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Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs

Pawsitive Training for Better Dogs

“To err is human: To forgive, canine.”

Anonymous

Digging

It's an age-old question: Why does my dog dig, and how can I stop it?

For you, it's a problem.  For your dog, it's not.

Here are the main reasons why dogs dig, and what you can do to control the behavior: 

  • To cool off.  Dogs can get pretty hot in all that fur!  Try setting up a shady area, kiddie pool, or hose mister for your dog.
  • To try to escape.   If this is your dog, then you need to make the backyard become a fun place to be!  Spend more time playing and interacting in the backyard.  Make a game of getting your dog to find hidden ( not buried!) treats and toys in the yard.  Then each time you leave, he/she will be looking forward to spending time finding those treats/toys!  Also give your dog more exercise; a tired dog will be less likely to need to burn off energy digging.
  • To bury objects.  Fix your dog's toys to a cable, then attach the cable to a comfortable area in the yard.
  • To go after prey (like a gopher, rabbit, etc).  Wild animals share this world with us, too, so there's not much that can be done to prevent this kind of digging- short of hiring an exterminator!
  • They see you do it.  Your dog sees you digging in your flowerbed, so he figures, "Why can't I?".  Put your dog in an area where he/she can't see you digging!  If he/she's already a big digger in the flowers/yard, fill in the holes with your dog's fecal matter.  The top 1'' of the hole should be normal dirt.  You don't like digging in the dog's fecal matter?  Get some chicken wire, laying it on the ground.  Cover it with about 1'' of dirt.  This will allow plants to grow, and prevent your dog from digging up the garden.
  • It's something they like to do.  Make sure they have enough interesting and fun toys available for them to play with.  Make sure that their nails are trimmed short; short nails make digging uncomfortable for the dog.  And above all else, get your dog a lot more exercise!

    The rule here is:  Exercise = Tired Dog = No Energy to Dig = Happy Owner = Happy Dog

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