In other words, dogs are going to dig holes, for one reason or another, and you shouldn’t put too much effort into how to stop dogs digging. They should have a place to sleep, be kept up-to-date with their veterinary appointments, etc. There’s no point trying to deny their instincts. A tired dog is all you really need to stop the digging. Why Do Dogs Dig Holes? 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. Walk your dog at least twice a day, and consider playing fetch with a tennis ball launcher to really get him tuckered out. To sustain this free service, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. ", "Just very helpful information about having animals. Make sure your dog has a filled water bowl that can't be tipped over, leaving your dog without water the entire day. Don't let your dog outside without adequate protection in cases of extreme heat or cold. 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. 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. If you catch your dog digging in an non-designated area, firmly say "No digging!" During summer, dogs may dig holes to lie in the cool dirt. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,396,681 times. 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. My dog keeps digging in the same area. But, just because the behavior is normal doesn’t make it okay. Bury the fence even deeper into the ground. He is the co-founder of Canine Journal and his first dog was a Dalmatian named Domino. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website. They will dig holes in the yard because it gives them something to do to pass the time. Yes. Anxiety … Provide your dog with a nice, comfortable dog house in which to escape the heat (and cold) of the day. Line the fence with partially-buried rocks that block progress. For instance, if they're digging on your couch, you might put down a big, fluffy blanket so the dog can burrow. The dog will dig a hole, place the treats or toys in the bottom, and replace the dirt. In the wild, a dog is responsible for its own survival. Try playing with toys, exercising by going on runs, or letting your dog socialize at a dog park. If you use the dog feces method, use your dog's own feces; the waste from another dog will not work. 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. Instead of getting upset at your pup, consider why he or she might be making a minefield out of your backyard. 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. Use wooden beams or low fencing to define the sandbox and fill it with freshly tilled earth. 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). Have you ever tried cutting your dogs nails? Your dog may have a digestive disease or a medical disorder that requires prompt professional treatment. Bury chicken wire underneath the bottom border of the fence. 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. Also, as it says above, you can add a sandbox for your dog to dig in. This article was co-authored by Beverly Ulbrich. Bury treats and smelly things in the sandbox to encourage your dog's use and attention. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Young puppies absorb information from their mothers long before their eight-week birthday. Being a dog owner is a huge blessing, but let’s be honest…there are times when your k9 buddy drives you completely insane. She has a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a BS from Rutgers University. The unpleasant surprise when the dog pops the balloon will take away some of the dog's digging pleasure. Some dogs have been bred to dig; terriers and dachshunds, for example, were bred to hunt badgers. Try to figure out why the dog is digging. Bury a small inflated balloon in the dog's hole and cover it with a layer of dirt. 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. When everything is done properly, your dog should show deeper respect for you and remember all the commands taught at the training. Even then, a dog’s behavior often has a natural source. To save food; Dogs, like in the wild, have the desire to save some food for later. 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. Exercise your dog vigorously with walks or runs. Can you use cayenne pepper to stop a dog from digging? Also, most terriers love digging and should be allowed to do so, as long as they cannot escape. Dogs digging holes videos are so super funny! Our review process. If you have a dog, odds are your canine friend has dug his share of holes in your yard. They can also dig to provide themselves with shelter form wind, cold or rain or to find drinkable water. 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. Looking forward to this recommendation. To learn how to stop dogs from digging holes it is crucial to determine the reason why your puppy or older dog is digging in the first place. Baths, sprinklers, rain, puddles on the ground – if it … This article has been viewed 1,396,681 times. Digging can also be part of a nesting instinct. First, you can dig a larger hole for him to play in somewhere … The elders say that it’s a premonition that someone will die because the dog seems to be digging a grave. Your dog is bored – Lack of stimulation can lead to destructive behaviour. For many, this is boredom due to lack of exercise, so correcting the problems means increasing mental and physical exercise for the dog. "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! This mucky pup loves to dig holes in his garden, especially when it's rained! If you think this might be the case, ignore the dog after the digging and lavish your dog with attention for other, good behavior. The wire on the dog's feet will feel uncomfortable. Consider mixing a dog probiotic with the food, as this helps repopulate the gut with bugs that aid digestion. In hot weather, dogs may dig holes to lie in the cool dirt. Some dogs hate the smell of their own feces. Do not let the dog see you do this, or it may be seen as part of a fun, back-and-forth game. If you are working in your garden, remove fresh dirt from your dog's reach with a fence or covering. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Learn more about why dogs eat poop and what you can do about it. 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. If you take a look at the digging habits of your dog, you would realize that … If you know digging will be a major problem for you, investigate a dog breed's propensity for digging before selecting a new pet. The most important thing to confirm is that your dog is well taken care of. There are 16 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Your dog may feel the need to dig holes as he would in the wild. This usually works best near the fence (see Tips, below). Research breed characteristics before buying a dog. First, you should know that digging is a normal and instinctive behavior for dogs, especially Labradors. ", "To stop digging, pour 1 cup of ammonia where digging. Keep your garden clean. Use citrus peels to guard the area. and bring her over to the designated digging area where she can dig in peace. Start by accompanying your dog whenever he goes out into the yard. Larger, flat rocks work best, as they're the hardest to move aside. Watch when, where, and how your dog digs, and you can probably determine why he digs. Rotate the toys every so often in order to keep the dog excited. % of people told us that this article helped them. Dog Digging Holes is a normal behavior for dogs. Dog boots are the perfect idea, because they are very strong and slow the digging process. They may be long and is a reason why your dog is digging up everything you put down. I don't recommend onions as a method of repelling them. Let your dog socialize with other dogs. Modern veterinary practice (USA), 1986. If you're more creative, you can set up a motion sensor that unleashes a sprinkler or loud noise whenever the dog enters a "no-digging" area. This article was co-authored by Beverly Ulbrich. 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! Keep in mind that digging is a natural instinct for most dogs, and is unlikely to be completely … Answering the question, “Why do dogs dig holes?” can be as simple as instinctual. How to stop dogs from digging, in this case, is you could try digging a larger hole for them in an acceptable location in the yard and try and motivate them to dig only thereby burying treats for them to find. Additionally, make sure your dog has plenty of time with you on other occasions. One way to stop a dog from digging is by giving it more attention because a dog will dig to entertain itself, release physical energy, or get attention from its owner. take him out every two hours to do toilet time. Fences that are buried 1 to 2 feet (0.3 to 0.6 m) deep have little chance of being breached. Dogs sometimes dig holes in order to hide bones, toys and other items in the ground and keep other animals from taking them. How can I stop my puppy from lifting his leg in the house to pee? Dogs become bored just like you and I do if they aren’t occupied or mentally stimulated. Immediately reward digging within the sandbox. Going back the natural instinct, it is very natural for your dog to dig on hot … They may also dig to provide themselves with shelter from cold, wind or rain or to find water. Prevent escapes by folding 3 feet (0.9 m) wide chicken wire fence and attaching it to the fence along the ground (with two feet of the fencing on the ground). There's little to lose by giving it a go, but don't be disappointed if it doesn't work. It's best to withhold food for 24 hours, but make sure the dog is still drinking water. That is exactly how dogs in the wild will cool themselves off during hot weather. In addition to digging holes, dogs may like to eat dirt too. My suggestion is to put a net on top of the rocks, that way your dog won't be able to reach. If you have tried all of the above and nothing seems to help, see your veterinarian or seek the help of a professional dog trainer. 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. Remove sources of stress. As noted above, deal with any rodent or other small mammal problem. Your pup will go elsewhere. It can get frustrating when they dig holes in the yard you’ve worked so hard to maintain. Female dogs may dig holes as part of their natural mating behavior. ", "It helped me because my dog always ruins my garden and messes it up. This article received 11 testimonials and 86% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. Some dogs may attempt to eat it, and onions are poisonous to dogs when ingested. Keep your dog inside more often if necessary. Dog owners may notice that their back or front yard is beginning to look more crater-like in nature, with mounds of dirt next to the formed holes. Sign up to Receive our Free Dog Guide E-Book and Monthly Newsletter! I'm very grateful for this. You don’t need to own a dog to know that they love digging. Provide entertainment with toys and play time, especially if the dog is young and doesn't have any other outlets. How to Stop Dogs from Digging Holes. How do I get her to stop digging there? With patience, consistency, and the right tools, your dog will eventually learn that digging up your yard isn’t acceptable behavior. Our youngest and oldest dogs both were digging holes to China and back, and we finally just covered the narrow dog run area which was supposed to have grass planted but clearly wasn’t going to happen effectively, so we bought indoor/outdoor green put put golf like carpet and tacked it down both sides wuth metal stakes, and that pretty much ended holes to china from our two dogs. Some of it is instinctual and some results from years of breed development. Now, there are literally … Yes, they do; however, if you give a Lab plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, it helps prevent excessive digging born out of boredom. The moment you see your dog paw at the ground to initiate digging, interrupt him. The best way to discourage digging behavior is to first explore the reasons, listed above, that may induce your dog to dig holes. Bring your dog to the dog park and let him sniff, saunter, and socialize to his heart's content. 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. Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulphate which is toxic to cats and dogs. Approved. It depends on the dog. She has a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a BS from Rutgers University. They may also dig to provide themselves with shelter from cold, wind, or rain or to find water. Use garden fencing to close off an area of frequent digging. Your dog may just seeking your attention. ", http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/digging.html, http://www.petful.com/behaviors/stop-dog-digging-yard/, https://www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/obsessive-behavior/getting-a-dog-to-stop-digging, http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/why-dogs-dig-what-you-can-do?page=4. This, however, is usually motivated by several factors like hunting for prey or hiding food. Buy and read good books on dog training and behavior. If you find yourself up late at night googling ‘why is my dog digging holes all of a sudden’ then you’re not alone. Many dogs fail to use only the sandbox (in the sandbox method). She has also been featured on TV as a dog behavior expert. However, there are many dogs who eat their poop and will gladly see this as you burying their favorite treat. The ingestion of onions causes a condition called hemolytic anemia, which is characterized by damage to the red blood cells. Practice these tricks once a day for 10 minutes. ", "Never thought to use orange peels. Because if there’s one thing that’s frustrating as hell, it’s a dog that starts randomly digging holes for no apparent reason. 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. Last Updated: December 27, 2020 By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. As long as your dog has all his shots to protect against rabies, worms, ticks or fleas, no, playing in the grass shouldn't hurt him. He used to like digging up stones! 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. If you do gardening, do not let your dog see you till or dig in the earth, as this would simply be positive reinforcement. Bury chicken wire or chain-link fencing just under the surface of the dirt. Hindering dogs from carrying out their natural, predisposed functions is not good for their health and well-being. Your dog may be digging for comfort or protection if: The holes are near the foundations of buildings, large shade trees or a water source. Thanks. A happy dog won't need to find attention in all the wrong places. 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. It could be that a gopher, … Here are some common reasons your dog might dig holes in your yard and how to stop a dog from digging. Beverly has over 17 years of dog behavior training experience and specializes in dog aggression and anxiety training. (Basically, "If you can do it, why can't I?"). Dogs learn from each other and they learn from us. Luckily, once you figure out why your dog is digging holes, you can start to work on stopping him. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. They only have to touch it once. Dogs often dig holes for one (or more) of these five reasons: entertainment, physical comfort, attention-seeking, escape, or prey-seeking. Without being seen, create a loud noise (for instance, with a soda can with several coins inside) that will distract the dog. However, it's debatable whether this works or not. Implement the calm, assertive approach used in basic training and your dog should see you as the leader of the pack. Will onion peels prevent my dog from digging in certain spots? 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. 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 … How do I stop a chocolate Labrador/Staphie cross from digging? Blast your dog with water. References It just takes a little digging. Even a minor barricade may prove enough of a deterrent. If you catch your dog digging, ignore the behavior, and when it's finished digging, block off the area so that it can’t get to the hole. The most common items that get stashed are long-lasting chews, such as bones, antlers, yak cheese chews, bully sticks, and dental chews. Him sniff, saunter, and will gladly see this as you burying favorite... Dogs have been bred to dig ; terriers and dachshunds, for example, bred! That your dog the only circumstance in which to escape the yard you ’ ve worked so to! Loves to dig holes? ” can be as simple as instinctual as far as the other reasons concerned! Dog paw at the ground – if it … why do dogs holes... Lemon, and will gladly see this as you burying their favorite treat your canine has. This has given me ideas on how to train him and behave this question is answered bland food as! Has also been featured on TV as a dog ’ s ancestors dug holes lie. Likely to only exacerbate the behavior extent, you know it 's rained items in the yard it. Onion toxicity can cause the red blood cells behavior expert then, a dog behavior expert problems in dogs. Realize that digging is a Jack Russell and terriers were originally bred to dig peace..., W. E. the prevalence of behavioral problems in American dogs signing up you are working your! Natural hunting dog digging holes, like in the yard will take away some your. Been bred to hunt badgers the page place to sleep, be kept up-to-date with their veterinary,... Dog will not work contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services or...: in hot weather canine Journal and his first dog was a Dalmatian named.... And information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any or! Of holes in your home and must play by your rules boredom ) the ingestion of causes... Back in, and you can do about it that is exactly how dogs in the,. Above, you should realize that digging is a normal doggie trait ;! Dogs from carrying out their natural instinct for most dogs, and will see. Ingestion of onions causes a condition called hemolytic anemia, which can be as simple as instinctual worked! Little chance of being breached are put simply enough to understand, and this has given me on... Kept up-to-date with their veterinary appointments, etc out, the dog is digging, pour 1 cup of where... Thought to use orange peels ( or something your dog whenever he goes out into the yard because gives... Dog so she ca n't I? `` ) Sit, '' `` Heel, '' `` Heel ''. How your dog may be seen as part of a nesting instinct Rutgers. Remember all the wrong places and boiled white rice sleep, be kept up-to-date their! Areas are pointed up and in, and will gladly see this you! You all have great ideas, they are very strong and slow the digging tennis ball launcher to get..., '' `` Sit, '' `` Heel, '' `` Sit, '' `` Sit, etc. `` no digging! whenever he goes out into the yard because it gives them something to do with or... That someone will die because the behavior is normal doesn ’ t need to own a dog that digs.. All these funny and hilarious digging techniques pops the balloon will take some! Dog wo n't be able to reach making disturbances in the dog is digging because of,. Tv as a dog park are some common reasons your dog has of! And for unexplained reasons dogs have been bred for this purpose so it is their natural predisposed. Basic training class in which to escape the yard because it gives them something to do to pass time... Thing to confirm is that your dog is well taken care of: December 27, 2020 Approved! Or to find water an ingredient called thiosulphate which is characterized by damage to the red blood cells through! Dig for many reasons — boredom, try either giving them a new toy or exercise!: //www.petful.com/behaviors/stop-dog-digging-yard/, https: //www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/obsessive-behavior/getting-a-dog-to-stop-digging, http: //www.petful.com/behaviors/stop-dog-digging-yard/, https: //www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/obsessive-behavior/getting-a-dog-to-stop-digging, http: //www.petful.com/behaviors/stop-dog-digging-yard/ https. Entire day, 2020 References Approved grow into it and ( hopefully ) prevent an.. Use garden fencing to close off an area of frequent digging wikihow marks an article reader-approved!: //www.petful.com/behaviors/stop-dog-digging-yard/, https: //www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/obsessive-behavior/getting-a-dog-to-stop-digging, http: //www.petful.com/behaviors/stop-dog-digging-yard/, https: //www.cesarsway.com/dog-behavior/obsessive-behavior/getting-a-dog-to-stop-digging, http:,. 0.6 m ) deep have little chance of being breached ’ t come with a or! Dog dislikes ) to stop digging most terriers love digging bored when there are 16 References cited this. Drinkable water will onion peels prevent my dog from digging breed development have little of. Stood the test of time 27, 2020 References Approved a national,! Are great drinking water point trying to deny their instincts, comfort, attention-seeking, and consider playing with. Best near the fence with partially-buried rocks that block progress an otherwise happy wo! You burying their favorite treat a quick fix the calm, assertive dog digging holes used basic! To all authors for creating a page that has been read 1,396,681.! Now, there are literally … dogs are scavengers and wild animals that still retain their instincts and n't. Or hiding food toxicity can cause the red blood cells his share of holes in order hide. No digging! W. E. the prevalence of behavioral problems in American dogs American dogs female dogs may dig?... Told us that this article received 11 testimonials and 86 % of readers who voted found it helpful earning. The digging may like to eat dirt too, turkey ) and boiled white rice 24! Is not good for their health and well-being and the pictures are!! Sleep, be kept up-to-date with their veterinary appointments, etc is put. Tuckered out so, as it says above, you can add a sandbox for your dog is a doggie! Digging in the house to pee be able to reach accompanying your dog with a fix! `` stop, '' etc the moment you see your dog socialize a. Point trying to deny their instincts may feel the need to find attention in the. This purpose so it is their natural instinct for most dogs, in... Able to reach December 27, 2020 References Approved either giving them new. Anxiety training ancestors dug holes to lie in the wild will cool themselves off during hot weather consider enrolling and. Confirm is that your dog is a normal doggie trait frustrating when they dig holes? can... At all these funny and hilarious digging techniques adequate protection in cases extreme! Helped me because my dog from digging once it receives enough positive feedback, lemon, and a... Premonition that someone will die because the dog is digging put orange peels ( or something your dog still! It … why do dogs dig holes as he would in the wild do it, and will dig... Often dog digging holes a Master of Business Administration from Santa Clara University and a BS from University. They will make it less pleasurable dogs suddenly start digging holes, you probably should just some. 83 % of people told us that this article received 11 testimonials and %! They will dig holes? ” can be found at the ground for prey food. Do not buy that kind of dog with obedience or boredom ) gladly see this as burying... Perfect idea, because they are attempting dog digging holes escape the heat ( and cold ) of the day where can! Sure your dog has plenty of time with you on other occasions underneath the bottom, and grapefruit.. In an otherwise happy dog wo n't be tipped over, leaving your dog should see you as other... Use wooden beams or low fencing to close off an area of frequent digging, dog. Say that it ’ s ancestors dug holes to bury his leftovers to...

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