How can I stop my Cairn Terrier from digging? March 14, 2019 16:00 1 Comment

How can I stop my Cairn Terrier from digging?


I mean really, we need help here, make it stop!  When the pup first arrived we thought it was entertaining to watch her have a little scuff about in the earth.  However, a year on and we have actual elephant traps all over the lawn. 

Walking up the garden to see if the frogs have spawned in our tiny pond has now become a challenge.  Can I make it there and back without hiking boots, walking poles and crampons?  Can I dodge the ditches without needing stitches?  It’s getting beyond a joke. 


If you are interested in owning a Cairn Terrier as a family pet, here are some articles that you may find useful:

What is the history of the Cairn Terrier?

How do I train my Cairn Terrier to walk on a lead?

Can I buy my Cairn Terrier rawhide chews?


I have done a bit of research and hope it helps if you are having the same problem.  First, if the digging is an attempt to escape where the grass is greener, attach chicken wire under the fence down at least a foot, or lay a metal grid flat on the surface perpendicular to the base of the fence.  Burying large rocks may be a deterrent too.

You can try scattering orange peel, some have suggested putting the dogs own poo where they dig as a discouragement.  Frankly, it all flies around in a slurry flurry here. 

If the digging is at the foot of a tree, it could be doggo is picking up on the scent of a critter.  Terriers, as we all know only too well are bred for digging, it is their natural instinct.  We do have bird feeders and the overspill gets scattered below.  Our old girl Hattie will dig to eat the seed (like she is starved! Pfft).  Our pup will follow suit just because she can and I am sure we get little rodents visiting, so that scent is there too.  The good books say to get rid of the source of the scent. 

If your Cairn Terrier is digging because he is bored, up the stimulation and the walks.  Not just physical challenges, but mental too.  You could try hide and seek with treats, agility or puzzle mats where dogs have to poke the treats out of a kind of maze before they get them.

Has anyone else tried a digging box?  It’s the idea of sectioning off a few square feet of ground and filling it with sticks and soil and disgusting stinky things and making it the place where it’s OK to dig.  Let me know how it goes.  Any other advice is well and truly welcome.

Oh while you are here, don't forget that it is Mother's Day in the UK on March 31st, you can get lovely gifts like these from our shop:

Mother's Day 2019 UK