My Dog won't Stop Digging - Help me Please!
By: Tippy & Turbo
It is normal and natural for your dog to dig as well as
chew. Digging is a destructive tendency and usually ends up
with your carpets, flooring or yard destroyed. Of course you
can keep your dog indoors to prevent your dog from digging
up your yard, but there are training methods that can help
If you choose to keep your dog outside, then providing a lot
of distractions for the dog will help to curb the digging
habit. Make sure that any fencing you have is strong and
will keep your dog inside. Dogs that have a tendency to dig
can escape a yard if the fence isn't strong enough or if the
ground under the fence is soft enough to dig.
To discourage your dog from digging in its favorite spot you
can put something that it doesn't like, such as its own
feces, in the holes the dog digs as well as trying to
communicate to the dog that this behavior is wrong and will
not be tolerated. Boredom is most often the cause of
excessive digging. Providing diversions and toys for your
dog to play with has been shown to divert a dog enough that
the digging habit may lessen.
Remember that digging is natural and instinctive. You may
not be able to curb the habit entirely but you can divert
the dog so that it will dig where and when you allow it.
Dogs that are bred to be working dogs or sporting dogs have
more trouble with these habits.
Working dogs and sporting dogs have a lot more energy than
an average dog. They are bred that way. They need to work or
engage in sport and they get bored very easily. Giving your
dog more exercise and play time may very well help to curb
these bad habits. It will also make your dog more calm and
One dog owner suggests that if your dog has certain favorite
spots to dig under the fence, try going out when he is not
there and burying Kong toys stuffed with treats shallowly in
the hole. That way if he digs again he may at least stop to
play with the toys rather than digging out because of
A dog that has a poor diet also may chew or try to eat
things that are bad for it in order to get some kind of
nutrition that it is lacking in its food. It is important
that you feed your dog a healthy diet filled with nutrition
and designed for a dog's needs. Table scraps will not keep a
Even commercial dog food can make your dog malnourished. In
most cheap commercially made dog foods the number one
ingredient is corn. Corn is not good food for a dog and
provides very little nutritional value, as well as
contributing to allergies and skin disorders. If your dog
food's ingredients include ground corn then you should buy a
healthier brand of dog food.
Beyond diet and habit is another instinct, pack instinct. A
dog wants to be part of the pack more than it wants most
anything else. In fact, many good dog trainers use
separation (simply and calmly removing the dog to another
room alone for a bit whenever it does the unwanted behavior)
as a primary way to teach a dog what actions are acceptable
and which are not.
So you may think that you are being kind to your dog and
letting it play in the fresh air and sunshine when you put
it out in the yard alone, but your dog may be anxious and
feel that it is being shunned, and so look for ways to
relieve itself, such as digging and chewing.
Dogs that are inbred or have some kind of genetic problem
often also develop mental and emotional problems. These
problems can exhibit themselves in a number of ways
including excessive chewing and digging.
In the end any bad habit can be prevented if you train your
puppy or dog properly. If you do not know how to train a dog
there are many resources to help you learn. During the times
you can't watch your dog then put it somewhere where it will
be safe and comfortable without your supervision, such as in
its crate (den).
Be aware that your dog is looking to you for guidance; you
are its pack leader, and properly training your dog is part
of that. The dog will be happy and you will be happy if you
do what it takes to train your dog properly.
If all of the tricks listed above don't work for you and you
are still having an issue with your dog's digging up your
property, take it to a dog veterinarian who is familiar with
psychological disorders in dogs. Once your dog is checked
out by the veterinarian, in many cases your dog will be
prescribed a medicine that will help calm these excessive
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