Why is your Dog Digging and the Best Ways to Stop it
So your dog likes to dig. Maybe they dig in your backyard, or maybe they like to dig up your plants. Whichever the case, it can be frustrating for pet owners when their dogs start digging.
If your dog is digging it may be a sign of boredom or anxiety. It can also be as simple as looking for a place to cool off in hot weather. If you’re having trouble getting your dog to stop digging, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’ll discuss the reasons dogs dig and offer some tools to stop digging.
Reasons why your Dog Keeps Digging
So you've tried everything, but your dog is still digging. Why do dogs dig in the first place?
One thing to keep in mind is that digging is an instinctive behaviour for dogs - so you need to work with, and around it. Some breeds love to dig more than others. An example of this would be terrier breeds that are bred to hunt and dig out their quarry..
There are a few reasons why your dog might be digging. They may be trying to bury a toy or bone, dig a hole to lie in or just trying to get to something that is underground. Dogs may also start digging if they're feeling anxious or bored.
Once you have discovered why your dog is digging, you can work on correcting the behaviour. If you can't figure out why your dog is digging, it's best to discuss their behaviour with your vet Or a dog trainer.
Why is your Dog Digging Under a Fence
Why is your dog digging under a fence instead of in other areas of your yard?
There could be a few reasons for this. One possibility is that your dog is trying to escape from the yard. rIf there are weak spots along the fence line, your dog might be able to dig his way out. He might be lonely and looking for company (human or canine)
Another possibility is that your dog is trying to get to something on the other side of the fence. There may be a bird or animal that he's been chasing and he's trying to get to it through the fence.
How to Stop your Dog From Digging Under a Fence
Whatever the reason, it's important to stop your dog from digging under the fence. Not only can it be dangerous if he escapes, but it can also cause damage to the fence. If you're having trouble getting your dog to stop digging, here are a few tips:
Make sure the bottom of the fence is buried well below the surface
Fix any weak spots in the fence.
Put up a barrier around the base of the fence (like chicken wire, wire mesh or large rocks).
Provide plenty of distractions for your dog in the yard (like toys or bones).
Why is your Dog Digging up Plants
There can be a few reasons as to why your dog is digging up plants specifically.
They may be looking for food - If your garden is a bit unruly your dog might be finding some burrowing creatures that have taken up residence. Dogs are natural scavengers and will look for any opportunity to find a meal.
They may be trying to create a den or resting place - Just like wolves and other wild dogs, domestic dogs will often try to create a den area where they can rest and feel safe. This could explain why your dog is always digging in the same spot - they might be trying to create their own personal space in your yard. Areas where we have plants often have softer turned soil and so are easier for your dog to dig in.
They might be Imitating your behaviour if they have seen you removing plants in your garden.
How to Stop your Dog From Digging up Plants
There are a few different things you can do to try and stop your dog from digging up plants. One option is to create a designated digging area for your dog to use. This could be an outdoor spot in your yard that's specifically designated for your pet to dig in, this could be a specific part of your garden or you could use a sandpit.
If you do not have enough room to give your dog their own designated space to dig, you can also try training them not to dig in certain areas. This can be done through positive reinforcement - such as rewarding your dog with a treat when they don't dig in the areas you've designated. -Physical deterrents can be really helpful here too. Try placing wire mesh over the areas of your garden that you don't want your dog digging in, or using heavier landscaping materials like gravel or large rocks. Once your dog has lost interest and you have developed new routines you can remove them.
If all else fails, you can also try using deterrents to dissuade your pet from digging up plants. One popular option is to use a citrus spray, as the scent of citrus is often unappealing to dogs.
Why is your Dog Digging up the Lawn
So you might be wondering, why is my dog digging up the lawn and not in the ground like usual? The usual reasons for digging apply here as well (boredom, burying a toy) however your dog may be sensing some burrowing animal or insect activity. Many interesting creatures live in our lawns from worms to beetles. It may also occur if you have applied something to your lawn that your dog finds attractive such as fertiliser.
How to Stop your Dog From Digging up the Lawn
If you're seeing your dog regularly dig up the lawn but not anywhere else in the yard, it's likely that they have identified this area as their preferred spot to bury things. You can try to prevent this by putting their toys and bones away after they've been played with. Alternatively, you might like to set aside a special area for them to dig and bury their toys as mentioned above.
If your dog is digging up the lawn in an attempt to create a ‘den’ or somewhere to shelter, you can try and replicate this by creating an artificial den for them using a cardboard box or kennel or some other sheltered area.
If your dog is digging up the lawn because they're bored, you can try and entertain them more by taking them for walks, playing fetch or hide and seek. You can also try teaching your dog some new tricks, this will help to keep him mentally stimulated.
Is it Bad that Your Dog is Digging?
Digging is a normal dog behaviour, however excessive digging can be destructive and expensive. Although there are many reasons why your dog may be digging, it is important to try to determine the cause so that you are able to find the right solution.
In addition to boredom, stress or anxiety may also be a reason your dog is digging. Some pet owners often find their dog digs more in situations where they feel anxious, such as when their owners are away from home or they’ve been alone too long. Spending time with your dog and taking them for regular walks and exercise can help ease their stress and anxiety. Thundershirts are one option that may help with stress levels, providing constant pressure to help calm your dog when anxious, fearful or over excited.
Adaptil collars are another alternative that may help your canine feel calm, if they are outside when you are away from home.
Why an Older Dog Might be Digging?
Older dogs might start to dig as a way to cool down, if they are unable to pant easily due to age-related issues. Dogs might also start to dig if they're feeling sick or have an injury. They might be digging in order to hide themselves if they are feeling vulnerable. If you're concerned that your dog might be digging because it's sick, it's best to have a check-up with your vet.
Dog Digging Deterrents for the House and Garden
Be sure to make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise and mental stimulation - with those things covered you may not need any digging deterrent at all.
Physical deterrents that cover or make the area inaccessible are important while you are training your dog away from digging.
Don’t forget to include lots of positive reinforcement when they do the right thing.
The best dog digging deterrent is one that will help to interrupt your dog's behaviour and make them stop digging altogether. There are a few different types of repellents that you can use, but the most popular are those that use scent, sound or vibration to get the message across.
Scent-based repellents usually use a citrus-scented oil to deter dogs from digging, while sound-based repellents emit a high-pitched noise that only dogs can hear. Vibration-based repellents work by creating a physical sensation that deters dogs from continuing their behaviour.
All of these repellents can be effective in stopping your dog from digging, but it's important to find the one that works best for your pet and your individual situation.
General Dog Digging Training Tips
Our top dog digging training tips are:
Fix any weak spots in your fence and make sure your fence is high enough so your dog doesn't think it can escape.
Put up a barrier around the base of the fence (like chicken wire or a wire mesh).
Provide plenty of distractions for your dog in the yard (like toys or bones).
Set up a designated digging area for your dog to use
Use a repellant like citrus spray or sound based deterrent
Use positive reinforcement such as rewarding your dog with a treat when they don't dig in the areas you've designated
Try placing wire mesh over the areas of your garden that you don't want your dog digging in, or using heavier landscaping materials like gravel or large rocks.
Entertain them more by taking them for walks, playing fetch or hide and seek. You can also try training your dog some new tricks.
Stress Solution products for your dog may help relieve anxiety that results in digging behaviour.
Create an artificial den for them using a cardboard box or some other sheltered area.
So, what can you do to help stop your dog from digging? Well, you could try some of the methods mentioned earlier, like ensuring our dog has adequate exercise and entertainment, providing a designated digging area, creating physical barriers, or using a repellent. You could also try training your dog not to dig. This can be done through consistency and positive reinforcement. If you're struggling to find a way to stop your dog from digging, it might be a good idea to consult with a professional trainer or behaviourist. At Budget Pet Products, we want to help make caring for your pet as simple as possible - so whatever challenges you're facing, we've got you covered.