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Why Does My Dog Dig?

There it is! A huge hole in your newly mown lawn! It is so frustrating! Digging is unfortunatly a typical dog behaviour, but it can be incredibly annoying, especially if it’s destroying your garden! We know dogs dig, but why do they do it, and can this behaviour be stopped?

Reasons dogs dig

There are a few reasons why your dog is clawing away at mad at the soil, one of these being to keep cooler or warmer. Holes are made in the shade or in sunny spots, creating a den-like spot to bask in to stay comfortable. If it is a really hot day and you think your dog should be relaxing inside, and find them digging, it may be worth trying to help them cool off with some shade or ice cubes

One of the most common reasons for digging is when they are burying their toys or treats. This is an old survival trait when wild dogs had to bury food to find and eat later. Today, dogs still do it as it is an instinct that kicks in, more so in some breeds than others.  You may even see the trying to dig holes indoors to hide toys!

Dogs might also dig because it’s in their nature. Terriers especially have a knack for digging, especially if the scent of a small ground-dwelling rodent is picked up on and the dog is trying to get to it. They may also be trying to escape (this can be common for bitches in season who will do anything to escape!)

Finally, dogs might dig just because it is entertainment! This is usually the reason behind finding several small holes all over the place.

How to stop the habit

It is important to find out why your dog is digging in effort to stop him. If he is too hot, then consider getting a shaded dog house or wading pool. An insulated dog house will also keep a dog warm in the cooler months.

Alternatively, some dog owners have dedicated digging areas for their dogs! They do this by fencing off a small area and encourage digging in that area alone. Some experts recommend filling the holes in the yard with the dog’s faeces as dogs are unlikely to dig near there again.

Don’t scold your dog for the holes already dug. They won’t understand what they’re being scolded for, especially if it is in their nature, and it is not a great idea to scold them when you find them digging as it can reinforce their behaviour.  Try giving him a Barker and Barker Natural Dog Treat when he is playing with toys without digging, to reinforce his positive behaviour. You could also try hiding some Little Liver Barker & Barker dog treats in toys, or training balls, to keep him busy and distracted.

Keep coming back to Barker and Barker for more dog news!

Posted On: 27/08/2017

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