The art of digging… some hints and tips

Firstly can I just say that I am not an expert at digging. I am well aware that many terriers are expert diggers along with lots of other dogs. However, I have found that there is a lack of information available online for young pups to get tips and hints for digging a good hole! So, here goes!

From experience I have found that digging holes away from home is preferable. If you don’t believe me, you just try digging a big hole in the middle of your lawn and see what your humans have to say about it! So, try to do your digging while you are out on a walk, when the soil is fairly soft. It’s no good trying to dig when the ground is frozen, you’ll just break your nails. On my walk today, I started with a quick swim in the ford.. just to moisten my paws.

I start with a swim

I’m a bit of an addict when it comes to swimming, can’t resist any sort of water, so we take a little diversion round through Throop which goes over another ford and along past the stream and through the water meadows. Lots of water!

I asked my friend Horse what ground conditions were like today

He said they were good under-hoof and thought it would be a good digging day.

The sad 'Living Van'

We stopped for a rest here – this is where we usually see Mr Fox, his home is somewhere nearby – but we were on a mission so we carried on through the woods and up to the cattle in the field at the top of the hill.

Not sure I fancy their noms

They confirmed that the ground was soft. Their bit near their pile of food was incredibly soft.. far too soft for digging! Anyway, after all this walking my paws were all dried out again so I stopped for another quick swim to moisten them up a bit.

Mmmm refreshing

This was ideal underpaw for digging, good leaf coverage and nice soft peaty soil. So, when you find your spot, just start digging! You will soon find out which technique you find easiest to use. My friends the labradors seem to favour the “double paw bounce” method, which to be honest doesn’t seem very efficient to me. But they like it. Then again, they also spend a lot of time in the stream trying to find “their stone” underneath the water, so I do think perhaps they aren’t really very bright.

You'll know when you find a good spot

I favour the alternate paw digging method. Sort of like doing a doggy paddle through the soil. In this video I have demonstrated this method and you will also note that every so often it is good to shove your head down the hole and have a good sniff.. followed by a snort. You will also see me dealing with some annoying tree roots – these are best pulled out. I use my teeth on the small ones. This hole had a particularly large root that needed a bit more attention before I was able to break it and pull it out.

That was probably rather a long video to keep your attention, but a good hole takes time to dig. I spent some 12 minutes today digging this particular hole and I will probably finish it off the next time I am passing by. This is a regular walk we do and I have some 10 or 11 holes on the go at once and they all require a little dig whenever I pass by them!

Hey, wait for me.. I'm just finishing off

The soil is very good for conditioning your fur. If you dig a hole after having had a swim you can be guaranteed to acquire a goodly amount of quality soil in your paws and up your legs.

No, I'm not a brown dog, I'm a black dog

Oh dear, mum wasn’t amused, especially when we bumped into a labrador and a springer spaniel which made me all excited so I jumped up and covered her in pawprints.

It's called a mud pack & is cheaper than a pawdicure

We finished off today’s walk by going down through the bluebell wood and walked back along the lane. We saw some silly deer in a field that were all trying to jump over a fence to get into another field. All but one of them managed it.


See, the first one has gone over the fence and the others were all watching how he did it. There was just one little deer that didn’t manage it but all his friends came back to the fence and they walked with him around the field until he found a spot where he could jump over. The barbed wire fences are about 4 feet high which is quite a lot for a young deer to jump. I hope he didn’t hurt himself.

We went back to the ford so I could finish off with another swim to get all the mud out of my fur.. mum towelled me dry and then put on my red jumper to keep me warm. We’d finished our walk just in time because it was starting to rain!

Just got back in the car before the rain!

I hope this has inspired you to go out and dig, dig, dig. You never know what you might find!!

~ by Teagan on January 25, 2011.

11 Responses to “The art of digging… some hints and tips”

  1. Thanks for taking us along on your walk. You are quite the digger and really good at getting those roots out of the way.
    Will be looking forward to the next walk.

    • Hello Jean, haven’t seen you here for a while, I hope you are all keeping well. Digging makes the winter walks more exciting. I can’t wait for summer though because we get to go to lots more exciting places. The days are too short and dark at the moment. Bye for now, Teagan x

  2. OMC! Your digging prowess will become legendary! A very interesting technique!! I loved the huffing,puffing and grunting too!! I was so proud that you managed to get so muddy and share it with Mum!! You rock, Teagie Weagie! MOL XXXXX

  3. That’s a long day for a pup! Cute post.

  4. WOW, you certainly are an expert digger fur sure!!!

    • Hiya Brian, I bet you’re a good digger too.. mum tells me that cats sometimes dig some lovely holes in the flowerbeds and then leave presents in them and forget to cover them up. Sensible cats.. why fill a hole in? Not much point digging one if you have to fill it in again.

  5. I wish I’d seen you tips when I was a young pup – nobody told me it was a bad idea to dig in Mum & Dad’s garden! It never occurred to me to dig when we are out on a walk. I’m not really much of a digger though, but when I I am like you & dig doggy paddle style!

  6. Hi Teagan:

    You are a very good digger.

    I like that soft leafy brown ground for digging too.
    Because it smells good.
    And it feels good on my feet too.

    I am glad you could finish before it rained.
    Because then you would be really very very muddy.
    I get black when I do digging.
    Except I am supposed to be white!

    I am glad the other deer helped that deer get round the fence.

    I really liked your video.
    Because it had very good digging ideas.
    I do one two one two.
    And I like to do it very fast.

    My Kind Friend filled in my good digging hole with more mulch.
    But now I dug it out again already!

    Bye for now Teagan!

    From Sammy

    Now it started raining here too!

  7. I forgot:

    I never had to dig out plant things before.
    How did you learn how to do that Teagan?
    Because you are very good at plant digging and pulling out!

    I can’t wait to do more digging!


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