For dogs, digging holes is a natural trait and eight percent of dog owners report that their dogs love to dig. For many people the sporadic scuffle in the soil is never a problem, however, repeated digging can be quite destructive to your garden or yard if not discouraged early. Furthermore, it will be more difficult to train the dog not to dig once it becomes a habit. Read on to know what drives dogs to start digging and how you can stop this habit.
Reasons Why your Dog is Suddenly Digging Holes
Dogs may start digging holes in the ground for a variety of reasons. You must identify the cause of digging so that you can find the best way of stopping your dog. Dog owners should spend more time with their pets so that they can know them well and rectify any destructive habits. Listed below are reasons that may cause your dog to dig holes.
Some dog breeds are innately more inclined to digging holes on the ground. Such dogs were bred for a specific purpose and training them to stop this instinct is very difficult. You need to research different dog breeds before you make a decision on the best dog for you, your family, home, and lifestyle. For instance, if you have lots of wild outdoor spaces, you can go for breeds like terriers that were bred to dig.
Lack of stimulation
If your dog feels lonely or bored, they may opt for digging as a way of occupying themselves. With time, digging can transform from a one-time entertainment source into a repetitive habit. This means that your dog will keep digging whenever they start feeling bored. If the environment is not stimulating or your dog does not get adequate social interaction, your pet may engage in destructive digging.
Anxiety or Stress
Destructive behaviors like digging can develop because of different things like anxiety or stress. Most dog owners may have a challenge pinpointing the exact thing that is causing their furred pet to be stressed. Stress can be caused by changes in environment and routine or a sudden change in the life of the dog. Separation anxiety such as leaving the dog unstimulated or alone for hours can trigger digging as a way of relieving stress.
The Desire to Hunt
Dogs love chasing small animals such as chipmunks, rabbits, insects, moles, gophers, and many more. Your dog may be hunting for prey when digging if he is digging in one area instead of the boundaries of your yard and digging around bushes, decks, or the base of trees. Dogs have a natural hunting instinct and if they detect any prey in the garden or home, they will start digging.
Animals usually dig to find protection and comfort in their environment. This can happen if you leave your pet outside on a very hot day without access to a shaded area or if the dog is left in the cold without any heat access. To get shelter from extreme weather conditions, your dog will dig a hole and then lay in it.
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It is natural for dogs to bury their food in the ground to survive. Your furred friend may be digging holes in the ground for survival if he/she buries high-value bones, toys, or food that he/she wants to eat or use later on. If you are excessively feeding your dog, he may end up burying his food or bones. His animal instincts will tell him to save the food for the future when he will feel hungry.
Nesting Mother Dogs
Pregnant dogs can also dig holes on the ground as part of their nesting routine. Most female dogs like tearing things up to create a nest for its puppies. If your pregnant dog loves digging holes on the ground, ensure that you closely monitor your dog so that she does not try burying her puppies after giving birth.
For dogs, digging holes in the ground is an inborn thing. The best way for you to stop your furred animal from digging is by never leaving him outdoors unsupervised. However, for most people, this is unrealistic. If your dog insists on digging even after you have tried everything possible to stop him, you should allocate him space where he is allowed to dig.
Additionally, you can get a sandbox for your dog and train him to dig in the sand. You can have fun with your furred pet by burying his favorite treat or toy. Watching your dog dig can be hilarious and your pet will also enjoy the experience. Always remember that digging is a natural behavior for most dogs and forcing your pet to stop this behavior immediately can be disastrous to the well-being and health of your pooch.
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