In this article, we take a look at how to get your dog to quit digging. Digging is a natural instinct for many different dog breeds. Unfortunately, the majority of the time it is an undesired behavior. It can result in holes in your yard, damaged plants, and sometimes damage to your dog as it can hurt itself when digging.
These tips and tricks will be able to help you quickly and easily stop your dogs urge to dig. We will be covering some home remedies as well as commercial products to assist you with your goal.
How To Get Your Dog To Quit Digging
Dogs dig for a number of different reasons, these include playing, to bury toys and food, escape, to hunt, their breed, for entertainment, and to stay warm or cool. If can you work out the reason behind your dog digging holes then your chances of being able to stop it improve.
That said, digging is a natural instinct for almost all dog breeds making it difficult to totally stop. Some dog breeds have been specifically bred to have the instinct to dig. For example, terrier breeds have been bred to hunt rats and dig them out from their nests.
Control When You Give Your Dog Attention
Although usually the fault of the dog owner, some dogs begin to associate negative behavior with getting the attention they desire. For example, your dog digs in your yard, you run out to stop it and end up chasing our dog. This can end up in your dog building a cause and effect relationship in its mind of digging equals play time and chases. From then on, whenever your dog wants attention, one of its first attempts will become to go out and dig the yard up.
If you suspect that this may be one of the reasons your dog is digging be sure to ignore your dogs digging. Only show your dog attention when it displays desired behavior in an attempt to break its cause and effect relationship of digging equals attention.
Be sure to offer your dog attention early in the morning too. This helps reaffirm that your dog is still part of what it sees as its pack and reduces the chance of it thinking it has to prove itself.
Another common reason that dogs will dig is due to being bored. Other signs that your dog is digging due to boredom is whining, laying down and staring at nothing, and displaying hyperactive behavior such as randomly sprinting short distances.
Providing your dog with plenty of exciting or interactive dog toys is a relatively easy way to help reduce boredom. Getting additional dogs to give your existing dog a buddy to play with is also a common way to reduce your dog’s boredom.
If you are able to, exercise your dog multiple times per day too, if you are unable to take your dog for long walks each day then there are other options available to you. For example, doggy treadmills have increased in popularity over the past few years. If you choose to do the doggy treadmill route then our article on getting your dog to use a treadmill may be helpful to you.
Another common way to burn up your dog’s excess energy is to play fetch with your dog and its favorite ball. If you have the spare space then a ChuckIt! can greatly extend your throw range meaning your dog has to run further getting more exercise quicker.
Display Your Disapproval
There are a number of training techniques that are suitable for displaying your disapproval of your dog digging. Although these can be effective, you have to try and ensure that your dog can not think these are a game or attention. These techniques include:-
- Pet Corrector Deterrent Sprays.
- Dog Training Collars (set to vibrate or alarm rather than shock if needed).
For these to be effective, you have to catch your dog digging and then issue to punishment. This helps your dog associate digging with negative behavior and stop digging in the future.
Remember that punishing your dog if you find a new hole but your dog is off doing something else does not help. A disconnect will have formed between digging and the punishment and your dog may associate its current activity as the reason for the punishment.
There are some preventative methods you can deploy if you rarely catch your dog digging. These will help discourage the digging and break your dog’s habit. These methods include:-
- Burying Chicken Wire (Just under the surface of the soil is perfect).
- Burying Rocks At Your Dogs Digging Spot.
- Putting Fencing Around Your Dogs Digging Spot.
These methods work by adding discomfort to your dog’s paws when it digs or by blocking your dog off from its favorite digging spot.
The Best Dog Digging Deterrent
It is a safe and humane digging deterrent that many dog owners report having successful training experiences with. At the time of writing, the pet corrector has over 1900 positive independent reviews from dog owners on Amazon.
The Best No Dig Dog Collar
Even when set to vibrate or alarm, they work extremely well as a dog digging deterrent product with the Petrainer PET998DRB1 being one of the best dog collars to stop digging on the market.
The Best Anti Digging Dog Boots
If you do choose to try dog socks to stop digging then our article on getting your dog to wear dog boots quickly may be helpful. This is due to some dogs initially protesting at having boots on but they tend to quickly get used to them and go about their business.
Home Remedies To Stop Your Dog From Digging
There are also a number of homemade dog repellent recipes that you can take advantage of. These are usually based around using the natural dog digging deterrents of citrus or the more effective cayenne pepper. Both substances work in slightly different ways to each other and can have a greater effect when used at the same time.
The citrus works as a dog digging deterrent by irritating your dog’s nose when it gets close to where you have sprinkled the extract. This helps deter your dog from entering the area and digging holes. The cayenne pepper also has a similar effect on your dog’s nose, especially if it starts digging and kicks the pepper into the air. The main benefit of sprinkling the pepper is its irritating sensation on your dog’s paws. When your dog begins to dig, the pepper gets on your dog’s paw pads and irritates it helping to discourage digging.
How To Stop A Dog From Digging Under A Fence
If you are looking at how to stop a dog from digging under a fence then there are tips we have covered earlier in the article that you can take advantage of.
Using Chicken Wire
The most common method to stop a dog from digging under a fence is to use chicken wire. Add the chicken wire to the bottom of your fence and then bury it. Adding around two feet of chicken wire should be enough. Some dog owners will also add around two feet of chicken wire around an inch under the surface of the soil around their fencing.
Although not painful in any way to your dog, chicken wire adds an uncomfortable sensation when your dog attempts to dig. It also offers a physical layer to prevent your dog from being able to dig deep enough to get under the fence.
Our next suggestion is to partially bury large rocks around the base of the fence. The theory behind this strategy is that the rocks form a physical barrier to help prevent your dog being able to dig under the fence.
Rocks can also provide an awkward sensation on your dog’s paws when it tries to dig against them. Over time this can be enough to prevent your dog from attempting to dig in that location anymore.
How To Stop A Dog From Digging Up Plants
In our opinion, the easiest way to stop your dog from digging up plants is to use large rocks. Partially bury the rocks around your plants to help discourage digging in the same way we explained above.
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