Dogs have a wide variety of behaviors that people find amusing. However, some of them can be irritating or cause problems. One of these is their tendency to dig up their surroundings. This may be amusing a few times, but you probably wouldn’t appreciate it if your dog digs up your flower bed or makes a mess of your yard.
Being angry won’t help or just punishing them is very counter-productive. Dogs don’t do things without a reason though. If your dog is digging up the ground, it probably has a purpose behind this action.
If you want to get rid of this digging-up habit, then you will need to resolve the reason behind their digging. Here’s a look at five reasons why your dogs are digging up your yard – and the five things you can do to stop them.
Five Reasons Why They Dig
A dog is an animal but that doesn’t mean it’s dumb or irrational. When your pet does something. They do have a purpose behind it. Whenever your dog starts digging, it is probably one of five reasons.
It is a really prominent reason why your pet is digging up the yard. If you’ve ever been bored, you can probably empathize. It can be awfully tempting to just do anything. You can recognize a pet’s boredom if it is not just digging, but also running around in general. A lot of other bad behaviors can be traced to boredom so it can be really important for you to fight it.
If your dog is digging at your fence or at the bottom of your gate, then the reason for this digging is probably a more pragmatic one: Escape. A pet may want to escape the yard for several reasons. One is that they want to escape so that they can explore the world outside.
Dogs are curious animals and they like being able to see new things and wander around. Another reason for escaping is because they are spooked or are afraid of something. These can be loud noises or something similar.
Dogs are predators. They may be domesticated, but they still retain their hunting instincts. So they may be digging up your yard in search of prey. This can range from mice to rabbits. If your dog is digging in one area or near trees and bushes, they are most likely on the look out for particular prey.
One of the natural requirements for survival is being able to find shelter. Your dog may be your pet, but if it is sleeping out in your backyard, its instincts will tell it to build some form of shelter. One of the simplest ways to find shelter is to build a simple burrow. It also may dig a shallow hole to cool down in.
The cartoon animal behavior of digging a hole to bury a bone in is alive and well in the real world. A lot of dogs dig a hole to put in something precious like a toy or a bone and then cover it up. This will lead to future digging as the precious possession will be retrieved again and buried again.
Ways to Stop Them
Now that you know what the reason is for your dog digging, there are several ways you can stop the digging behavior of your dog. Here are some of them:
1. To fight boredom, you will want to give your dog something to do. Spend time with your dog and they will like the attention. For example, you may want to train with your dog. But one of the best ways to fight boredom for your dog is to take them out on daily walks. This should satisfy their need to explore the world and go out.
2. Walking your dog is also a great help with their feeling of escape. Taking them out regularly acts like a safety valve, allowing them to enjoy the freedom that they need.
3. You may also want to place restrictions on them in the yard. Nothing bad like a leash. Just put added fencing or protections on particular places that you do not want them to dig up. This ensures that even if they dig, they don’t damage something that you want protected.
4. To stop them from hunting in your yard, it’s best to be preemptive about it: get rid of the prey before they do. That means you need to get rid of any rodents or potential hunting targets by doing a thorough check of your yard and getting rid of them or preventing them from entering your yard.
Your dog usually detects them by droppings so this activates their hunting mode. Removing their presence ensures that your pet will not go digging around for them.
5. You also will want to get a proper kennel for your dog if they are are staying outside. This stops your dog from digging around for shelter and gives him an actual comfortable spot to return to. You may also want to bring the dog inside sometimes if the weather is really bad, to give them a higher degree of comfort.
6. A dog buries bones mostly because they are automatically stocking up extra food. If you feed your pet the correct portions, you wouldn’t worry about them burying bones in the yard.
This video tutorial will show you how to stop your dog from digging permanently.
The Final Option
Sometimes, despite all attempts, you will fail in stopping digging behavior. Well, the last option that you can do is to give your dog an actual place to dig. You will want to train your dog to dig in a specific place or a sandbox. This allows the digging to still happen, but in a controlled environment.
Training them to dig in a sandbox is simple: just bury a treat or their toy in the sandbox. This way they can get used to actually digging in the location.
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