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how to stop a dog from digging

Unfortunately many dogs end up re-homed or in shelters because humans can’t stop them from digging. I hope we can help! First thing you want to do is find out the root cause, so you can fix it!

There are many reasons dogs dig, it’s not just because they just want to destroy our landscaping! They could just think it’s fun, they may need exercise or trying to make a cool hole to lay in… or they could just be smelling a critter!

Here are some reasons that your dog may be digging and some things you can do!

Lacy dog digging
Even Lacy gets caught digging. 🙂

1. Entertaining themselves or they are bored

  • If left for a long period of time in the yard without their human to play with.
  • They don’t have any toys or playmates.
  • They are a puppy or young and don’t have an energy outlet.
  • They are a dog breed that needs to be active and they aren’t getting enough exercise.
  • Maybe they see us working in the garden or digging in the yard and want to help!
  • They may be looking for your attention.

Here is a link to our website with Dog Agility and exercise products! Options for when weather is bad or if you struggle with them getting enough. Playing fetch is a good exercise for high energy dogs as walking may not be enough!

  • Add toys and active things they can play with into the yard. Kongs, that you can fill with treats are satisfying and keep them occupied for a longer length of time.
  • Train and bond with your dog everyday. They be craving more mental stimulation.
  • Get a sand box! That way they have a designated place if they like to dig.
  • Ignore attention seeking behavior. Distract them with something else before giving them attention.
  • 2. Dogs will sometimes dig trying to catch burrowing animals or insects who live in your yard.

    • The holes are focused on a certain area.
    • They are digging in a path.
    • Dog breeds such as Terriers or Dachshunds are born to dig for pray.

    What you can do:

    • Look for signs of burrowing animals and fence them out or make your yard unattractive to them. Do not use a product or method that is toxic to your dog.
    • You could also move your dog to a different area.

    3. Comfort and Shelter

    • Dogs are digging holes during hot days and laying in the cool dirt.
    • They are digging because their shelter is too hot or they don’t have any.

    What you can do:

    • Make sure they always have a cool place to lay in the shade. If there is no shade in your yard maybe look into putting up a tarp or dog canopy.
    • Adding a kiddie pool in the yard can also keep them cool and busy.
    JJ keeping cool…haha!

    4. They are trying to escape

    • Dogs with high anxiety may dig because you left them.
    • They are high energy and are looking to release it.
    • They aren’t spayed or neutered.

    What you can do:

    • Spay or Neuter your dog first if you want them to stop escaping!
    • Bury the bottom of the fence 1 to 2 feet below ground or place very large rocks partially buried along fence line where digging.
    • Exercising your dog can help with the anxiety and high energy. Play fetch or make sure they have had exercise before you leave them.
    • Get them a playmate to keep them company if you are gone a lot or toys that can keep them busy.

    I hope this helps with your dog digging issues! The main thing to remember is to train, exercise and bond everyday. Dogs needs both physical and mental stimulation.

    Dog Bless~ The Dog Connection

    Resources: HumaneSociety, AKC.org

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    Published by Mysecretdogblog

    I am a mother of 4 humans and 4 dogs (currently). A dog is man's best friend and I am here to show their heart to the world! I will touch on dog training, health, benefits and lifestyle!

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