How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Holes
How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Holes, A dog that loves to dig in the yard can be incredibly frustrating. In addition to being annoying, digging can create an unsightly mess in your yard, endanger the health of your yard plantings, and potentially cause some health problems for your dog. And the digging habit is a hard one to break.
Why Do Dogs Dig?
No matter how frustrated or angry you might become, remember that your dog isn’t digging just to spite you or intentionally destroy your property. Many dogs dig for one of two reasons: they’re bored (and possibly lonely) and want some mental and physical stimulation, or they enjoy digging – the whole experience is just too much fun to resist.
Your yard is a virtual playground for your dog. Interesting creatures like moles or mice might be living there, just waiting to be sniffed out and unearthed. Digging up plants can be a festive way for a dog to spend an hour or two. And the smells! Bunnies fascinate just about every dog, and they leave their scent behind them whenever they come into your yard. Many a dog will go digging, trying to uncover rabbits hiding in their burrows. The smell of freshly turned dirt, manure and other natural fertilizers also appeals to many dogs, and some will dig in order to get closer to the source.
Your dog might also be digging because he’s trying to get your attention, to make a cooler spot to lie in during a hot day, or to bury a bone or treat for “safekeeping.” Other dogs dig instinctively. For example, certain breeds, such as terriers and dachshunds, have been bred to dig into underground animal dens and burrows and drag their residents out, so those breeds are more likely to dig than others. Still other dogs dig under fences to escape from their yards and go roaming or “visit” a female in heat. Finally, dogs with high energy levels may dig as a way of releasing some of their pent-up energy.
How to Stop Dog Digging
When you want to stop dog digging, it’s important to identify the reason your dog is digging to begin with. Don’t simply use punishment to stop dog digging. Instead, determine why he’s digging and tailor the way you correct the problem accordingly, by addressing the cause.
Assuming your dog is digging for one of the two main reasons (out of sheer boredom or because he enjoys it), it should be pretty easy to identify which one is responsible. If he digs no matter how much exercise and mental stimulation he gets and he does it whether you’re home or not, he’s probably digging just because he loves doing it. If he doesn’t usually dig when you’re home but he’s alone for lengthy periods, or if he doesn’t get enough regular exercise, he’s probably digging because he’s bored or lonely and he’s trying to entertain himself or burn off his excess energy.
How to Stop Dog Digging Caused by Boredom or Loneliness
When you want to stop dog digging due to boredom or loneliness, one of the first things you can try is giving him more exercise. Take your dog for a long run, or if that’s not possible, for as long of a walk as you and your dog can handle. A thirty-minute walk is probably the minimum, and an hour would be even better. If you don’t have this much time to walk your dog, consider hiring a dog walker to take your place. As a general rule, a tired dog is a well-behaved dog, and simple exercise can be enough to stop dog digging in some cases.
Obedience training sessions can serve two purposes (in addition to the obvious training benefits). Teaching your dog new commands or tricks will relieve his boredom by keeping his mind stimulated, and your dog will cherish your companionship and the time you spend together. If your dog is digging due to loneliness and/or boredom, these training sessions can help. A lonely dog will also appreciate it if you’re able to drop in during your lunch hour for a quick visit. Alternatively, you could arrange for a friend or a dog-sitter to pay your dog a visit during a long, lonely day.
You can also buy your dog some toys that will keep him entertained and mentally engaged while you’re not home. For example, durable, hard rubber toys which you can stuff with treats can occupy your dog physically and mentally for hours as he tries to figure out how to get to the goodies inside.
How to Stop Dog Digging Caused by a Love of Digging
If your dog just loves to dig, you might be able to stop dog digging by restricting his access to your yard. If you’re always there to supervise while your dog’s in your yard, he won’t be able to dig whenever the mood strikes. If you’re present, you can stop dog digging as soon as it begins.
You can also make digging in your yard unappealing to your dog by using natural deterrents. For example, liberally sprinkle cayenne pepper in areas where your dog normally digs. As your dog digs into those “peppered” areas, the cayenne will irritate his eyes and nose and he’ll soon stop. Alternatively, you can stop dog digging by burying some of your dog’s feces in areas where he often digs. A third method involves spraying your dog with a garden hose or water pistol whenever you catch him in the act.
Finally, recognize that some dogs are going to dig no matter what you do. It’s just in their blood. If you have the space, give your dog a place where digging is okay and then encourage him to do his digging there by burying some treats and favorite toys for him to unearth. Consider this area as your dog’s sandbox, similar to a child’s sandbox. He’ll have a great time and the rest of your yard will be safe.
I know how it can be tough and time consuming to eradicate your dog’s bad behaviors like “Dog Digging” or any other behavioral issues you are unfortunately facing. With patience and consistency you will be able to put an end to all your dog’s “problems” but you need to do it the right way.
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