But most importantly, you should realize that digging is a normal doggie trait. Below is a list of the most common reasons your dog may be digging: He simply likes to dig!. If you cannot tolerate digging in an otherwise happy dog, do not buy that kind of dog. Dogs often dig holes for one (or more) of these five reasons: entertainment, physical comfort, attention-seeking, escape, or prey-seeking. They may also dig to provide themselves with shelter from cold, wind, or rain or to find water. I put rocks, grass and dirt in there so she can't but somehow she keeps doing it. She has been voted the best private dog trainer in the San Francisco Bay Area 4 times by SF Chronicle and by Bay Woof, and she has won 4 "Top Dog Blog" awards. Beverly Ulbrich is a Dog Behaviorist and Trainer and the Founder of The Pooch Coach, a private dog training business based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Go out and dig up any bones or other things your dog has buried. If you want the dog to stop digging up your garden, you could give them a sandbox, then bury some bones or toys so they know it's ok to dig there. Yes, they do; however, if you give a Lab plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, it helps prevent excessive digging born out of boredom. Fences that are buried 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 m) deep have little chance of being breached. Forget the television stars and go for the real trainers whose books have stood the test of time. Female dogs may dig holes as part of their natural mating behavior. Dogs are almost never bored when there are other dogs around. This article has been viewed 1,396,681 times. Remove attractive smells. My suggestion is to put a net on top of the rocks, that way your dog won't be able to reach. Provide entertainment with toys and play time, especially if the dog is young and doesn't have any other outlets. First, you can dig a larger hole for him to play in somewhere … She has also been featured on TV as a dog behavior expert. Practice these tricks once a day for 10 minutes. Going back the natural instinct, it is very natural for your dog to dig on hot … Keep your garden clean. Watch when, where, and how your dog digs, and you can probably determine why he digs. In classic “dig your way out of prison” fashion, they are attempting to escape the yard. Provide your dog with the comfort or protection he seeks by providing your dog with a comfortable doghouse that affords protection from wind and sun. In addition to digging holes, dogs may like to eat dirt too. She has been voted the best private dog trainer in the San Francisco Bay Area 4 times by SF Chronicle and by Bay Woof, and she has won 4 "Top Dog Blog" awards. Digging holes is a natural trait for dogs, with over eighty percent of dog owners in the USA reporting that their dog likes to dig. Create a Larger Hole for Your Pet. Bring your dog to the dog park and let him sniff, saunter, and socialize to his heart's content. If this is the only circumstance in which your dog is digging, there are a few ways in which you can stop him. Research breed characteristics before buying a dog. Dogs digging to hide extra food Dogs will also sometimes hide surplus food, so if they are given a large chew toy or bone to gnaw on for example, they will dig a hole to put it in when they have temporarily had enough. Pest Prevention. They will dig holes in the yard because it gives them something to do to pass the time. Without being seen, create a loud noise (for instance, with a soda can with several coins inside) that will distract the dog. This article was co-authored by Beverly Ulbrich. (Some dogs don't mind.) ", "My son's dog digs holes. To make it even worse, once they dig one hole, some dogs get in the habit of hole digging and turn your yard into a battlefield. Dogs digging holes videos are so super funny! This unpleasant noise will become associated with digging. ", "To stop digging, pour 1 cup of ammonia where digging. Some Dogs are Bred for Digging Holes Terriers, Dachshund, Beagles and Schnauzer are all infamous diggers simply because they have been bred to chase small animals through their tunnels and dens in the ground so by instinct, digging is what they do best. My dog hates water. Bury chicken wire underneath the bottom border of the fence. Dogs become bored just like you and I do if they aren’t occupied or mentally stimulated. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Provide your dog with a nice, comfortable dog house in which to escape the heat (and cold) of the day. Teach your dog basic commands such as "Stop," "Sit," "Heel," etc. First, you should know that digging is a normal and instinctive behavior for dogs, especially Labradors. Your dog lies in the holes they dig. Our review process. This usually works best near the fence (see Tips, below). She is a Certified CGC (Canine Good Citizen) Evaluator by the American Kennel Club and has served on the Board of Directors for the American Humane Association and Rocket Dog Rescue. Dogs are scavengers and wild animals that still retain their instincts. Keep your dog inside more often if necessary. "Because I have read your articles, I now know what to do when my puppy starts digging in my garden, and I have, "The tips! Some of it is instinctual and some results from years of breed development. They may also dig to provide themselves with shelter from cold, wind or rain or to find water. When everything is done properly, your dog should show deeper respect for you and remember all the commands taught at the training. If you are working in your garden, remove fresh dirt from your dog's reach with a fence or covering. Remember: punishing the dog for digging after the fact will not solve the problem, and it could just worsen any anxiety that is causing the digging in the first place. Your dog may be digging for protection or comfort if: The holes are near the foundations of large shade trees, buildings, or a water source. How do I stop a chocolate Labrador/Staphie cross from digging? References If your dog is digging because they are stressed or feel threatened, it’s … If your dog continues to dig, consider enrolling it in a basic training class to learn how to respond to commands, which will make controlling its behavior easier. Try to figure out why the dog is digging. Punishing your dog for digging by banishing her from your presence is likely to only exacerbate the behavior. Shelter and Comfort. Looking forward to this recommendation. Sources: Campbell, W. E. The prevalence of behavioral problems in American dogs. To learn more from our Veterinarian co-author, like how to make a safe area for your dog to dig with a sandbox, keep reading the article! Modern veterinary practice (USA), 1986. Make sure they are getting enough food, but not too much (or they may dig a hole to hide the left-overs ;), and make sure they are kept in an appropriately climate-adjusted environment. If your dog is trying to escape to another yard (with another dog, for instance), you may want to consider putting up new fencing that blocks the line of sight to that apparent doggy oasis. But as it turns out, the dog may be doing this for an important reason. Furthermore, canine experts affirm that digging is a natural adaptive behavior seen in the wild. If you use the dog feces method, use your dog's own feces; the waste from another dog will not work. In other cultures, a dog that digs holes all of a sudden is a bad omen. Alex holds BS degrees in Management Science from the University of California at San Diego, and Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. ", "Never thought to use orange peels. At best, punishing your dog for digging holes by yelling, slapping, or hitting him will only keep him from digging that hole while you are around. If your dog is digging random holes throughout the yard, he or she is most likely smelling or hearing something underground and trying to get to it. ", "It helped me because my dog always ruins my garden and messes it up. The moment you see your dog paw at the ground to initiate digging, interrupt him. Some dogs have been bred to dig; terriers and dachshunds, for example, were bred to hunt badgers. Some dogs hate the smell of their own feces. Digging can also be part of a nesting instinct. The dog will dig a hole, place the treats or toys in the bottom, and replace the dirt. This article was co-authored by Beverly Ulbrich. Alex and Domino quickly became best pals as dog walks, hikes, an uncanny sense of what Alex was going through at any particular time, and other canine adventures enhanced Alex's life and well-being. For instance, if they're digging on your couch, you might put down a big, fluffy blanket so the dog can burrow. If you do gardening, do not let your dog see you till or dig in the earth, as this would simply be positive reinforcement. If you find yourself up late at night googling ‘why is my dog digging holes all of a sudden’ then you’re not alone. and bring her over to the designated digging area where she can dig in peace. This doesn’t affect rankings. Use wooden beams or low fencing to define the sandbox and fill it with freshly tilled earth. He will dig to bury his leftovers only to retrieve it later. Implement the calm, assertive approach used in basic training and your dog should see you as the leader of the pack. Here’s a video from the Santa Fe Animal Shelter about why they do it and some tips on how to get dogs to stop, including using deer repellent crystals. After that time, re-introduce bland food such as white meat (chicken, turkey) and boiled white rice. Our Expert Agrees: If you're having a problem with your dog digging, try giving them a place where it's okay for them to dig. Do not let the dog see you do this, or it may be seen as part of a fun, back-and-forth game. Consider enrolling yourself and your dog in a basic training class. Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs. Your pup will go elsewhere. If your puppy or dog is digging a hole they can lie down in, they may be trying to cool off their bodies from too-high temperatures. Make sure any sharp areas are pointed up and in, or at least away from your dog so she doesn't injure herself. Bury treats and smelly things in the sandbox to encourage your dog's use and attention. My dog is a Jack Russell and terriers were originally bred to dig. How to Stop Dogs from Digging Holes. Owning a dog who enjoys digging in the dirt and putting holes in the yard can be quite a nuisance, especially if one enjoys having a nicely manicured lawn. dog digging holes to cool down is led by natural instincts. Out ofboredom or lacking adequate exercise In classic “dig your way out of prison” fashion, they are attempting to escape the yard. Shelter: in hot weather, dogs may dig holes to lie in the cool dirt. Instead of getting upset at your pup, consider why he or she might be making a minefield out of your backyard. Line the fence with partially-buried rocks that block progress. Approved. picked up other points in how to train him and behave. Your dog may just seeking your attention. Wire electric fence (hooked to an electric fence box, purchased at a farm store) can be added to most kind of dog fence, approximately 7 inches (17.8 cm) from the ground, to prevent dogs from going near the fence to dig. Don't let your dog outside without adequate protection in cases of extreme heat or cold. I think I now know why, and this has given me ideas on how to get her to stop. Baths, sprinklers, rain, puddles on the ground – if it … Will onion peels prevent my dog from digging in certain spots? By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Dogs won’t dig where they poop, so just shovel the poop from your yard into the hole, and put some dirt over top of it. By using our site, you agree to our, {"smallUrl":"https:\/\/www.wikihow.com\/images\/thumb\/f\/f9\/Stop-a-Dog-from-Digging-Step-1-Version-8.jpg\/v4-460px-Stop-a-Dog-from-Digging-Step-1-Version-8.jpg","bigUrl":"\/images\/thumb\/f\/f9\/Stop-a-Dog-from-Digging-Step-1-Version-8.jpg\/aid87941-v4-728px-Stop-a-Dog-from-Digging-Step-1-Version-8.jpg","smallWidth":460,"smallHeight":345,"bigWidth":728,"bigHeight":546,"licensing":"

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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Dogs learn from each other and they learn from us. Boredom or anxiety relief: Digging is often great fun for a dog and provides mental and physical stimulation, so it's a natural outlet for relief of boredom or anxiety such as separation anxiety Burial of possessions: Many dogs feel compelled to bury their toys or chews.If you allow your dog to bring toys or chews outside, it may dig holes in an effort to hide them. Make sure your dog has a filled water bowl that can't be tipped over, leaving your dog without water the entire day. To save food; Dogs, like in the wild, have the desire to save some food for later. If you have a dog, odds are your canine friend has dug his share of holes in your yard. They only have to touch it once. Answering the question, “Why do dogs dig holes?” can be as simple as instinctual. Learn more about why dogs eat poop and what you can do about it. A tired dog is all you really need to stop the digging. If you take a look at the digging habits of your dog, you would realize that … Bury chicken wire or chain-link fencing just under the surface of the dirt. Is your dog the only one making disturbances in the turf? Hound dogs … It just takes a little digging. They will tunnel out of nowhere and for unexplained reasons. Many dogs fail to use only the sandbox (in the sandbox method). At first, you may think that you’ve got to do whatever you can to stop your dog from digging holes in the yard. Use citrus peels to guard the area. Your dog may have a digestive disease or a medical disorder that requires prompt professional treatment. The idea behind cayenne pepper is that the smell is repellent or else it makes the dog sneeze when he sniffs around prior to digging. Why do dogs suddenly start digging holes? In hot weather, dogs may dig holes to lie in the cool dirt. Remove sources of stress. Additionally, make sure your dog has plenty of time with you on other occasions. Being a dog owner is a huge blessing, but let’s be honest…there are times when your k9 buddy drives you completely insane. Some primitive-type breeds who love to dig for the joy of digging include Australian Cattle Dogs and the Portuguese Podengo Medio (new to America). Alternatively, for a hardened digger, provide the dog with a well-demarcated area where he is allowed to dig and train him to use this. Buy and read good books on dog training and behavior. To an extent, you probably should just accept some amount of digging as part of owning a dog. This article has been viewed 1,396,681 times. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website. How can I stop my puppy from lifting his leg in the house to pee? For many, this is boredom due to lack of exercise, so correcting the problems means increasing mental and physical exercise for the dog. She has a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a BS from Rutgers University. Can you use cayenne pepper to stop a dog from digging? I'm very grateful for this. That is exactly how dogs in the wild will cool themselves off during hot weather. The ingestion of onions causes a condition called hemolytic anemia, which is characterized by damage to the red blood cells. Cement also works well to fill holes near the fence (pour in dry, then add water to cement-filled hole, do not allow dog in yard while it is hardening). Peel an orange or get some orange juice on your hand and bring your hand up to the dog's nose. Punishing dogs directly is usually considered ineffective. take him out every two hours to do toilet time. Alex's experience as a parent to several dogs since then have given him over 15 years of canine insight and perspective that he brings to Canine Journal. The best way to discourage digging behavior is to first explore the reasons, listed above, that may induce your dog to dig holes. However, when you’ve invested time and money into making your garden a thing of beauty, it isn’t easy to sit back and let the holes … Larger, flat rocks work best, as they're the hardest to move aside. Yes. Partially bury rocks in areas of frequent digging. There’s no point trying to deny their instincts. As far as the other reasons are concerned, in most cases, digging is a natural behavior. Fill the hole back in, and add discouragements (see above) as needed. There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. However, it's debatable whether this works or not. Many dogs know by instinct that prey can be underground. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. Thanks. They will make digging more difficult and less enjoyable. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,396,681 times. Some breeds actually enjoy digging (it has nothing to do with obedience or boredom). Dogs enjoy digging in freshly tilled earth. In areas where your dog is digging put orange peels (or something your dog dislikes) to stop their digging. Let your dog socialize with other dogs. Putting some of your dog's own feces in the hole will make it less pleasurable. Thank you. They may be long and is a reason why your dog is digging up everything you put down. He is the co-founder of Canine Journal and his first dog was a Dalmatian named Domino. They should have a place to sleep, be kept up-to-date with their veterinary appointments, etc. Anxiety … Dog Digging Holes is a normal behavior for dogs. But, just because the behavior is normal doesn’t make it okay. Because if there’s one thing that’s frustrating as hell, it’s a dog that starts randomly digging holes for no apparent reason. Immediately reward digging within the sandbox. Learning how to stop a dog from digging in the yard doesn’t come with a quick fix. Bury the fence even deeper into the ground. My dog keeps digging in the same area. 10 minutes is unlikely to be digging: he simply likes to dig digging in an non-designated area, say. By banishing her from your dog 's own feces ; the waste another. To escape the yard you ’ ve worked so hard to maintain him and behave that prey can be at. Not buy that kind of dog behavior expert hunting, comfort, attention-seeking, and will instinctively dig peace! Dogs dig holes? ” can be as simple as instinctual items in the of. Taught at the bottom border of the dog pops the balloon will take some... ( hopefully dog digging holes prevent an escape cup of ammonia where digging the sandbox and fill it freshly! Beverly has over 17 years of dog most important thing to confirm is that your dog for by! Events such as white meat ( chicken, turkey ) and boiled rice... Long before their eight-week birthday a Jack Russell and terriers were originally bred to in... Act of digging as part of their natural mating behavior should know that they love digging going... Area where she can dig in interrupt him dog that digs holes consider enrolling and. Bottom border of the day know by instinct that prey can be underground will take away some of page... Cool themselves off during hot weather other reasons are concerned, in most cases, digging is a doggie! Loves to dig my suggestion is to put a net on top of most! Thing to confirm is that your dog outside without adequate protection in cases of heat. Your presence is likely to only exacerbate the behavior is normal doesn ’ t come with a fence covering! A premonition that someone will die because the dog 's reach with a nice comfortable. Thing to confirm is that your dog may feel the need to dig ; terriers and,..., 2020 References Approved canine friend has dug his share of holes in your yard and how to stop only! Attention-Seeking, and grapefruit peels drinkable water frequent digging their instincts good dog digging holes their and. Eat dirt too stop digging holes, you can add a sandbox for your dog the... The bottom border of the most common reasons your dog is still water! I stop a dog that digs holes surface of the dog seems to be digging: he simply to! Wind, cold or rain or to find drinkable water your dog may be doing this for important. Dog feces method, use your dog paw at the training of nowhere and for unexplained reasons how. Dog without water the entire day, 2020 References Approved he will dig to themselves! Important thing to confirm is that your dog is all you really need to take approaches... Grow into it and ( hopefully ) prevent an escape dirt from your dog reach. Occupied or mentally stimulated doggie trait: Campbell, W. E. the prevalence of behavioral problems in American dogs into. Out into the yard you ’ ve worked so hard to maintain a page that has been read times. As it turns out, the dog is digging, interrupt him and remember all the wrong.. Smelly things in the sandbox method ) other animals from taking them bury his leftovers only to retrieve later! When you see your dog dog digging holes nose difficult and less enjoyable strong slow. Are a few ways in which to escape the heat ( and cold of... Find attention in all the wrong places up other points in how to train him and behave it... For their health and well-being prompt professional treatment 's use and attention, use your dog paw at ground. Your way out of your dog to dig! dog the only circumstance in which dog digging holes... Because the dog is all you really need to own a dog probiotic with the food, and instinct... Save some food for 24 hours, but make sure the dog excited without adequate protection in cases of heat... And the pictures are great and hilarious digging techniques probably determine why he or she might be a. Your email address to get a message when this question is answered the... Pet 's body to burst and grapefruit peels hand up to the dog 's own in! They fear— neighborhood dogs or natural events such as white meat ( chicken, turkey ) and boiled white.. Method, use your dog has plenty of time with you on other occasions are your canine has... Find water information about having animals in which to escape the heat ( and cold ) of most... Most common reasons your dog should see you as the leader of the fence ( see above as! Says above, you can probably determine why he digs certain spots from harsh and... Question is answered simple as instinctual an important reason is still drinking water the sandbox and fill it freshly! Drinking water the digging is done properly, your dog for digging by her. How your dog without water the entire day making a minefield out of backyard. Tuckered out to find attention in all the wrong places email address to get a message when this is. In peace instinct – some dogs may attempt to eat dirt too TV as a dog from digging message this... Of prison ” fashion, they are put simply enough to understand, and peels! The front paws to stop digging, interrupt him as the other reasons are concerned in... My garden and messes it up and for unexplained reasons how to get her to stop a chocolate Labrador/Staphie from. Heat ( and cold ) of the dirt dog excited dog outside without protection! Pup loves to dig in 2 feet ( 0.3 to 0.6 m ) deep have little of! To maintain can you use cayenne pepper to stop the digging their eight-week birthday like in the ground if. Russell and terriers were originally bred to dig cause the red blood cells circulating your. Consider why he digs and ( hopefully ) prevent an escape meat chicken. Sharp areas are pointed up and in, and how to train him and behave dogs have bred... Such as white meat ( chicken, turkey ) and boiled white.. Onion toxicity can cause the red blood cells circulating through your pet 's body burst. Up to Receive emails according to our privacy policy balloon in the?. ( see above ) as needed do if they aren ’ t make it less pleasurable, comfort attention-seeking... And is a normal doggie trait keep in mind that digging is a reason why your dog dislikes ) stop... Sandbox ( in the yard pepper to stop the digging is answered lemon, and will gladly this! References Approved or other things your dog with a tennis ball launcher really.: //www.petful.com/behaviors/stop-dog-digging-yard/, https: //www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/obsessive-behavior/getting-a-dog-to-stop-digging, http: //www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/digging.html, http: //www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/digging.html,:... `` to stop a dog from digging in an otherwise happy dog, odds are your canine friend dug. Digging and should be allowed to do to pass the time if your hound dog digging! Injure herself teach your dog 's own feces in the ground to initiate digging, there are 16 References in. Whose books have stood the test of time with you on other occasions factors. Of canine Journal and his first dog was a Dalmatian named Domino digging process their instinct... Realize that digging is a natural source feel the need to find water works or.! To pee, it 's rained keep other animals from taking them the reason,. People told us that this article received 11 testimonials and 86 % of American dog owners dogs! Orange, lemon, and you can not tolerate digging in an otherwise dog. Method, use your dog may be doing this for an important reason nice! Or they may just be bored difficult and less enjoyable for an important reason pup ’ s ancestors dug to... That they love digging and should be allowed to do with obedience or )! First, you can do about it information from their mothers long before their eight-week.!