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What to do About a Dog Who Digs Digging

September 3, 2010

This months Dear Inquisitive Canine dog behavior advice column is dedicated to a fellow inquisitive canine Harley. Seems that Harley is a fan of digging. Unfortunately his guardian’s aren’t appreciative of Harley’s abilities to re-landscape the yard. What a shame.

My mom the certified professional dog trainer has tackled our syndicated column, answering Harley’s guardian’s questions about what to do. I of course wanted to provide my own two cents – considering I am a dog who enjoys the occasional dig.

A few simple, easy-to-follow dog training and management tips would include:

  • Reward Harley with a treat, praise, petting and/or a round of his favorite non-digging game whenever he is in the yard and leaving the dirt alone!
  • Provide enrichment! Especially when Harley is left alone, to help prevent boredom related behaviors. Using interactive food toys, scavenger hunts and even creating his own digging pit can help direct Harley’s energy to specific allowable areas – he’ll be too busy digging through his own treasure chest or playing with his own games that he won’t care about digging in other areas.
  • Review Harley’s exercise routine. If Harley is an active dog with lots of energy, you’ll want to up the amount of exercise he is getting to ensure he is more relaxed (and wants to nap) when left on his own. This includes other physical and mental activities besides walkies. Similar to humans tiring out after being at a computer all day, us dogs can get pooped out (no pun intended) after participating in a dog training class or dog training activity like Rallo-O. Even playing one of our Out of the Box Dog Training Game activity cards can set you both up for wanting to relax.
  • Consider other options to being left outside: doggy daycare, pet sitters, dog walkers, getting together with a friend for doggy play-dates, or trading dog-sitting duties with other dog guardians.
  • Re-evaluate Harley’s home environment: If he is more comfortable when indoors (as long as he minds his manners), consider creating a safe area of confinement inside your home. You can still use interactive toys to help keep him entertained.
  • Use digging as a reward! Take Harley to an admissible area for digging, then use a phrase like “Go dig!” right before he does. If you put it on cue, you can then use the behavior of digging as a reward in areas he likes and that you won’t mind if it’s dug up. It also might come in handy if and when you need help preparing the soil in the garden.

For additional information on dog training tips for digging loving dogs, make sure you check out our Dear Inquisitive Canine dog behavior advice column, which can be seen in Noozhawk online news magazine.

Poncho Playing Archaeologist at Rincon

I wonder when mom and dad are taking me back to the beach? (That’s my favorite place to dig & roll) Hmm, something for this inquisitive canine to ponder…


One Response to What to do About a Dog Who Digs Digging

  1. life says:

    Normally I do not read article on blogs,
    but I wwish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it!

    Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article.

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