Things I’ve Learned in Discovering How to Stop a Dog from Digging
In my quest to figure out how to stop a dog from digging, I did a lot of things wrong.
You see I thought that there must be something that was causing my dog or puppy to dig…..something like a switch that just turns on when that “something” is present….so I initially set out to look at “why” my dog is digging. In other words, I began to ask myself what types of things were present or not present that could cause this behavior and I did some research.
I came to understand that dogs are sensitive to the emotions of their owner so they don’t just dig holes because they know it bothers you.
I learned that some of these digging issues could be related to their breed or natural instinct because, while all of my dogs liked to dig to some degree, one of my dogs seemed to dig more than the other two.
During my research, I had read about some of the things people mentioned that could cause a dog or puppy to behave this way….things like boredom, trying to escape, separation anxiety, hiding a bone, trying to follow a sent, trying to cool off and several others.
I tried about all of the things that other people were suggesting to change their behavior….things like making toys and items available for chewing activity, introducing more exercise and more walks in their daily activity, and restricting access to areas where they were prone to dig.
Keep in mind that while the issue with digging needed to change, how to keep my dog from digging was not the only behavior that I wanted to change. During this time, there were other disciplines that were important for each dog to learn as well.
After trying to figure things out on my own with two of the dogs, I finally decided to solicit the help of a dog trainer. I registered for a local obedience training class and it proved to be beneficial.
I learned that punishment is not a very effective way of training a dog. Rather, concentrating on a positive reward system for acceptable behavior, and a negative response to what is unacceptable had a greater impact.
I realized that the desired change in the dogs came after spending a significant amount of time with them. Supervising them more regularly while they were puppies, and restricting them until I could adequately supervise them were all helpful lessons. I consider it much like raising a child….you have to invest a significant amount of time (and money sometimes) to train them how to behave.
While all of my time spent was rewarding, there is still one thing I would do differently if I were to do it all again.
In my next post, I will share a new discovery that I have made in my quest for how to stop a dog from digging.