Dogs That Dig
Find the cause of your dog's digging and win back your yard.
Sally Deneen |
Posted: Sat Mar 10 00:00:00 PST 2001
Page 3 of 3
And don't forget the power of compromise. Dr. Cooper once stopped a Siberian Husky named Brenna this way. She reasoned Brenna was digging a hole under the solid-wood fence so she could stick her head through and see what was happening on the other side. Dr. Cooper arranged to pour concrete to fill in gaps between the bottom of the fence and the ground, but left one gap so Brenna could continue to see out. She stopped digging.
A common reason dogs dig is outright boredom, experts say. Martha Armstrong realized boredom drove her Beagle, Lucy, to dig like mad and wiggle under the fence to get into the neighbor's yard. "If you turned your back for a second, she would head for the corner and start digging," said Armstrong, vice president for companion animals and equine protection for the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C. "We learned we couldn't let her outside without supervision. ... When she was inside, she was never a digger. She only wanted to be with people."
Many owners let their dog out in the yard and think it's sufficient exercise. Ideally a dog should be taken out of the yard for more rigorous exercise for an hour a day, said Robin Kovary, behavior consultant and director of the American Dog Trainers Network in New York City.
If improving your dog's social calendar doesn't stop digging, turn to a professional. "You may need someone who deals with a lot of these cases, like your veterinarian," Dr. Beaver said.
So is there an absolute cure for digging short of keeping your dog inside all the time? Forget quick fixes such as medication. While rare cases of separation anxiety may warrant anti-depressants, digging almost always is a totally different issue, experts say. And while many may disagree, Leslie Sinclair, DVM and HSUS director of veterinary issues for companion animals, thinks it is a mistake to assume all digging should be stopped. Go with the flow, she said. Cede a portion of the yard to the dog and consider building a 5-by-5-foot sandbox in which you bury your dog's favorite toys and treats. "It's normal behavior," Dr. Sinclair said. "It's great exercise and [your dog] enjoys it."
Page 1 | 2 | 3
Give us your opinion on Dogs That Dig
Login to get points for commenting or write your comment below
Get New Captcha