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How To Prevent Destructive Digging


Inactivity and long periods of isolation in a yard, garage or other enclosure can contribute to a variety of behavioral problems, including destructive digging and chewing, nuisance barking, hyperactivity, extreme neediness for attention, and indiscriminate and inappropriate aggression (ie: towards children, innocent passers-by, and other dogs).





Causes of Destructive Digging

Inactivity and insufficient exercise.
Boredom and lack of stimulation
Isolation and loneliness
Frustration, and prey-drive or territorial aggression.
This is a common reaction to seeing dogs, other animals, or  people
(including children that tease or run by) on the other side of  fence.
Attempts to escape, in order to roam or play with neighborhood  dogs
Genetic propensity. Terriers are especially prone to dig
Prey drive and hunting instint (digging for moles, rats,  gophers, rabbits, etc.)
Digging into the cool earth in order to escape hot  temperatures
To explore or find something new or interesting
Natural denning instinct
To bury bones, toys, food or other objects.
To look for "hidden treasure", good smells, etc.
Because digging is fun.

 




Solutions for Destructive Digging

At least 1 to 2 hours of active outdoor exercise (yard  exercise is not enough!)
At least one long (45-90 minutes) leash walk per day
Play dates with other friendly dogs (unless your dog is  dog-aggressive)
Create a digging pit (at least 5' x 5') filled with dirt or a  sand-clay mixture.
Sufficient daily companionship
Other contructive outlets such as: obedience training,  agility, flyball,
flying dics, trick training, retrieving, tracking, Schutzhund,  SAR, etc.
Filling holes with dog feces to discourage your dogs from  enlarging holes.
(This will not prevent your dog from digging new holes  however.)
Squirting a light water spray (with a water pistol or hose)  towards dog just as s/he begins to dig a hole. (Obviously, this  is NOT recommended during winter or cool weather.)
 
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