Most golden retriever owners face a challenging situation when their dogs begin to dig up their well-maintained gardens, effectively destroying it. Moreover, they can’t break off this behavior by telling their pets to ‘stop’ on all occasions, as it only frustrates them to no end.
It is in the golden retriever’s nature to dig around. However, you can control your canine companion’s habit with training. You can train them to not destroy your flower and vegetable beds. There are several reasons why golden retrievers feel compelled to dig. For example, they might dig their way underneath for the lack of entertainment. They might also be doing it to cool off or protect their food. On other rare occasions, golden retrievers feel anxious, so they start digging a hole near the fence to escape next door.
No matter the reason, you should know how to stop a golden retriever from digging your home garden using effective techniques that don’t hurt them in the process.
How to Stop a Golden Retriever from Digging in 7 Steps
To stop your golden retriever’s consistent digging, you need to have the following items on hand:
- Chew toys
- Treat-dispensing dog toys
- Plastic chicken wire
- Flat rocks
- Citrus Peels
1. Distract Your Golden Retriever
The first thing you can do to keep your golden retriever from digging is to offer it distractions. You can do this by giving it a variety of chew toys, or you can introduce it to treat-dispensing dog toys proven to be exceptionally helpful to keep dogs mindfully engaged. However, we wouldn’t suggest giving it bones for distraction. It might trigger the golden retriever to protect its food and dig up another spot in the garden.
2. Get a Sandbox
The next step you should take is to create a space in your garden where your furry friend can satisfy its instinct to dig. A sandbox can be intentionally used for this purpose, so your dog has an outdoor space where it can play and dig around without any restrictions.
However, you’ll have to spend some time training your golden retriever to ensure it knows digging anywhere else besides the sandbox is not allowed. Once your golden retriever is properly trained, this alternate method will keep it satisfyingly occupied while acting on its digging instincts.
3. Plant Deterrents in Noted Digging Spots
When it comes to training your dog, you have to come up with creative ways to reinforce your orders. If your golden retriever likes to dig at some specific spot due to some reason, you can make it challenging for him to dig there by burying materials that wouldn’t let him give in to his impulses.
For example, you can bury the plastic chicken wire or several flat rocks underneath the sand, making it impossible for him to dig and destroy the garden. You can also plant thorny bushes in that spot if it aesthetically beautifies your garden, keeping your golden retriever well away from there. Burying citrus peels and cayenne or pouring some vinegar onto the soil might also deter your dog’s digging habit.
4. Exercise and Have Playtime
Another excellent response for how to stop a golden retriever from digging is to keep it physically active. Your dog might need more active time than others, which is why you need to keep its paws moving in a way that doesn’t destroy your garden.
It would be best to go on long runs together, as it will give you time to bond with your pet while keeping it engaged in a healthy activity. You can also teach your golden retriever to play a game of fetch, so you wouldn’t have to tire yourself while keeping it active. Teaching your golden retriever how to swim can also be an excellent way to cool its body temperature, something that might be compelling it to dig your garden in the first place.
5. Remove the Pests
One of the primary reasons why your dog might be digging the garden is that it can detect other animals’ scents on the soil. Golden retrievers can be possessive when it comes to their territory, which is why they keep digging until they find the pests whose existence might be irritating them.
To solve this problem, you can build a fence around your property to keep rodents out of your garden. You can also call a pest control service to investigate the area where your dog keeps digging.
6. Include a Shady Spot in Your Garden
If your golden retriever tends to dig when it’s hot outside, it might be because it needs to cool off. For this, you can build a shady spot in your garden where it can relax while lapping on cool water. You can also groom your golden retriever more often as it will allow its fur to be more aerated, keeping it from getting too hot.
7. Use Positive Reinforcements
Finally, it would be really helpful if you can teach your golden retriever to follow your commands under all circumstances. Training your dog to listen to you and obey your instructions, like ‘leave it’ or ‘come here,’ will restrict it from digging your garden under your supervision.
Our Final Thoughts
Now that you know how to stop a golden retriever from digging your beautiful garden, you can get your furry companion to stop behaving unreasonably. However, if any of the given techniques don’t work on your pet, then it might be time to get help from a dog behaviorist who might understand your golden retriever’s behavior more capably.