Dogs who are forced to stay for hours in the back garden, in the opinion of the owners: “for their own good” and “so they can be in the fresh air”, will soon take on different habits, habits that are motivated by frustration. The most popular habit is digging. If – as I said – it is due to frustration caused by loneliness, the easiest way to avoid this is to take the dog home. If the landlord does not allow him to become more involved in family life, then any other action such as obedience training or changing the dog’s diet will not change the present situation.
Discussions with owners of dogs that persistently dig usually reveal that these dogs are kept outside, because “at home they are making a lot of mess”. Often it turns out that even the owners could not remember the last time that the dog lived in the home. At best, there are dogs taken in only at night, when everyone goes to bed, and every day they are not participating in any way in the life of the family. A dog that lives in the house should be trained not to cause any trouble.
One of the most commonly used wrong methods to prevent dogs from further digging is to fill the recently dug hole with water and to dip the dog’s head into the water, or to cover the hole with a tarp, metal/plastic mesh. In our opinion, all of these are not effective, because they do not take account of the main reasons for digging, such as exclusion from the life of the dog’s family and their daily activities.
Tendency to dig is somewhat characteristic to the breed. Siberian huskies and other northern sled dogs as well as their mix, like to dig pits when looking for a refreshing swim. Dachshunds and other breeds bred for hunting in holes, on average, are more than willing to dig. In general, dogs that dig calm down when we take care of them and get them busy with training.
But I repeat again – in almost every case, effective prevention is to include your dog in family life.