One problem you might struggle with if you’re a new owner is how to stop your dog from digging around the house or yard. This is especially true for certain breeds who have a propensity to dig. Like terriers.
Yeah, it can be a frustrating habit to get rid of your puppy.
But not impossible, no. There’s a bunch of things you can do to help train it out of your dog. Or if it’s triggered by external factors, to remedy the situation so your puppy doesn’t feel the need to dig around.
But hang on…
First, you should really understand why your new puppy might be digging in the first place…
Why Dogs Dig
There are several reasons why a dog might like or feel the urge to dig…
- For comfort – a lot of dogs feel warmer or cooler sitting in a little pit dug into the earth since the soil is a good insulator when it’s too hot or cold out.
- Hunting instincts – many breeds like terriers and hounds have a natural prey drive. And so they might be digging for actual or imaginary prey when they’re going at it
- Boredom – is your puppy having to spend a lot of time alone with not much exercise or playtime? Digging is an easy outlet for them to expend energy and do something that’s simple and satisfying.
Tips to Stop Your Dog From Digging
Now that you understand the reasons behind the behavior, you’ll know the logic behind these tips to stop your dog from digging. And you might even be able to come up with solutions of your own!
1. Make Sure Your Dog’s Den Isn’t Too Warm Or Cold
Like we said before, your dog might be digging those little pits to cool down or warm up in, depending on the weather. If your dog has a den, make sure it’s properly insulating him from the weather outside.
And if he doesn’t, it’s probably a good idea to get one or allow him to spend more time indoors. Maybe get a crate for the house.
Also, if you intend to make him stay indoors for extended durations, it’s a good idea to stock up on puppy pads and stain removers, for obvious reasons.
2. Is he Getting Enough Exercise and Play?
Are you sure you’re regular with your pup’s walks and game-times? If so, maybe he’s not getting enough…
Increase the number of walks and playtime, let your dog freely run out the dog door, and basically tire him out of his digging habit.
If your pup seems to enjoy hunting games, you can use some of his favorite tasty treats as “prey” in hunting games. Hide them around the yard or house as rewards for successful hunts.
That’s one way to satisfy his hunting instincts and a cool “home remedy” to stop your dog from digging.
3. Keep Your Yard Clear Of “Prey”
Perhaps your yard or garden has visitors in the form of small burrowing animals, which your dog isn’t going to leave alone.
In that case, find ways of keeping them out of your pup’s territory. But don’t use any stuff like pesticides or similar toxic substances!
Of course, there’s a call to be humane, but your dog is going to suffer or worse, too! Use a good fence with some chicken wire, or natural deterrents your vet might recommend.
4. Restrict His Area Of Digging
Pretty basic, huh? But basic works amazingly sometimes!
Again, you can use chicken wire at the base of the fence if your pup is prone to digging around it frequently. You can also bury rocks in his digging zones as a barrier.
There is an option to put up a fence where your dog can’t get to. Another option would be to use an electric dog fence that prevents him from digging in the same spot.
Also, you can eventually train your pup to not dig. Or to dig in a specific area and nowhere else. It’s just a matter of rewarding the right behavior.
Make a point to play in the designated digging zone, and give plenty of praise and reward to let him know he’s doing the right thing. Use a stern voice and leash training to deter him from digging anywhere else.
It will take some time for him to understand, but he will. Make sure you don’t punish or scare him after he has already dug his holes though! He won’t get it unless you catch him in the act!
Hope these tips on how to stop your dog from digging help you turn your puppy into a new leaf. If you have any tips or suggestions of your own, do let us know in the comments section below!
Featured image by instagram.com//bensonstallone/