As dog parents, we all know that there are few nightmares worse than having your beloved dog get loose or run away. Having a securely fenced-in back yard can certainly be a strong step in the right direction toward preventing such a catastrophe. But remember that you also need to keep your dog from digging under that fence! This is a common problem that we see frequently when visiting customers’ yards for their regular poop scooping. We always snap a picture and alert the household immediately if some rascal is digging away in the yard. And we always wish we could do more to help like, say, write a blog on the subject!
How can you know if your dog is ever going to be prone to digging? Many breeds are automatically predisposed to this behavior because the evolution of their breed probably called for digging as part of their job. They are born to dig! Such “hard core” digger breeds include dogs in the Terrier Group ( Bedlington Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer), the Hound Group (Beagle, Dachshund) and Sporting Group (Wirehaired Pointing Griffon). Other dogs are more “fair weather fans” of digging and are a little less aggressive with their escape attempts! These dogs include those in the Working Group (Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute) and Herding Group (Australian Shepherd, Border Collies.) . While this is not an exhaustive list, it’s certainly a start to understanding your digging dog and which breeds will be more likely to dig. Learn more at Petcha!
So you already know there’s a problem and now you need a solution. If you have the time, patience, yard space and wherewithal (if you plan on hiring a professional to assist) to train your dog to curb his digging habit, rest assured that it IS possible. Wag! says that “even the most determined digger will respond given time and patience.” The trick is to remove the stimuli that is driving him or her to dig (boredom, lack of mental stimulation, heat) and encourage digging in a specified “dig zone.” This dig zone can be filled with sand, dirt or whatever your dog likes to get into and it can be fenced off if you prefer. Teach your dog, with treats, toys and puzzle feeders, that this location is where they should go to do their digging! Be sure to give them plenty of encouragement and rewards. It will make your dog happier and safer while giving you peace of mind that he or she will not be digging around the fence that could lead to him getting lost!
Of course, this type of training may not be for every human or for every dog. You may not have the time to train or your yard might not be large enough to contain a dedicated “dig zone.” Or your dog might be particularly stubborn in this habit. What’s the answer then? Reenforce the fence! If your dog is going to keep digging there, so be it, but at least you can prevent them from popping out on the other side. Buried fencing materials for dig defense are available at most major home improvement retailers. Chicken wire is also an excellent option for shoring up your fence.
Whatever you choose to do, consider Big Business Scoopers or your local dog poop pick up and removal company, as another line of defense in your quest to keep your dog safe and contained despite all the digging. If we see any holes getting out of hand, we contact you immediately, with a picture, so that you can be sure to block continued and further attempts in that area. Together, we can keep your digging dog safe from harm!