Dogs love playing in the garden or in the yard. If you have a pet, you would have know that dog ownership is not that easy as it sounds. Though dogs have many different behaviors, “digging” is something we are going to discuss here. It is the most common problem and dogs may do this for an important reason. Make sure you do not get upset on your pet for the same and try to know the reason behind it. I have listed out some reasons which will help in some way. After that, we will discuss how to stop a dog from digging? Also, learn if this behavior is harming to your pet or not.
Why Is Your Dog Digging?
1. Just For Fun: There are many dogs who love to dig. Some breeds love digging more than the others, for example, terriers. As I said, it is a common problem and any dog can develop this habit. Dogs, who do it just for entertainment tend to have a playful posture. Dogs easily get attracted by sandy surfaces and often start their session of digging, the moment they see it. You will get to see some holes in or around your garden if your dog is doing it for fun.
2. Comfortable And Cool: If your dog is not feeling comfortable, he/she will start digging to make a cozy and comfortable bed for himself/herself. Different dogs have different characteristics. Some dogs feel more hot while others cold. It depends on the breed you own. A dog who feels cold, he/she will try to find a cooler place to rest and vice versa. Your dog will dig a hole according to his/her own convenience. Holes are generally located in the shade, outdoor furniture, and underneath bushes.
3. Hunting Ground Animals: Some dogs desire to hunt small preys. For example groundhogs and moles. Suppose a dog sees an animal in the hole, he/she will start digging unremittingly so that the dog does not misses the animal he or she catches. It may harm your pet to some extent if that prey contains some risky traits.
4. Burying: Like we keep our valuable things in a cupboard or locker, same way our pets bury it in the sand. Things that are important to them include chew bones, food, preys, and toys. Once upon a time this behavior of wild ancestors of dogs was the key to the survival. They used to save their food so that they can return back to eat it later whenever they feel hungry. In today’s time also they do the same thing but it turns out to be very funny sometimes. Let me explain you with a real example.
I have one pet at home. I adore her like anything so I always end up giving more food to her than her requirement. She buries the leftovers in the ground. When she feels hungry, she runs to search for her food. The funny thing is she sometimes forget where she has buried the food and end up digging everywhere in the ground. It is an amazing and fun thing to watch her like this. So, do not get worried if he/she is digging it, for this reason.
Some Other Reasons:
- If you have a female dog, he/she might be digging hole as a part of her mating behavior.
- Your pet may be trying to escape from the yard.
- If you have put some nice smelling fertilizer.
- Due to excess energy.
- To find minerals from the soil.
- Due to fear of neighborhood dogs or natural calamities like thunderstorms or earthquake.
How To Stop A Dog From Digging?
Now the question arises how to stop them from doing so? There are certain ways depending on the reason of digging. In most of the cases, it is a natural behavior. Let’s discuss the ways to prevent them from digging holes.
- Comfortable And Cool: If your pet is doing it just to keep himself/herself cool or warm then you should make sure that they are getting proper shelter in the house. Because of this reason they will not dig or lessen their digging sessions. It is very important that you should know about the behavior and nature of your dog.
If your pet is trying to cool off, try to keep him/her in an insulated dog house, a shade or a bed that will allow the circulation of air from underneath. If your pet feels hot then he/she will search for some cool place and may lie flat on the hard surface. Make sure you give proper access to necessary things to your dogs. Keep your pet indoors as it will prevent them from certain diseases and keep him/her healthy. If not always, at least during the summer time you can keep them in an air conditioned area in your house.
Dogs like beds which are snug, so that they can get cozy in that by burrow down. So, provide them a comfortable bed according to their need so that they will not end up digging.
- Entertainment: If the reason of digging is fun so try to find an acceptable place for them so that they can enjoy. You can build a digging pit for your pet. It will tempt him/her and prevent your pet from harmful dirt and preys. Try to put fences around that areas where you do not want your dog to go and dig. To save your plants from your dog, make sure you put a proper high fence so that your dog will not be able to jump into your planters. So, try to spend or give more time to your pet so that he/she will not get time to dig in the garden.
- Burying and Hunting: As the habit of burying things in the soil is ancestral to them, it is quite difficult to eliminate this. There is a best way to do so. Try giving them that kind of food which they will not be able to finish immediately. For example, chew bones. We all know that dogs chase small and furry creatures. If your dog digs to eat those preys from the soil, you can remove those animals humanely or even set some live traps.
So, these were some ways by which you can stop your pet from digging. As I said it is not that harmful, but it is better to prevent them in every way as he/she is your responsibility.
Things Not To Do:
Make sure you do not punish, scold or spank your dog for digging. You cannot punish your pet for something he/she has done hours or minutes back. It will not make any kind of difference. By doing this, you will not succeed in stopping him/her from digging and may result in upsetting or frightening your pet without any reason.
Do not be harsh on your dog as they are the most faithful creature on earth. Some dog owners try this technique of filling water in the dog’s hole. Not only this, they also hold his/her pet’s head under that water so that he/she will realize his/her mistake. This insane procedure will not solve your problem and can even result in worse behavior and problems.
Do not ever try these kind of inhumane methods and try to be soft and gentle with them. Consider the above mentioned ways if you want to know how to stop a dog from digging? As all they need is love and care.