Training the new dog owner – Part 3
The most common issues that people have with new dogs that are kept out in the garden would be the “transplant the shrubbery game”. The cause here is one primarily of boredom. That’s right… sheer boredom. Dogs need toys of their own, just as small children do.
As a small child, I recall vividly the boring hour that separated my arrival home from school from my dad’s arrival home from work. The apartment was small, and I had no toys. I soon discovered that playing with dad’s coin collection was more interesting than staring at four walls.
It just so happened that the ice cream truck came by during that hour and it wasn’t many hours before the driver of the ice cream truck became the owner of my dad’s coin collection!
Your dog’s boredom will get him into trouble too. Buddy needs toys of his own, and these toys should be rotated periodically so that he doesn’t tire of the same toys. You can buy a baby a new fancy rattle, and it’ll keep baby occupied for a while. But he’ll soon tire of it unless you rotate that plaything with other playthings.
If you are content that your dog has ample and adequate toys, but he continues to get into mischief by digging up your favorite plants, this bad habit can be cured by a similar method used for destructive chewing – the entire plant should be tied to his mouth for about an hour or more for each occurrence, and will become an unpleasant and unpalatable object within the time-frame of four days.
Hole digging is another matter. The hole should be filled with water and the following procedure carried out with the thought in mind that your dog wanted to go swimming or would not otherwise have dug the hole.
Your dog should have his head immersed in each instance that he sees fit to dig a hole. This should not be done while you are emotionally upset or appear angry. Rather, your attitude should reflect fun… fun… fun…
After five seconds under water, Buddy is released and allowed to retreat five or ten yards away to shake off. Try to coax Buddy back to the water hole, exhibiting surprise that he doesn’t want to continue the “game.”
When the next hole is dug, come upon the scene with elation that Buddy again wants to “play the game.” Fill the hole with water and find Buddy (who will be hiding if he saw you pour water into the hole.)
Repeat the dunking routine each time a fresh hole is dug. On the fourth day (remember that it takes an average dog four days to learn an average thing) call Buddy to your side, get on your hands and knees and YOU dig a hole!
Before you have a chance to fill your hole with water, Buddy will be gone in a flash, totally unimpressed with the “game” of hole digging you like so well. He will now go out of his way to make sure no further holes appear in the yard, and for good.