Why dogs dig holes in the ground: how to train your pet
Many dog owners know that awkward feeling when a dog runs into someone's flowerbed or lawn and starts persistently digging a hole in it, spoiling the plants in the process. Of course, not all dogs have this habit, dictated by ancient instincts, but some breeds have a great tendency to do this kind of damage. For example, dachshunds, labradors or Jack Russell terriers.
OBOZREVATEL asked the opinion of cynologists, why dogs can behave this way. And how to teach a dog to dig in the ground.
Why do dogs dig holes?
Although dogs were domesticated a long time ago and their behavior is well adjusted and adjusted to human needs, from time to time their instincts may break through. For example, back in the days when dogs were wild, they would often bury leftover food in the ground for good, and this instinct is still showing itself.
Hunting breeds are particularly prone to digging, especially those that have been bred to hunt burrowing animals such as foxes or rabbits. Such breeds include terriers, dachshunds, hounds, etc. Their job was to get their prey out of the burrow, which is why the digging skill was so important for these breeds. However, this does not mean that a dog of such a breed will necessarily spoil the lawn - here we are only talking about the greater likelihood.
What is the reason for this behavior?
If a dog suddenly starts digging in the ground, especially if it has not been noticed before, it may mean that it is just bored. Animals with an active character and energetic temperament are more likely to do all sorts of damage than their phlegmatic relatives.
Digging not only allows the dog to shed excess energy. It also provides him with new stimuli, such as smells, a very important source of information for these animals.
During the summer months, it can also mean that the dog is suffering from heat and is looking for something cool. And the ground, even at a shallow depth, has a lower temperature than on the surface. In this case the problem can be solved by a normal bowl of cool water, from which the animal can not only drink, but also splash in it.
Another reason is the hunter's instinct. The dog can sense mice or other prey under the ground - by sound or smell - and try to get it.
How do you teach a dog to dig in the ground?
First of all, it is important not to scold the dog for this behavior and have patience. Do not let the animal go for a walk yourself until you have corrected his bad habit.
As soon as you notice that the animal starts digging, give him a clear "no" command. Speak calmly but confidently, do not try to frighten the animal. And as soon as the dog stops digging, reward him with a treat and praise. It may take different dogs different amounts of time to get out of the digging habit, but patience and constant interaction should pay off in the end.
Previously, OBOZREVATEL told how to help a dog survive the heat.