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Each MetPet FlyToy is handmade by skilled artisans with great attention to detail.  They come in the form of bugs, amphibians, mammals and more in three very reasonable price points.

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Dogs Who Dig

How to stop your dog from digging

 

MetPet.com Staff Writer

Dogs dig for any number of reasons but mostly because they enjoy it!  Digging provides interesting smells, a fun distraction, a hole to bury possessions in, a tunnel to freedom, a cool place to sleep, relief from boredom and anxiety and a way to get from inside the yard to outside the yard.  A dog that digs can even find a mole hole once in awhile with an actual mole inside. 

Non-neutered dogs can have a powerful desire to roam and may be digging to get out of the backyard.  If you are not planning to breed your dog, neutering may help reduce or even eliminate his digging impulse.

Here are some more ideas to prevent dogs from digging.

Remove the opportunity.  It can be time consuming, frustrating and difficult to curb your dog's natural behaviors.  The easiest preventative is to keep your dog from digging opportunities. 
- Only let your dog outside when you're with him.  Minimize the time he spends alone outside.
- Keep him on leash when he's outside.
- Fence off the dog from the yard or the yard from the dog. 

Distract him to break the habit. Provide lots of toys and chews and rotate them frequently.  Give him plenty of outlets for his energies by taking him to a dog park or walking him more frequently.  

Train him not to dig.  Whenever you see him nosing around a digging area, shout "no!"  or "eh!" or whatever sharp, preventive word you use.  When he walks away from the digging area, praise him.  It's easiest to prevent digging by catching it just before it starts.  This has the added advantage of leaving his paws clean and the yard intact. 

Active gardeners may inadvertently teach their dogs to dig.   If he sees you digging holes, he may not be able to distinguish your digging from his own.  He may even think he's being helpful!  It's best to garden alone and then cover all the holes up before your dog has access to the yard. 

Physically prevent digging.  If your dog is digging in a particular area, at the base of the fence for example, place a broad sheet of plywood or particle board over the area.  You can also lay heavy stepping stones, concrete pavers or large river rocks over the area.  Some people try laying heavy canvas or chicken wire but these can be chewed up or pushed aside by an ambitious dog.  You can always remove the covering after your dog has given up his habit.

Give him a digging pit or digging opportunities.   There is nothing essentially wrong with digging.  It is a natural behavior that is useful for making beds, building dens or burying food. Some dogs have such a strong urge to dig that it may be less bother to let him dig than to prevent him from digging altogether.

A digging pit can be a fenced-in area with dirt that you loosen with a shovel.  Or it can be a sandbox filled with sand or loose dirt.   You can encourage him to dig in the designated area by scratching at the dirt with your fingers.  Praise him when he digs there and scold him when he digs elsewhere.   He will eventually get the idea.  An indoor alternative is a pile of old sheets, fabric or towels.  Although it may not be as interesting as digging up dirt, many dogs are happy to "dig" at the fabric since the physical action is very similar.  

If you don't have space for a digging pit, try spending a day at the beach or in the country.  A half hour spent digging a big hole in the sand may be enough to prevent digging for weeks.
 

 


 

 
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