Digging - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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First, howdy! Second, I am aware that GSD will dig a low spot to help regulate heat and I accept that. But how do I get my 5mo. Pup to not dig in my front yard making my front look like a Baghdad bazaar after the day of rage holiday? Now in his defense, we currently have a mole problem and I think that's what is getting him to dig. But how would I communicate that it would be ok to dig in our natural areas or backyard even, just not in the front. I have a personal trainer starting this weekend, but would love your insights as this exclusive GSD forum sounds like a great tool to have. Thx
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 02:07 PM
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Years ago we had a vole problem (looks like a smaller version of a mole) at that time we had 3 GSDs none of them had shown much interest in digging.......until the voles.....now on the up side the dogs caught more than a few of them and ( not being greedy dogs) were proud to bring me one and drop it at my feet....you know in case I might be hungry- they were willing to share lol.....on the down side they weren't making a dent in the vole population.

Any way turns out the voles were interested in eating the grubs in the ground.....grubs seasonally become Japanese Beetles....once I put down some dust which killed the grubs outside our fence.....over time the voles moved on to greener pastures where they could find grubs and I think in about a year the dogs lost interest in digging because the voles were gone
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Beowulf1975 View Post
. . . Now in his defense, we currently have a mole problem and I think that's what is getting him to dig. But how would I communicate that it would be ok to dig in our natural areas or backyard even, just not in the front. . .
Welcome to the forum!
You are probably right, in that the mole problem likely prompted the situation. The scent and/or sight of moles has to be hard for a puppy/dog to resist.

Two tips that seem to be shared a lot here are:
1. Don't give the puppy free access to the area you don't want them to dig in. Either have the puppy on a leash (with someone in attendance); or if possible, tether the puppy in such a way to restrict access while in the front yard.

2. Make a sand box area in the back yard, and encourage the puppy to dig there (perhaps by hiding some treats in the designated dig area). You could make a raised planter box or use a kiddie pool that you fill with sand.

I'm sure your trainer will likely have some suggestions. Do you have a plan to get rid of the moles? I'm thinking that as long as the moles are there, you will have to keep your dog out of the front yard. You could get the dog to dig in a designated area in the back yard, but I'm thinking that if the dog has unsupervised access to the front yard, the digging will continue.

My puppy is 7 months now. She did do a lot of digging a couple of months ago. She was preoccupied with burying chew treats, and then appeared to sniff out areas that a cat had buried poo and did some digging. She would even put her paws in her water dish and dig out the water, LOL

We are both still a "work in progress". Since I quit giving her bones, she had done less digging and burying. She does want to hide her dental treats, but there is a lot less digging then there was with bones.

I still have to take precautions with her water bowls. To prevent unexpected floods, her current main water source in the house is a bucket of water, kept inside the bath tub. I went from large stainless steel bowls to placing the bowls inside a weighted down 8" plant pot, then a bucket on the bathroom floor and now a bucket inside the bath tub. At the moment, it's unlikely that she can lift the bucket (filled with water) out of the bathtub and dump all the water on the bathroom floor again (and flood the hall as well). It will be a balancing act to keep enough water in the bucket, so she can't lift it out of the tub, but not to much, should she jump in the bath tub and start digging water.

In addition to replies to this thread, you might want to view some older threads. While viewing your thread, if you scroll down towards the bottom of the page, you will see some links to older threads on "digging" that could be helpful.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 05:26 PM
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Maturity might help, too. The first couple of years in our yard there was a few well dug mole hunt holes. I didn't want to trip in them so I filled them up with yard waste like pine cones and sticks and then dirt. Why the moles and voles needed to be near the house is beyond me. My boy sometimes scratches up the lawn trying to pick things up by tipping the edge of his toys with his paws.

All we could do is try to remove the reasons for him to dig. We discourage moles / voles / mice. We try to keep him engaged in the yard so he isn't bored. We holler when he starts to dig and he stops. That means we at least have to have eyes on him. The biggest thing improvement is that there are less critters to dig up and it isn't as novel a treat as it once was to him. Do discourage it so it doesn't become a habit.

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