Are you frustrated with your dog or puppy digging up your lawn? Is he already out there digging up something you just planted five minutes ago? He’s not really doing it to drive you crazy or to get back at you for something. Digging is an instinctive behavior for canines, but some of them do seem to seem to take an insane pleasure in it. Is there any way to stop dog digging in your lawn or garden?
Learn Why Dogs Dig
There are many reasons for digging. Canines in the wild dig dens, both for shelter from the weather, and to provide a safe place for their offspring. They also bury extra food to protect it from other animals until the pack can eat it later.
Instinct aside, the most common reason for dog digging behavior is due to boredom. Too often, we tend to leave our pets alone for long periods of time with nothing to do. People often think that dogs have it made. Wouldn’t it be great to just lie around and sleep all day? Well, maybe it would for a day or two, but you’d soon be bored, lonely, and restless if you were by yourself all day with nothing to keep you occupied. You’d find something to do, just to keep from dying of boredom.
It’s the same with your pet. A canine, young or old, left to his own devices, will find a way to entertain himself. The problem is that his idea of entertainment will more than likely develop into an annoying dog behavior problem like digging.
Can You Stop Dog Digging?
The first step in controlling dog digging behavior is to understand what’s causing it. A healthy canine needs at least an hour and a half of exercise every day to burn off his energy. A long walk in the morning, and another in the afternoon or evening is essential, both for exercise, and for your pup’s mental health. If you don’t have time for this, you might want to hire a dog walker.
Set aside a corner of your yard where he can dig to his heart’s content. Bury toys and treats there for him to dig up when you’re gone. If you bury a toy stuffed with food, he’ll be happily occupied for a long time trying to get the food out.
You need to teach your canine friend where it’s OK for him to dig, and where it’s not. It’s up to you to teach him the house rules. If you don’t, it’s not fair to get mad at him when he breaks them.
Spend at least ten minutes a day training him. Provide a digging pit for him, and bury toys and treats for him. Encourage him to dig in his pit, and say “dig in your pit” while he’s digging. When he finds the toy, play with him for a few minutes, and then bury it again. Remember to keep saying “dig in your pit” when he digs it up. He’ll soon learn the meaning of this command.
When you catch him digging someplace else, take him to his pit and tell him “dig in your pit” and praise him when he does. Don’t make the mistake of punishing him after the fact, because he won’t have a clue why you’re upset.
Consistency Is The Key
Whatever you do, be consistent. Everyone in the household needs to be doing the same thing with him, or you’ll never get him trained. Here’s where a good dog training course comes in handy. It makes it easy for the whole family to work together to stop dog digging.