Despite how much we love our dogs, they can sometimes have some bad habits. The top bad behaviors our dogs love are digging, chewing, and barking and despite how much we dislike these behaviors, dogs instinctively take part. Luckily, you don’t have to give in to your dog’s bad habits. We have combined several solutions to give you peace of mind.
Have you ever joyfully woken up, greeted your dog outside, and were absolutely shocked by the disaster that is your garden? Your dog’s paws are muddy, your fruits and veggies destroyed, but your dog has the biggest grin on their face. Some dogs dig one big hole in the yard whereas other dogs prefer to dig lots of small holes in the yard. It is crucial to know why your dog digs to find the right solution. Here are some reasons why dog’s dig.
1. To Hunt and Entertain Themselves
Some dogs, especially Hounds and Terriers, dig deep in the ground to hunt underground animals like moles and groundhogs. When your dog finds a hole with an animal, they will most likely dig endlessly until the animal is caught. Other dogs dig to entertain themselves and typically dig holes around the yard randomly. These dogs will dig playfully, then run around, and continue digging.
2. To Store Their Things
Before domestication, dogs would often bury food and bones to store them for a later time. This instinct is still innate in many dogs today. Dogs will bury food, bones, toys, and treats by digging a hole, placing the item in the hole, and covering it up again. Sometimes, dogs will move their treasure from one hole to another.
3. To Sleep
Wild dogs typically raised their young in dens. This was done to stay warm and safe from predators. Dogs still naturally enjoy sleeping in holes they have dug in the ground. On warm days, you may see your dog digging themselves a hole to relax and cool down. This is how dogs cool themselves down. When your dog needs to brace themselves from the cold, they may also dig a hole to stay warm. These holes are typically dug in either cool or warm areas depending on the dog’s needs.
How to Stop Your Dog from Digging
1. Offer a Cool Place to Lay
By placing a cozy dog bed in a shaded area, you can stop your dog from digging holes in your yard. A doghouse is another great way to create a private den for your dog. Offer a place for your dog to stay cool or warm, and your dog will no longer want to dig holes to stay comfortable.
2. Exercise Your Dog
Sometimes dogs dig because they have a lot of energy. The saying that “a tired dog is a good dog” applies here. By working out your dog, hiking, going for a run, or biking, your dog will head home tired and ready for dinner. If your dog is still energetic after a half hour of exercise, pump up the intensity.
There are plenty of reasons why your dog may be chewing up a storm. We’ll highlight a few reasons and then tell you how to solve the issue.
1. Teething Puppies
Teething is extremely painful for puppies, and since chewing soothes their irritated gums, they become little chewing monsters. This is normal behavior, despite how frustrating it is for dog owners. Make sure you give your puppy lots of toys to chew on and be sure to sternly say “NO” when they try and bite anything other than their toys.
2. They Are Bored
Some dogs have a lot of energy and will get antsy and bored without something to do. Excess energy must go somewhere, and oftentimes will be directed into damaging things if your poor pup doesn’t have an outlet. Ask yourself how much exercise your dog needs, then help them get it.
3. Because Everyone Else is Doing It
Instinctively, dogs like to chew because it helps strengthen their jaws and keep their teeth clean. Some breeds are more prone to chewing because they have a good nose or a lot of energy. Some dog breeds prone to chewing are: Pit Bulls, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, Jack Russell Terriers, Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, German Shepherds, and Huskies.
How to Stop Your Dog from Chewing
Give Them a New Toy or Bone
Sometimes our dogs chew objects that could make them sick or that are valuable to us. In these cases, do not yell at your dog. Instead, offer your dog a dog chew toy or dog bone and then, praise your dog when they use it. This approach encourages your dog to chew a dog toy instead of your favorite furniture.
Ever wake up in the middle of the night to your dog barking as loud as possible? Have to shush your furry friend when someone knocks on a door? Barking can be an issue with our pets, and we can help you stop it! First up though – why do dogs do it?
1. It’s How They Communicate
Dogs bark because a stranger is approaching or they are excited to meet someone new. This communication comes in handy when we want our dogs to alert us to anything dangerous. But if your dog’s barking becomes excessive, don’t assume your dog is simply talkative. Dogs bark for a variety of reasons including being territorial towards other dogs. In some cases, dogs are alerting their owners to danger or responding out of their own fear.
2. They Are Bored or Lonely
Dogs can become bored or sad when they are left alone for long periods of time. In these cases, your dog may begin to bark excessively to get attention or to hear their own voice.
How to Stop Your Dog from Barking
1. Don’t Shout
Stay calm when you communicate with your dog. If you begin to shout at your dog, they may think you are joining the barking. If you are frustrated while trying to command your dog to stop barking, your dog will sense this and will not follow your command. In fact, your frustration will make them frustrated too, or they will think you want to play a game.
2. Consistent Training
Remain consistent with your training and your emotions. When you don’t allow excessive barking and you stay calm, your dog will begin to understand that it is not allowed. Also stay consistent in when you do, and don’t allow barking. For example, if your dog can bark when a stranger comes to the door, but not when the mailman comes, your dog will find it difficult to differentiate. When your dog barks unnecessarily, consistently tell them “quiet” in a calm, yet commanding voice. Praise them when they do what you ask.
3. Challenge Them Physically and Mentally
If your dog is barking excessively during the day or at night, they may be bored or lonely. Make time to exercise your dog. This will entertain them, give them time to socialize, and tire them out. A tired dog will most likely not be awake to bark during the night. You can also give your dog puzzles, bones, or toys to engage them throughout the day. Lastly, if your dog barks because they are lonely throughout the day, use technology to communicate with them while you are away.
Despite how frustrating bad dog behavior can be, there is always a healthy, long-term solution. Dogs dig, chew, and bark because of their natural instincts. These behaviors get out of hand when a different part of their life is out of balance. Excessive or inappropriate digging, chewing, and barking can typically be cured with extra exercise and increased socialization. What strategies do you use to keep your dog behaving properly? Share in the comments below.
About The Author:
Alyson is a lead dog care expert and the main author at Woof Woof Dog Supplies. Everyday she puts on a superhero suit, and she helps dog owners effortlessly (and affordably) take care of their dog’s health.