Digging is with no doubt a natural behavior in dogs. They are hard-wired and enjoy digging. Some pampered pooches just can’t help it! Once you let them loose in the backyard, they start digging holes here and there as they find it too hard to resist the temptation.
If you are or were once a dog owner, then, you know well how frustrating this destructive dog behavior can be! However, should you keep in mind that dogs dig for different reasons and it’s important to learn more about these reasons in order to be able to understand your pampered pooch better and learn how to manage and control the behavior!
Experts say that digging behavior in dogs can actually reveal serious issues and it shouldn’t go unnoticed! It can be nothing but a way your pooch uses to relieve stress or way that your dog expresses its anxiety!
#1 – Why Dogs Dig?
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The act of digging is a completely natural behavior in dogs. While this destructive digging behavior is more common in particular dog breeds such as Siberian Huskies, it can happen because of so many other reasons.
However, let’s not forget that some dog breeds( hounds and terriers) were bred to dig so that they could be used on farms or for hunting. Here is some couple of reasons why some dog breeds just love digging :
• They are bored.
• They lack physical exercise or mental stimulation.
• They try to create a cool place to rest in.
• They try to escape from a confined area.
• They try to calm their stress or anxiety.
• They simply enjoy filing down their nails.
• They hide food or other precious items, including bones and toys.
Trying to understand the reason behind your pooch’s digging behavior is actually the first step towards putting an end to this troublesome behavior!
#2 – Is Your Dog too Bored?
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Digging could be nothing but a way your dog is trying to entertain themselves and kill boredom! Yes, you’ve read it right! Dogs get bored too and when they are, they may start digging holes all over the garden.
To stop this behavior, you should be willing to spend more time with your pooch and fill their day with enrichment activities and puzzles that will promote acceptable dog behavior said a certified dog trainer and behavior consultant.
She also added saying that digging is natural and dogs will continue to do so because they are hardwired. Hence, it is wise to provide your pampered pooch with a special dig pit specifically for them.
For instance, you can grab a small swimming pool and fill it with dog-safe sand or dirt and then bury toys and treats for your dog to find, suggested the certified dog trainer and behavior consultant.
According to Nicole Ellis, who is a professional dog trainer, digging is a highly encouraged behavior for dogs through which they can reduce their excess energy. Hence, instead of stopping it, you can come up with a better solution where your dog is allowed to dig in a dig pit specifically for them.
#3 – Is Your Dog super energetic?
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The destructive digging behavior in dogs can be also due to the lack of mental and physical exercise. Dogs love to be challenged and need mental and physical stimulation to thrive. Otherwise, they will end up digging holes all over the backyard.
Your dog needs exercise. So, instead of wasting your time and energy trying your best to stop them from digging, you can provide them with playtime and exercises that will help them burn off their excess energy.
Exercises such as playing fetch, running, walking, swimming, and other activities can help your pampered pooch work off their nervous energy.
#4 – Check Your Dog’s Temp
While some dog breeds are more prone to digging, stopping them from doing so is just impossible!
Dog breeds (such as Dachshund, Terrier, Beagle, Siberian huskies… etc) have digging in their genes, but some dogs take their digging a little more seriously than others. Here, you should step in to find out why and what you should do about it.
According to experts and dog trainers, digging sometimes can function as the best dog calming treats. In other words, dogs may use it as a way to calm their stress or simply cool off their bodies when their temperature is too high.
Therefore, providing your pooch with a shady place to relax in or simply bringing them inside when it’s too hot can help stop the digging canine behavior.
#5 – Keep Your Dog Company
Another effective thing you can do to stop your dog from digging is by supervising them and giving them company while they are playing outside. This way, if they start digging, you can redirect their attention to better behavior.
You can, for instance, play with them fetch, tug, or stimulate their brain by encouraging them to find a buried treasure, suggest the certified dog trainer.
#6 – What If Your Dog Has A Digging Sweet Spot?
If your dog or puppy likes to dig holes in one specific area, then there has to be a reason that you can use as a solution for this issue.
For instance, your dog might enjoy digging in one spot because they can smell burrowing animals’ smell, especially if they are digging at the roots of shrubbery or trees.
Another reason why your dog has one specific spot is perhaps they are picking up a smell of something buried and decaying underground. So try to eliminate this digging behavior by filling up the holes with flat, large rocks or plastic chicken wire that don’t have sharp edges.
It is worth keeping in mind that the way you choose to get rid of the unwanted critters from your property might have a great impact on your dog. So try to remove them safely without any poisons or traps that could end up harming your pooch!
#7 – Not Stopping Your pooch From Digging?
© Cesar’s Way
You have to remember that your dog is not being “bad” when they are digging those holes in your backyard, simply because they are doing an instinctual behavior that they enjoy greatly!
However, as soon as you catch your furry pet digging where they shouldn’t, a firm “No” and removing them from there should be more than enough. Do not punish or yell at your dog for digging these holes and you should never fill that hole with water and put your dog’s head in it – That’s just a form of animal abuse!