Before combating this behavior it is important to know the reasons that lead the dog to dig
The act of digging holes is quite common and natural among canines. Some breeds even feel this need. However, such behavior is not a rule. So, this is probably more related to education received than natural instincts of the species. Anyway, if your dog constantly destroys your garden, surely this custom is causing several problems in the house.
Before taking any action, it is important to know the reasons for such behavior. There are several reasons that lead a dog to dig holes and, for the solution to be effective, it is necessary to know exactly why he is digging.
Find a cool place
Especially in the summer, dogs tend to dig holes to find a cool place and escape the heat. The earth under the surface is usually colder, so it is a great place to cool off. The problem is that sometimes, right in the area chosen for laying, there is a flower bed or freshly laid grass.
In this case, the solution is quite simple. Prepare a special corner for the dog in the garden, preferably in the shade. Buy a little house, put it in a cool environment and put everything he likes inside. Do not forget to always leave water available near the house. In time, he will no longer feel the need to dig to cool off.
Another tip is to allow the pet to spend more time indoors, especially during the hottest hours. The residence is always cooler than in the garden, so create a special corner also inside the house and leave it there in the afternoon.
Find a comfortable place to lie down
Very similar to the previous one, but in this case, the pet digs to find a comfortable place to lie down and not cool off. As the land is soft, it makes sense that they see this environment as comfortable. Such behavior is common among dogs that live in hard and cold places.
The solution here resembles the previous one. Build a cozy environment for your pet. If he already has a little house, make it more pleasant by covering it with blankets or cushions. Put his toys there and encourage him to spend more time in his corner. You can also let him stay at home. Inside, everything is warmer and more comfortable, in addition to having your company and attention.
Hide food and toys
It is quite common for dogs to hide their toys or food under the ground to ensure that they do not lose or anyone finds them. This behavior is totally instinctive but is seen less in animals that spend more time indoors. In that case, pets will hide their belongings under the rug or in the middle of the blankets.
But, if your dog normally has this habit, there are some ways to prevent it from burying them. When delivering the item, keep it tied to a rope. Thus, he will not be able to get them to earth. In order not to get caught in the wire, hang the piece so that it does not touch the floor. Follow this tip until the animal loses its behavior.
Chasing things or other animals
The canine\’s sense of smell is very refined, so whenever you feel an odor that catches your eye, you will investigate. Sometimes he may be chasing an animal, in other situations it is just a lost object. In that case, make sure that there are no bugs that live in the environment or pieces that someone left lost in the garden.
If there are animals in the environment, be responsible for scaring them away in the right way. This will prevent the dog from continuing to chase and even kill them. Regarding lost objects, you just need to pay more attention and care.
Spending time, wasting energy or getting your attention
Pets with low levels of physical activity or who spend a lot of time alone tend to look for ways to play or at least get their attention. Digging the earth is one of those ways, as it is a cool and distracting game.
The solution in this case is quite simple: play and pay attention to your pet. Provide him with company and activities so that he no longer feels alone, bored and with accumulated energy.
Remember to set aside time in your day to play with him, such as hiding snacks in the garden for him to find, throwing objects for him to search for or just allowing him to enter the house and spend an afternoon receiving affection.
With play and attention you will begin to modify your behavior in a positive way. Over time he will no longer feel the need to dig and his garden will remain intact.
Some breeds dig because it is their nature, like those developed to chase a burrow. In such cases, you cannot avoid this behavior because it is part of your instinct. It is possible to redirect it, but not eliminate it completely.
A tip is to play with the animal enough to spend all the energy. That way, he will be tired and will not feel like digging. Also allow him to spend more time indoors and beside you. The act of receiving affection and being in a different environment can make you forget your instinct.
Other tips to prevent the dog from digging holes
Make digging unpleasant
If the dog likes to dig in specific places, you can put his feces in there before closing the hole. It is almost certain that he will stop digging in that place. Gradually you will be undermining all your favorite areas.
Adapt the garden
Instead of always tidying up the garden when a new hole appears, you can adapt it to the canine presence. Small changes can prevent a lot of headaches and stress in the home. Putting stones, fences, and screens in the most excavated places is a solution. The landscape will remain the same, and the dog will no longer destroy the land.
However, as digging is a natural instinct, it is interesting to build a litter box in the garden and keep it reserved for the animal to have fun.
Fight at the right time
A scolding is only effective if it is given when the dog is digging. If you do this later, the pet will not understand why you are yelling at him. So, when it comes to fighting, be firm and tough. If necessary, pour a little water on it or make a noise that scares him, for example. Never speak normally or lovingly, as the pet may enjoy this attention and do not stop digging holes.