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MAXI is a cross border collie (father - border collie mother - german

shepherd).Most of here traits is that of a border collie.She is very

intelligent ,obedient ,playful and full of fun.I have a house with a big

yard which she has access to. I have a large kennel in the yard which she

sleeps in. During the day while i work she is alone at home . She has

various toys eg.a chew ,a ball. 90% of the time when i get home i play with

her.While we are at home and not in bed yet she has free reign to the house untill we go to bed then she sleeps outside. Over the past two weeks she has developed the habit to dig up my plants (she digs in the same place all the time).If anybody else had the same problem and managed to solve it PLEASE help.

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How old is your dog? My BC had a habit of digging in her kennel. She had a regular mine field going. Jack Knox suggested at a clinic, that some dogs dig because they are hot. They cool themselves through the pads of their feet. We beefed up the shade in the kennel, added a small tub of water she can lay in, and solved the problem.

Hope this helps.

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As far as I am aware digging is a very natural habit for all dogs (some species more than others). Dogs dig burrows/dens to shade from the sun, shelter from the cold and raise pups etc.

We have avoided the garden excavation by allowing Kelso to have her own where digging is permitted (although sometimes the area we want her to dig in and the area she wants to dig in don't match). We bury her toys in this area and sometimes even treats so that if we are not there to praise her she is still being positively reinforced.

Other suggestions i have had (but never put into practice) is to put the dogs poo in the holes you don't want them to dig again or bury water balloons which will burst and frighten them. Also a guy I know with a Malamute used tabasco sauce on eggshells!

Good luck

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Guest PrairieFire

As I read this post I am also looking out the window at the prick ears of a 20 week old pup...all that is sticking up out of what we fondly call a "china hole" as in dug all the way too...


We fill the puppy holes with rocks - this simply presents a challenge to dig around them...


A bucket of dirt delivered regularly from the front end loader to fill existing holes is the only cure I have found for my little darlings...to fill the holes I mean - not on the dogs...that's a joke...


Any sure fire cures would be good - but on our farm folks have had dogs for over 100 years - and just about any place our dogs dig they have come up with wonderful found objects ranging from bones to ancient and quite filthy squeaky toys...the perfect reinforcement for the joys of digging...


Advantages to digging - they will find your buried electrical wires - saving a lot of putzing around. You can throw the rocks from the field in the holes. You can bury the dead things they bring home - and amuse them for hours as they happily dig them back up...


A friend aquired a quite nice trial dog when the person she was training the dog for couldn't stand the holes the dog dug in her pristine front lawn...


I have heard that some folks have had good luck in teaching their dogs that is ok to dig "here" not "there"...


Bill Gary

Kensmuir, Working Stockdog Center

River Falls, WI


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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a BC/mix pup, 5 mos. old. Her name is Shelby. She's absolutely adorable, very smart, and she LOVES TO DIG smile.gif

I find small holes in my yard everyday when I come home from work. This seems to be the only bad thing I can say about her.


She does not stay at one hole for very long before moving on to make a new one (I guess that's why they stay pretty small).


I am very frustrated about it. Someone could easily step in one and twist or break an ankle if they didn't see it, so I constantly try to cover them up when I find them.


I rarely catch her doing it, but when I do catch her, all I have to do is say "Shelby No" and she stops.

I have tried a few different methods of disciplining her at the holes she makes, but I am not real comfortable with the advise given and it doesn't seem to phase her one bit.


An obedience trainer once told the class to fill the hole with water and hold the dog's face in it until they thought they were drowning. It only took 2 times of this to break a doberman pup I used to have. But NOooo... not my baby girl Shelby. I don't like this method because she loves to play in water and I'm afraid that this may eventually spoil that good fun. Besides the fact that it seems cruel.


I've walked her around from hole to hole, putting her face in it (no water) and firmly telling her "No", just to find more holes.


I'm interested in learning how to teach her that it's ok to dig in only one area. Any advise on that is appreciated. If she stayed in one general area out of the way of people traffic, it probably would not bother me as much as the all around the front yard, anywhere, anytime she gets the urge to "go digging" approach.

Better yet, in my opinion, I'd rather keep her from digging all together.


I'm hoping that when the ground freezes this winter, she'll forget about digging, find a new way to keep from getting bored and not remember how much fun digging was when the spring thaw comes around.


I also have 2 cats. Emily and Eddie. Shelby doesn't bother Eddie too much, probably because he's crabby. Emily seems to like the attention she's getting from Shelby chasing her through the yard and it's probably good for Emily because she's a very fat cat. Too often, Shelby gets a little carried away with chewing on Emy's head when she gets her cornered. I don't believe that this is a very pleasant feeling for Emily (no broken skin or blood found yet) and I feel bad for her because I don't know how to make Shelby stop it. Shelby does not respond to "No" in this matter.


What can I do? Please help. Any advise is welcome!

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This probably seems likea non-answer, and I'm

no dog-handler, but I've owned dogs all my life, and never had "impossible" problems like these. I'd say that largely the trouble lies with the lack of contact. Our BC (15mos) seemed to want to dig all summer long, but I was always there when he started digging in places I didn't want him digging, and he stopped after only a few tries; if he wants to dig up the ground squirrels that are getting too close to the vegetable garden, that's OK with me - it terrorizes the little varmints, and seems to "steer" them. We also have a Sheltie who would invariably chew my wife's shoes if she was left alone for any length of time. She eventually outgrew this habit, and I think a lot of pups get over their "bad" behavior in time if they have enough direction and positive experience. After all, there is hardly anyone else in the world that is so concerned with pleasing you as your dog!

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