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19/07/2014 at 14:14

Our lawn is in a dreadful state and it's mainly due to a black and white pest that appeared last year.  Jilly loves to dig holes and she seems determined to rid the lawn of grass.  Over the past year the garden has become quite hazardous and the grass is almost impossible to mow.  I was wondering if anyone has used any kind of mesh under their lawn to stop pets from digging.  I know you can get grass reinforcement mesh but it's horrendously expensive.  Would ordinary fencing mesh do and how deep would it need to be?  The whole lawn needs to be dug and levelled and returfed.

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/53005.jpg?width=274&height=350&mode=max

 

19/07/2014 at 14:19

Jilly is a beautiful pooch - she just needs to be trained to stay on that bucket.

19/07/2014 at 15:11
I agree - lovely looking 'pest'. Our dogs are terrible for it and I've nearly broken my ankle a few times when I've not spotted the hole. We just try and fill them in as much as possible ( our garden very large and quite wild in places ) Sorry don't know about mesh, but best of luck sorting your lawn.
19/07/2014 at 15:48

Mesh won't stop the dog digging though and making a mess of the lawn and I presume that it won't stop you falling down the divots... it could make a mess of your lawn mower though.

Any chance of training the dog to stop digging?  It's what I'd do.

19/07/2014 at 15:56

I'm a Dog behaviourist, so ingrained behaviour like this is enormously difficult to quell or suppress. Your dog cannot stop digging; it's ingrained behaviour, (encouraged by selective breeding) because she is essentially a hunting dog (in the main) and probably of an ilk that went after rabbits, hares (who admittedly, do not go underground) ferrets and the like. 

The only thing I can suggest is that you fence off part of the garden, with an attractive picket fence, which would be for your use, and your use only. The remaining patch would be for her to dig to her heart's content. You could even make a game of it and bury things for her to find...

 

19/07/2014 at 16:11

I've had dogs in number all my life.  Mainly gundogs (retrievers) that I've worked and shown and for a chunk of time I had SARDA dogs.  My sister is an international judge and trainer.  I've always trained my own and including not to dig my garden.  

I frequently look after friends dogs and not all of them are as well behaved as I'd like and it's not so difficult to stop a dog digging where you don't want to if you take a holistic approach and which includes ensuring the dog has plenty of exercise and things to do and isn't bored and using the normal approach of praise and reward and discipline.    For sure you don't need to fence everything off.

 

 

 

 

19/07/2014 at 16:51

What about just fixing chicken wire on top of the grass? It'll soon get covered by the grass especially if you mow on a high setting than normal (you'll be able to walk over it so certainly mow over it) so you wont see any of it but should be enough to put your little pest from wanting to dig the lawn up as it wont feel good on her paws and saves you having to fence the garden up.

I know around chicken coops they suggest putting chicken wire around the outside of the run to stop foxes so it must be effective for even a determined pest. You can get chicken wire from most DIY stores.

Edd
19/07/2014 at 17:10

The most common reason that dogs dig is boredom and a tired dog is a happy dog.

19/07/2014 at 17:14
NorthernLass2 wrote (see)

I've had dogs in number all my life.  Mainly gundogs (retrievers) that I've worked and shown and for a chunk of time I had SARDA dogs.  My sister is an international judge and trainer.  I've always trained my own and including not to dig my garden.  

I frequently look after friends dogs and not all of them are as well behaved as I'd like and it's not so difficult to stop a dog digging where you don't want to if you take a holistic approach and which includes ensuring the dog has plenty of exercise and things to do and isn't bored and using the normal approach of praise and reward and discipline.    For sure you don't need to fence everything off.

 

 

 I would add that training is subtly different to behaviour. Training is the icing on the cake, Behaviour - IS the cake. Together, they make for a delightful dish.... 

Dogs take time to train, and there are usually other associated behavioural issues which might or might not need addressing.... The importsnt thing is to ensure the dog WANTS to stop. You do that by giving it something better to look forward to, and I will agree. A lot of what we would label as "naughty" behaviour, is indeed, boredom.

 

And if anyone is interested - I can't stand Cesar Millan. He's a blot on the landscape and has set canine understanding back 20 years. Just to add.....

 

Lastly - I have no idea how this quote facility is meant to work, or how I lay my response outside the boundaries of the quoted text! 

 

 

 

 

 

19/07/2014 at 17:34

Let me just clarify.  Jilly is a lovely dog but it's part of her breeding to dig and dig and dig.  To keep her occupied I spend a small fortune on training classes and in three weeks time she'll start her career as a competing agility dog amongst other things.   We have another dog as well, a collie called Sasha, but digging isn't so important to her as it is to a spaniel cross. Retrievers also seem to be easier to train in this respect. Jilly is fully occupied but she is extremely fit and it would take a lot to make her tired enough not to want to dig.  I gave her a patch of garden that she could use for digging but the lawn is just too exciting for her.  The lawn area is in a bad state and it needs to be dug up and levelled.  A part of it has sunk and there are a lot of holes and divots.  The wet weather in the  winter didn't help. I just wondered  if fencing mesh could be used instead of the reinforcement mesh that people use when they have heavy traffic over a grass area and car parking etc.  I'm not sure if this would solve the problem in the winter though when the garden becomes a swamp in the wet weather.  It really can be dodgy trying to walk on parts of it. 

19/07/2014 at 19:24

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7T7RWdDse8&feature=youtu.be

 I also make things for the dogs just in case they ever get bored.

19/07/2014 at 19:39

Having had gun dogs for most of my life, spaniels all of them, I put dog runs in the gardens I have had. Some dug the hell out of the dog runs, others made no effort to dig at all. I'd create a run for her and let her dig in that. It means there is no retraining, and the dog can follow it's natural pattern of behaviour. Some dogs whatever the breed just love digging. A dog run is an inexpensive solution and satisfies the needs of all. If she starts to dig when out of the run, then a stern NO, and put her straight in the run. She will soon learn where it is acceptable to dig and where not too. They are eager to please at her age, play to her need to please you, praise digging in the run, and no praise out of it. 

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