Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Digging Problem

How To Deal With Your Dog's Digging Problem?

Digging is a natural instinct for the dog. There are many reasons why dogs dig:

  1. They are bored
  2. They need a hole to get cooler when it's hot
  3. They want to escape
  4. They bury objects
  5. They like to

To reduce a dog's tendency to dig, give sufficient exercise to him every day to burn off his excessive energy. By leaving your dog in the backyard does not count as exercise for him.

Dealing With Boredom

Leaving your dog in the backyard first time in the morning without leaving him with anything to occupy him, your dog will start to dig to occupy himself.


  1. Consider giving him toys like a Buster Cube or Boomer Ball.
  2. The Buster Cube is a plastic square where you can place small pieces of food in and your dog will be kept focused in getting the treats rather than digging
  3. Spend time playing with your dog with his toys in the yard
  4. Give him plenty of high quality premium hard kibble. Avoid foods that are loaded with sugars, chemicals and preservatives that exacerbate your dog's energy level
  5. Engage your dog to meaningful activities like obedience training, playtimes, feeding so that he will not consider the backyard as his banishment and thus reducing his anxiety and tendency to dig

Dealing With Digging Cooling Holes

In dealing with this problem, consider providing:

  1. Shade in the backyard
  2. Well-ventilated doghouse
  3. A small wading pool
  4. Hose to throw up a fine mist
  5. Cut short your dog's hairs

Dealing With Burying Objects

Dogs may dig and bury objects and later dig them up again.

To deal with this problem, remember:

  1. Give him larger toys so that it is difficult for him to bury the toys
  2. For smaller toys, consider tying it to a tree or fence to prevent him from burying
  3. If the problem persists, consider burying his fecal matter in the holes he has dug as he is likely to return and dig in the same spot, and will find digging his poop to be unpleasant

It is important to remember that you should never let your dog to see you digging, like planting your flower bed, etc as it will confuse him why you can dig while he cannot.

Dealing With Dogs Who Are Bred To Dig

Like the Terriers, Dachshunds, certain breeds of dogs are bred to dig. In dealing with this types of dogs, it is not possible to stop digging completely.

To deal with this problem, teach your dog to dig in one spot. The more he digs there, the less he will dig elsewhere.

To achieve this, consider:

  1. Set up a digging pit where the ground is relatively soft
  2. Bury items your dog is likely to want to dig up like his special food treats.
  3. Take your dog to the location and encourage him to dig in this area
  4. Praise him when he digs in this spot
  5. If need be, bury his fecal matter in holes outside the digging pit to discourage him from venturing elsewhere to dig

Dealing With Escape Problem

This is a complex problem to deal with as it is sign of other underlying problem. For example, when a dog is not taught the proper manner of behaving like not jumping up and acting unruly in the house, he may be ignored by the owner and develops anxiety problem since he is a social creature. This may lead to his tendency to escape by digging.

Un-neutered male dogs may also try to dig to venture outside especially when there are female dogs on heat in the neighbourhood.

To deal with this problem, consider:

  1. Figure out the reason why your dog is digging and apply the appropriate solution
  2. If this fails, seek assistance from a professional trainer

And remember to praise your dog abundantly when he does the right thing!

You Can Do It!

Kum Chee
A Happy Dog Lover and Owner

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