How To Stop Dog Digging in Your Garden and Yard
Digging is a natural behavior for dogs.
You may be slightly surprised to know that all dogs dig. This behavior is very natural and can be challenging to eliminate. But have hope we will cover some ways you can either stop dog digging or prevent them from destroying all the beautiful flowers and grass you worked so hard to plant. The best thing to do is identify why your dog may be digging and then correct the problem there.
Teach Basic Obedience First
If you have not done this yet, the first thing I would recommend is to train your dog in some basic obedience commands such as Heel, Sit, Down, Stay, Come, and Place. This skill set will accomplish you creating a communication base so your dog can understand what you like and dislike. It will also provide your dog with a greater purpose around the house. Dogs need jobs to be successful, and if we don’t offer them constructive activities, they can sometimes create undesired jobs to do on their own.
You will want to relieve any signs of boredom; if your dog spends a lot of time alone, he may be digging because he is bored and tired of just staring at the fence. Digging will be a self-amusing activity he can create for himself. You will want to ensure that your dog gets stimulated daily, both mentally and physically.
It will help you take him for some long walks or runs to ensure you have satisfied his daily physical requirements. You may also consider playing some mentally challenging games with him, like hide and seek or hunt games. Another fun game to try with your dog is to hide some treats outside or a stuffed frozen KONG. That will keep the dog busy and distract them from digging. Here are some more tips to help your dog enjoy being outdoors.
Seeking Protection and Comfort
Your dog may be seeking protection and comfort. Dogs will often dig holes to expose the cool earth below. Then they will gladly lay in the spot for comfort. They may also dig holes to find shelter from the cold, rain, or even relieve a thirst for water.
Some signs your dog is digging for these reasons are:
- Your dog has no shelter from the sun or weather
- You find holes near a water source
- You see holes, and your dog is lying in them
- You see holes dug near the foundation of your home
Always ensure your dog has plenty of shelter and water. Of course, the biggest issue is how do I stop dog digging when I am not home? Well, the reality is you will need to be creative. For the first thing, you will need to simulate you being gone. When you catch the dog in the act of digging, you can tell the dog “No” so that they understand this is something you don’t like.
You can also bury chicken wire directly under the dirt at the digging site; this will not feel pleasant to his feet once he begins, thus discouraging him from continuing. This technique is usually a good solution when performed near a fence. Always be sure to point any sharp parts of the fence you bury away and out of reach of the dog.
Finally, exacting any form of punishment without actually catching the dog in the act will do nothing to address the cause, nor will it correct the act of digging. Your dog has innate instincts to dig, so focus on redirecting or eliminating the behavior by understanding those instincts.