According to some surveys, around 80% of dogs dig holes. This is probably not surprising as digging is a natural adaptive behavior from the wild. However, since dogs now live in homes, this behavior can mess up your garden. This article explains why dogs dig holes and how to stop them from doing so.
Why Dogs Dig
Your dog can be digging for one or more of the reasons below.
• The dogs are suffering from boredom. Puppies or younger dogs who have high energies just love digging. Digging up holes seem like a fun activity for them. In addition, yanking plant roots can be an interesting challenge for them.
• The dogs hunting instinct is kicking in. They can smell bunnies, moles, or other ground dwelling animals. Hence, they dig to track down these animals. It is also a good supply of fresh food.
• Burying food. Most people know dogs bury bones in holes. This behavior is a legacy from the dogs’ ancestors who store food in holes. Sometimes, they change the safety spot and bury it in another hole. As a result, you end up with more holes!
• To get cool and comfortable. This can happen during summer or a particu- lar hot day. The soil is cool and moist after removing the warm top layer.
• To search for freedom and adventure. Dogs sometimes like to hang outside without their owner’s permission. To this end, they will dig a tunnel bordering your prop- erty in a bid to escape outside.
• Symptom of separation anxiety. Digging is one-way dogs relieve their pent-
up stress when their owners’ leave. The dogs could also possibly be digging a tunnel to go outside and find you.
• Sign of nesting. This is an indication that your female dog is about to give birth. She digs to find a place to protect her puppies from predators.
How to Stop Your Dog from Digging
Once you identify the reason why your dog digs, choose the appropriate methods below.
￼• Find ways to release your dog’s energy. Take your dog for walks or for a swim. If you are already doing that, do it for longer periods of time. Put backpacks on your dogs to intensify their exercises, if it is not possible to increase the exercise duration.
• Give them an area to dig. You can give your dogs a specific place in your garden to dig. Start the initial hole. You can also choose to get a sand box. Either way, bury their toys or treats there to inspire them to dig there.
• Bury dog poop. Scoop your dog poop and put in the hole before you fill it back. Dogs don’t like to dig up their own feces. Take note, this might not fully work as the dogs can choose to create another hole.
• Spray the area with paprika or cayenne pepper. These spic- es smell deter most dogs. This method is also not full proof as the dog can dig another area.
• If you believe your dog digs to cool off, provide some of below.
1. An insulated dog house
2. A shallow wading pool
3. A fan (air blowing over ice feels just like air conditioning) A bed that allows air to 4. circulate underneath
• Be a pack leader. You need to do this if your dog has separation anxiety issues. Only then, will your dog be able to fully relax while you are away. Furthermore, been a pack leader will solve other behavior problems. I recommend checking the link below to understand how to become the pack leader.
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