Often, the idyll of relaxation in a country house or in the country is disturbed by a pet who diligently digs holes under fruit bushes, digs up carrots and mercilessly destroys plantings. Why does a dog dig holes in the yard? What to do if the pet behaves more impudently than wild animals – mice, hares, chipmunks and other pests, leaving behind holes as deep as a crater and deserted, trampled areas? In fact, each dog has its own reasons for behaving in this way, and they are not always associated with the usual “swagger”. Yes, and these pets are quite flexible, which means that it is quite possible to discourage the dog from this business.
It is important to identify the cause
If the dog loves to rummage in the ground, then you should not write it off as sabotage. In fact, this behavior is related to the nature of the animal. After all, dogs are the descendants of wolves, and they still tear out a refuge for themselves with their paws, where they breed. In addition, some dogs include their digging abilities during the heat, while others are not hindered by the cold or the sun – they are from the breed of hereditary mole rats.
But nature is nature, and the harm that these pets do to the infield can be very noticeable. Also, some four-legged ones make excellent undermines under the fence and run away to “free will”, getting into dangerous situations. This means that the owner of such a unique dog should know how to deal with the habit of a shaggy companion – for the good of the garden and the dog itself. Most often, the reasons for the tendency to “earthmoving” are associated with a number of reasons.
If you know in advance which breeds have this habit, you can weigh the pros and cons before the puppy crosses the threshold of the house. For example, in four-footed “hunters” this property is in the blood, they are equipped with very strong pads and claws in order to act “like a shovel” and not damage limbs.
And their keen sense of smell picks up suspected game even deep underground, and any mouse will cause a large, deep hole to appear. Also, these dogs are very stubborn, stubborn and hardworking – even a little dog can “work” for a long time, and the result of the owner will be terrifying.
Terriers can be called the leaders among digging dogs. The very word “terra”, which lies in the name of the breed, is translated from Latin as “land”. And the breed was bred for specific purposes – so that its representatives would perfectly hunt both above-ground and underground animals.
It should be noted that not all dogs from this family have a passion for digging. Basically, this “sin” terriers with short legs:
- Parson Russells;
- Yorkies and other less common breeds belonging to this category.
Almost all representatives of the above breeds are small dogs with charming appearance, and you would not even think that they can harm “in a big way.”
The second place is rightfully taken by dachshunds, which belong to burrowing hunters. In translation, the name of the breed means “badger dog”. Despite the fact that today these dogs are more often given as companions and pets, they have not lost either their physical characteristics or their cool hunting disposition.
Thanks to the perfect, muscular shape of the body, it is not difficult for a dachshund to penetrate even a narrow hole and get out the inhabitant of the burrow. And perseverance and courage are enough to dig a too narrow entrance and not be afraid to poke into the very depths.
Dogs are predators, which means that the basis of the diet of a four-legged friend should be foods containing a lot of animal protein – meat, fish, offal. However, plant food should also be included in the animal’s menu, because in nature, wolves also eat berries, roots, fruits.
Therefore, if the dog does not just break the ground, but eats it with pleasure, then most likely it is worth adding food containing fiber to its dishes.
The desire to arrange a rookery
If the pet digs only in the summer, when the heat pesters him, and the rest of the time ignores such an activity, then this behavior is due to the desire to equip himself a cool couch. The dog removes the top layer of the earth and lays down on the lower soil, from which it blows cool – it is a real salvation for animals prone to overheating.
Representatives of African breeds, for example, Basenji, tolerate the heat best. The worst of all is the large dogs with abundant two-layer hair – the Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, Newfoundlands, Moscow Watchdogs, etc. Also at risk are older dogs, dogs with heart problems, brachycephalic, in which by nature thermoregulation by breathing is impaired.
To prevent your pet from heatstroke, you should take care of its cooling. You can put a wet blanket or blanket, put a container of water large enough for the dog to climb into it and freshen up. You can also equip the dog’s place in the shade – under a spreading tree or in another shady area protected from the penetration of active sunlight.
The desire to stock up “for a rainy day”
Some dogs instinctively have a habit of “hiding” food. And this is done even by those pets who get enough food and do not need it at all.
The owner may notice how his pet rushes around the local area with a bone or other food in its teeth in search of a secluded place. He will calm down when he digs a recess, places a “tasty treat” there and bury it thoroughly. But for some pets, this is not enough, they can check the status of the “cache” every half hour.
All animals have a degree of curiosity, and dogs are no exception. They show their curiosity in everything – sniffing everything in the way, looking into all corners. And the earth is a treasure for the four-legged explorer!
And dog owners who are engaged in gardening work should abandon fertilizers, which include bone meal. Smelling it, the dog will certainly show interest and will dig holes with special zeal.
Lack of physical activity
Representatives of many breeds need work: shepherd, service, hunting, sled dogs, rescue dogs, athletes. And if they do not receive the necessary loads, they find a job for themselves, and not always “good”.
An active dog rummaged through the whole garden? The owner should remember whether he took his pet to the training ground for a long time or took it on a hunt. By the way, most often sports individuals are engaged in digging the earth.
Some dogs have sex drive so intense that they can jump over incredibly high fences, get loose and dig entire tunnels under the fence. This is how the estrus bitches behave, as well as the males that have sensed the “walking” female. A similar problem is solved by mating or sterilizing the animal.
Longing, sadness and boredom
If the pet does not tolerate separation, does not like to be alone, or receives little attention from the owner, then he can “play naughty”, thus expressing his feelings. In the home, wallpaper, shoes, furniture and other interior items can suffer from this, in the yard – beds and vegetation.
Such behavior should not be encouraged, but the owner should also think about whether he devotes enough time to the four-legged friend. As you can see, the pet has a lot of reasons to dig the ground, and for each case there is a solution.
Watch the video if the dog digs the ground
How to rid your pet of a bad habit
Experienced breeders will have no difficulty in understanding the current situation, and inexperienced ones can always consult with a veterinarian or breeder. In different situations, specific methods are suitable:
- In the heat, you can help the dog to cool down without having to dig out the sunbeds, and if the dachshund stubbornly “catches” mice, the fight should be waged not with the pet, but with the rodents.
- Psam runners should make the task as difficult as possible – to make the fence higher, and to dig a metal mesh into the ground along the entire perimeter – to a depth of 40-50 cm.
- When purchasing a puppy of a fashionable husky breed, a stern black terrier or a handsome Doberman, you should take into account that such dogs need regular physical activity, otherwise the “bored” dog will remind of itself, and doing it quite brightly.
- Lovers of the digging process itself should allocate a separate area where they could dig “as much as they want” without harming the landscape and plantings. It can be fenced off, added sand and sprinkled with some bone meal to attract the dog’s attention. Also, the dog will be interested in a bone or toy buried and slightly peeking out of the soil.
- Is the dog playing and digging in the designated place? It should be encouraged – with praise or a treat. And if you get distracted and start digging in a place where it is forbidden to do this, a formidable hail and a banning command will help.
- Zoologists offer another, non-standard method of weaning a dog from digging holes – you should dig a deep hole, put a balloon and a delicacy in it. The deepening is covered with earth, and when the interested dog starts digging, it will hook its claws on the ball, and it will burst with a loud sound. A frightened pet will remember the experience for a long time and will think three times before tearing up the master’s beds.
To solve any behavioral disorders, the owner should learn better about canine psychology and the breed characteristics of his four-legged friend. Then it will be easier to interact with the dog and understand when its behavior requires correction, and when it comes to innate instincts.