Digging Therapy

At the first sign of digging, get a baby wading pool at any discount store for about $5, and put a couple bags of sand to one side of it. It is the smaller one to keep the sand deep enough they can dig. You need something about the length of the dog or a little more. They sell sandbags in the midwest and many communities offer free sand.

Please keep in mind once you put the sand in the pool, it will be too heavy to move around easily. Ours is in partial shade, but not directly under the tree. I had to put some holes in it to drain the rain water out. These holes can be easily punched in after the first rain when you can see where the water pools. I also would spray water in the sandbox to make a wet sand, which prevents the sand flying and dust in the eyes.

I call it "Digging Therapy" and introduce it as such. I place a kong or hard toy deep enough, so the dog has to use his paws to get it out. Once he starts moving a paw that looks close to digging, praise for him to continue. I then put a couple toys in and bury them (one on the bottom, another one half way down). As the dog digs up one, he covering a couple toys behind him.

Every day, I take the dog out and have him dig for toys, praising him when he dug one up. I drop a different toy behind him as he is digging. My dogs have good noses, so it is not hard for them to find the toys. If a dog doesn’t seem to realize where the toy is, then bury it while the dog watches.

After a few days the dog will be found at different times each day digging in the sandbox on his own. When that happens I praise him to the skies.  If he goes to dig in a place he is not supposed to, then I stop him and take him to his sandbox for "Digging Therapy and Praise."

I wet the sand when I water the flowers in the yard. I use a rake to get any leaves, etc., out of the sand after a storm. One can use a piece of plywood or a piece of tarp bungeed to cover it, if need be to keep out the neighborhood cats.

Other options for a digging dog:

1.) Try burying a water balloon in one of the holes which will pop in the dog's face when he starts digging and surprise him enough that hopefully he will think twice before he digs again.

2.) Backfill the hole with cayenne pepper or the pet's excrement (topped with clean dirt) all holes dug near the fence line.  Most dogs won't dig through their own feces or the pepper.

3.) Buried cheap cement blocks under the fence.

4.) Round posts buried underneath the fence line parallel. Drill two holes in the post, put a stake thru the holes and pound into the ground. The stakes will hold the post in place and will also allow you to space them deeper. Even the most determined digger will be slowed down and hopefully stopped.

What not to use:
Anything metal buried underground- it will soon rust and break which could injury your hounds' paws or be ingested.

I would not recommend gravel or white rocks for fear of having a rock eater.... who will become obstructed.

Keep in mind a bloodhound lacks street smarts. A loose bloodhound usually ends up being a dead bloodhound. Check your yard on a routine basis for holes, poisonous plants/weeds, problems, etc.

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