Stop Dog Digging

Stop Dog Digging - Save Your Yard!

stop dog diggingLearning to stop dog digging is pretty frustrating if your dog has already started to mess up your yard. You've probably put quite a bit of work into and they can undo that so quickly!

So how do you stop dog digging?

The first thing that you need to realize is that it's normal for a dog to want to dig. They do it out of curiosity, to have fun, or to hide excess food. It's in their blood to do this, and they are not doing it because they want you to get mad.

In other words, if you weren't to do anything, your dog wouldn't think that digging was any better or worse than breathing - it's just something that they do. So your goal should be to show them as early as possible that digging is bad behavior and is not allowed.

How to stop Dog Digging

Like all behavior problems, you need to remember that you can't reprimand your dog unless you catch them red handed (or red PAWED) - in this case, actually digging. So if you come home from work and find that your yard looks like a war zone, you can't yell at your dog (no matter how badly you want to). They will have no clue what you are angry about and will just be confused.

If you don't have anyone that stays at home all day that can watch your dog, you will have to wait for your day off. When you are home, watch your dog carefully. As soon as you see them start to dig, you need to either throw a can filled with coins in their direction or spray them with a hose. Be sure to scold your dog at the same time, too.

This is how you build the negative association in your dog's mind that when they dig, bad things happen.

That isn't the only way to stop dog digging! If you don't have time to monitor your dog all day, you need to try some clever techniques that people have found to be very effective. These work the same way as spraying at your dog when you catch them - they build a negative association with the act of digging.

The first thing you need to do is take note of your dog's favorite places to dig. Interestingly enough, dogs will tend to dig in the same areas every time. Those areas might be in your flower garden or they might be in some random part of the yard. Either way, you need to learn what it is. Once you know that, you can try a couple of things.

1. Dogs hate the smell of their own poop (believe it or not). With that in mind, take some of their poop and fill it in the holes they have created. The next time your dog goes to start digging in that area, they will be unpleasantly surprised to see their poop in the ground. They won't like this, and after enough unpleasant surprises will get the message that if they dig, they'll find their own poop.

2. You can get dark balloons (I prefer to use black ones, because your dog won't be able to see them) and fill them up. Bury them in the spot that your dog loves to dig, and you can probably guess what is going to happen next. When your dog starts digging in their area, they will accidentally pop the balloon, which will scare them quite a bit. After doing this a couple of times, your dog will be too scared to dig for fear that they might get one of those annoying popping sounds!

3. Chicken wire works wonders! I usually recommend this for the dogs that refuse to stop digging. You need to bury it just under the surface where your dog prefers to dig. Don't, worry, it won't hurt them, but it will annoy them quite a bit! Even the biggest, most powerful dogs don't like the way chicken wire feels on their paws, and they'll stop as soon as they get to it.

If your dog constantly digs around the fence of the backyard and you are worried that they'll get out and run away, you should put chicken wire under the dirt. It's the most effective way to stop them and it's easy to spread out along the border of the fence. This will give you peace of mind that they are not going to get out. You can also get cement blocks around the border if you life. Either way, your dog won't be able to dig underneath!

...and that's how you stop dog digging!

Remember, dogs dig out of instinct, not out of spite. Really try to figure out why your dog is digging and you might even be able to stop it without using the above methods.

I used to give my dog large treats and she would run straight to the back of the yard and start burying it. There are several reasons why she did this:
Knowing those things, there was an easy solution. Instead of giving my dog a large treat, I know break them up into very tiny pieces that my dog can enjoy right away. I never give her enough that she'll have any left over, and because of that, the food burying problem has stopped!

If you live in a very hot area, your dog might just be digging to cool off. Under the surface the ground is very cool, and dogs are experts are finding the coolest place to relax. If that is the case for you, you need to come up with a solution for your dog to have a cool spot. They need to have plenty of shade, especially when the temperature starts to get above 90 degrees.

Make sure you give your dog things that they can chew on a play with. If they don't have any chew toys and are digging all over your yard, it might be because they are just bored! You have to remember how intelligent dogs are - and the more intelligent your are, the more stimulation you need.

You also have to make sure that you supervise your dog if they are very young. A young puppy is trying to learn so many things, you can't expect them to be little angels in the yard all day. Keep your eye on them, and if you can't, keep them in a kennel, a crate, or their dog run (possibly on the side of the house). When you can supervise them, let them run around and you'll be able to stop them as soon as they start digging.

Stop Dog Digging Early!

If you make it a point to stop dog digging early and be consistent about it, you'll be able to rid your pup if this annoying behavior quickly. It will save you a lot of frustration and money, and you'll never have to come home to your new garden ripped apart.


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