Diggin Dog? 5 Tips To Stop Dogs From Digging!

Photo: Fence Specialists

Photo: Fence Specialists

Do you have craters in your yard caused by your dog? If so, it is important to know why he might be digging. According to the Humane Society of the United States, dogs dig for a variety of reasons some of which could be:

• entertainment
• prey
• comfort or protection
• escape
• attention

In order to curb this behavior, it is essential to find the root cause. Once you figure out why he is digging, then you can begin trying to change this behavior.

Entertainment may be the issue if:
He’s left alone in the yard for long periods of time without the company of his human family.
His environment is relatively barren—with no playmates or toys.
He’s a puppy or adolescent (under 3 years old) and doesn’t have other outlets for his energy.
He’s a terrier or other breed that was bred to dig.
He’s a particularly active type who needs a job to be happy (such as a herding or sporting breed).
He’s recently seen you “playing” in the dirt (gardening or working in the yard).

What to do
* Walk your dog at least twice daily. Not getting enough exercise is a leading cause of behaviors.
* Redirect your dog’s energy by teaching him to fetch a ball or flying disk and playing with him often.
* Teach your dog a few tricks and practice them every day.
* Keep interesting toys in the yard to keep your dog busy.(Braxton’s carries a variety of cool toys)

Hunting prey is the issue if:
He’s focused on a single area rather than the boundaries of the yard or at the roots of trees and shrubs.

What to do
* Search for signs of burrowing animals, then use safe, humane methods to fence them out, exclude
them, or make your yard or garden unattractive.

Comfort or protection is the issue if:
The holes are near the foundations of buildings, large shade trees, or a water source.
Your dog doesn’t have a shelter such as a dog house or her shelter is exposed to the hot sun or cold winds. Your dog is lying in the holes she digs.

What to do
* Bring your dog indoors more often to relieve overheating or a chill.
* Take precautions to keep your dog safe in extreme heat or cold.
* Make sure your dog has a comfortable doghouse that offers protection from wind and sun.
* Provide plenty of fresh water in a bowl that can’t be tipped over.
* If your dog still prefers lying in a hole in the ground, try providing a digging zone.

Escape is the issue if:
He digs along the fence line.
He digs under the fence.

What to do
* Figure out why your dog is trying to escape and remove those incentives.
* Make sure her environment is a safe, appealing place for a dog.

Your dog needs attention if:
He digs in your presence.
He has limited opportunities for interaction with you.

What to do
* Provide your dog with the attention he deserves.
* Ignore the attention-seeking behavior and give your pooch lots of praise for “good dog” behavior.
* Make sure your dog has sufficient time with you on a daily basis.

If you’ve tried these strategies and you still can’t solve your dog’s digging problem, keep her indoors with you and supervise her during bathroom breaks in the yard. You may also want to consult a behavior professional for additional help.

If you have a remedy for digging, we want to hear from you. Please share your dog digging tips by commenting below.

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