Reply To: Digging

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Pet Shrink
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If this is a new behaviour – like any new behaviour – you should first seek advice from your vet. Pain sometimes causes dogs to exhibit weird symptoms that they would not normally do so, and as such, frantic digging could be linked to a number of things.

Dogs who dig, usually like to – and need to – dig from a young age. If your dog is a digger, please make sure that they have plenty of opportunity to do so – never concrete your back garden due to a digging dog – it will lead to all sorts of behavioural issues. If you would like the digging to be confined to one area, you can show your dog that you are hiding a treat in that area and then encourage them when they start digging. When they are doing this each time you hide a treat for them, simply label the behaviour that they are doing – (“dig dig!!”) in this way, you will be putting that behaviour on command. If your dog continues to dig in the “wrong” area, simply gesture to them to go to the other area, and ask them to “dig”.

Dogs who dig indoors usually only do so in their bed – they are simply trying to make it more comfortable and so perhaps more blankets should be provided. Good Luck.

Penaran Higgs BSc Psychology, PgDip CABC (Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling)

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