Stop Your Dog From Digging Holes
Is your dog digging holes all over your yard? Does your garden look like somebody just finished trenching it? Are you tired of stepping in holes, and turning your ankle? It’s time to do a little dog behavior modification to solve this problem.
Dogs Dig Digging Holes
Dogs come by their love of digging holes naturally. Wild dogs store food by digging a hole and burying it. They also dig out big holes (or dens) for their puppies. Dens are also a good place to hole up in (sorry, couldn’t resist) when the weather is bad.
Some dogs really get into digging holes. Terriers, hounds, and retrievers, in particular, are known for their digging abilities. In fact, terriers were bred to dig animals out of holes. All dogs have an inbred instinct to dig, but some do seem to take it to an extreme.
Dogs Don’t Dig Being Bored
The root of most dog behavior problems is boredom. Dogs are meant to be outside, running in the woods and fields. Instead, we keep them in the house, or out in the yard for hours on end, without much to do.
Does your dog spend most of his time by himself? In the wild, canines are social animals who live in packs. A lot of dog behavior problems are caused by putting our pets in an unnatural situation and expecting them to be happy.
A dog with nothing to do will find a way to occupy himself. Digging holes in your yard is one way he keeps himself busy.
Can You Stop A Dog From Digging Holes?
Probably not completely. The best way to handle this is to let him have his own corner of the yard to dig up as he pleases. When you catch him digging elsewhere, say “no” and take him to his own area. Praise him when he digs there. You might want to sweeten the pot by burying a few treats there. If he finds goodies there on a regular basis, he’ll be more prone to dig where you want him to.
If your garden is a favored trenching location, you need to be a little sneaky. Hide where he can’t see you, and squirt him with a hose when he enters the forbidden area. Or set up a sprinkler, and turn it on. The key is to make him think the garden is doing it to him, not you.
And don’t punish him if you find holes in the garden later. Your companion lives in the present, and can’t understand that you’re upset over something he did yesterday.
Dogs Digs Lots Of Activity
A bored dog is a dog behavior problem waiting to happen. Some dog owners make the mistake of thinking that their pets get plenty of exercise running around the yard. This isn’t true. You might see a dog pacing up and down next to the fence, but this is a nervous activity that doesn’t really burn off all that pent-up energy.
If you have a dog park nearby, take him there every day so he can run and play with other dogs. This not only tires him out, but it gives him a social outlet as well.
A long walk at least once a day is essential. Twice a day is even better. If you don’t have the time in your schedule, a dog walker may be the answer.
Remember that your dog craves your attention. Spend at least ten minutes every day training your dog. Make it fun for both of you. Learning new things is fun for your dog, and it stimulates his mind. Plus he loves being with you.
Keeping your dog busy, and giving him his own place to dig up is the best way to control this problem.
Filed under: Dog Digging Holes
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