Morning Seattle Rover-ites! Today we are finishing our blog series on “Why Dogs Dig?” with tips and suggestions for controlling the digging urges of your four legged friend. As a Seattle dog sitter or dog owner you may one day find yourself at a loss of what to do with a backyard full of craters and destruction.
One of the major reasons dogs dig holes is because they find it entertaining. This problem usually stems from the fact that your four-legged friend is left alone for long periods of time. As a dog owner or dog sitter this can easily be fixed by spending more time with the dog during the day or socializing them with other dogs. If you truly have to leave a dog alone for long periods of time make sure you leave them with plenty of toys and rotate them often to “mix things up.” Another solution is to take the digging culprit on more walks for longer periods of time. A tired pooch is less likely to have energy to start an excavation project and more likely to take a nap while you are away. If you have a dog that absolutely insist on maintaining his or her digging routine, it might be time to embrace it. These “dedicated diggers” can be trained to only dig in certain sections of a yard. These “dig zones” could be areas of the yard with loose soil and sand or a designated sandbox. To encourage your four legged friend to use the “dig zone”, bury their favorite toys or doggie treats in the area. Also, you can temporarily make their previous digging spots unattractive by placing rocks or chicken wire in the dirt (temporarily of course).
Seattle dog boarding facilities are especially prone to digging problems due to the fact that guest dogs are in an unfamiliar environment and are likely trying to escape. To alleviate this problem, make sure that you collect items from the dog owner (leashes, toys, treats, beds, etc) to help your guest dog settle into his or her new environment. Familiar sights, sounds, and foods can help the dog make connections to a new home of temporary residents. Also, as a dog sitter, keep a close eye on your guest dog the first time you release him or her into the backyard after the owner has left. If the dog appears anxious and starts to dig, do not panic; just make sure you are always around when the dog is out to provide them with attention and company. For a more long-term solution consider burying chicken wire along the property line or placing rocks in the way of potential escape routes.
Hopefully this information was helpful Rover-ites and good luck with your future doggie diggers!