We have a beautiful chocolate Lab, Boone, and have rescued a beagle, Bomber. Both dogs are wonderful family pets and are cherished members of the family but we are experiencing some big problems. For some reason, they have decided to destroy our yard by digging holes all around the house up against the porch. Our home is brand new and we are getting ready to landscape but I am worried that the dogs will destroy hundreds of dollars of plants and such. We had planted a few shrubs around the A/C unit and it stopped them for a while, but now they have decided that this area is fair game as well. My husband sprinkled cayenne pepper in the dirt because he had heard it would deter them. Evidently, they are cajun dogs because it hasn't slowed them one bit. A friend suggested moth balls, but I wanted to solicit suggestions on here first. I am open to anything. We received both of these dogs as rescues so they are older and had previously been allowed to just do as they please with no training having been done. We have had other Labs that have never done this kind of thing. It is our first experience with a beagle. Please help!
Our dog ruins our plants too! We got him a sandpit to dig in, which has helped, but he does still chew the plants leaves and climbs all over them. We got 2 different bitter taste sprays to use which had little to no effect! I'm hoping the chewing is a puppy thing he'll grow out of. You could try directing them to a certain area to dig? But I'm kinda in the same boat as you, so I'd like to get some other ideas too!
I didn't have this problem personally, but one of the other families in our obedience class did. Our trainer recommended 3 things: 1.) Placing the dog's feces in the hole. Everytime they dig another hole, put more in it. I could see this as being a nuisance though. 2.) Build a sandbox, like the above poster suggested. 3.) Using a citronella collar. She said that this cures 80% of the dogs that it is tried with. I believe she said that when they start digging, give them a spray. They will associate the digging with the citronella being sprayed. That should make them want to stop.
I can't say that personally I have tried any of these methods, but that is what she suggested to another family with the same problem. Good luck!
What has helped us lately is more mental stimulation, since I think boredom plays a part. Idle paws are the devil's workshop! What we've tried is teach new commands, more walks, etc. Our dog is also now in an agility class. The problem isn't gone, but the intensity of the digging has definitely eased.
We have used cayenne pepper with great results, but once in awhile it's not enough so I sprinkle restaurant black pepper down in addition, and that works great. It's basically a fresh ground pepper you can buy it in a big container at sams club, another thing that has worked for us was to fill the holes with the dogs poop, and then I made a designated digging area for them in a corner of the yard.
I did put the poop in the whole and I didn't cover them up for a few days. This stopped all digging in that area immediately. Even after covering it up with dirt. They do not go near it.
A wet sand box was the best. THEY LOVE it and choose to dig if they feel they want to.
Last, but the most important, I run them now 8 miles a day. They are just to tired to dig! Winter we only get 4 miles in. You need to exercise your babies so they are not bored. Boredom leads to digging. I have Sibs that require this exercise so I really don't think that you will have to run them to this extreme.
Hope this helps. It does get expensive to keep up with the dogs! lol
squirt bottle works great. I think they are bored they need toys can can get the cow bones at the butcher and fill them with peanut butter or kongs are great too. Give them something to do!! my dogs love the toys that dance and jump when you hut them too.
How often do you take them on walks? Both labs and beagles are high energy dogs. Both are also highly intelegent working dogs. They need mental activity. I would suggest getting a sand pit and taking them on at least a 45 minute walk. Walking them will get rid of some of the energy they have. They are most likly bored. I'm not sure if this would work, but maybe hide treats around the yard. Or if you do get a sand box hiding bones in it... Like I said, Idon't know if that would help, but I do know walking them would. :)