Hot Diggity Dogs
Dogs dig … it‘s what they do. It’s really important to understand why your buddy would dig up your lawn or garden.
Here are the 7 reasons why they do it.
First of all is:
FEAR / ESCAPING: A frightened dog, for whatever reason, may try to escape by “digging its way out”. It’s like another way of trying to run away. You might have got your pooch from another owner and their trying whatever they can to get out of your yard and get back to their former home. You’ll need to spend lots of time with them to help them know that your home is now their home and they belong there with you.
A thunderstorm can make some dogs afraid. Bring them inside if the storm is really bad.
BOREDOM: If your dog is left alone for too long it just gets plain old bored with nothing to do. Digging can be a way to try to have some entertainment. Put a box of toys in the yard when you leave home for your dog to play with. Make these his / her yard toys, not for inside the house. They will be like a reward for them. You are not there but they have their special “yard toys“ to play with until you get home.
Also, if you have time before you leave the house, try to take 20 minutes to play, walk, or train your dog.
HEAT: If there’s not much shade in your yard a hot dog might just make their own ! They’ll dig the hole, usually in the shade of the house or under a tree, to lay in since the dirt below the sun soaked surface is nice and cool.
Make sure your dogs spot in the backyard is shaded. You might even put a small child’s swimming pool there for them. Just remember to always have fresh water in it. You can always use the old water to put on your plants.
BURYING BONES: Real bones are great for a dog but, if you give your dog too many bones, they might just bury the bones in the yard and then dig them up again later on. Make sure the bones are fresh and not too hard. This way your dog can enjoy them right away and won’t likely take the time to dig and bury a bone that they have already gotten everything out of.
BUGS: Some dogs love to chase bugs ! There are insects, like wasps, that will build their nests in the ground. This would be super dangerous for your dog to dig up a nest of them and get bitten a bunch of times.
About the only way to take care of this problem is to have the nest removed from your yard.
EXCITEMENT: For some dogs digging can be as much fun as chasing a cat ! There’s no other reason they dig … they just like to. Just like you taught your dog not to chase cats you have to teach them digging is wrong to. Whatever works for your dog to learn the right way to behave should also be used to teach them that digging is definitely not in their best interest.
STRESS: Dogs get stressed out just like we can. They can have what is called ”nervous energy”. That means when something is bothering them they need to get super busy doing something. It’s a way to try and get rid of their stress. For some dogs digging is what they do. You’ll need to find out what is stressing you buddy [Vet’s know this] and help them to deal with it.
STUFF TO DO …
Fill in the holes …
Try refilling the holes with junk, dead leaves, sticks, rocks … stuff your dog won’t be interested to dig up again.
Plant “Dogproof Plants” …
Lots of herbs, flowers and plants give off a smell that dogs find disgusting.
Just don’t use anything with thorns, like a cactus or yucca.
Make a sandpit …
Set aside an area where your dog can dig, but only in a sand pit you built for them. Place the sandpit in an area that is shaded and cool in summer and warm [lots of sunlight] in winter. Encourage them to dig in the sandpit. If they go to dig somewhere else then get them right away and take them to its sandpit. Show your dog that it should only dig in its sandpit.
Patio blocks …
Dogs can dig in the same spot over and over just out of habit. You can buy really nice gardens pads to cover that spot with.
It may be that you’ll need to put a fence around the area where it digs.