While based on doggy instincts, boredom and an excess of unused energy are some of the main causes of dogs deciding to scratch a hole big enough to start your own fish pond. Here are some tips on how to mitigate issues with this behavior.
- Provide a fenced area (like a sand-box) in your garden or backyard where your dog can dig to his heart’s content. You could even bury interesting things (they can be special treats and toys) for your dog to discover and make a little game out of it.
- Release your dog from its boredom by giving it things to occupy its mind like special toys they can chew on without damaging their mouths, or provide other distracting pastimes you know your dog likes.
- Watch your dog digging holes and note where it digs in relation to the fence. Maybe it’s trying to escape? This is not boredom, but wanderlust.
- Certain dogs digging holes use the dugout as a cool place to rest. Always provide plenty of shade and clean drinking water for your dog. During summer, you could even provide a childrens’ paddling pool filled with water to help keep them cool and give them something fun to do.
- Bury wire netting under the soil or deep down beside a fence to stop them escaping, but never punish your dog for doing something he views as being natural. Distraction is better than punishment.
- Concrete or pave your dog’s exercise space. This is a bit drastic, but it certainly works.
It is important to remember the fact that virtually all dogs are natural born diggers, and some breeds were specifically created to bury for and flush out prey during hunts. Finding a way for your dog to have an outlet for this natural instinct is preferable to any other solution.
So if your dog likes digging, let him, but control where he digs and you will have a very happy dog.
Watch what happens when this clever dog gets caught digging:
Ian Nicholson lives in the UK. Having worked with and kept dogs for over fifty years, he is passionate and loves everything about them.