How to Stop Your Golden Retriever From Digging?

Roberto Manzotti

Has your Golden Retriever been digging up the yard and destroying your grass?

One of the biggest problems that first-time Golden Retriever owners face is that their gardens which were once gorgeous have been dug up by their furry companions. The vegetable patches are ruined, the flowerbeds half eaten.

Golden Retrievers love their digging time.

In this blog post, we will help you and your distressed plants out by sharing a few ways in which you can stop your Golden Retriever from wreaking havoc in your garden so that you can restore it to its previous glory.

Let’s begin.


3 Ways in Which You Can Stop Your Golden Retriever from Digging

Distract, Distract, Distract

Use Some Deterrents

Remove the Pests

Positive Reinforcements Work!

Summing Up


3 Ways in Which You Can Stop Your Golden Retriever from Digging

Did you know that dogs dog up the yard when their exercise needs aren’t being met?

Golden Retrievers are a highly active breed which needs at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day. This includes playtimes and walks. However, when the owners have a busy lifestyle, they can’t find time to engage their Golden Retriever.

So, the dog finds an alternative channel to take out his energy, that is, he digs up the yard.

In this section of the blog post, we would like to go through a few ways in which you can stop your dog from wrecking your precious plants.

dog digging

Distract, Distract, Distract

Dogs are instinctively driven to dig.

However, you can still stop your furry friend from killing all if your plants by using the power of distraction. When your dog starts digging, you can channel his energy into something else that’s acceptable so that he forgets all about that hole!

Here are some things that work:

  • Toys: Dogs love their toys, and you can use them to distract your furry friend when he’s digging. You can get him a ball, a rope toy, etc. that’ll keep him engaged. We recommend you try out the Otterly Pets Puppy Dog Pet Rope Toys as they are quite sturdy
  • Treat Dispensing Dog Toys: For stubborn dogs, we have had success with dog toys that dispense treats such as the Our Pets IQ Treat Ball Interactive Food Dispensing Dog Toy which keeps your dog distracted for a long time---long enough for him to forget all about that hole he was digging!
  • Get a Sandbox: People with Golden Retrievers that love digging have found success with sandboxes such as the Little Tikes Turtle Round Sandbox which will keep your dog occupied while fulfilling his digging instincts

You should try to exercise your dog to stop him from digging. This, too, works well and is a nice way to distract your dog from unwanted behavior. Here are some things to try out:

  • Take him for a walk: Golden Retrievers love their walks! These dogs love going on long walks with their humans. You can tire your dog out by taking him out. Running and jogging with your dog is also effective in promoting your dog’s health as well as stopping him from digging that garden
  • Playtime: Try to play with your dog for 15-20 minutes per day. Fetch is an excellent game that you can play with your dog that helps strengthen your relationship while keeping your dog from digging

Use Some Deterrents

With a stubborn Golden Retriever, you need to become a little stubborn as well. If your dog likes to dig at the same place for some reason, the best way to get him to stop is by using certain digging deterrents.

  • You can partially bury rocks or chicken wire in the area where your dog dogs a lot to make him stop
  • Burying cayenne or citrus peels or adding some vinegar to the soil will make your dog stay away from the area
  • You can have a motion-sensing sprinkler system installed to get your dog to behave
  • Use thorny plants to keep your canine away!


Remove the Pests

One of the major reasons why Golden Retrievers dig is when they smell other animals that might be leaving their scent on your dog’s turf. This includes rodents, squirrels, cats, etc. which rile your dog up. One of the biggest signs of this is when your dog is digging near trees.

In this case, you should ask the pest control services to investigate the area to keep the pests out. Fencing your property is also another good idea which works.


Positive Reinforcements Work!

Positive reinforcement is something that increases the probability of a response from occurring again.

In this case, when your dog stops digging holes, you should shower him with love and affection. Treats, too, act as excellent positive reinforcement. However, as your dog is digging the holes, you should completely ignore him and command him to “stop.”

This, however, requires you to be extremely patient with your dog.

We highly recommend you try out the three techniques that we have mentioned above to try your Golden Retriever to stop digging. 

Summing Up

Golden retrievers love to dig.

However, this activity can drive you nuts and ruin your beautiful garden and plants. There are a lot of ways in which you can teach your dog to stop digging. We recommend that you try distracting your dog as that works the best.

If these techniques don’t work, you can have a free-digging zone and get your dog a sandpit!

Have questions? Leave them in the comments, and we’ll get right back to you!

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