Stop Your Dog From Digging Up the Yard

Your dog Chaz has gotten yard digging down to a fine art. In fact, he’s so good at systematically tearing up the back yard, he could start his own excavation business. Some days he works on the portion near the window; then he switches to the section along the fence. Clearly, he’s on a mission, but it’s sure not improving the value of your property. You’d like to understand why he does it, and you’d really like to make him stop. Here’s where your Ludington veterinarian comes in, as he can give Chaz a hearty dose of behavior counseling.

Digging motivations

Dogs dig for all sorts of reasons. They seem to have an insatiable curiosity about what’s at the bottom of the hole or on the other side of the fence. Wild canines have to dig up the ground so they can build a den, and perhaps Chaz is on that mission, too. Finally, Chaz might be totally bored and looking for an important new challenge. You might even consider digging to be a “gateway” behavior that leads to other undesirable pursuits such as constant barking and inappropriate chewing.

Canine digging professionals

If Chaz is a terrier or dachshund, you’ll face an additional challenge in getting him to stop his digging behavior, as these dogs were bred for nonstop digging work. They’re experts at tunneling for badgers and rodents, but will happily settle for gophers or moles in your flower beds. Clearly, you’ll have to give these dogs a strong incentive to stop digging, perhaps another job that’s just as important.

Exercise prescription

If you can provide Chaz with some vigorous daily exercise, he’ll expend lots of energy on something constructive and might be less interested in digging up the lawn. Try a brisk walk around the block, a fast-paced flying disc session, or regular agility training work. This will be especially important if Chaz is a high-energy dog such as a border collie or Dalmatian.

Clearly, you’ll want your Ludington vet to lead your “stop Chaz from digging” mission. Provide your vet with your observations on Chaz’ digging behaviors, and he’ll develop a strategy to make your busy canine stop his destruction and demolition work.

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