Does your dog dig holes in your yard? Is it driving you crazy?! Before you resort to covering the yard in concrete, make sure to keep reading!
Why do dogs dig?
- Boredom: Lack of physical or mental enrichment can cause a dog to find other ways to burn off excess energy. Adding daily exercise and mental stimulation will make you and your dog happier. Frozen Kongs, short daily training sessions, interactive toy play, puzzle toys, playdates with other friendly dogs, and training classes, are just a few examples of boredom-busting activities for your dog.
- Enjoyment: Dogs are big advocates of doing what they love, and some dogs just love to play in the dirt! If this is the case with your dog, tying making a “dig box”. Get a kiddie pool, sandbox or build your own box, and fill it with sand, dirt, or whatever your dog likes to dig in (makes sure it’s at least one foot deep). Hide toys and treats in the dig box, and encourage your dogs to find them. If your dog wanders off to play in the dirt somewhere else, just gently bring them back to their dig box. Make it a fun and rewarding place to be!
- Stress relief: If your dog has had a change recently or does not seem to be acting like themselves, digging may be a form of stress relief. Determine what may be causing the stress and work to improve the situation and their stress levels.
- Natural instincts: Many dogs also have mild digging behaviors indoors. Give them an old blanket, towel, or blanket and let them dig and nest in it.
- Escape: If your dog is digging as a means of escape, it could be an anxiety-based behavior or frustration (such as another animal on the other side of the fence). Alternately, unaltered dogs may have a strong urge to roam. We highly recommend spaying or neutering your dog to reduce this instinct. Make sure to never leave your dog unattended outdoors.
- Peer Pressure: If one dog is having a blast playing in the dirt, all of the dogs in the household may join in. Manage playtime outside and keep each dog busy.
- Cool off: Be careful that your dog is not overheating. Some dogs will dig a hole in the ground to cool off. If your dog is overheating, make sure to bring them inside.
- To find or hide something: Some dogs will instinctively hide items in the ground or other places. This is another reason why a dig box can be useful.
These tips should help keep you and your dog happy while keeping your yard hole-free! If you have any further questions, email our Behavior Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.