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Why Do Dogs Dig?

behavior modification canine enrichment dog behavior dog training Oct 06, 2021
Why is my dog destroying things?

The simple answer is that it is fun and enriching for your dog to dig.

Enrichment, defined loosely, is dogs' primal needs, even when they are inconvenient for humans. Primal needs for your dog can be anything from sniffing and digging to chasing. These habits can be more assertive in certain breeds. 

 

Dog's have an innate ability to dig, and an amazing sense of smell which makes a deadly combination for your flower garden. Other than it's just fun, there are a few reasons your dog could be digging for. 

 

🧠 Boredom  

In almost all of my client's initial lessons, I observe the dog doing many mischievous things due to boredom. Many dog professionals ignored the lack of mental stimulation and enrichment, especially by celebrity dog trainers. If you notice, habits start like digging holes, forging through the trash, or chewing up the couch. It's because your dog needs species-appropriate activities. 

 

🐿 Prey drive 

Dogs sense of smell is beyond extraordinary, so much so they can sense hormones and insulin changes in humans. Random celiac statistic - dogs can also sense up to 5ppm of gluten. Most companies only trace 10ppm of gluten or cross-contamination. Dog sense smells, and animals that we don't even know are there. Dogs can tell if something is under the surface or in tween walls. Often, dogs dig in the backyard because they sense some type of rodent-like animal ranging from chipmunks to moles or groundhogs. 

 

💡 Pro Tip: give your dog an outlet and specific area to dig. Use an old kiddie pool or 2x4s to build a dig pit for your dog. This is a great way to give your dog an outlet without costing your flower beds. 

 

If you have any questions about how to incorporate canine-specific activities into your daily routine and stop the destructive behaviors, then don't hesitate to call for a consult. 

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