As a dog owner, it is important to realize that digging is one of the natural instinctive behaviors in dogs. Dogs like to dig in dirt, mulch or sand because they bury items such as toys that they want to save for later. Dogs also dig to find preys like rodents and other tasty treats such as insects. They also dig because they attempt an escape or because they are anxious. Most owners tend to object to their pets digging up their gardens or nice lawns. Dogs leave holes that people can step into and might injure themselves. Below are some tips on how to stop your dog from digging.
Generally, digging is a natural behavior for dogs.
How to stop your dog from digging
# 1. Supervise your dog. The first tp on how to stop your dog from digging is to monitor his behavior. Try your best to monitor him every time he goes out in the garden until you get him under control. As soon as you notice your dog start to dig, you can distract him with noise such as blowing a loud whistle or clapping your hands. Some owners also like to use shaker cans such as empty soda cans that are filled with rocks or coins. If you use soda cans, make sure that sound you produce simple breaks his concentration and not overly frighten him. Once you already have his attention, redirect him to more appropriate kinds of behavior. The goal of the supervision is to disrupt his digging, interrupt his train of thought, and redirect him to some fun and different activities such as chasing a ball. An effective disruption is to toss a handful of treats onto the ground. The dog will need to use his eyes and nose to find those treats. As he gets better at your game, toss treats into a wider area. Although, you have to be careful that he isn’t eating a lot of grass while he is searching for the treats, as the grass can sometimes contain parasites or even pesticides.
Sometimes, the reason why the dog dig is because they are bored.
# 2. Contain your dog. Since digging is a very natural behavior for your dog, it can sometimes be very difficult to suppress. Next to the tips on how to stop your dog from digging is to contain him. It may be a lot easier, in the long run, to try and control where he is allowed to do the digging. You can do this by giving him a certain area of your garden or yard that is clearly marked for digging only. Mark this certain area by using low fences or you can set out small flags to set the boundaries. You can also create a digging area where you can give him certain substrates such as play sand. Mark the area clearly and then, hide some fun items like toys that are partially buried in the play sand. Go out in the garden with him and call him over. Encourage him to dig those items up. When he tries to dig in the other areas of the yard, disrupt him and lead him to the appropriate digging area. When he digs out the treats, you buried for him, offer him plenty of praises. Make it clear to him that all of the compliments you give him are because he digs in the marked area of the garden.
# 3. Leave it. Teaching your canine friend to leave something alone with the “leave it” command may also be helpful. When you give the “leave it” cue, your dog should stop going towards the location, and turn away. Gradually teach your dog to do this by rewarding him treats for first ignoring. Reward him again when he turns away and then, eventually walking away from the item or location that you want him to avoid
Distracting your dog is one of the most effective ways to stop him from digging.
# 4. Distract your dog. Last on the list of tips on how to stop your dog from digging is to use food puzzle toys. Serving meals and special treats within two food puzzle toys may help in keeping his paws busy elsewhere. These food puzzle toys will encourage your dog to use his paws to knock the toys around so he can obtain his food. Your dog may not use his paws in digging motion, but he is working for his food, it will provide him with an outlet for him if his digging is due to boredom. Make sure that you use healthy special treats in your puzzle. Do not overdo them.
Make sure to give him lots of rewards and praises when he obeys you.
In summary, the above list shows tips on how to stop your dog from digging. No matter what method you are going to choose, your dog still needs supervision for a certain period until he consistently stopped digging or he already goes into the specific digging area. Once he already gets used to it, you can increase the distance between you and your dog gradually.