Before you learn how to stop your dog from digging, you need to first understand why dogs dig. Dogs dig to look for warmth, hide things or look for smoother resting places. They could also be bored, looking for food or they want your attention. Other reasons include entertaining themselves or when they are trying to escape. Usually this kind of behavior is associated with dogs suffering from separation anxiety disorder.
However, you cannot stop your dog from digging by punishing him or her. Try to find out why your dog is doing so, it could be because he or she is scared or is sensing something dangerous. Below are some few steps that will teach you how to stop your dog from digging:
- Mental training
Your dog could be digging due to anxiety, stress, restlessness, fear among many other reasons. Once you establish that this is what is causing your dog to dig and scratch, provide him or her with some mental therapy. Play games with your dog, go for walks regularly to help your dog cope with fear and anxiety.
When you see him or her digging, signal her to stop doing it. You could come up with signals that will help you communicate easily with your dog. When you keep doing this regularly, you may eventually stop your dog from digging.
- Spend enough time with your dog
Interact with your dog and have enough play time on a daily basis. When you spend time with your dog, you will find an alternative thing your dog loves doing that is not digging. You will also help distract her from digging and scratching when you find something interesting for her to do.
When you are together, train her to stop digging, if this behavior persists, you could create a small space in your garden where your dog can play from or do the digging. If she tries to dig outside the area she was assigned, command her to stop. Do not punish your dog, you will only be creating fear and more digging.
- Give your dog attention
Some dogs do digging because they are seeking for attention and affection. Spend plenty of time with your dog and make sure you give her all the attention she deserves. Ignoring the dog will only make the situation worse and she will keep digging the moment she realizes it is the only way she will gain your attention.
Keep your eyes on her and every move she makes. Monitor what she is up to and work on correcting what is not right. Playing with your dog is also part of providing attention. This is a very effective method on how to stop your dog from digging.
- Enroll for professional help
If you cannot deal with this behavior, it is good to seek a professional to help you. There are qualified dog trainers who can assist you find out the cause of the digging and also train your dog. Remember, this will incur some costs.
- Make sure your dog is not bored
Boredom is one of the most common things that lead to digging. Keep your dog occupied with activities that will prevent him or her from digging. Get toys for your dogs that will help stimulate their mind, they should spend more energy in activities like playing or walking around.
This will help to keep them busy and destruct them from the urge to dig. Digging can be very annoying but it can be easily stopped through taking the right measures and seeking proper assistance from qualified sources.
- Provide good shelter for your dog
Some dogs dig holes on the ground in search of warmth, cold or when avoiding rain or bad weather. Some could be looking for food and water. Make sure you provide good shelter for your dog. If you do not need a dog in your house, you could find material to build a comfortable dog house that will keep your dog safe from bad weather, enemies or fear.
Also make sure there is plenty of food to feed your dog. Dogs like human beings also feel thirsty, so ensure there is enough water for your dog to drink in case she or he feels thirsty. This is one of the simplest ways on how to stop your dog from digging.