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Damn Digging Dog!

Aug 17, 2007
You'll never stop them from doing it until you figure out why they're doing it. You can tell a lot from where they're digging and the types of holes they dig.

Holes By The Fence: Holes by the fence mean that dogs are digging to escape - sometimes because something is intriguing them, but mainly because they're bored and looking for action. Pets who haven't been neutered, of course, have more compelling reasons to get out.

Holes Near The House: Holes by the house are a sign that dogs are lonely and want to get inside where the people are.

Holes Scattered Around The Yard: Shallow holes scattered around the yard usually indicate that a dog is trying to get comfortable. Holes are cool in summer and warm in winter.

Supplying a wading pool filled with cool water or, in winter, giving dogs a sheltered place with a warm bed will often stop them from digging. These dogs are just trying to get comfortable, and they'd be perfectly content to not have to labor for their comfort.

Happy Diggers

It's quite easy to recognize dogs who dig just for the thrill of it. They look happy. In addition, dogs who have a specific purpose in mind usually dig when they're alone.

Happy diggers, on the other hand, will do it any time. In fact, they may be more likely to dig when people are around, because they want to share their excitement.

It's not impossible to teach dogs to leave the dirt alone, but it's an uphill fight - and the dogs are usually the winners. Compromise is usually a better choice than confrontation.

We all want our dogs to have nice, complete lives and If digging is their passion, you can help them find a way to do it that doesn't destroy your property.

1. Pick an acceptable spot. Unless your yard is the size of a postage stamp, there's sure to be a place where you wouldn't mind having a few holes. It can't be too far out of the way, however, because dogs avoid places where they feel isolated.

It has to be a place where they feel comfortable. Look at the holes your dog has already dug to get clues about her choice of terrain.

2. Bury something good. Dogs aren't going to start digging just because you point to a spot and say, "Dig." You have to make it worth their while. Dig a small hole yourself and bury a bone or one of your dog's favorite toys.

Let her watch while you do it. This will give her the idea, and it won't take long before she notices a familiar, intriguing scent wafting up from the ground. Then she's on her own.

3. Cheer her on. Once she starts tunneling, encourage her. Act excited. Maybe get down on all fours and dig a little yourself. Enthusiasm is contagious.

Your excitement will let her know that she's on to something, and she'll keep digging to get more of that good energy.
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