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How to Stop Dog Digging and Why They Do It

Wednesday, Mar 02 2011

Stop Dog Digging
Let’s face reality here. Dogs love to dig. Sometimes it really isn’t a huge problem but at other times it can be a frustrating habit that leaves your expertly landscaped yard looking like a battlefield. Some dogs also seem to get obsessed with digging and do it excessively and it can certainly cause stress to their owners. It can be a difficult task to stop dog digging

Dogs usually have a valid reason for excavating in different spots around their territory. It is not necessarily an action they perform just to test your patience or to get back at you for not giving them enough treats. The trick to stopping this behavior is to let your pooch know that digging is not tolerated through clear communication and reinforcement.

To understand how to stop dog digging we must first take a look at why they do what they do.

Why Do Dogs Dig?

•    Dogs may dig to obtain attention from their owners.
•    They may be attempting to dig themselves a den for shelter from cold or to cool off from the sun.
•    Some breeds, like Terriers and Labradors, are just prone to digging… it is in their doggie DNA.
•    Dogs may dig because they are bored and not thoroughly stimulated or exercised properly.
•    Digging under a fence can indicate a need to see more of the world or find a mate.
•    The smell of fertilized soil can be very attractive to some dogs, enticing them to dig or roll around.
•    Your dog might be tracking down some little animals or insects that live in your yard.
•    Some dogs are just trying to store an item of food or a treat that they want to enjoy later.

How To Stop Dog Digging

The most important thing to keep in mind whenever you are trying to change or correct a pet’s actions is that it is very important to be consistent. You have to stand firm and be very clear every time the behavior appears that it is just not an acceptable option.

It is also a crucial step to try and zero in on why your dog is digging. This will make the correction process much more tailored to their specific reason. We have listed a few methods that have been known to get results. If carried out properly they will certainly help control your furry friend’s digging dilemma and stop dog digging altogether.

•    Make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. This can include not only physical activity but mental stimulation as well. Dogs tend to have a good amount of energy and it is important to direct that into something positive and away from digging.

•    If your canine is always digging in order to store real bones or other treats then refrain from giving them the objects that they tend to want to go and bury. Try something different like toys or rawhide.

•    Create a corner or designated area in your yard just for your dog to dig. With this technique you can actually encourage your pal to tear up the ground all they like. Filling this area with sand and adding some toys or treats will let your dog know that if they simply must dig that this is the proper place to do it.

•    Temporarily confine you dog to a crate or the indoors when you are not around to observe and rectify their excessive digging. You will need to supervise them when they are in their normal digging spots until you have corrected the behavior.

•    If digging under a fence is the problem then you might want to install a fence that blocks your dog’s view of the other side. By removing the distractions of the outside world you can eliminate any temptations that would coax your pet to try and make an escape.

•    If your pet has a specific spot that they always dig up then another useful technique is to buy some chicken wire and bury it just under the surface of the soil. Dogs tend to dislike the feeling of metal against their paws when they dig. They will eventually give up on that spot.

•    Fill in the holes that your dog has been working on with a mixture of soil and their own feces. Dogs tend to be put off by this and normally will not return to that spot or continue digging in the yard.

•    Whenever your dog starts their digging routine, you can reprimand them by spraying them lightly with a spray bottle or hose. This is another form of negative association that will make them think twice about digging but must be performed consistently.

•    A strange trick that has worked in the past is to blow up a few balloons and bury them in the specific area in which your pup loves to dig. When they eventually hit that surprise balloon, the noise will startle them and make them think twice about trying to dig again. This negative reinforcement might just stop your dog from digging altogether.
Stop Dog DiggingIt might take a little trial and error in order to find one of these solutions that works best for your particular pet and help you stop dog digging. It will also help to brush up on some basic obedience training procedures and tactics in order to make sure your reinforcement plan is going to work well. The key is making sure that your dog respects your authority and trusts your judgment and they will be eager to make you happy and more likely to correct any troublesome behavior.

Russ Barker's favorite book as a preschooler was "The Digging-Est Dog" so he certainly knows a thing or two about how to stop dog digging. He is currently a weekly blogger for, a company on the fast track to internet success providing beautiful personalized pet ID tags to the masses. It is their mission to make sure that all pets are as safe as possible with an up-to-date pet tag that can ensure safe recovery. These one-of-a-kind custom dog tags are a fun and fashionable product that promote pet safety and responsibility.

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