How to Stop Your Dog From Digging
Does your backyard look like a war zone with holes everywhere? Although it won’t make you feel any better to know that you’re not alone…dog owners everywhere are living in a similar war zone to yours.
To begin with, digging comes natural to dogs, it’s unacceptable to you, but it’s instinctive for them. In fact, oftentimes when you interrupt him/her by telling her to stop, the interruption only lasts for a brief time before she’s right back at it. Even though it’s an instinctive behavior, there is usually an underlying reason, so the key to getting your pooch to stop digging, is understanding why she is doing it in the first place.
Why is your dog digging, and what can you do about it?
Some dogs are a lot like Marco Polo…explorers, and they must escape the confines of the backyard to explore their world, so they are constantly digging under the fence. This can be a difficult behavior to change, but you could try…
- Burying chicken wire under the bottom of the fence.
- Line the bottom of the fence with rocks that are partially buried.
Some dogs are just bored and/or lonely, because they are left alone in the backyard for long periods of time, so digging becomes entertainment for them.
- Increase your dog’s “human family” time
- Spend more time playing actively with her
- Take her on more walks
- Keep plenty of toys, especially chew toys, in the yard with her, and change them out periodically for variation
- If your dog is a puppy, she definitely needs more people entertainment and activity
Some dogs are natural born buryers, they will bury everything from their favorite toy to a bone.
- These dogs would really benefit from a designated digging place in the yard.
- If your pup keeps digging in the same place no matter how many times you cover it up, place some of her own fresh feces near the top of the hole when you’re covering it, that will turn her nose up.
Some dogs are natural hunters, and may be searching for bugs or rodents.
- This is a good sign that you have rodents or other burrowing animals in your yard..Try to rid your yard of them without the use of chemicals.
Your dog may not be getting enough exercise.
- This is an easy one…make sure your dog gets plenty of good exercise and fun activity with you.
Some dogs will dig for protection or comfort. Sometimes a dog will dig because the weather is too hot, it’s her way of getting to cool dirt to lay in. It would help if you…
- Create a shaded area that protects her from the glare of the sun.
- Keep a full water bowl outside, that can’t be accidentally tipped over, to keep your dog hydrated.
- Avoid leaving your dog outside in extreme weather.
- Provide your pup with a doghouse where she can escape not only the heat, but cold and rain.
- To protect your dog from the heat, you could have a kiddie pool, filled with water, in the backyard for her to play in and cool off.
Some dogs just plain enjoy digging!
- In this case, you’ll need to carefully monitor her whenever she is outside, and when digging begins distract her with a loud noise such as clapping your hands, shake cans filled with rocks, or use a whistle. Once distracted, do something fun such as playing with a ball or a frisbee.
- You could make a place in the yard that your dog is allowed to dig in, such as a sandbox. You can train her that this is an appropriate place to dig by hiding small toys for her to find. When she digs where she is supposed to, be sure to give her lots of praise.
Some dog breeds, such as these, tend to be more prolific diggers than others:
- Jack Russel Terriers
- Siberian Huskies
- Cairn Terriers
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Fox Terriers
- Airedale Terriers
- Norwegian Lundehunds
If none of these or other techniques are working for you, you should consider getting some professional training for your pup, or if you leave your dog outside frequently for work or other activity, you should consider hiring a dog walker or taking her to a doggie daycare facility where she definitely won’t do any digging, but she’ll have a great time!
At BowWow Fun Towne, we are experts in dog day care. We are dedicated to assisting you and providing the best care for your dog while you’re away.