Sometimes your deepest nightmare just comes to life. First, you tend to your garden or lawn every single day. Also, you make sure the flowers are nice and the soil is neat. At the same time, you make sure that the landscape is on point. It serves as a leisure activity for you and at the same time, who doesn’t want to have an admirable garden or lawn, right? But then, one day, as you head off to work, you see everything pockmarked with holes. There is a savaged turf and some of the crops you planted are already destroyed. And then the culprit suddenly pops out of nowhere with dirty mouth and feet. Now, you are desperately asking on how to get your dog to stop digging holes.
The first thing you need to know is that this behavior of your pet isn’t just out of nowhere.
WHY DO DOGS DIG HOLES?
A dog that doesn’t have the opportunity to meet their mental and physical need to be stimulated will most likely dig holes. If there is no other activity that will excite them, they will surely focus their attention on what is most convenient to mess up with: soil.
*ANXIETY OR PANIC
A dog that experiences an anxiety attack or a panic attack will lash out and dogging holes on the ground will be one of their reactions to cope.
*BURIAL OF POSSESSIONS
Dogs, like us, treasure their cherished possessions too and those are toys, treats, and foods in general. They will dig holes to hide those from anyone, especially other dogs or any other animal. As soon as there is no more threat around, they will dig those up and enjoy by themselves.
*TO STAY WARM
Also, one of the reasons as to why dogs dig holes is because of weather or climate factors. If it is particularly cold, they will dig so they can bury themselves and stay warm.
A dog which senses a threat around, like unfamiliar animals and people, will dig a hole to hide and secure themselves. Obviously, it is a defense mechanism.
All dogs have the tendency to dig holes, but others are more prone to it. Digging can be a really hardwired behavior in some breeds. These dogs are bred to hunt that is why it is in their very nature to dig holes on the ground. Even if they are already domesticated and there is no prey to hunt in their environment, they will most likely to still do it.
The Jack Rusell Terrier is among the top dog diggers and is bred to be hunters. Next, there is the Border Collie that is just extremely playful that is why they may turn to digging out of wanting to be mentally and physically stimulated. The Beagle is a hound dog, so yes, it likes to dig too. The Alaskan Malamute is an active and working breed hailing from the North that is known to dig to either stay warm or stay cold, depending on the weather. Another breed in the list is the Siberian Husky that is known to be an escape artist, so they are really called on to dig holes on the ground.
These are just some of the dog breeds that are most likely to dig holes. If your pet dog is a digger by nature, then you have your answer and you can’t blame your pet for it. If your dog can talk, it would most possibly say that “it is just what it is.”
All dogs are programmed to hunt. Yes, some are more inclined to do so as explained above, but generally, dogs are just designed to dig from time to time. They have an impeccable sense of smell, so if they smell something foreign, they will dig it up in curiosity as well as to solve the problem.
HOW TO GET YOUR DOG TO STOP DIGGING HOLES?
Now that you know why dogs dig holes, it is time to move to the real deal: how to stop them from doing so if the said inclination is getting destructive to your property?
Giving your dog exercises isn’t only to just solve a digging problem, but it is a must for the dog’s well-being. Now, the exercises being mentioned here, are more rigorous or more frequent. With this, they will be distracted from the ground into an activity that will actually benefit their physical body.
*PLAY WITH YOUR PET/ INDUCE MENTAL STIMULATION
How to get your dog to stop digging holes? Another solution is to give more time to your pet. Be by its side as much as possible and play games, especially games that it likes like flying disks. You can also teach your pet some tricks that will surely stimulate it and be a source of great fun!
*GIVE MORE TOYS OR TREATS
Get more toys that will distract him. You can try tennis balls, plushies, or rope toys. Give your pet dog some treats too in between its meals, so its mind won’t wander to your garden or lawn. If you want to combine the power of toys and teats to really divert your dog’s attention away from digging, get a treat-dispensing toy that it will surely adore!
*PROVIDE A GOOD HABITAT
If your pet’s dog house is placed outside, make sure that it is a good habitat for them. See to it that it is under a shade as well as made of strong and thick materials that are just enough to maintain a balance atmosphere inside: not too hot and not too cold. This will indeed provide a comfortable environment for them to relax and sleep that they won’t need to dig to adjust in a temperature that they don’t fancy.
*PROVIDE DIGGING DETERRENTS
If your dog won’t just stop digging, you may opt to use digging deterrents such as partially buried rocks in specific spots it always digs in, buried plastic chicken wire or netting under the soil, shrubs serving as borders, vinegar and other things that gives off an unfavorable smell, or a motion sensor sprinkler system.
Look for signs of rats and other pests because sometimes, these preys are the reason why your pet dog is digging holes. Certainly, your pet can smell them. So if you already solve this pest problem, your dog won’t probably make a mess.
As stated earlier, your pet may be having an anxiety attack or a panic attack that is why they are digging. Most likely, this can be due to a shift in their environment that they are finding hard to cope to. A good example is you and your pet moving into a new area. Consequently, your pet may be having a panic as it finds itself in a new place that it doesn’t know anything about. Without a doubt, it feels threatened. For this reason, the way to help your pet to adjust is by spending time with it to let it know that it is safe. Another example is your pet having a separation anxiety from a human or a fellow animal that it has a close bond with. Again, the way to solve this is by showering your pet tons of affection and attention.
On the other hand, there are instances when their anxieties are caused by some medical conditions. This is why having a regular appointment with a veterinarian is really crucial to your pet’s overall well-being. You will just be able to know in advance some issues that may be harmful in the future, so you can do the right actions know. If you find out that your pet is having a disease causing it to have an anxiety, you can already look for solutions to help your pet. Then you will most likely not see your dog digging holes just to release its stress.
*TELL YOUR PET NO
This is a no-brainer. Just directly tell your pet dog that such behavior isn’t allowed in the household. Of course, a little scold here and there is okay in order to discipline dogs. Hopefully, your pet realizes that you are really upset, so it obeys.
*MAKE A DIGGING ZONE
If you tried everything and your dog isn’t just cooperating, then you need to take on this last option: giving them an area where it is okay to dig as many holes as they want. You just need to really train them to go to that zone if they want to dig. It will maybe take some time for them to understand, but it is very possible.
When you find yourself already asking the question of how to get your dog to stop digging holes, you know that you are already facing a mess, a literal one! But you don’t need to be stressed anymore. Try each one of these solutions and pick the one that your dog responds to.
Remember, a scold from time to time is okay, but never ever punish your dog because they are digging. It is just their very nature. For the most part, they will obey you through any one of these options. Therefore, you just need to be a little more patient with them.