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Stop Dog Digging

Dogs and puppies dig for a couple of reasons. One is to dig a den. They dig out a small hole to sleep in. The ground is cooler and in the dog-day hot summer afternoon, that is an ideal place to sleep. Another reason dogs dig is because they want to escape their confines. There is something attractive on the other side of the fence or they just do not like their tiny yard. They could also want to find their master. They know the master is not home and is out of the yard. They just want to near their master.

Dog's digging can ruin your yard and create escape problems. If a dog escapes his yard, the dog might be in danger of running into traffic or being arrested by the local sheriff.

Digging is a natural thing for a dog to do, but most dog owners cannot allow it to go on.

I have learned a few ways that effectively teach a dog not to dig.

One way is to bury chicken wire several inches under the ground. This is a very time consuming and hard method. It does work.

Another way that is explained in Koehler's book is to fill a hole dug by a dog with water. Then you dunk the dog's head into the water to make the dog very uncomfortable. This can be done whether or not you actually catch the dog in the act of digging. The dog learns to not like the smell of freshly turned earth. Koehler states 'that more than seventy percent of the dogs who experience this correction for as many as six days swear off hole digging.' I have found this to work well with puppies, but not as well with older dogs.

Ok - I can hear people gasping at the 'meanness' of dunking a dog into a water-filled hole. Sure, I'll agree the dog is made to be uncomfortable. The dog is not hurt or held under so long so that he's in danger of drowning. This is much more effective than lame "prevention-don't give him the chance to do it", "exercise-relieves boredom and releases energy" and "the off command-tells him what to do when caught in the act." Unless you can be around your dog 24 hours a day, it may be hard to catch him in the act of digging.

One way to prevent digging on your fence line is to install an electric fence. These are pretty easy to install. It does not prevent the dog from digging elsewhere, but at least you know he won't escape under the fence.

Another way to prevent digging in an already dug hole is to put the dog's stool into the hole and cover it. This may prevent digging in that same exact spot, but your dog will probably just start digging someplace else.

Hemet Animal Rescue
PO Box 2581
Hemet, CA 92546