Dogs dig for lots of reasons and whilst there’s no direct harm to the dog, it does leave the garden looking rather messy.
There are many reasons as to why dogs dig and it’s not always easy to prevent your dog from doing so. Often, dogs have lots of reasons as to why they like to dig in your precious garden, and to help prevent them from causing a lot of damage, you will need to understand why they’re digging and then apply preventative measures to prevent then from repeating this behaviour. A few simple measures put in place will hopefully prevent any form of punishment or banning them from the garden for the forcible.
Listed below are various reasons as to why dogs like to dig and helpful tips to help prevent this behaviour.
Some dog breeds like to dig and bury their favourite bone or toy in the garden, for them to play with another day. Often, the bone can be left there for some time and when it is eventually dug up it’s pretty disgusting. If you do give your dog bones, maybe look to replace one of their meals with a delicious bone, so, you can be sure that they’ve eaten the whole bone. You should ensure that the bones you give your dog are raw and not chicken bones that can splinter and cause damage to your dog’s throat and in some cases cause them to choke. You must always supervise your dog whilst they chew on a bone, to prevent them from damaging their teeth and chewing too quickly.
Dogs like to dig to keep cool
Some dog breeds like to dig a nice big hole so they can lie in it and keep cool. If this is the case, you should look for ways to keep their bed cool and comfortable. You should first look to move their bed into a shady spot away from the heat and direct sunlight. During the warmer months, place something cold like a wet towel to keep them cool. If possible, don’t place their bed on a carpeted area as this will cause insulation and make their bed warmer. You must always ensure that their bed and bedding is washed on a hot cycle to help reduce allergies, dust mites and fleas. If your dog does get hot very easily, it’s worth investing in a bed that absorbs the smell that might come from your dog during a hot summer’s day.
Dogs also dig holes because they’re bored and unstimulated. Any dog breed that doesn’t receive adequate exercise and mental stimulation will become bored and destructive. If your dog is showing this kind of behaviour, then you should look to increase their activity levels. You could also look to join a dog walking group to socialise your dog and mentally stimulate them. You can also look to invest in various toys and treats that are designed to stimulate your dog and prevent them from becoming bored. Like with any toy, they should always be supervised when playing to prevent them from choking or damaging their teeth.
Allocate a digging spot
If all else fails and your dog is still digging, then you can look to allocate a certain spot in the garden where they can peacefully dig. You can do this by cordoning off an area and placing sand there or a children’s shell pool that they can dig in. Digging in sand is much better than digging in soil. You can make this spot more attractive by placing all their favourite outdoor toys there or burying them in the sandpit so they can dig them out. If your dog still insists on digging elsewhere in the garden, then you must gently re-direct them to their designated digging spot and give them positive encouragement for digging and playing in that area. Many dog breeds like to join their owners whilst they’re gardening. If your dog does this, encourage them to play in their spot whilst you do your thing in the garden. If your dog is still being naughty and making their way over to other parts of the garden, you can cordon areas off by placing large pebbles or rocks around the base of the plants or areas where your dog is banned from. You must ensure your garden is free from any poisonous flowers or plants, or, consider suitable measures to prevent your dog from accessing any areas that can cause problems to their health. Finally, whilst it can be very annoying, if your dog is constantly digging in your garden, you must never punish them, instead, re-direct their behaviour and encourage them to play in their own spot or with their favourite toy. Providing plenty of love and positive encouragement will go a long way and hopefully prevent your dog from displaying destructive behaviour in your garden.