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What to Do About a Dog Digging Holes in the Garden – Owner Tips

Dog owners are often perplexed by a dog digging holes in the garden. Here are some reasons for this unwanted canine bahavior and tips to stop a dog digging.

Anybody with a dog digging holes knows that this is not a very funny canine activity. Holes in the lawn, muddy paws and red-faced owner when the dog digs holes on someone else’s property. What can you do about a dog digging holes?

Why Dogs Dig Holes

The first thing to understand before trying to stop a dog digging holes is to know why dogs dig holes. Hole digging is actually an instinctive behaviour for dogs. Dogs usually dig holes because they think it is fun or are either:

  • lonely
  • bored
  • trying to keep cool in hot weather
  • attracted to the smell in the garden

Remedies to Stop Dogs Digging Holes

By knowing the reasons why dogs digup gardens, you can take action to stop this unwanted canine behaviour. Here some tips to stop dogs digging holes:

  • Keep your dog entertained – make sure that your canine companion has plenty to keep him busy. Alternate your dog’s toys and occassionaly give him a bone or rope to gnaw on. Try not to leave him for long periods of time on his own. If your dog does have to spend long hours alone, consider hiring a dog-walker or sitter. This could be the perfect job for a teenager or pensioner.
  • Keep your dog cool – dogs dig holes in hot weather to try keep cool in the damp earth. Keep long- haired species trimmed, make sure your dog always has access to clean, cool water and perhaps splash out with a kiddies paddling pool for your canine friend. Do make sure he can easily get out on his own though.
  • Investigate the digging area – if you find that your dog is digging holes repeatedly in the same spot then investigate if there is something particularly interesting in the vicinity like a compost heap, fragrant plant or bone buried there. Make the area less interesting by putting your dog’s own poop in this area. For some reason, many dogs are put off by their own faeces – although there are some dogs who eat their own poo. If this is the case with your dog, you can try sprinkle the dog ‘s digging area with cayenne or chilli powder instead.
  • Firmly reprimand your dog for digging holes. If you catch him in the act of digging in the garden, sternly tell your dog off. If he has a favourite digging spot, then try burying balloons in the area or chicken wire under the digging spot. Both will give him an unpleasant surprise if he continues digging and hopefully deter your dog from any further digging.

Remember, your dog is not being bad for digging holes – it is just his instinctive behaviour. But with some stimulation and other distractions, as well as gentle reprimands for repeated digging, your pet should hopefully start leaving your garden intact.

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