Before a person ever gets their first dog, you can usually tell, as they usually have the nicest backyard lawn on the block. LOL!
Then all of a sudden they decide they are getting a puppy. I don’t even think they realize that the beautiful yard they once had, will be gone forever. Now not all dogs are yard destroyers as I like to call them. Some dogs are pretty good at not being that destructive.
Unfortunately there are many dogs that are very tough on backyards. The question that these poor dog owners want to know is how do you stop dogs from digging?
Reasons why dogs dig.
Has your backyard turned in a yard of crater holes! Everywhere you look do you see a new hole that your dog has just dug. Your lawn is ripped up and your flowers are all dug up.
Dogs can get focused on digging in one specific area and that can quickly become a bad habit to break. Next thing you know, they are digging everywhere.
The one thing you need to know is that your dog is not doing it to be spiteful. He is digging for many reasons, but that isn’t one of them.
Some typical reasons why dogs start digging are:
- Left alone in the backyard without humans.
- Puppy with no outlet for their pent-up energy.
- Your yard has nothing for them to play with (no toys).
- Certain breeds like terriers are bred to dig.
- They have seen you digging in the yard and are mimicking you.
- Rodents in the yard.
Every dog breed is different. Making sure you know what characteristic your dog’s breed have, can help go along way to understanding why they might be digging.
Now that you have a digger in the family, you need to try to stop that digging behavior. Nobody wants a dog that destroys their yard regularly. Trying to stop the behavior right away is very important. You don’t want the behavior to escalate or continue.
Here are some deterrents that may help in getting your dog to stop digging:
- Spend more playtime with your dog in your yard, throwing a ball or Frisbee.
- Provide your dog with more exercise to try to burn off their extra energy.
- Keep dogs toys in the yard that are interesting to your dog.
- Put some flat rocks and bury them in the most common places that your dog likes to dig.
- If you have mice or rodents, get rid of the problem.
- Bury plastic chicken wire or some type of netting just below the surface.
- Stay outside with them in the yard when you let them out.
- Try putting things like cayenne pepper, citrus peels or even vinegar in the dirt.
- You can try to plant a border plant like roses or shrubs that are prickly.
- Block off the specific area if possible.
Overall the key to getting your dog to stop digging is really all about paying attention and making sure that your dog isn’t alone in the yard with nothing to do. Whether your dog is a puppy or an older dog it is crucial that they don’t have free rein to do whatever they want.
Your backyard can be a big open space with many wonderful things that your dog may find very exciting. When your dog starts behaving badly, like digging holes in your backyard, it is important to first think about their behavior.
Dogs behavior in most cases is one of the key reasons that a dog can become a digger. A dog needs boundaries and the best way to teach a dog boundaries is to take your dog to dog training classes. In dog classes your dog will learn that he has to respect the boundaries that he is given.
When a dog has no training or discipline, they can turn out to be very disruptive and unmanageable. Dogs need to have a good understanding of the rules of the house and that it is important to listen to the pack leader, which should be you.
Training classes teach your dog to be patient while waiting their turn to complete a task, they also learn that a calm well-behaved dog is rewarded with treats and positive reinforcement.
It doesn’t even matter if your dog is a puppy or an older dog, their are classes for all ages of dogs. Making sure that you research dog training in your area, will help make sure that you pick a class that will suit your dog’s issues. There is no point in spending your money on the right dog class for your dog.
You can even ask friends that are dog owners to get some recommendations of training that they have already used. No point in reinventing the wheel. Raising a dog takes a village, so make sure to reach out to anyone that can help. Personal dog experiences can be very helpful.
Escape artist or cool dog.
Sometimes dogs will dig if they are left outside on a hot day. Why is that you ask? Well it could be that your dog is hot and digging down farther in the dirt can provide a cool spot for them to lay. Laying on the dirt with their belly will definitely cool them down.
Make sure if you are leaving your dog in the backyard for a long period of time that you provide shade for your dog. It could be something as easy as a cool dog house, or a covered deck that offers some shade for them to lay.
The other reason that a dog maybe starting to dig in your yard is they are trying to escape out of the yard. Dogs can dig in the yard around the fence line, in hopes of digging their way out. Digging long enough, can create a nice hole for them to sneak out of. Next thing you know, you have a loose dog that can easily become lost.
Whether your dog is digging to get out or just stay cool, both of these reasons can be easily fixed. Never leave a digging dog in the backyard while you are at work. That is far to much time to be left alone. If you absolutely need to leave your dog outside while you are away, then you should be building your dog an outdoor dog kennel.
A safe space for them to avoid getting in trouble.
No more digging.
There are many reasons that dogs dig, but the reality is, it generally is a behavior issue. Sometimes we don’t even realize the real reason that you have a dog that digs.
Understanding your dog is really important. Having a dog is a full-time job that requires your full attention. Being a dog owner is something that you can’t take lightly.
Paying attention to your dog inside the house, is just as important as it is outside in the yard. “Idle hands is the devils work” is a saying I think we have all heard before. Generally this is used to describe a child that has too much time alone. Well being a dog owner this can be just as true. Your dog needs to stay busy and have some type of job that will keep their mind working.
Physical exercise is important for sure, but so is mental stimulation. A puppy is especially prone to becoming distracted very easy. Keeping their mind moving will tire them out much faster than a run or walk. When it is time to let them out in the yard to do their business, keep it short and supervised.
I hope that you have found some helpful tips in my post of how to stop dogs from digging in your backyard. Best of luck!