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Why Dogs Dig and What You Can Do

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What to Do If Your Dog Digs continued...

If Your Dog Digs to Entertain Herself

Many dogs dig for the fun of it. This type of digging is the hardest to treat because the action of digging is rewarding in and of itself. To achieve success, rather than attempting to eliminate the behavior, try to redirect your dog’s digging to an acceptable place.

  1. Encourage your dog to dig in an area you have allocated specifically for this activity. Build a digging pit that is especially enticing. To learn how, please see our article, Creating a Digging Pit for Your Dog.
  2. Try to discourage digging in inappropriate locations by installing garden fencing around areas where you don’t want your dog to dig. Just the effort of going over or through a fence will stop some dogs. Others may need more convincing. You can try stringing tight twine across planters to create a “roof” through which your plants can grow. Should your dog hop the fence and jump into your planters, the twine is bound to feel unpleasant on her feet. If this fails, you can install a motion-activated device that sounds a loud alarm or turns on a water hose. (Of course, this plan will NOT work if your dog enjoys playing with the water hose!) Alternatively, you can try using a product called a Snappy Trainer, which looks like a mousetrap. It’s designed to make a loud snapping noise that merely startles the dog but won’t harm her. You can place Snappy Trainers all around your plants so that when your dog touches them, a sudden unpleasant sound surprises her.
  3. Some experts recommend burying a dog’s feces in the holes she has dug. If she returns to dig more in those holes, the presence of the feces can discourage her. However, she’s likely to just start a new hole somewhere else. This suggestion is only appropriate if your dog is repeatedly digging in a single undesirable place and you don’t mind if she digs elsewhere.

If Your Dog Digs to Bury Her Stuff

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