There are a number of unwanted behaviors that your dog may exhibit, and digging may be one of the most annoying. You may not even realize that your dog has a digging habit until you twist your ankle by stepping in one of his holes. Digging is a very natural behavior, so learning how to stop a dog from digging will take patience and determination.
Wild canines dig dens for shelter. Underground dens protect wild dogs from extreme temperatures and predators. They offer a safe place to give birth and for their offspring to grow. This natural desire to have a den has been passed down to our domesticated canine companions as well.
Dogs may also dig holes to bury their possessions, escape an enclosure or because of overwhelming stress and anxiety. Of course, digging is also fun. Your pooch may enjoy digging holes to keep himself entertained when he's bored or just to have a good time while he's out playing in the yard.
But, you probably don't want holes dug all through your yard. You need to learn how to stop a dog from digging before your Fido ruins your yard.
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How to Stop a Dog from Digging
In order to learn how to stop a dog from digging, you have to figure out the root cause of the digging. Once you figure out why your dog is digging, you can fix the problem. If you're having trouble figuring it out, try observing your dog closely for the next few days. You're sure to figure it out by watching his pattern of behavior.
If your dog is digging to escape extreme temperatures, help him cope without needing to dig. If it's extremely cold, your dog won't be able to dig through the frozen ground. However, many dog dig a cool den when the mercury rises.
If this is the case for your Fido, provide him with a cooling vest, swimming pool or another way to beat the heat. You also need to be sure that your dog has access to shade and plenty of fresh drinking water.
If your dog is a hoarder, you'll need to stop him from burying anything he feels is his possession. When you let your dog outside, make sure that he doesn't bring toys, chews or bones with him. If your dog has a doggy door or other access to get outside whenever he wants, you'll have to come up with a way to keep him from bringing any goodies outside.
Perhaps your dog is just looking for a den. You need to provide your pooch with a ‘den' inside your home. The easiest way to do this is by getting him a comfortable crate.
In my video guide above, you will see our Labrador has a crate set up in our living room. She doesn't need to be contained in the crate while we're away. We simply keep it up to give her a place to rest where she feels safe and comfortable.
Some dogs dig because they are trying to escape an enclosure or simply out of habit. If this is why your dog is digging, you'll need to train him to stop.
When learning how to stop a dog from digging, this is the most difficult part. Training a dog to stop digging will require time and lots of patience. You will need to be watching your dog constantly when he is outside, so you can redirect him whenever he begins to dig.
While you're watching your dog, look for any signs of stress. Maybe there is something in your home or yard that your dog is trying to get away from. Your pooch may be stressed or suffering from anxiety. If you can remove the problem, do it. If not, you may need to seek the help of a professional dog trainer.
At the very least, a professional trainer will help you discover the underlying cause of the digging. They should also be able to assist you in making environmental changes or training your dog to help put an end to his digging behavior.
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