Are you tired of finding mounds of dirt in your yard that hide gopher tunnels? While these furry little squatters might think they have a right to turn your yard into their family home, when the time comes to evict them maybe you should train your dog to do the dirty work. Among the most commonly used solutions are poisons (dangerous), shooting them (illegal in most suburban and urban areas), and professional exterminators (very expensive).
A well-trained gopher hunting dog is far less expensive than hiring a professional exterminator and can provide you with 10 or more years of faithful service. Imagine having your own gopher control service whose only charge is a daily bowl of his favorite dog food and maybe a treat or two along the way. While many dogs can be taught to hunt gophers, terrier breeds are more commonly used as this type of behavior comes naturally to them.
The task is pretty simple: your dog has to be trained to hunt and kill the gophers who are infesting your yard. This means they need to be able to dig into the tunnels and not be afraid of them. With the right breed of terrier, this is a natural instinct. All the training does is to help bring out this natural talent, focus it, and enhance it to the point at which your pup loves being released in the yard to go "hunting."
Beyond buying the right breed, your pup needs to have mastered the basic commands. While your pup may never get rid of all the gophers under your property on his own, chances are good that after he has made his fair share of kills, those who remain are likely to move on, seeking less risky homes.
For this one, your dog needs to be properly trained in the basic commands, 'sit', 'stay', 'come', and 'down'. He needs to be able to perform them without question. Along with this, you will need a few things to make the training go easier.
Beyond this, you need a dog that is excited to hunt gophers and has plenty of energy. Dogs like the Jack Russell terrier are perfect for this task as this was what they were bred for. Be sure to remain calm and patient during the training process as it can take months for your pup to master this skill.