His Dog Digs, But Only At Night

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A dog owner contacted me the other day and said, "Adam: I've been using your dog training techniques for six months now and Zac, my Labrador /Heeler cross (two years old) is just about an angel now.

The only problem I have is that he digs up the lawn approximately once every two months. I have him on a running lead when I'm not home and this prevents him from digging. However, he is off the lead over night. Most of the time he's good, but now and again he digs a hole (at night).

I'm reluctant to put him on the lead at night because this is when he goes to the toilet (he can't go during the day). Can you please provide me with some advice so that I can stop this problem'


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Dear Night-Digger:

Thank you for your comments about my dog training techniques, which I write about at Dogproblems.com.

A good solution to your problem would be to confine the dog at night. This can be done either by putting him in a crate, or if you want him outside, build him a kennel run with concrete flooring so he can't dig. Because you can't catch him in the act of digging, the way to work with this behavior (especially if it's only at night) is to prevent it from happening.

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From your email, I understand that your dog is tied on the running lead all day without access to the yard to do his business. If you can't be home to let him out during the afternoon or evening hours, perhaps a responsible neighbor or even a professional pet-sitting service would be willing to do this for you. He should also be having plenty of exercise, both mental and physical to tire him out, and again this is where the neighbor or pet-sitter can come in handy, as well as yourself when you come home. Tiring him out will assure you that he stays out of trouble, all the more so if he's confined properly.
About the Author

Adam G. Katz is the author of the book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer: An Insider's Guide To The Most Jealously Guarded Dog Training Secrets In History." Get a free copy of his report "Games To Play With Your Dog" when you sign up for his free weekly dog training tips e-zine at: http://www.dogproblems.com