Why do dogs dig holes?
An instinctive behavior
Dogs are compulsive diggers. Digging is an instinctive behavior of a dog. When we take a dog for a pet we know that there is a big chance that one day they will try to “redo’ the garden. It would certainly be frustrating to see the manicured lawn and the well tended garden filled with holes and mounds of earth. How we wish they would not dig but as it is an ingrained habit the best thing to do is to understand what triggers the dog’s digging activity.
Reasons why dogs dig
There are various reasons why dogs dig. Boredom is one. Incessant barking is a manifestation of a bored dog. A dog that is left alone for a considerable period of time will dig to combat boredom. Separation anxiety is another reason why dogs dig. Being pack animals, dogs would want to be with their families. With nothing better to do the dog would dig holes to fight loneliness.
A dog wanting to be with other dogs would try to escape. If the yard is secured with a fence the dog would dig tunnels to be at the other side of the fence. There are instances when the dog’s digging can be triggered by fear. A dog that is left outside on a stormy night may be frightened by the thunder and would dig to seek a safer place. Also, dominant dogs may cause another dog to escape the yard by digging a tunnel.
Dogs have sensitive senses. They may hear interesting sounds on the ground or smell an interesting scent. A borrowing rodent or a buried bone will certainly cause the dog to dig holes. Dogs have the inclination to roll on something with obnoxious smell. Rotting trash, buried animals are considered to be “precious finds” by a dog.
Stopping the digging habit of the dog
Punishing the dog for destroying the garden or the lawn is not a good idea. We would not want to have a lawn filled with holes either. If you know that boredom causes the dog to dig, you can give the dog toys before you leave. Another option is to take the dog for a good run. This will tire the dog and hopefully will sleep for a good hour or two while you are gone.
Putting a sandbox where the dog can dig is a good idea. Burying toys, bones and other treats will encourage the dog to dig on the sandbox instead of digging the lawn or the garden. If the dog is very attracted by your flower beds, a fence would restrict the dog from digging the area.
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