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Gardening with Puppies – Can You Dig it?

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Over the years I’ve had all sorts of dogs. Some are diggers; some are not diggers. Some learn to dig; some are just born to dig. My new pup’s brain was apparently wired at a back-hoe factory. And she’s been showing off her innate talent more now that she’s getting older, braver & the spring weather is improving. Fortunately, me and my garden are ready for her excavation antics.

Digging Dog - Bad or Just Doing Her Thing?

Digging Dog – Bad or Just Doing Her Thing?

If you’re going to have dogs, you’re going to have to integrate them into your garden somehow. As experienced dog people, we’ve designated areas that are for the dogs.

Since day one, Kula has been learning where she’s allowed to go whenever she wants and where she has to have an invitation. Fortunately (so far) she’s respecting these boundaries. Giving her lots of attention, a long morning walk, lots of chew toys and fetch toys,  and an afternoon play date with another dog or a long hike helps keep her fairly content. But dig she does.

REDIRECTED 2/24/2022

Her area is the last remaining “grassy” portion in what used to be a lot filled with lawn. Frankly, there isn’t much grass left. This is her pee-pee area. And, she can dig and destroy it all she wants. Over the winter, I removed all the highly toxic belladonna amaryllis and foxglove in the area. (Did I mention she likes to chew on plants & sticks?) And, I transplanted out all the tender bulbs. The only plants that remain include a clover-infested grass patch, some low sedum, a few mondo grass, and a tall pee gee hydrangea. Oh, and there’s an upright rosemary, which, along with a few strategically placed boulders, are pee targets for visiting male dogs. Nope, no cooking from this herbaceous shrub!

When we have a chance, the last of the grass is going to be removed and replaced with a thick layer of chips. She can dig through this, but it may be a little more difficult. And, we’re seriously considering building her a doggie dig box into which we will place toys and other prizes she’ll find only when she digs in this designated location.

The goal? Reinforce for her that her dig box is where she’s supposed to dig while nearby perennial beds are to be left alone. And really, what puppy would want to dig up Solomon’s Seal when just a few feet away she could dig up a really fun ball or stick?

Will it work? Will we find the time to build it? Stay tuned. There’s more to come in the months ahead.

Right now, I’ve got to go wipe off four very muddy paws!

4 comments on “Gardening with Puppies – Can You Dig it?

  1. Michelle on

    When I got my bearded collie puppy, someone gave me the advice that I should let the dog dig, just in a designated spot only. I tried this once, and determined that the person who gave me this advice must have had a short-haired dog. I was washing mud out my shaggy dog’s coat for days after his first foray into digging- now he’s learned to run laps around the house and chew on toys for fun instead.

  2. Garden Mentors on

    Ah yes, the dirty long hair dog. Not fun. I live in the land of mud and rain, and my dog is out in it all the time. So, a little more mud around here won’t be terribly surprising or (hopefully) annoying. Glad you found a solution!

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