This behaviour is especially problematic if your dog digs to escape from his enclosure. I can remember the anxious moments we went through when we brought home our new 8-week old Jack Russell puppy. He had 1 week to settle into his new surroundings before we brought home his new “brother”, a cute Maltese-Shihtzu puppy. (We wanted to have 2 puppies so that they would be company for each other when we were at work.) The next week saw the start of their yard-escaping campaign and what a team they made together!! The Jack Russell was an expert in digging, even at that age, and the Maltese-Shihtzu was an expert in following. They made a great team. After many a pursuit and many consequent opportunities to meet all the neighbors in the area, we finally fortified the fencing around the entire yard perimeter.
However, more than likely you are reading this article because of a problem with vertical digging, digging holes in the yard, rather than digging to get out of the yard.
Click here to get Expert Tips on How to Stop a Digging Dog.
Keep in mind that digging is a natural tendency in dogs. So the trick to finding a solution to unwanted digging is in trying to work out why your dog likes to dig in the spots you don’t want her to dig. It could be one of many reasons.
Here are just a few reasons that my research turned up, along with some suggested solutions:
Is your dog bored?
- Try making more toys available in the yard while at the same time, keeping the novelty factor alive. In other words, try rotating the toys so that she doesn’t look at a tired old toy and think “been there and done that”. That’s when she is likely to go off in search of more challenging pursuits such as digging the next hole.
- Try to provide regular and frequent walks so that she always has something to look forward to and is left with less pent-up energy.
- Try allocating an area of the yard that is not off-limits to digging. In other words, if you can enclose a small section of the yard you could make that the “ok-to-dig” spot. It would need to have “diggable” soil and would take some training sessions to teach your dog that this is THE spot for digging. The rotated toys can be buried in this section along with treats, bones and anything else that you think will encourage her to explore in that area.
Is your dog simply trying to stay cool on a really hot day?
- Make sure there is enough shade in the yard. Her kennel might be good protection during winter but a little too hot during summer.
Is she trying to make a comfortable soft bed to sleep in, perhaps in a more sunny position than her kennel?
Can she observe what is going on around her better from a nicely positioned hole than from her kennel which might be behind a shed for example?
- Try experimenting with some different kennel locations.
Is she always burying her bones and digging them back up again in short order.
- Toss her bones into the “ok-to-dig” enclosure.
Does your dog simply love to dig? Is digging one of her favorite pastimes?
- In this case, you need to explore other activities that could be a viable substitute.
How to Stop a Dog From Digging
You may have already tried many of the ideas listed above and are now looking for more expert advice. If so, this is a highly recommended resource:
Tips on How to Stop Digging Dogs
~ Bright Dog Tips