How to Stop a Dog from Digging for Good

How to Stop a Dog from Digging for Good

Is your dog’s digging behavior putting a strain on your relationship? Here are some tips on how to stop a dog from digging in a convenient way. Most pet owners are acquainted with the idea of having seen their pet dogs dig a hole every once in a while.

Some of them attribute the reason to boredom while others think that it is a part of the dog’s instinct to dig, especially since his wild counterparts such as foxes and wolves are known to dig dens in order to protect their young offspring from extreme temperatures and predators.

And while most pet owners such as you are understandable about this matter, some pet owners feel strongly opposed to their dog’s digging behavior.

As a result of their backyard turning into a warzone with all the holes around, they start treating their dogs wrongly, thereby resulting to dog aggressiveness and also coprophagia. Don’t be one of those inconsiderate dog owners – be one of those responsible and lovable dog owners by initially understanding the causes of dog digging behavior and the respective ways as to how to stop a dog from digging:

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#1. Entertainment

If you desire to figure out how to stop a dog from digging you first need to know that your pet dog developed a digging habit because he thinks that playing with soil is fun and enjoyable. If you suspect that he’s digging for fun, you may observe him being playful while digging. He tends to run around once in a while, too, so he’s prone to dig holes located randomly around the area.

How to stop:

Exert more effort to let your pet dog have fun and enjoy spending his time with you by doing the following:

Walk your dog to encourage him to get more exercise. Do this at least twice a day.

Teach him commands and tricks for at least 20 minutes a day. Be sure to remain consistent while practicing.

If your dog likes spending time in the backyard, keep interesting toys there so that he will play with those toys instead of digging while you’re not there to keep him company. It may be a good idea to get him or her an outdoor dog kennel to limit the area they can be in.

A controversial tip to discourage your dog from digging in the yard is to install a product called Snappy Trainer – this looks like a mousetrap but this will not harm your dog in any way. It will just make a loud snapping noise that can startle your dog when he touches it but it won’t harm your dog in any way. You can substitute balloons for this product as when your dog strikes a balloon, the sound will surprise him but will never hurt him.

#2. Comfort and Protection

Your pet dog may dig a hole in order to provide himself a comfortable space when it’s extremely hot or extremely cold. You can distinguish that your dog digs for comfort and protection when the holes are located strategically near building foundations, a water source or near large trees that can provide shade.

Also, if your dog doesn’t have a specific dog house or if his house is exposed to extreme temperatures, it’s more likely that your dog’s digging behavior is attributed to the search of comfort and protection.

How to stop a dog from digging for Comfort & Protection:

Give your dog the protection and comfort he needs by differentiating the tips for extremely hot and extremely cold situations:

If your dog wants to cool off, give him an insulated dog house and a fan that is operated by blowing air over ice. Give him a bed that can allow air to be circulated underneath. You can also keep him indoors during the hottest time of the day, provided that you’ll provide enough ventilation.

If your dog wants to warm up, on the other hand, provide him with an insulated dog house, too, but forget the fan – give him extra blankets instead.

Give him water to prevent him from being dehydrated.

If your dog still insists on seeking protection and comfort by lying on a hole in a ground, stop your dog from digging randomly by setting aside a digging zone instead.

#3. Attention

There are various reasons as to why your dog wants to get your attention – he might be suffering from a medical condition or he might dig a lot because he wants you to spend more time with him. Remember that punishing your dog means that he has gotten your attention, too, so your dog may not care if he’s being punished as long as your attention is on him.

How to stop digging for Attention:

Supply your dog with the attention he needs and deserves by:

If you notice that your dog digs holes in your presence, ignore this attention-seeking behavior as it is happening to send the message that you won’t be paying attention to your dog if he continues to dig.

Use positive reinforcement and praise your dog for good dog behavior.

Spend ample time with your dog on a regular basis. Training, walking and playing are some activities that you and your dog can do in order to promote bonding.

#4. Escape

Sometimes, you may realize that your dog is digging along the fence line or under the fence in order to get away from something or to get something that is out of his reach.

Make sure that your dog’s environment is safe and appealing.

Place large rocks that are partially buried along the bottom of the fence line so that your dog will have difficulty digging in this area.

Bury some chicken wire at the base of the fence – roll the sharp edges away from the yard so that your dog won’t be hurt! The purpose of this tip is that when your dog starts to dig, he won’t really like the feeling of his paws scraping along the wire so he’ll be turned off and he’ll subsequently stop.

NEVER do the following tips as they do not work:

Don’t punish your dog after the act of digging has been done. He won’t be able to connect the punishment with something that he did, even if he dug a hole just a few seconds ago.

NEVER fill the hole with water and hold his head under the water, even if for just a few seconds! This will never solve the digging problem and it might even encourage negative behavioral problems such as dog biting and consistent growling, to name a few.

Is your dog a regular digger? We’d love to hear from you!

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DISCLAIMER: The information on this site is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Should you think that your pet needs medical attention, please contact your local veterinarian.  
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