Dogs dig for lots of different reasons. It can be a hard habit to break. If your dog is digging then we have some information that may help you and your dog come to terms with the problem.
Why Do Dogs Dig?
This reason is more common in intelligent working breeds as they need constant mental stimulation. However, digging out of boredom tends to be the number one cause in most cases of digging.
To Cool Down
To Store Bones Or Food
Dogs will bury their bones or food to keep them cool and to hide from other animals. Your dog may forget where he buries things, which is why some dogs will dig holes all over the yard trying to find that old bone they buried weeks ago.
To Look For Rodents
Dogs with a high prey drive will dig to find small rodents or other vermin that they can sniff out from above ground. Some dogs can hear the vermin under the soil. This is one of the main reasons that Terriers and Dachshunds will dig.
Some dogs will try to imitate the behaviour of their owners if they see you working in the garden. When you dig, they want to dig, too.
How To Stop A Dog From Digging
Any form of physical activity such as a nice long walk or a game of fetch daily is ideal. Tired dogs are less likely to look for ways to use up their energy, especially on digging.
Schedule time daily to play with your dog one-on-one. Play with a tug or by creating obstacles outside or in your home and lead the dog through them. This is a great way to provide mental stimulation for your dog and it can be a lot of fun.
Designate An Area
If you can’t provide your dog with adequate exercise then consider designating an area in your backyard and make a sand pit or box for them to dig in. You can plant some of your dog’s toys in the sand to encourage him to dig there instead of in the yard.
Some people suggest burying chicken wire in the areas where the dog likes to dig as they will not like the feel of the wire scraping on their paws. This is not something that I would personally recommend as it could injure your dog.
You can also bury some of your dog’s faeces where they normally dig and they will be turned off by this. This works with some dogs and not all and may be a messy situation to clean up.
You can also try burying balloons in the areas where the dog digs. The sound of the balloons popping may create a negative feeling which they will associate with digging. This will work as long as the dog digs in the place where the balloon is buried soon after you place it there. Otherwise, the balloon will go flat in time.