How to Stop Your Dog Digging

There are many reasons for a dog digging, and many ways to control or eliminate this problem. The first step should always be trying to find out why your dog is exhibiting this unwanted digging behavior.

Your dog may be digging for entertainment if he’s left outdoors for long periods of time without playmates or toys. Young puppies with no other outlet for energy may also dig as a form of exercise.

Some breed of dogs have been bred to dig or to be extremely active. You may want to try walking him more often, playing ball or Frisbee with him, or doing other activities together to get exercise. When your dog will be left alone outdoors, leave him plenty of toys and treats to keep him occupied. Try rotating these so he doesn’t get bored with his toys to fast. This can also curb dog whining.

If nothing else works, you may have to give him his own area for digging. If you catch your dog digging in an unacceptable area, interrupt the behavior with a loud noise and say, “No dig.” Then immediately take the dog to his designated digging area. When he digs in the approved spot, reward him with praise or a treat. Make the unacceptable digging spots unattractive (at least temporarily) by setting rocks or chicken wire into the dirt. There are also safe chemical sprays that can be used to discourage digging in this area. Make the acceptable area attractive by burying safe items for him to discover.

Your dog could also be digging to uncover insects or other burrowing animals in your yard. If this appears to be the case, treat your yard with pet safe chemicals to get rid of these unwanted pests. This should eliminate the dog digging behavior.

Dogs also dig for comfort and protection from the weather. He may be trying to keep dry during rain, or warm or cool depending on the season. Make sure that your pet has an insulated doghouse protected from the elements. If he still prefers to dig a hole, provide him an area he can dig in that will offer him relief from uncomfortable weather conditions.

If your dog only digs when you are present to witness it, or he doesn’t get to spend much time with you, than this behavior may simply be a cry for attention. Make sure you spend plenty of time with him, but do not give him attention when he digs. Even punishing him is giving him attention, so this may not discourage his behavior.

If all else fails, then you may have to keep your dog inside with you. Supervise him during outdoor play and bathroom breaks to make sure he is not digging. If you can discover the cause of the dog digging, however, this should not be a problem. It is much easier to solve a problem once you know what it is.

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