Does your yard look like an archeology dig? Whether your dog is an old hand at digging or has just started this new “hobby,” he is doing it for a reason. He may be feeling separation anxiety, may be trying to escape or may simply be following the natural instincts of his breed.
Why your dog is digging holes:
- He’s bored and is digging for entertainment.
- He’s trying to find a cool spot in hot weather or shelter from the cold.
- He’s of a breed that is bred to dig (a terrier, for example).
- He’s a puppy or an active dog with a lot of energy.
- He spends a lot of time alone or is feeling separation anxiety.
- He’s trying to escape.
- He’s trying to dig after burrowing animals in the yard.
- He saw you gardening in the yard and thought “I can do that too!”
To keep your dog from digging, your best options are to give him other activities or distractions and to beef up your yard’s defense. Here are a few tips:
- Boredom is a big factor. Help your dog expend his energy through walking, exercise or play time instead.
- Give him a few treat-dispensing toys or other toys to play with when you’re gone.
- If he’s a natural-born digger, give him an approved digging area. Like a kid’s sandbox, it should have loose soil or sand. Bury toys here to encourage him and praise him when he restricts his digging to this area.
- Put rocks, roots or chicken wire in his old digging spots to discourage him from those areas.
- Make sure your yard provides shade or protection from the wind and has a sturdy water bowl that can’t be tipped over.
- Create a fenced-in dog area with toys and shade.
- Make your yard unattractive to burrowing animals your dog will want to dig after.
- Your dog craves attention. Spend some time with him every day by playing fetch, doing training or taking walks.
If you catch your dog in the act, stop him with a firm “no”. Don’t punish your dog after the fact. This doesn’t really help and he may learn instead to dig when you’re not around.
Need a few distracting toys, treats and games? Find them at Pet Supermarket.