Digging

Digging

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Introduction

Digging is a behavior that can be hard to break. Most dogs love to dig, so once you notice any digging it is best to stop the habit and prevent it from occurring again. The best way to prevent your dog from digging is to address why your dog is digging in the first place. Most dogs begin to dig because they are bored, they are hot, they want to escape, or they are hunting for small prey under the soil.

Tips for Preventing Digging

To prevent your dog from developing a digging habit, do not leave your dog unsupervised outside for long periods of time. If your dog enjoys playing in a fenced yard, always include plenty of outdoor toys for the dog to play with. Change the toys frequently so that the dog does not become bored with the toys.
Give your dog a cool place to stay when he or she is outside. This will help to prevent any digging behavior that is a result of trying to cool down. Make sure that your dog has a cool shaded area to rest in, provide a large clean bowl of water, and on especially hot days you may want to fill up a small kiddie pool or turn on a sprinkler. Vigilance is especially required for dogs that dig to escape. Spaying and neutering your dog early in life can help decrease the desire to escape. If a dog continues to dig even after he or she is spayed or neutered, than unsupervised outdoor times may not be possible for your dog.
Dogs that dig to search for small prey, such as rats, mice, moles, or small insects, perform this behavior out of instinct. It is pretty difficult to prevent instinctive behavior; instead you should try to help your dog focus on another type of action if you notice them engaging in this behavior.

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