About 5 years ago, we rescued an abandoned Akita that wandered into our yard, completely emaciacted and loaded with ticks. He's been a very good dog, very loving and reasonably well-behaved, if not the sharpest tool in the shed, until the last 6-8 months or so.

He's taken up digging at random in the back yard. He isn't bored, he's got two kids who play with him constantly, and another dog to play with all the time. He's just decided that making holes in the ground is fun and nothing we've been able to do has slowed him down. He's not digging to sleep in the holes, most of them are pretty much straight down, 2-3 feet, no wider than the width of his paws. We've tried filling them in with rocks or feces, he just moves over a foot and starts a new hole. We tried putting down chicken wire under one section and he dug it up. We built a grid out of rebar in one planter and found it dragged out of the hole a couple days later.

We replanted our back lawn last fall, and now we're going to have to replant about a quarter of it again in the spring because he's dug everything up. It's getting so bad that last Saturday, I went out and filled in about a dozen holes he had dug, came into the house for about a half hour, and when I went back out, there were another 3-4 holes already!
Any ideas? We have a friend who is a professional dog trainer and most of the above are her suggestions and they haven't worked.
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Brian Henderson (Email Removed) composed these thoughts and posted them
About 5 years ago, we rescued an abandoned Akita that wandered into our yard, completely emaciacted and loaded with ticks. ... a friend who is a professional dog trainer and most of the above are her suggestions and they haven't worked.

This time of year there are often grubs under the soil. Or perhaps he's after moles whose livelihood depends on those grubs. Treat the lawn for grubs and insects (keep the dog off of it, or he might develop renal failure) until the bugs/grubs are gone.
If that fails.. Get him a sandpile that he can dig in.
came into the house for about a half hour, and when I went back out, there were another 3-4 holes already! Any ideas? We have a friend who is a professional dog trainer and most of the above are her suggestions and they haven't worked.

stop leaving him outside.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
As Diddy said, that sounds an awful lot like he's digging after prey, not at random - I'd be checking for moles and/or field mice. Akitas usually have a fairly high prey drive, and IIRC that extends to vermin.
And as Janet said, if you don't leave him outside unattended, it won't happen.
And as Janet said, if you don't leave him outside unattended, it won't happen.

sounds a bit flippant to some, I realize, but digging, without someone there to correct, is just so self-rewarding. It FEELS good, even if there isn't a clear reason what's triggering it. This dog may not be the brightest bulb in the socket, but I bet he's smart enough to know when nobody is there to correct him.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
This time of year there are often grubs under the soil. Or perhaps he's after moles whose livelihood depends on ... grubs and insects (keep the dog off of it, or he might develop renal failure) until the bugs/grubs are gone.

Nope, he isn't digging up anything and he isn't burying anything, he's just digging because he wants to dig, so far as we can tell.
If that fails.. Get him a sandpile that he can dig in.

He's already got an area where he's allowed to dig, he's got a hole there that he sleeps in during the day. He's just decided that EVERYWHERE is his new digging spot.
without someone there to correct,

as I look back, it seems there has been NO CORRECTION, just trying of deterrents. Perhaps this dog needs to actually be told no, in whatever fashion he responds to. And I kind of doubt the kids are out there with him 24/7!

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
stop leaving him outside.

If he's outside for 5 minutes, he digs and during the day, he's just too big to be in the house unsupervised. He's never done this before, that's not a reasonable option.
If he's outside for 5 minutes, he digs and during the day, he's just too big to be in the house unsupervised. He's never done this before, that's not a reasonable option.

There's no such thing as too big to be in a house unsupervised. To ill behaved possibly. What TRAINING have you done?

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
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