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Tips from Matty

Digging is one of the most frustrating behavior problems a dog owner can experience. Imagine spending days to plant a garden only to have it dug up in a matter of minutes.

Dogs often dig instinctively to create nests or to bury food reserves, but this behavior can easily be corrected by outsmarting the dog.

Why Dogs Dig
  • Temperature - To escape the heat, dogs will seek refuge in a hole.

  • Breed - While all dogs will dig if given the opportunity, some breeds dig more than others. These include the Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute, Samoyed, fox terrier, Airedale, cairn terrier, Afghan hound, dachshund, Weimaraner, golden retriever, Labrador retriever, cocker spaniel, and Doberman pinscher.

  • Nervous energy - Nervous dogs will dig out of boredom or frustration.

  • Scent chasing - Dogs will dig to find the source of a scent-buried bones, fertilizer, plants, flowers, and vegetables.

  • Burying something - Dogs may dig holes to bury their bones or feces.

Proper Training Technique
First, make sure your dog has a cool place to rest, such as a dog house or a wading pool.

Place a rock in a hole that your dog tends to revisit. Cover it with dirt and the next time it is dug up, your dog will be met with a built-in correction. Alternatives to rock include chicken wire, gravel or aluminum foil.

If you have gophers, get rid of them. When you catch your dog in the act of digging, squirt him with a garden hose or a water bottle and tell him no. Use a gentle tone with a shy dog and a firmer tone with a stubborn dog. Or, use the corrective jerk technique.


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