Are you frustrated with your dog digging up your lawn?
You look out into the yard and see mounds of dirt where the dog has had fun digging holes.
One of the most common behavior problems with dogs is their love of digging. You, as the owner, suffer the consequences because the behavior can be a challenge to prevent. Let’s discuss the most common reasons why dogs enjoy digging in your yards and gardens.
Is There A Reason Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?
Here are the seven most common reasons dogs love to dig.
Your dog may be digging for several reasons, and the behavior is rooted far back in your dog’s ancestors, the wolf. Boring is a part of your dog’s life, just as sniffing or barking is a part of a dog’s heritage. The digging behavior of dogs is why some breeds dig out animals in underground dens.
As stated previously, some races hunt down small animals. As such, these dogs hunt until they dig the animals out from the underground.
Part of the digging behavior may also be because human intervention made the digging instinct even stronger. So, if these tendencies are strong in your pet’s breed, don’t expect them to disappear. The most basic reason why a dog digs is to hunt prey, and this behavior is more dominant in particular breeds.
Cooling Their Body and Denning
Another reason why your dog may dig is that he’s warm on a summer day. Many dogs dig a shallow bed in the earth to help cool down by lying in the hole. If your dog is female, she might dig if she’s pregnant because it’s part of her denning instinct.
Burying Things (Toys or Food)
Burying a bone or toy is another canine trait thrown back to wolf heritage. Keeping it safe underground lessens the chance of it being stolen by another dog, even if you don’t have another dog.
Other dogs will dig to get out of the yard for various reasons. Another location may look attractive to them, or they could be looking for a mate if not neutered or spayed. Or, perhaps, the dog is afraid to be in the yard alone or is anxious.
Just for Fun
If your dog is bored, he might be doing it to stay busy, or it’s just fun to dig holes.
7 Tips to Stop The Digging Behavior
Once your dog starts digging, it’s challenging to get him to stop, but you can minimize the digging. Figure out why your dog is digging. Is your dog bored or anxious? If your dog is uninterested, he needs to be encouraged and amused through training, exercise, or playtime. If he’s anxious, he lacks confidence, and a professional trainer could build the dog’s self-confidence.
When you figure out why your dog is doing the digging, then you can address the problem.
Here are seven tips to stop your dog from digging.
- You can provide more entertainment by giving your dog puzzle toys to play with outside.
- Be sure your dog is getting physical and mental stimulation daily.
- You can have training sessions in the backyard to exercise and occupy your pet.
- Discourage digging in unwanted areas.
- Add digging deterrents to the holes.
- Get rid of rodents and other critters that live beneath your lawn.
- Help your dog cool down.
Once you have addressed the problem, your dog will realize that there are more fun things to do than dig holes.
Anytime you catch your pet digging another hole, redirect his attention to fetching a ball or learning a new trick.
When your pet does the new behavior instead of digging, reward him with a treat and praise. That way, he’ll realize that he gets treats for the new routine and not for digging.
Remember, don’t leave your dog outside by himself for long periods. A yard is not a place for your dog to be in solitary confinement. When your dog is outside too long on his own, that’s when he’ll most likely get in trouble start digging.