You’ve got to stop dog digging if it becomes an obsession for your pet. Digging is a dog’s natural behavior, an instinct that dogs normally do as they are. It is a form of exercise that nature has endowed them with to enable them to flex their muscles and to relieve them from extreme boredom. However, this becomes a separate issue when your dog’s digging behavior reaches a level where it becomes a menace to you in some way; then it should be stopped at once.
One thing that you should always remember is that you cannot stop dog digging by punishing your dog, most especially if you punish it long after it has committed the act. The most practical recourse is to understand why your dog is doing it. Once you know the reason, it will be easier for you to teach your dog to avert from the habit.
Understanding a Dog’s Digging Behavior
Two things that compel a dog to dig are extreme boredom and lack of exercise. You need to exercise your dog regularly so that can use their excess energy in a constructive way. Bored dogs usually resort to chewing things and digging holes which they are not supposed to do from your perspective, because they belong to a household, not a pack in the wild. Regularly take your dogs out for daily half-hour walks, if possible, twice a day. This way, your dog will get sufficient exercise while you could also spend some unwinding stress-relieving time for yourself.
If your dog has nutrition problems, there’s also a possibility that it will resort to digging. Dog digging actually has a medical term called ‘pica’- it is defined as a state wherein dogs eat non-edible things for at least 30 days. If your dog is not bored or it has sufficient exercise and yet hit digs incessantly, there’s a high probability that it has a nutrition problem. You can bring your pet to a vet clinic, so that it can be determined whether your pet nutritional state is within the normal level.
Another thing to consider is to know the characteristics of your dog as a breed. Some dog breeds are great diggers by nature, especially those which are intended for hunting in the olden days. Since digging is a part of its life, they should be given a special place to dig at the back of your house whenever they get the urge to dig.
Alternatively, you can stop dog digging by enrolling the dog in a training program, where it can learn and obey specific commands. Be consistent with your rules and regularly practice your dog to perform the command so to make it develop the skill into a habit.
When dogs dig, they could be feeling the heat of the surroundings, and they could be looking for a cool spot where they could settle down. If you can establish that your dog digs for this reason, you should provide your pet with a place that is cool and shady enough for your dog to relax.
Another easy way to stop dog digging is to divert its attention with a game or exercise that it enjoys doing, like a game of fetch. This type of activity also enhances bonding between you and your dog.
One thing that you should give seriously thought is the fact that dogs are social animals. They need attention, care and a little of your time, on a regular basis. When you adopt a dog, you should be sensitive to its needs; otherwise, it will resort to aggressiveness and/or other unpleasant activities like digging or chewing.