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Some dogs are just born to dig. Although digging is a characteristic of some breeds (a factor you should consider if your in the process of choosing a dog) there are no guarantees that any dog will not dig. Dogs dig for for a variety of reasons and it is a natural dog behavior, so while it may not be possible to stop your dig digging altogether that are a number of things you can do to keep the destruction to a minimum. First work out why your dog likes to dig. If you dog only digs to bury bones, don't give him bones. Does you dog have some where to escape the extremes of heat or cold? If you haven't provided any relief from the elements, your dog may be digging to get a cooler place to lie down. Make sure your dog has some where he is happy to go to cool off or keep warm. Some dogs are very high energy and if you aren't providing enough exercise digging is a way he can exercise himself. A high energy dog may need you to walk him a couple of times a day for 3045 minutes. If you find that doesn't work with your busy schedule, walk at least once a day and exercise him at home for the second secession with a good game of fetch. Tug of war can be a another good way to tire your dog if you play it the right way. Only play with a designated tug toy and you must be the one in charge. The "Tug" game starts and ends only when you say so. Does your dog dig to escape? Look at the pattern of your dogs digging. Some dog are explorers by nature, if you make escape impossible he'll stop digging. You can either extend your fence 8-10 inches under ground or bury a border chicken wire under the turf along the fence where he is trying to escape. Dogs hate the feeling of trying to dig through the wire. The other reason that some dogs try to escape is separation anxiety, in this case he doesn't want to escape he wants to be with you. Separation anxiety is a complex psychological problem that is beyond the scope of this article. Boredom can be another cause of your dogs digging. Is your dog left alone in your yard for long
periods of time? Does he have any toys to occupy his time? Don't leave all your dogs toys out all the time. Give your dog a few toys at a time and then rotate the toys for extra variety. Try toys that slowly dispense food treats and use different fillings to add even more variety. Have someone come and take your dog for a walk during the day. If you don't have a friend who can help out, there are paid services that will do this. Lastly there are dogs who just love digging. If you can't stop it, control it. Channel your dog into only digging in a designated area. Give up a small area of the garden that will be his to do as he pleases. Turn the soil over in his spot and bury interesting things for him to uncover. If you don't have a corner to spare, invest in a child's sandbox. Take him to his digging spot and encourage him to dig there, you might need to help him find the some of the surprises the first time. If you catch him as he is digging out side his digging spot, give a stern verbal reprimand "Ah ah" or "No". Take him to his digging spot and praise him profusely when he digs in the right place. This, dig in your own dig spot training, works best if you only allow supervised access to your yard until the habit is firmly established. You can stop a dog digging or at least stop a dog digging in unacceptable places if you work out why he is digging and give him an alternative.
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