A napping dog is not a digging dog, so exhaust your pet with regular walks and active play.
"Homeowners with big yards think they can just open the back door and their dogs will be entertained," says Tim Link, a dog expert and author of "Wagging Tales."
"That's boring for an animal," says Link. "You have to mix it up. If a dog is stimulated, he'll get into a lot less mischief."
To keep your animal active, try:
- Hiding a favorite indoor toy outdoors so he can hunt for it.
- Playing catch with a ball or Frisbee.
- Taking her on frequent walks.
- Setting up an agility course.
2. Offer a digging spot of his own
Dogs dig for thrills, for a cool place to lie down, and for a place to bury bones. It's an instinctive behavior you can't eliminate, but you can redirect it by building your pet a digging box.
It doesn't have to be big -- a shaded, 4-by-4-foot space will do. Fill it with sand, cat box filler, or wood chips. Then let your dog watch you bury a toy or treat in the box. When he goes after it, praise his efforts -- dogs would rather be rewarded for digging in their box than scolded for digging in your garden.
3. Nix the bones
Instead of offering your dog a bone that he'll want to hide in a hole, give your pet rawhide or veggie-based chews that he'll eat rather than bury.
Also, buy your puppy a busy ball ($10-$15) that dispenses treats as he bats it around. It's a challenge and exercise, which will keep your dog's body and mind active.
4. Get rid of unwanted pests
Dogs often dig around fences and shrubs to hunt prey -- such as rats, gophers and moles. Beat him to the job by humanely getting rid of rodents. Don't use poison to kill the critters, because it could kill your pet, too.
5. Keep your dog company
If you know your dog likes to dig or eat outdoors, don't leave him unattended. Let him watch you plant your garden and explain what you're doing and the behavior you expect.
Yep, you read that right.
Link says dogs understand and respond to human conversation, so long as it contains high praise and clear directions, and is followed by a reward for good behavior.
You might say, "Sebastian, you're the best dog in the world, and I know you love to dig. But I don't want you digging up the lawn and ruining our beautiful yard. Now, let's get a treat."
This story was originally published on HouseLogic.
Dog Days of Digging: How to Stop Your Pooch From Tearing Up Your Yard
Raised plant beds offer a modern and clean look. Here are some steps to get this project finished on your own, courtesy of home improvement expert Mark Clement, co-host of “My Fix it Up Life”:
Step 1: Build the frames
Begin by building the top and bottom frames out of 1x2 western red cedar strips. From there, fasten two 26’’ strips to two 13’’ strips to form a rectangular frame. Apply some wood glue to the strips, then nail them together with a single nail (this will hold them more securely). Pre-drill the ends to keep them from splitting, then insert a screw in each corner.
Hosing down a decade old deck won't be enough to get the job done. That's when a power washer comes in handy. The best part is that you don't need to spend hundreds of dollars buying a power washer, since you'll only need it for a few hours. Save money by renting one at your local hardware store.
Some decks need more than just a power washing. The more intensive task of sanding and staining will take at least a weekend to complete, but the step-by-step strategies from Alex Roberts, president of Mr. Handyman, will help give your deck the rehab it needs.
Step 1: Inspect
Examine the entire deck for chipped and peeling paint. Use a dust mask and remove loose pieces with a paint scraper or resort to renting a disc sander. If some areas are still rough, sand again with a fine-grit sandpaper.
Now that you've finished perfecting the look of your deck, it's time to decorate! "One of the easiest ways to add color and fragrance to any patio is by adding flowers as a finishing touch," says Roberts.
But Roberts tells us there are a few important factors to keep in mind when building a flower planter:
• Make sure to create holes at the bottom of the box for drainage and install a strong support system for each box.
• Select low-maintenance, colorful flowers such as coneflowers and Shasta daisies. Consider adding marigolds and bee balm to naturally repel mosquitoes.
• Ensure your potting soil is moist and leave at least two inches from the top of the planter if you want to include mulch after planting. Add your flowers and water.
What's a well-maintained, flower-filled deck without furniture? If your current patio table and chairs is on its last legs, before you buy a new furniture set take into account Roberts' mini-guide below for purchasing outdoor furniture meant to last:
• Weather-resistant pillows in bold colors bring comfort and zest to the seating area, while floor pillows add extra seating.
• Make sure your patio umbrella is weighted to prevent high winds from taking hold. Many glass top tables have been broken by high winds
Installing a fence around the perimeter of your property could costs thousands, but is certainly necessary for safety and privacy reasons. Barbara Hastings, senior manager in marketing communications at Troy-Bilt, a manufacturer of outdoor power equipment, offers the following tips for constructing the perfect fence (though this project is likely for the experienced DIYers.)
Step 1: Spacing
To begin, you need to plot out the fence outline and mark all corners. Posts should be spaced six to eight feet apart.
You read that correctly -- the birdhouse. It's a common backyard accessory, but whether or not you have one in your yard, it may not have a copper roof. Eric Berman of Erikson Birdhouse shares the following tips for how to construct a striking copper roof for your birdhouse, bound to stand out and garner compliments from guests (and neighbors!)
Step 1: Calculate
Determine the dimensions of your birdhouse's roof to estimate the appropriate size of sheet metal to purchase. Most home improvement stores will cut the sheet metal for you.
Now that your deck is looking brand new and your outdoor furniture is in tip-top shape, it's time to start grilling. A filthy barbeque impacts the taste of the food. A dirty grill doesn't mean you need to replace it. Instead of buying a new grill, cleaning your current one is a cost effective way to grill as if you bought the barbeque yesterday. Bruce Yacko, CEO of JAWS Cleaners, shares his expert tips with MainStreet:
Step 1: Heat
Heat the grill to a low heat and use a stiff wire brush for the grate(s). Be careful to avoid coming in direct contact with the hot grates.