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Some dogs love to dig.

No More Digging!

Dogs dig for lots of reasons. Your dog may dig because he was bred to be a digger, like a terrier. He may dig because he is hot and wants to lay down in the cool dirt. And, he may dig because he is so bored that he can't think of anything else to do.

 

Dogs don't have much to do during the day. Dogs can't do what people do to keep busy. They can't read their favorite book. They can't watch TV. Try to think of activities for your dog. If he is busy playing with things, chewing on a bone, or tired from a long walk, he's less likely to start digging.

Some dogs dig because they're bored.

 

This puppy loves to dig.

Lots of puppies like to dig. It feels cool and fun on their little feet. It's kind of like kids when they play with fingerpaints. What fun! Don't panic if your puppy has dug a few holes in your parent's yard. Explain to them that he might be doing that just because he's a puppy.

Tell them you're going to give the pup other things to do so that he won't feel like digging anymore. Many pups will stop digging on their own. But it's still a good idea to entertain your puppy with other activities.

 

The more a dog or puppy is left outside alone, the more he will look for things to do. And those things may not make your parents very happy.

Your goal is to give your dog lots of exercise, lots of company, and lots of interesting things to do.

Bailey has dug a big hole.

Nothing to do? Dig!

Make a list of things that will give your dog something to do besides dig:

more exercise: walks, play fetch,
hide and seek, running games, more games
lots of time with you
some interesting toys
tasty, fun things to chew on

 

Grown dogs can become just as bored as puppies. All dogs need interesting things to do to have a happy and healthy life. Spend lots of time with your dog and you will start to see good changes in his behavior. Dogs become bored if left alone too much.

 

Use 'Interactive' toys like these below
when your dog is bored or when you are not home.

See it!

They allow your dog to play and have fun. These are Food Cubes. Fill them with treats and watch the fun begin!
Put treats inside interactive toys.
This toy is called a Kong. You can throw it and it will bounce funny.
Stuff your Kong with treats.
But you can also fill it with food and have fun watching your dog try to get it out. You dog will have fun, too!  

 

Give your dog cold water and some nice shade.
For dogs who are digging just to keep cool on a hot day, the remedy is easy. Provide lots of cold water and a lot of shade. The more comfortable your dog is, the more relaxed he'll be. And instead of digging, he may just lay down and take a nap.

 

Dogs who have a strong instinct to dig may be harder to train.
It may be easier to just let him dig, but in a more acceptable place.

Find an area of your yard that is OK for digging. You might want to put up a pen or a fence to surround the area. This would be your dog's special place.

Put the pen on an area filled with dirt or sand, so that it's a more inviting place to dig.

You can use a pen like this to make a special digging place.
Some dogs need a special digging place.

Some dogs need a special digging place.

To train your dog to dig there, you might start by burying a special treat or bone while your dog watches. When he digs it up, praise him. Do this each day until he gets the idea.

Be creative and surprise him with interesting treasures. If he starts to dig in another area of the yard, take him directly to his special place and tell him he's a good dog.

 

You should know that your dog is not trying to make you mad. Dogs don't do that. They are just doing what comes naturally, or what helps them feel better. You have to help him learn new ways to be comfortable or to entertain himself.

 

Remember, the steps to stop digging are:
Give your dog lots and lots of exercise. Tire him out!
Bring your dog in the house more.
Spend lots and lots of time with your dog.

Make sure your dog has toys that he plays with.
Give your dog a cool, comfortable place to spend his time.
If he still digs, try making him a special digging place.

Got dog behavior questions?
Try our new Behavior FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)!

Just Click below on the Mischievous Puppy!!

 

 

Here are our favorite training books written for kids:
Puppy Training
Puppy Training for Kids, by Sarah Whitehead, Barrons Juveniles 2001
This book has easy-to-understand instructions for children on puppy training and care. With an emphasis on fun. Learn what to feed puppies and how much to give them, and how to play games that are safe and enjoyable. They also learn basics of puppy handling, grooming, giving commands, teaching obedience, tricks, and much more. There are great full-color photos throughout the book. For ages 9-12, or 4-8 with parents' guidance.

Your Puppy, Your Dog, by Pat Storer, Storey Publishing; 1997
From the Back Cover
What a dog needs most is love -- and loving a dog means providing everything it needs to be happy and healthy. With easy-to-follow instructions and plenty of illustrations, this book tells you just how to care for and understand your dog.
Includes: How to select the puppy or dog that is best for you, What and how to feed your dog, How to train and exercise your dog, How to play with your dog or puppy, How to keep your dog in the best of health, Where and how to show your dog, ... Ages 9 and up


Kids Training Puppies in Five Minutes, by JoAnn Dahan, Cork Hill Press; (February 5, 2004)
From an Amazon.com reader: My name is Christi, I am 7 years old. I just got a new lab puppy from my Mom and Dad her name is Ginny. Before I could have Ginny I had to promised I would care for her and train her. This book is so great, it is very easy to read and the pictures of the lab puppies and kids are so cute. I taught Ginny to sit and lie down really fast. I think every kid with a puppy should have this book. Ages 5-8

cover
Dog Training For Kids, by Carol Lea Benjamin, Howell Book House Inc. 1988
This is a great book for kids written by one of the best. It explains all of the basic training that a child will need to get a good start with a dog. Also covers common behavior problems. Ages 9-12

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