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How To Stop Your Dog From Digging

Updated on July 4, 2011

Do you have a dog who loves to dig? Now if you have a garden (or maybe your neighbor does), keeping a dog who loves to burrow can be a real problem. For some, the only two options would be to let the dog be (read: get rid of the garden) or let the garden be (read: get rid of the dog). Fortunately, you don't have to choose. With these practical tips, you can enjoy the company of your pet without sacrificing the garden or turning the lawn into a moonscape. Dig in.  

Some Dogs Are Natural Born Diggers

Some dog breeds are more inclined to dig than others. So, if you have a lovely lawn or a cherished garden and are considering to adapt a canine companion, you'd be better choosing dog breeds that are not natural born diggers. Well all dogs have an inclination to dig but some breeds just can't resist it. Terriers, Huskies, Malamutes and other Nordic breeds love to dig and I mean LOVE to dig.

Of course the tendency to dig will vary from one individual dog to another and it doesn't mean that all Huskies turn lawns into excavations sites just to pass time. But if you want to minimize the likelihood of having an archaeologist for a pet, you're better off staying away from the above mentioned breeds. The word Terrier means “go to earth” after all.

If you already own a dog and digging is a problem, understanding the reasons why dogs dig can help you identify the solutions. The next section will discuss four reasons why dogs dig.  

What will you do if your dog loves to dig to the point of turning your lawn into a lunarscape?

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4 Reasons Dogs Dig

  1. Exercise – If you're dog isn't getting enough physical activity, she will look for a way to let the energy out. If you've ever tried digging a ditch, you know that digging is a great way to burn energy.

  2. Boredom – Imagine a day when you have nothing planned and there's absolutely nothing to do. I mean absolutely nothing. No TV, no internet, no books, no games, no one to talk to, no telephone, nothing. Now imagine that you're a dog. What would you do if you were in a dog's shoes (or paws)? Why, dig of course! Digging is a fun thing to do for dogs the same way hubbing is a fun thing to do for hubbers.

  3. Escape – Try confining yourself within your fence just for a day. It probably won't take long before you start digging. Dogs too want to know what's out there. So they dig.

  4. Separation Anxiety – Dogs are social animals and continuously want to be showered with your attention. If you're away for most of the day, your four-legged companion will try to get to you. And they probably think they can achieve this goal by, guess what, digging.

The above information is very useful if you want to identify ways to stop your dog from digging. Now we'll really talk about how to stop your dog from digging. I'll also show ways to do this in addition to the most obvious, common sense ones.  

What If My Dog Just Really LOVES Digging?

Restrict Access

This is probably the most effective method to save your lawn. If your pawed friend is never in the yard without you watching over, there's no chance he can dig for an ancient Egyptian kings tomb right in your yard.

Go Natural

Dogs will naturally stay away from his own poop. If your dog loves to dig in a specific spot, putting his own poop in that location will stop him from digging there. Take note that it must be his own poop.

If you're delicate flower garden is being devastated by your dog's digging, you can try planting flowers that have natural defenses such are roses for example.

Secret Digging Dog Solution #23452

This method requires more effort from you but it is very very effective. Roll up about an inch or two of the turf in your yard. Now here's where it gets sneaky. Put chicken-wire underneath it. Once your dog start to dig, he will soon realize that it's not working and won't do it again, ever.

Let Him Dig

We know that dogs are naturally inclined to dig. Recognizing this need for dogs to dig, you can set aside a small portion of the yard just for digging. You can train your dog to dig just in that particular excavation area.

You can bury a yummy bone in the “dig site” and shower your pet with praises when he starts digging in the area just for digging. If he digs elsewhere in the yard, immediately correct him by saying a firm “No”. This will make it clear to your pet that digging is allowed in the dig site but not elsewhere.

Alternatively, you can use a sandbox if an allocated digging area is not available in your yard.

Training could take time depending on how smart your dog is. The good news is that it works. You can't completely stop your dog from digging. This method is a win-win for you and the dog and your lawn.  

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      freeannualcreditreport 8 years ago

      Ahhhh chicken wire... I love it... what a great idea... it cant be seen and yet i am sure it will work... thank-you oh wise one...