You spend weeks and months every year ensuring your yard is well looked after and looks great in those summer months. So when you walk downstairs in the morning and you see what looks like a bomb has gone off in your yard, well then you’re not too happy. Of course, it’s your canine friend who has a rather annoying habit of digging holes. Whatever you seem to do, he seems to find a way around it and all your hard work in the yard is undone. Instead of seeing grass when you look out the window, there is just a sea of craters.
You need to train him to stop digging holes for your sanity. You don’t want your hard work in the yard to all be for nothing, plus you don’t enjoy the mud he brings back into the house afterward.
Training your dog not to dig holes will require a number of different steps. First, you will need to find an effective deterrent to make him think twice before he starts digging. You’ll also need to motivate him to not dig holes using some mouth-watering food. You’ll then need to channel his energy into something more productive. If he’s a puppy and this habit is in its early days then you may get a handle on it in just a week. If this something he’s been up to for many years then you may need a month to finally kick the habit.
You need to succeed with this training, otherwise, your once clean carpets will be brown forever. Your partner may also have a heart attack if he goes into the yard again and sees any more holes. Today is the day you declare war on your dog’s favorite pastime.
Before you can get to work you’ll need to go out and collect a few bits. Your dog's favorite food broken into small pieces or treats will be needed. You’ll also need some chewy puzzle toys to redirect his energy.
Citronella or water spraying deterrence collars will play a part in one of the methods. Apart from that you just need time to be vigilant and catch him in the act each day.
Once you’ve got all of that, it’s time to head out into the yard and put an end to the digging!
My dog digs in his bed often, I don't know why but I know sometimes he does that to try to escape the crate when we arrive home. I think his digging is partly of anxiety, but for the rest of the digging before falling asleep, I do not know why.
For the anxiety when we arrive home, should I wait for him to calm down then take him out, or should I teach him quiet?
And how do I stop him from destroying his bed? I now use rags since his bed is basically gone now. He seems to not mind the surface he sleeps on, though.
Hello Kien, The digging is likely due to boredom. Many dogs also dig to make their sleeping area more comfortable before laying down. It's theorized that they do it because if they were outside in the wild, they would dig the earth to create a cooler or warmer spot to sleep in. Check out primoads.com . Those beds are more durable than soft beds. Also, putting a food stuffed Kong or favorite durable chew toy in the crate with him will give him something other than just dig to do while in the crate. The food stuffed toy will also help with any potential anxiety too. When you let him out of the crate, ignore him for 5-10 minutes after you get home (unless you know he needs to pee badly enough that he may have an accident). When you open the crate door, slowly open it and if he tries to go through the opening, silently close the door again quickly. Repeat this until you can open the door, leave it open, and he will wait inside the crate with the door open. When he is waiting, then tell him "okay!" and encourage him to come out. This exercise teaches him to control his own impulses and calm back down. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello. I have two questions:
1. What should I do if there is something in the ground and notice that my dog is digging it up?
2. Should I let my dog bury treats? If not, how do I stop it?
Hello Genesis, Is pup an outside dog, that's left unattended outside or are you outside when pup is digging? If you are there, I recommend teaching Leave It, providing pup with something to chew, like a bone that won't chip or a dog food stuffed chew toy like a Kong. Leave It will need to be practiced consistently. How to Teach Leave It section: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-not-to-chew/ As far as burying treats, I would either teach pup not to do it completely, or some people provide a sandbox type contained area and teach pup to only dig in there to avoid the yard being dug up. If you live on several acres and the holes don't bother you, it's not necessarily an issue, but most people have a limited area and it would result in pup digging up the yard overtime, so they prefer to teach pup not to. If pup is being left outside unattended, they are probably bored, so I would provide something for pup to entertain themselves with safely, work on the Leave It practice when you are there, and if pup is digging up a specific spot you can either block off that area, or use an automatic pet deterrent device made for the outdoors and set the range very small, so it simply enforces pup staying away from that little digging area, when you aren't there to supervise also. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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