The Q&A Archives: Dogs Digging At New Sod

Question: I have two Golden Retrievers (2 1/2 and 1 1/2 years old) that have recently decided to tear sections of month old sod from our backyard. My dogs love to be outside but I can't seem to keep them from ripping up the grass. I have tried a repellant product to no avail. Please give me some direction as to how I can deter them from continuing this behavior.

Answer: Most dogs adore fresh sod for a toy -- it must smell wonderful (or something!) I would have suggested a repellent barrier and, if that didn't do the trick, a fence to keep them off of the sod completely until it has had a chance to form a good root system. Apart from ripping it up to play with, the constant traffic from eight active canine feet can inhibit rooting too. Unfortunately the only other thing I can think of is to take them for walks on a leash until the sod is ready for full use. Perhaps your dog trainer or veterinarian would have some additional insight.

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