I tripped across Paws Abilities today, which while looks not to have been updated in a couple of years, nevertheless is one you should check out (even though the last entries are from a couple of years ago). I got hooked on an article on why you should not adopt a shelter animal (because you feel sorry for it, rather than choosing an animal that will be a great match breed characteristic and lifestyle wise).
What got me was the most adorable photo of his dog–a terrier–peering up after a gleeful bout of digging (gleeful for the dog, not the owner LOL) and another one with his nose covered in dirt.
Candy started digging about week three, apparently after feeling super comfy enough to do it. AND because that’s what dogs do. Especially terriers. They dig.
Dogs dig for sport. Dogs dig out of boredom. And dogs dig for a purpose (as the author, a dog trainer, astutely points out).
Lucky for Candy, I had already read how digging is a natural tendency for dogs, especially hunting and rooting breeds like terriers. So while I couldn’t keep letting her dig up the ground around my tree, I knew she couldn’t help herself. Because I didn’t have any “appropriate” place for her to dig (though I seriously did entertain creating a “digging dirt/sand box), I distracted her with her balls.
If I foster another natural digger, I am going to try some of the ideas from “What To Do If Your Dog Digs” post, such as what he did to keep his dog from digging his way to China (or in this case, out of the yard):
Digging out of the yard told us that Trout was bored, and the world outside her backyard looked much more green than the ground she’d already explored inside her highly-reinforced “AlcaTroutz.” So, we needed to make things more interesting.
Increasing the excitement of the backyard wasn’t difficult, but it did require some minor maintenance. Sprinkling interesting scents in random areas of the yard kept things interesting for Trout. A small handful of used hamster bedding, a few feathers from a friend’s chicken, or the dust from the bottom of a bag of beef liver dog treats were all big hits. Trout also thought that the trail of juice dribbled from a can of tuna was fascinating, and she loved it when we threw a small handful of treats out in the grass for her to find. Of equal enrichment value was our brush pile. After we removed two arborvitae from alongside our house, the brush became a frequent playground for her. She climbed, burrowed, and sniffed amongst the branches for hours. We made sure to position this brush pile well away from the fence so as not to provide a convenient staircase into the world outside her yard, and Trout soon stopped attempting to dig out at all as her backyard became the paradise that she’d always assumed the rest of the neighborhood to be.more at Paws Abilities
I might get my chance to try a few of these ideas, especially the tip on “sprinkling scents.” My new foster dog–Riley– is a basset hound mix, which is a scent-driven, prone to digging breed .
So stay tuned.