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Has Your Dog Developed a Yard-Digging Obsession?

Your retriever mix Dozer has become an efficient excavation machine. This eighty-pound canine housemate has abandoned his lively fetch games, and seems fixated on tearing up your backyard. For three days, your determined dog has been digging holes so deep his head disappears from view. Clods of grass and dirt fly from morning ’til night, as your highly focused pooch steadily creates a line of pits along your fence line. You’ve given up calculating the sod replacement cost. Tomorrow, Dozer will visit your Fayetteville, NC veterinarian, who will give your canine delinquent a hearty dose of behavioral counseling.

What’s Behind the Digging Frenzy

Perhaps clever Dozer has become bored with his regular activities, and he’s searching for a new hobby. Maybe your insanely curious pooch simply must find out what’s beneath that foot of dirt or just beyond that fence.

Or, maybe your companion is instinctively reliving his “wild dog” days. His canine ancestors often hollowed out cozy dens, likely for protection against vicious predators. Regardless of your dog’s motivation, his unacceptable antics might serve as a “gateway behavior” to other undesirable activities. These can include non-stop barking and destructive chewing, among others.

World-Renowned Canine Diggers

Although Dozer does impressive work, he wouldn’t qualify for the Canine Digging Hall of Fame. This honor is generally reserved for compact dogs such as dachshunds and terriers. These feisty, determined canines were originally bred to ferret out small game such as badgers and rodents. Since your neighborhood likely lacks those desirable targets, your dog will settle for moles and gophers in the backyard. Finally, if your fiercely dedicated pooch does have that champion “digger” instinct, you’ll have a tough time convincing him to adopt a replacement behavior.

Harness That Explosive Energy

Help your fidgety pooch develop a better outlet for his impressive energy. Increase the frequency and distance of his neighborhood walks. Add vigorous dog park visits, and consider regular hikes. If your vet approves, get your high-octane dog into a fast-paced sport such as fly-ball or canine agility. Finally, if he has a high-strung demeanor, or has previously shown destructive behavior, ask your vet to find him a fulfilling job.

After your Fayetteville, NC veterinarian resolves Dozer’s destructive behavior, you can address your sorry-looking property. If your dog seems focused on destroying your yard, contact us for expert advice.

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