Stopping Your Dog From Digging Positively

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Stopping Your Dog From Digging Positively

by Kelly Marshall

All puppies and dogs go through stages where digging is a very entertaining pastime. Unfortunately for owners this often coincides with planting the garden or landscaping the yard. It is not that the dog is trying to sabotage your beautiful yard, it is simply that you have provided an excellent patch of tilled earth for them to dig in. By understanding some of the natural tendencies of digging dogs owners can easily anticipate and plan for digging problems.

Reasons for Digging

As with most traits there are some breeds that are more prone to digging than others. Hunting dogs that have been bred to ?go to ground? or actually dig through the ground to get to prey are more likely to be problem diggers than other breeds. Some of the most well known digging breeds are:

? Scotties
? Dachshunds
? Most of the Terrier breeds

All breeds of dogs may also dig for several reasons. Dogs that are bored will dig because it gives them something to do that is fun and entertaining, at least for the dog. In excessively hot or cold conditions dogs will dig into the ground to provide temperature control and to help protect them from the sun or cold. Females will often dig to prepare a den, even if they are not pregnant at the time. All dogs may dig to prepare a bed for themselves simply because it is comfortable and soft in the loose soil. Finally, dogs may dig to bury bones or toys to protect them from being found by other dogs or people.

Spend a bit of time considering why your dog is digging. If it is for bedding reasons or temperature control, consider providing a dog bed or straw or other bedding for them to snuggle into if they get cold. In very hot climates perhaps keeping the dog in a shady area or even misting water into the area they normally sleep in will keep the temperature cooler.

Dogs that dig for boredom may just need additional exercise before they are left alone in the yard. Try taking the dog for a long run or walk or throwing the ball or Frisbee around in the yard for a bit before leaving. In addition dogs that dig to escape may just be bored with the yard. Add a few toys and balls for them to play with, or consider leaving a chew toy or large size joint bone that will be safe for them to chew on for the time you are gone.

Breeds that dig because of characteristics are a bit more of a challenge. One of the best ways to control digging is to set aside a small area of the yard for the activity. Keep the ground soft and tilled so that the dog will enjoy digging there. Praise the dog or puppy when he or she digs in the selected area. Hiding some toys or treats in the area will help the dog learn that this is the right spot to deal with those digging urges.

Dogs can learn to dig only in the selected areas. In the meantime consider filling existing holes with water as they will usually not dig in muddy soil. In addition pepper can be sprinkled around the edges to make the area unsuitable for sniffing and playing around.

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