Digging Bullies




Had a digger before, do you have one now? Digging is a natural instinct for dogs, from hunting to shelter…dogs dig.

There are circumstances that could explain a little to help you understand the root cause to the behavior… no pun intended.

Most common cause of digging is boredom, high energy dogs develop bad habits out of boredom. If a dog is in a secured back yard most of the day, try to provide safe forms of entertainment. Baby pool, spring pole are just a few.

Speaking of a dog in a secured back yard, shelter is a good reason for a dog to dig….does the hole look kinda like a nest??? Dogs are den animals, you might experience a dog digging under their beautiful and expensive dog house. Digging or scraping out areas to bed is common in males as well as female dogs.

Temperature fluctuation is another reason for digging…Hot weather, dogs will dig down to cooler temperature earth…especially around shaded parts of the yard.. Cooler weather can have dogs digging near the house, warmth generated inside a poorly insulated house will entice fido to dig near a window well, or a frequently used door.

Hunting, Terrier breeds were specifically bred to track and kill vermin. Rodents to be exact, rats, mice, gophers, moles and not limited to them, as squirrels, chipmunks, and various other small prey are on the menu. If feeding a diet of raw meat may not turn your dog into a killer, but if the opportunity did arise to catch something he might eat it. I have seen many dogs catch and kill small prey, but then leave them alone after wards….I would have to come behind and dispose of the corpses myself.

Hiding goodies…yes the cartoons where the doggie runs outside to bury his bones is an actual behavior. I have not experienced this as my dogs have always chowed down on their bones and never had “leftovers” to hide!

For females that are close to whelp litters may have urgent needs to get outside and dig. This is natural part of the “nesting” stage right before the onset of labor. Males may feel the need to dig to “escape” when females in the neighborhood go into heat.

Try to asses your situation, If you do not have a dog house, its a good idea to get one, make sure it is placed in a place where there is adequate shade. Provide bedding during cold months or think about an inside facility. Some breeds do better in colder weather than hot if your dog is overheating please think about an indoor facility as well. Reproductive reasons for digging for females are easy to control, but your male making the great escape to have a secret love affair down the street with FiFi might require a little extra effort. Sinking chicken wire about 12 inches or so at the base of your fence can be effective. Electrical fencing can be used, usually it only takes a couple shocks and your dog will not test the wire again, and you can disarm it. Invisible fencing is again a tool to help train a dog. The biggest mistake people make is thinking this is a fool proof way of securing your dog. It is not, but used with a conventional fence it can help reduce the likely hood of Scooby-doo making his monthly Houdini acts to roam.

I think hunting can be controlled only if you have a secured area. It is hard to detour small animals from a large plot of land… Treating the area of insects or pests like grubs that attract gophers and moles can decrease the population of small prey, keeping weeds down and debris from collecting will reduce mice and rats. Think about buying a few of those fake “owls” placing them around your yard they will actually “chase” many small prey animals away. Move them around as this can increase their effectiveness. They will keep smaller birds out of your dogs automatic feeders or bowls. This can reduce barking as well, as a troublesome squirrel sitting on the fence can not only drive your dog crazy, but the neighbors as well!!!

Making sure your dogs finish treats, if they are “stashing” treats they are all in a similar area, find that area, dig up their stash and every time they return to that area with a bone or toy, take the object away and a firm no, and or rolled newspaper across the nose.

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