10 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Digging
If this is you then keep reading as we’ll go over the top 10 ways to get your dog to stop digging now. But before we get into changing the behavior, let's review why they might be digging
Boredom – Most dogs need to be active. If they do not have an outlet for their energy they can often turn to bad activities, like chewing or digging. Make sure your dog has his or her energy focused on good activities because there is a good chance your dog could simply be bored.
Genetics – Your dog's breed can play a very significant role with regard to digging. There are several breeds, including; terriers, small hounds, and hunting breeds that were actually bred to dig. These and other breeds have a strong instinct to dig for prey like gophers and rabbits, which can result in your yard looking pretty shabby.
Stress Relief – There are many dogs that find digging to be cathartic and relaxing, as strange as that may sound. A significant number of digging dogs actually suffer from separation anxiety channel their energy and stress into digging. If your dog is left at home alone for long periods of time he may be suffering from stress or anxiety.
Over Heating - Dogs have a higher body temperature than we do and a much lower ability to cool down. Humans are covered with sweat glands, but dogs have only their nose and the pads of their feet. If a dog is getting too hot, they can only regulate their body temperature through panting, which isn't very inefficient. To solve this issue many dogs lie flat on a cool surface to quickly drop their core temperature. If they cannot find one they will dig down to find some cool moist ground to lay down on.
Escape – Finally, some dog just don’t like to be held back, these type we refer to as the “escape artists”. They dig to get out or away from their current surroundings or to see what else there is to see. Most fences do not go below ground making it very easy for your dog to dig under and sneak out. If you are finding holes under your fences, this is likely your problem.
Now lets looking into stop the digging. Here are our top 10 tips for stopping digging
- Give your dog more exercise or playtime – As we mentioned above, most of the issues come from boredom or overabundance of energy. Providing a positive outlet for this will often times fix the problem.
- Get your dog a toy designed specifically for chewing and energy relief. KONG has a wonderful line of puzzle toys designed just for this.
- Restrict access to problem areas – if you know your dog digs in a certain area, don’t allow him access to that area for a period of time to break the habit.
- Professional dog walker – if you have to be gone for long periods of time during the day use a walking service to ensure that your dog is able to expend the energy that is build up with time alone in the home
- Get rid of the rodents – if your dog is trying to get at gophers, rabbits, mice or other rodents around the home consider having them removed professionally. This may remove the desire your dog has to hunt and dig for these pests.
- Make a digging approved zone – consider adding sandbox or other areas where digging is approved. If your dog just needs an outlet for digging, this may be just the thing.
- Use digging deterrents – if you find your dog digging in specific areas over and over there are a few things you can put into the hole that may deter them to dig again; cayenne pepper, vinegar feces or citrus peels placed. This will often deter the digging in the future.
- Add physical barriers – if your dog is attempting to escape you can add rocks, bricks or other large heavy objects that are too big for them move but will not allow the dog to crawl under when a hole is dug. These can be placed on top of the soil or partially buried to discourage future digging.
- Plant a thorny bush or rose plant – these prickly plants will definitely keep your furry friend from wanting to dig if he’s prone to digging in the same spot repeatedly.
- Make sure your dog is cooled off – some dogs dig down to find cool damp soil to lay on and cool off. If you live in a warm area make sure your dog has access to cool areas with shade and water to make sure they are not overheating.
We hope this has given you some good ideas for curbing the digging problem at your home. Please let us know what you think and if there is a technique that has worked well for you that we did not mention.
- Jul 20, 2019
- in Pet Blog