Last updated: 21 Mar, 2023
Published on: 2 Nov, 2021
Did you know this is why dogs dig?
If you’re a dog parent, then you may have noticed that your furry friend likes to unleash their inner Indiana Bones and literally go down that rabbit hole.
Most dogs have a natural tendency to dig. This instinctual behaviour can be traced back to their wolf ancestors and is as much a “dog thing” as barking or wagging their tails. So even if your dog isn’t one to leave little craters in your yard, you may have noticed them exhibit this behaviour in other ways, such as digging up couch cushions or getting treats out of their kongs.
Why does your dog dig and how to control this behaviour…
There are many reasons why your dog may be digging. Digging sets off positive endorphins for dogs, so they could just be digging for fun to cure boredom or trying to hide their treasure. In some cases, they might be attracted to something on the other side of your fence and could be digging to Shawshank out of your yard. It’s best to get ahead of the situation and redirect their attention, especially if they’re trying to escape!
Quick tips to stop your dog from digging up your yard:
🔍 Put on your detective hat and do a little bit of sleuthing as to why your dog is digging in the first place: Are they trying to bury something, or can they hear something that’s making them curious like insects or water pipes? Or are they just trying to entertain themselves?
🌳 Allot them their own digging area: It’s unlikely that your dog can...well, stop being a dog; but you can minimise this behaviour to ensure your garden isn’t looking like the moon’s surface! Create a safe space for your pooch to dig (eg. a sandpit or spot in the garden) and make it attractive by burying toys and treats under the topsoil so they are encouraged to dig in a particular spot. If they dig in the spot you’ve picked for them, reward them.
🛑 Try and prevent them from returning to their previous spot to dig: One good tip is to lay wire mesh flat on the ground and use tent pegs to anchor it down. This will help make the new digging area more inviting (as the old one is inaccessible).
🦮 Distract them or redirect their attention: If you find your furry trying to dig, redirect their attention with a toy or a ball. If you are going to be out of the house for a longer period of time, you could take your dogs out for a long walk before leaving so that they burn some energy and hopefully lay low until you get back.
🪨 Secure your fence: If your dog is digging near your fence, they might be trying to find a way to get to their other side. Check the fence for any gaps and place big rocks along the fence lines if required.
🧸 Ensure there is ample enrichment at home: It is important to remember that not all dogs are the same – find enrichment that engages and thoroughly distracts your dog. Switch it up – any game or toy too often gets boring. Alternate days with chew options treat options, toys or games.
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