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Why Goldendoodles Dig
Mixing two breeds of dogs can often yield adorable, healthy, and desirable dogs that become a breed in their own right. Goldendoodles are among the best examples of this. Originating from a mix of Golden Retrievers and Poodles, Goldendoodles have become highly desirable companions for their trainability and easygoing personalities. As with almost all dogs, Goldendoodles love to dig. This behavior can sometimes be more excessive in Goldendoodles because of certain temperament traits that make them more prone to destructive behaviors. If you have been dealing with a Goldendoodle who likes to dig holes in your backyard, here are some reasons why he might be doing so, and what you can do to keep your yard from turning into a minefield.
The Root of the Behavior
Digging is one of the most common dog behaviors, and it is shared across all breeds of dogs. The activity is pleasurable and instinctive, harkening back to the days when dogs traveled in packs and stored their food underground for safekeeping. Today, dogs will bury everything from treats to their favorite toys, and the more active the dog, the more likely he is to take up digging as a hobby. The behavior is also more common in younger dogs who discover the activity instinctively. If you own a puppy or young Goldendoodle, you can count on a digging phase with almost absolute certainty. Goldendoodles seem to like to dig more than the average dog, and this may be because they tend to be particularly energetic and engaged. They love to play, and if you have raised a Goldendoodle, then you know that these dogs require a lot of time, attention, and love to be happy.
They do not like to be separated from their owners for a long period of time, and they require daily play and exercise in order to keep fit and mentally healthy. That being said, Goldendoodles aren’t difficult dogs to raise, and they don’t need a lot of wide open space to get the playtime that they need. It boils down to the attention that your Goldendoodle is receiving, and the general activity levels at which he operates. Whenever a dog gets bored, especially Goldendoodles, the likelihood for destructive behaviors increases. Digging most commonly arises in dogs because they have nothing else to do! If you notice that your Goldendoodle is spending a lot of time digging around in the backyard while you are gone, it may be that he is simply getting rid of boredom, nervousness, or anxious energy. This includes coping with separation anxiety, which many Goldendoodles suffer from at a young age. Staying engaged with your dog on a daily basis will help to make sure that he does not fall into destructive habits like digging as he grows up.
Encouraging the Behavior
In order to stop your dog’s destructive digging habits, you will first need to identify the reason that your dog is digging. In most cases involving young Goldendoodles, the reason will be boredom, but there are other reasons that a dog might dig. If you live in a warm or hot climate, your Goldendoodle may be digging to escape the heat. You can watch to see if your Goldendoodle is burying anything, or if he is simply digging just to dig. Finally, consider whether or not the digging occurs while you are home, or while you are gone. These signs will help you determine whether or not the issue is behavioral or linked to an external factor.
In the case of a bored Goldendoodle, the simplest way to remedy the behavior is to provide your dog with plenty of other activities to pursue throughout its day to day life. Make sure that you are an active and everyday part of your Goldendoodle’s life, otherwise he will not thrive the way he is supposed to. Some Goldendoodle owners report that even playing a radio or checking in with your dog remotely can help curb separation anxiety. These are among the most affectionate and dependent dogs that you will find and stopping behaviors like digging is often a matter of showing them a better activity and occupying their attention long enough for them to stop on their own.
Other Solutions and Considerations
Goldendoodles are still too young of a breed to have firmly established breed traits, but they are reaching the point where their general breed tendencies are becoming standardized. For the most part, treating these dogs with lots of love and attention will help to ensure that they maintain their fun, positive, and trusting personalities. Make sure to keep your Goldendoodle active and mentally stimulated and watch for any destructive behaviors that might arise as a result of stress or anxiety. You are the focal point of your Goldendoodle’s day to day life, so if you own one, make sure that you are able to spend enough time with him every day.
You may not be able to stop all instances of digging in your Goldendoodle but understanding why your dog engages in this behavior can go a long way in curtailing it. Furthermore, trying to understand your dog will create a deeper bond between the two of you. As a golden rule, remember that your Goldendoodle will always prefer playing with you to digging holes in your yard.
By a Australian Shepherd lover Jonah Erickson
Published: 04/19/2018, edited: 01/30/2020
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