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How To Train Your Dog Not To Dig In The Yard

Author : Jared Wright

That newly planted flower garden in the yard has become a mess of uprooted bulbs and mounds of dirt. The culprit? Your favorite lovable dog. Digging is a natural action for a dog, but it can be one that can cause a lot of irritation if your yard or even your neighbor's yard becomes your dog's new favorite playground.

There are many reasons why dogs love to dig. Digging can be traced back to a dog's wolfy ancestors who used digging as a tool for survival.


Most canines like to cache things. In the wild this is typically food, and if a wolf or other canine has too much food on hand, it often gets buried in a special spot that he will remember. This is useful during period where food is more difficult to find. Having a little extra stored away is rarely a bad thing.
Your dog may decide to bury food in a cache, but it could just as easily be anything at all that your dog has decided to treasure: a favorite toy, an old bone, even a stolen shoe. In fact, some dogs may decide to hide things that they might have stolen simply as a game.

Hot and Cold Issues

Dogs, certain breeds in particular, can be very sensitive to temperature. A long haired snow dog might get over warm in the summer heat and so dig a hole in the shade to cool off in. The ground when few inches lower is often more cooling when compare against the ground, especially on a sunny day.

Short haired dogs may feel the cold much more than others and so might dig down a bit into the ground. This gives them a slightly more insulated place to lie down and shields them from the wind.

Separation Anxiety

Dogs with separation problems may try feverishly to dig out of any enclosure to get back to their owner. The frenzied nature which often accompanies this type of digging can make this a dangerous task for your dog.


Certain breeds of dogs have been bred to pursue small mammals. Terrier dogs are breed to hunt and may enjoy digging into animal holes to get their prey.


Most dogs just enjoy digging out of fun, tearing up your entire yard and leaving many little holes behind. This kind of digging is often accompanied by lots of galloping around and general canine merriment.

Before you even try to stop your dog digging behavior, you might want to think and figure out why he dig in the first place. Most of these types of digging come with fairly obvious indicators, so it shouldn't take much time before you have your answer.

For a dog that caches treats and treasures, the simplest way is to not give out these treats and treasures unless your dog will finish them or else is indoors. Failing this, it's possible to designate a special place in the yard just for digging. You can bury some of his favorite treats in this special spot and encourage him to dig and retrieve them. You may need to work with the dog for a bit before he'll understand that the digging pit is the only spot for digging, and this is best done by simply distracting your dog from digging elsewhere and redirecting him to the digging area.

A dog struggling with temperature issues should simply be accommodated. Provide a hot dog with shade and a nice cool surface. Dogs love to rest and relax on flooring that stays cool in the shade, such as concrete or metal surfaces. You should provide your dog with plenty of water to help cool them down and maybe a kiddy pool for the dog to jump into.

Dogs that love to dig for fun can be trained to dig on allocated digging area. You may also choose to fence off areas you would not like to be dug in. Some dog trainers suggest leaving your dog's feces in the holes, though unless your dog is digging repeatedly in a single spot, this is not much of a deterrent. You can try to distract your dog and praise him with treats when he stop digging.

Author's Resource Box

Do you know that many intelligent dog breeds need mental stimulation apart from a healthy diet and adequate exercises? To learn more about other canine dog breeds and canine dog training, visit today.

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Tags:   dog digging problem, dog digging behavior, train dog not to dig

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Submitted : 2010-10-26    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 518