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How to stop a dog from digging?

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Janet Johns
How to stop a dog from digging?

Why do dogs dig holes? Well, you may just think they are playing or messing about and it is something you have to deal with. But as it turns out, there may be a serious reason for their endeavours into the soil. It may be infuriating when your yard is ruined and covered in soil, but before you get really angry at dogs digging holes, why not sit back, relax and read this to learn about what your dog might be digging a hole in the first place. It might just surprise you. Here are some common reasons why your doggy may be digging a hole and, perhaps more crucially from your point of view, how to stop them.

Why Do Dogs Dig Holes?

To truly understand how to stop dogs digging holes, you must first understand why dogs dig holes. There are so many different reasons why they may, and some of them may surprise you. 

Looking for freedom

One of the more common reasons is because they are “digging themselves out of prison”. This means the reason they are messing up your beautiful garden is because they feel bored or trapped. Are you walking your dog enough? If not, perhaps that’s a good place to start, or maybe you are walking the same route every day and they feel trapped, or failing that you could go and see other dogs, perhaps they have separation issues.

Fear

Escaping may also be a sign of fear; perhaps they’re scared of your lawnmower or, more likely, the neighbours dog. 

Stashing food

Dogs digging holes can be common when they are trying to stash food, too, so keep an eye out for the cheeky souls! 

Breed and gender

Interestingly, the reason for dogs digging holes can relate to their gender and breed. Terriers are natural hunters so do this as part of searching for their prey, while it can be part of the mating process.

How Can I Find Out Why My Dog is Digging Holes? 

The best way you can find out why dogs dig holes is by exploring all the aforementioned reasons. You can usually narrow it down by looking at their behaviour around the house, out on walks, when they’re eating or if they meet other dogs. Also, though, digging holes it just something many dogs do; according to a national survey, a staggering 83% of dogs across America are known to dig holes, because it is a survival trait many animals show in the wild. You can train dogs to behave a certain way, and they’re always desperate to please their owners, but since it is part of their nature, it may be unhealthy to try and change it.

How To Keep Dogs From Digging 

You need to take different approaches to stopping it once you know why dogs dig holes, and it depends on which of the above reasons it turns out to be. If you get pet insurance, you are covered if your dog  contracts an illness or gets injured while digging a hole. As mentioned, if your dog is looking to break out of the garden so to speak, then walk them more and make them feel more comfortable at home. Another reason why dogs dig holes could be because they are trying to trace the source of a sound or smell that has been bothering them, so a way to stop them digging is to eradicate that particular problem. But as long as your dog is well cared for and healthy, there should be no need to keep dogs from digging, as annoying as it can be to keep your garden or yard tidy and clean. Dogs don’t ever want to disobey their owners, so the way to keep them from digging holes is to treat them well and show them that it is wrong. That really is the beauty of dogs, the first thing you need to know is they’re kind natured. Even in more aggressive breeds, there isn’t much evidence to suggest their violent streak is purely down to their nature. In fact most of it comes from nurture, so it is important to bring them up right.