I went out into the back yard when my dog was really young and found a hole in the yard about a foot deep. I couldn’t believe the size of the crater. As a Veterinary Technician I know that dogs don’t dig holes to just rip up your yard but they are doing this for entertainment, searching for prey, looking for comfort or protection, a chance to escape or just plain old attention. So many times I am asked why do dogs digs holes and how can I stop a dog from digging holes.
Yes a dog or puppy that digs holes can be very frustrating so here are a few suggestions to try to help.
- Be sure to leave toys available for them to play with in the yard A KONG type toy filled with treats is a great long-lasting toy .
- Try and be sure your dog gets enough exercise. Walking, trips to the barkpark, fetching ball or catching frisbee are all good ways to tire out a dog.
- Make sure your yard is free of burrowing animals in case that is why your dog is digging. (Never use any kind of chemical products to get rid of burrowing animals)
- Provide shelter and water for your dog if that is what your dog may be seeking.
- If your dog attempts to dig when you are outside, ignore the behavior. Get the dog interested in something else like a ball and reward this behavior.
Never punish your dog after the fact. This never works!
If you have tried all these and your veterinarian has no other ideas then think about making a “digging zone”. Creat a section of the yard where you dog will be allowed to dig safely. Pick a nice shaded area but yet an are that will not retain water. Place some sand and loose dirt there along with a favorite toy. Give a firm NO DIG and direct the dog to the play area. http://www.karmadogtraining.com/files/Building_a_Digging_Pit.pdf
Some other great resources are: American Humane Society
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Make It A Great Life
Cassie Gannis – Race Car Driver, Animal Lover