Your Terrier was bred to hunt vermin, so it should not be a surprise if your Jack Russell Terrier starts to dig up your backyard, especially if you have a mole problem. However, that does not make it any less frustrating as a homeowner trying to keep your yard nice for entertaining. While this behavior maybe instinctual and therefore hard to stop, there are things you can do to help curb your dog’s desire. The following are five tips to stop your Jack Russell Terrier from digging.
#1 – Management
While you are working on solving the digging problem, which won’t happen overnight, the easiest way to stop your JRT from doing it is to not leave him in the yard alone. This way, he won’t have a chance to practice the behavior. The more he practices it, the more he will continue to dig because it’s rewarding for him.
#2 – More Exercise
Digging takes a lot of energy. Many dogs do it as a form of self-exercise. If you provide more exercise for your Jack Russell, he won’t have the energy to dig.
#3 – Self-play Toys
Boredom is another reason why your Jack Russell may have taken up trying to dig to China. Providing self-play toys for your dog in the backyard is a great way to keep him occupied. The Wunderball is a great choice because when your dog drops it, it bounces unevenly, encouraging your dog to keep playing. Treat toys, iFetch, Tether Tug, and the like are all good options too.
#4 – A Place To Dig
As mentioned, digging for vermin is part of a Jack Russell DNA, so you may find that nothing is going to stop him from hunting. For these dogs, the only way to stop him from digging up your entire yard is to give him a sand or dirt box of his own. Use a kid box or build one yourself. Make sure it has a clearly marked perimeter and that the soil inside it is different from your landscaping so your dog can learn the difference. Bury toys and treats inside the box (shallow at first) to encourage your Jack Russell to dig there and not anywhere else. This is a great solution because it gives him exercise and keeps him from being bored while saving your landscaping. And, there’s no risk he will dig himself out of your yard.
#5 – Take Her To Barn Hunt Or EarthDog
Since your Jack Russell is bred to get small animals out of the Earth, you should not be surprised she wants to dig. You can help satisfy this desire by taking her to barn hunts or EarthDog training. These safe sports (no rodents are harmed!) will teach your Jack Russell Terrier to hunt on cue and will help curb unwanted digging by giving her an outlet for her instincts.
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