought she may be able I give me a hand.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 08:50 AM
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LOL about giving you a hand.

I do know some people who will put a plastic kiddie pool full of sand and allow their dogs to dig there. I'm sure it can be taught, I just don't know if you'd want to encourage her to dig all over the place?
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 10:23 AM
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It's kind of like teaching a dog to bark. yes it can be done, but you sure want to make sure you can control it before you teach it. otherwise you end up with a barking dog that digs holes all over the place - - - so to speak

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 10:52 AM
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I think once you start digging, she may join in? Lol. Your post made me laugh btw. Thank you for that!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 11:29 AM
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When our dog first dug something, we would say, "dig it" so she knows what that means. Now if we move our foot over a spot of dirt, sand, whatever, and say "dig it", our dog will dig, but not that deep as you need it.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 11:35 AM
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I gave my puppy a digging area, and he's pretty good about sticking to the same spot. But - I noticed that if any area of sod is turned up, like from animals looking for grubs, he'll also dig there too. So...I didn't actually teach him to go to just the one spot, I taught him how to avoid the nice pretty lawn, lol. Better luck next year! I toss bones into his pit, and I've refilled it a few times. He knows what, "Go diggy" means, lmao, he'll run to his area. IDK if you can get him to dig planting holes, but it's worth a try - just be careful or you'll be planting alot more than you planned on, lol.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 11:51 AM
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I taught most of my dogs to dig on command. Just by digging with your own feet, they come investigate and so far it has always been contagious for them. Then you cheer them on and put it on cue; "Good job, dig, dig!" stop before they stop by giving them the command "Enough" that they learned as a young pup. I found it one of th easiest commands to teach because they enjoy it so much. And it wears down their nails in a fun way for them.
I start on the beach or any area with loose soil. I never went so far as to want to plant a tree though, mostly for burying their poop or a small dead animal.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 12:03 PM
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My dog tried to help me dig holes for trees but she wasn't all that helpful. She'd come to sniff and check out, pick a spot to dig herself. I encouraged her but the soil we have are those clay soil so it's dense and hard thus the holes she made was like 5% of what I needed. She ended up being in the way a lot (wanted to check out too many things in the hole) so I had to tell her to leave so I can get the job done. But wouldn't it be great if the dog could help us dig???! The terrier I had before can do a better job than my GSD. Maybe if you borrow a dozen terriers it'd work.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 12:29 PM
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I trained Freyja to dig on command. I'd point to a spot on the ground and when she scratched at it, I'd say "dig" and rewarded her. My problem now is that she gets too thorough and digs too deep. I also can't point at the ground anymore without her giving a test scratch then waiting for her command.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-07-2012, 12:58 PM
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All I have to do is put a running hose on the ground and they will dig themselves a little mud hole. LOL!

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