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How To Stop Your Dog From Digging Up Your Yard

Dogs need stuff to do.  If you don’t provide stuff, he will provide it for you and it might be in the form of digging to entertain himself.  If your dog is left alone in your yard for a long period of time with nothing to do (other dogs or toys to play with) you may find the doggie version of an archeological dig when you come home.

  Look on the bright side; he may strike gold, or oil, maybe… Digging provides an outlet for his energy and curiosity.  Sort of like those year-old magazines at the doctor’s office.  You will notice that the exam room usually has some as well, and for good reason.

So, imagine this – you are in the exam room, in a backless gown, nothing but white walls, instruments of torture and extremely ugly pictures.  You have nothing at all to do for however long it takes for the doctor to come in.  Sometimes the wait is very long; other times it just seems overly long. Why? Because you have nothing to do!  That’s your dog in the yard. The difference is you have an iPhone to play with while you wait.  What your iPhone is to you, digging is to your dog.  Get the picture?

Finding the Root of the Problem

First it should be said that, no matter how angry, frustrated or just plain puzzled your dog’s behavior makes you, it is never caused by spite.  Your dog is not digging to annoy or get back at you.  It can seem he is doing it out of spite, but that is just not true. Experts agree that digging can be traced to one of several causes, in most cases.  As mentioned, boredom is one reason dogs dig.  It gives them something to do and helps to work off excess energy, which is another cause of digging.  And some dogs are bred to dig, like terriers. The first line of defense if you suspect boredom is providing some toys to keep your dog entertained.  Try some of the treat toys that hold peanut butter or doggie treats.  It’s like a puzzle for the dog to work out to get a treat.  These are great for easing boredom.  Sometimes all dogs need a friend to play with.  If you don’t have other dogs, and bringing another into the house is not an option, get together with some friends or neighbors to work out a play date.  This helps both of you and your dogs.

Desperately Seeking…

Another cause of digging is trying to keep cool by digging out an area and lying down.  Make sure your dog has his own house to get out of the sun in the summer and out of the cold in winter.  If he is digging by the fence, he is probably trying to escape.  More entertainment in his own yard may cure that, or if he is being enticed by the cute lady dog next door, try putting a tarp or other material on the fence to keep her out of sight.

Take a Hike

Of course, one the best cures for much of what ails your dog is exercise.  Depending on the breed, your dog might be fine with 20 or 30 minutes a day or he may need two 20 or 30 minute walks.  Another good exercise is playing fetch or Frisbee.  A tired dog is a much better behaved dog all of the time. Digging can be frustrating and difficult for both you and your fur baby, but with a little persistence and ingenuity, you can overcome this obstacle (and any other) together.  Because that’s the best place to be.



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