Have you planted your spring plants only to find that your dog has made a minefield out of your yard? The American Kennel Club notes that while certain breeds, terriers in particular, tend to dig more because it's in their genes, dogs dig as an outlet for frustration when they are left alone outside in the backyard. Digging provides something to do when an active, intelligent dog is bored out of his mind.
"Dogs dig for a number of reasons," said AKC's Canine Good Citizen Director Mary Burch. "It is a common issue that dog owners face, but it can be fixed with a little time and planning."
Dr. Burch offers the following tips on why your dog is digging and how to help him stop.
What You Can Do
- Providing mental stimulation through daily play and training sessions is the best thing you can do for a bored dog. The AKC Canine Good Citizen Program is a great place to start by teaching your dog how to sit and stay down on command.
- Try making a digging pit in your yard that is basically an acceptable place for your dog to dig. Burying bones or favorite toys will help your dog learn that this place is an approved area.
- When it's hot outside, dogs will dig to try and expose cool earth for them to lay on and lower their body temperature. You can avoid this by bringing your dog inside so that he doesn't have to handle the heat on his own when it is very warm out. If you don't want to give your dog access to your whole house while you're gone, designate a climate controlled area with water and toys for your pooch to stay.