View Full Version : Fletcher's digging a hole to China

14th May 2012, 11:27 PM
Ok, so I guess our little Fletcher is settling into the family pretty well. He has been great. Housetraining has been going good (knock on wood) I'm totally in love. Our older dog had a minor problem but its over. He's a super playful guy, he loves balls. So far, less than a week home, he is exactly what I wanted in a cavalier. Only, one small thing/question. He loves to dig in the backyard. So far he seems to only like one spot but that hole is getting deep, in fact my son has named it Fletcher's hole to China. I don't have any landscaping out there its just patio and grass/dirt, I really don't mind other than having a dirty puppy which who cares. Should I just let him do this? And is it just a puppy thing or a sign of stress and or being bored? We play with him a lot. I have read some training info online about digging but it those cases people wanted to stop their dogs from digging, I don't mind and he's so far picked a spot in the middle of the yard. If it was near the fence I would have a problem with it. Any advice would be helpful.


14th May 2012, 11:40 PM
I would be concerned you might step in the hole and trip and hurt yourself. But maybe I'm just clumsy, because that would surely happen to me/1

No advice on the digging. Luckily I have no experience with it. I am always out with mine whenever they go out so if they start digging, I stop them. Sometimes after they poop they will do this thing where they scratch up the grass ... that's not what fletcher is doing though right? My understanding is that is something you'll get to look forward to later as it has to do with marking territory since they have pheromones in their paw pads.

But what mine love to do is eat grass.

15th May 2012, 05:53 AM
Since its not near the fence perhaps it could become his own digging spot. But I'd be inclined to intervene if he starts digging all over. There are ways people discourage digging although I have no experience with it. Is he alone in the yard for long periods of time? That can be problematic as it leads to barking, and with such a young dog you want to supervise what he's doing and eating pretty constantly. It's also just easier for accidents to happen if he's alone and dogs that are stolen are often taken from yards.

15th May 2012, 06:37 AM
Personally, I would let him dig his hole, it's a dog activity. I'd probably turn it into a game: toss a treat in the hole, cover with dirt, let him keep redigging the same hole.

But if you (or your kids) routinely run around playing you should probably fill it in for safety.

If you do decide to refill the hole, gravel (the rough granite chips, not the pea gravel) should stop him from digging there. Just lay an inch or so of dirt over it and your grass should fill right back in.

You also want to be careful digging doesn't happen indoors, as it can be very damaging to floors.

15th May 2012, 07:24 AM
When our eldest cavalier was a pup he used to dig in our flower border we just let him do it in the same spot rather than fill it in, if it gets too deep you could always refill it, our youngest dog has never dug a hole in his life although he is a keen gardener he much prefers to do a spot of pruning of our shrubs and flowers, there was one particular plant he would not leave a long when he was a pup, in the end he killed it as he chewed at it so much, he has improved now, just has the occasional nibble.

15th May 2012, 10:42 AM
Did you download Ian Dunbar's free book? Am sure I have posted the link for you in the past but it is in many other posts if you search -- for After You Get Your Puppy on Dog Star Daily website. He addresses this -- mainly -- build an area where he CAN dig, a little sandbox, and redirect him there. You can hide toys and kongs for him to dig up etc. But please read Dunbar -- his books really pretty much addresses ANY issue you will have with a puppy. :) Management is the issue and providing a safe and acceptable outlet for these natural and satisfying behaviours for your dog.

15th May 2012, 12:07 PM
Best thing I discovered for digging when Brooky was a pup...pup their poo in the hole and cover it with dirt, they don't like to dig up their own poo.
My second winner that always works is putting a few spoonfuls of instant coffee in the hole and cover lightly with dirt. They hate something about it, maybe the smell, but it stops the digging!

Both these worked wonders for Brooky, still do if I need them, but she passed the "phase" pretty quick once I implemented my tricks ;)

15th May 2012, 12:11 PM
Have you told him yet that he's a cavalier and not a terrier? :p
I've seen photos of what a litter of 14 week olds can do to a freshly prepared window box..hilarious as long as they're not yours!
Dunbar is brilliant,the suggestion about a designated digging area is very good,again, digging wouldn't bother me in the slightest. I'd be very happy to have them dig outside than demolish my skirting board inside.I'd toss in a copy of the Lonely planet after him so he'll be able to find his way around Beijing!

15th May 2012, 02:42 PM
Sonny dug quite a bit when he was a little puppy, but he also passed that phase pretty quickly. Now he only digs when he is burying a bone/toy and he usually is in one spot or when we go to the beach. He ALWAYS digs at the beach!!!

Margaret C
15th May 2012, 05:47 PM
I'd toss in a copy of the Lonely planet after him so he'll be able to find his way around Beijing!

15th May 2012, 05:57 PM
My husband and I were just discussing this over our "lunch date" which is funny because "kid talk" isn't allowed on our "dates".:lotsaluv:

Anyway, we decided he can have the hole he has now as his digging spot. My husband is going to pick up a few bags of playground sand on his way home tonight. We're going to add it to the hole again its getting deep...we're going to make a game of it. Let our youngest hide toys etc... I just wanted to make sure this wasn't a sign of stress or me allowing it wasn't a good idea. If this is just a fun puppy thing to do they I'm fine with it. And it gives another way for my 4 yr old to play with him. If he starts to dig anywhere else around the yard it will be a no no here's your spot.

I'm always outside with him for the most part. I can't walk away from the stove to follow him out the doggie door everytime but I try. He seems to be doing this digging when he in a very playful mood, my kids tire out before him and he's still ready to play then he'll dig away right towards China lol.

Thanks All

16th May 2012, 02:34 AM
Nalu loves to dig in sand and pull at the roots, so she gets a face and a belly full of sand. My vet told me sand isn't good for them and suggested giving her a tiny bit of some sort of liquid laxative to absorb the sand. I try to distract her when she starts digging or playing with sticks covered with sand.