4 Tips to Stop Your Dog From Digging

3. Leave it. Teaching your dog to leave something alone with a "leave it"command can also be helpful.When the "leave it" cue is given, your dog should stop going toward the object or location and turn away. You gradually teach your dog to do this by rewarding him for first ignoring, then turning away and then eventually walking away from an item or location you want him to avoid.

4. Distract.
Serving your dog’s meals or some special treats within two to three food puzzle toys may help keep his paws busy elsewhere. Food puzzle toys will encourage him to use his paws to knock the toys around to obtain his food. Your dog may not use his paws in a digging motion, but working for his food will provide a good mental and physical outlet for him if his digging is due to boredom or excess energy. If the puzzle toys are to replace your dog’s regular dinnertime, just be sure to gradually ease into the activity so that you can make sure your dog figures out how to get his meals out of the puzzle. If you are using special treats in your puzzle, make sure they are healthy treats and don’t overdo them. We don’t want a digging problem to turn into a weight problem!

Will It Work?

No matter which method you choose, you will still need to supervise your dog for a certain time period until he has consistently stopped digging or regularly goes into the designated area. Once it seems like he has gotten the hang of the new routine, you can gradually increase the distance between you and your dog. Keep in mind, some dogs may always need supervision in the yard in order to prevent unwanted digging. When left alone, these dirt-crazy dogs may proceed to dig in any area that appeals to them. It can be frustrating, but when this happens, you do not want to yell or use a noise that scares your dog. This may inhibit your dog from digging in front of you and cause him to turn to sneaking around and digging behind your back or when you are not in the yard to supervise. If digging is still a problem after trying these tips, then talk to your veterinarian. She may advise you to seek professional help from a certified trainer or animal or veterinary behaviorist.

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