Q. Now that it’s spring, I want to tidy up the garden, but my dog likes to dig.
How can I stop him from ruining all my hard work?
Don’t worry, a digging dog doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having a beautiful garden.
Keeping your dog active and entertained throughout the day can help stop your dog wanting to dig, so make sure Fido has plenty of toys to play with when he’s out in the garden. Playing games like fetch and catch can also help to relieve the boredom that tempts them to start digging.
If your dog usually spends time in the garden when you’re not around, try creating a space where he can enjoy his hobby without wrecking your lovely plants. A sand pit or a designated square of soil can help to keep his digging in check. Bury a favourite toy or hide treats just under the surface to teach him that this is his spot.
Q. My dog has a sweet tooth and he's going to want to get his paws on the Easter chocolates around the house.
Should I give him some?
No, chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which can be poisonous for pets, so it’s so important that you don’t give any cocoa-based products to your dog.
If you’re worried he’ll get his paws on something dangerous, make sure you keep any chocolate out of sight and reach- take particular care not to leave any leftover Easter eggs lying around.
If you do want to give your pooch a sweet treat, try offering him dog-safe choc instead, such as Good Boy Choc Drops.
Q. With the weather improving, I want to take my dog out with me on country walks but I’m worried he’ll run off.
What can I do?
The most important trick in getting your dog to come when you call is to reward them for returning. When off the lead, he’ll no doubt be having a great time, so he might not want to come back if that means an end to his fun!
Start the training at home by calling your dog to let them know when their food is ready and they'll quickly learn when it’s dinner time.
Once that's mastered, it’s time to head outdoors. Use an extendable lead at first to allow some freedom. Call him to return to you and don’t forget to reward him when he does, even if he doesn’t come first time.
Once you’re confident, you’re ready to remove the lead. Make sure your walk doesn’t take you near farms or livestock and remember to keep rewarding. Don’t punish him if he doesn’t - he won’t understand why he’s being told off and it’ll only undo all your good work.
- There's more expert advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.