Dogs have a special talent for demolishing backyards. If it is not the yellow “pee spots” then it is the dig spots under trees or in the middle of the flowers. Every Labradoodle owner I know has at one point or another asked: why?
Why do Labradoodles dig? Like most dogs, Labradoodles dig for a variety of reasons. Digging helps a Doodle deal with boredom, anxiety, cool off, build a food stash, satisfy curiosity, escape something they fear, and to prepare for a coming puppy-litter.
If you are going to try to solve the why do Labradoodles dig enigma, you will first have to figure out why your Doodle is digging. Once you figure that out, you can’t move towards stopping it.
Boredom And Curiosity
This is one of the most common reasons why Labradoodles dig.
Dogs that are left without supervision alone in the backyard will often turn to dig because it’s fun for them.
They quickly discover that the ground has roots and other stuff that will actually move around and “play” with them when poked a bit.
If they are left on their own they will create whatever entertainment they can, and in time they will almost always, at some point, decide to dig around a bit.
This can one of the more difficult types of digging to stop simply because digging in itself has become the reward.
Some professional dog trainers suggest that you can cover your dog’s favorite digging areas with fences, and also increase the amount of time that you’re together with your dog.
Intense exercise can help with the boredom if you remember to also engage your dog mentally as well as physically.
And where most people are great at giving their Doodle enough physical stimulation, they often forget that mental stimulation is just as, if not more, important.
My Doodle Monty has been exceptionally happy with some of the games we’ve learned after getting Brain Training For Dogs by Adrienne Farricelli.
You should also check out this article that goes a bit more into details regarding Labradoodle exercise needs.
To Cool off
My 1-year-old Doodle Monty loves going into our backyard and dig a spot under his favorite apple tree, where he will just lay down in the freshly exposed dirt and just really chill.
By digging a little burrow spot in the dirt he manages to stay cool.
And it’s an even better solution when he can find that specific spot away from the sun.
And while Monty really loves it, the roots of the tree have now been somewhat exposed and I am worried that the tree won’t be able to survive many years more.
If the reason for your dogs’ digging is to simply get away from the heat, then provide him with a different way to cool off. I went and splashed out $50 on a great foldable pool and keep it filled with water.
Then, try and place something uncomfortable on the ground under the tree. Bark or rocks are something your dog most likely won’t enjoy chilling on.
And always make sure that your dog has different places it can use to relax in the shade.
If you can find other ways to keep your Doodle cool, you will probably prevent him from tearing up your wife’s flowers.
Check out this video on how to cool down a dog quickly..
A Great All-Around Solution
Before we take a look before some of the other possible reasons why your Labradoodle digs, let me tell you about an effective all-around solution that has worked quite well for me actually.
The reason why I suggest this is because there can be times where you simply can’t figure out why your Labradoodle is digging. Or if you do figure out what the cause is, the problem might be something that could require a little extra help.
Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray is an entirely plant and botanically based spray. It works as a long-term deterrent to avoid everything from digging to chewing in both dogs and cats.
The spray is of course completely harmless to animals and people.
It is a remarkably effective way to get your Labradoodle to stop digging up your backyard.
To Escape Something That Frightens Them
Your dog might also experience something that scares them and will attempt to dig its’ way out of the situation. Trying to figure out what your Labradoodle might be scared of can in some cases be easier than in others.
For example, if you notice that he pretty much only digs in early July, then it is pretty reasonable to think that the fireworks that accompany the celebrations surrounding the 4th of July are the culprit.
If the digging is happening on a more consistent basis, then figuring out why your Labradoodle is digging can be a bit more difficult.
You can start by just paying attention to what areas in the yard that your dog usually avoids or at what the time of day the digging typically starts.
In time you will most likely discover some common trends in his behaviors, and that can help you discover the source of your Labradoodles’ digging.
Removing whatever it is that is frightening your Labradoodle is the obvious situation in this case.
But in other cases that can prove to be more challenging than that.
For example, how are you going to stop all the fireworks going off?
A solution to that can be to play the long game and start getting your dog familiarized with those special conditions and scary noises. Spend as much time as possible with your Doodle while the fireworks are blasting away and then distract him by doing the things he loves.
It is often simple things such as feeding him or just play some catch.
These are all things that are very enticing to a dog, and it will make the fireworks become nothing more than background noise while you are having fun.
If that doesn’t work, consider bringing your Labradoodle inside during the most intense weeks of the firework season.
Response To Anxiety
This cause the easily be linked with the previous one as anxiety can lead to a wide array of destructive behavior.
Sometimes a Labradoodle will simply bark and run back and forth if they feel any frustration or anxiety. At other times they can also resort to suddenly start digging up your backyard.
One thing to be on the lookout for is where your dog is digging.
If there doesn’t seem to be any pattern to the location, then the reason could be that you have a Labradoodle with a form of anxiety.
Sometimes you can find them always parked by the front of the fence—closest to the action going on in the street.
But if the digging is mostly sporadic, there’s a good chance your dog is dealing with anxiety or boredom (below I have some tips when dealing with boredom).
When trying to figure out what the cause of the anxiety is can sometimes be easier if you search for anything that has recently changed most in him/her.
Think about your daily routine with your Doodle. Perhaps he is struggling with his health in some manner.
If your dog is female, it is also quite common to see a new mommy digging in the backyard as a method to let off some steam.
I know that helps me when I need some timeout from my kid!
Anxiety is often an extremely tricky beast to try and fix.
If you can find a recent change that can be the cause of the anxiety, then you should obviously attempt to do what you can to eliminate that stress from the change.
If you can, just get things back to the way they previously were.
If that’s not an option—perhaps you’ve just gotten a new job and it’s screwing up your old routine—then let your dog have some time to get acquainted with this new routine of yours.
And in the end, when the anxiety is finally helped, you should immediately see much less of the digging.
If your dogs’ digging is primarily focused on a specific area or two rather than on boundaries such as a fence it is very likely that your dog is out hunting for something.
It is likely in a situation such as this, that your dog has stumbled upon a rodent burrowing under the ground or something like that.
The best possible solution, in this case, is to get rid of whatever your Doodle is chasing in your yard.
Research on what traps and poisons are safe for your dog but not for the prey he’s chasing.
If the prey isn’t there, then there won’t be any hunt for it.
Create a Food Stash
Whenever your dog is given too much food, he will most likely try and bury what he’s not able to devour in one sitting.
This is something all dogs’ have inherited from their wolf-ancestors long ago.
And while your dog has never had to scavenge for food and having to stash whatever was leftover from the last kill, those instincts are still very much present.
If the reason for your dogs’ digging is this, and you find him burying his food scraps or bones, you will now know the cause of his digging.
An easy fix to this problem is to just cut back on his food portions a little, and he will probably stop digging within a single day or two.
To Get Out
Another of the more common reasons for digging is to escape from what your dog perceives as confinement.
The possibilities to run free can suddenly be overwhelming for a Labradoodle with infinite amounts of energy.
There are so many exciting things going on just on the other side of the fence. It could be the noise from the neighborhood kids playing in the street or a Honda driving past, there are numerous things that could catch a dog’s attention.
And if that attention is from the outside of the fenced yard, your Doodle will attempt anything is his power to get out from his “prison”.
That also includes digging under the fence.
If your Doodle is digging because of all the interesting things he notices on the outside, try setting up a preventative fence.
This is something that requires quite a bit of work but it’s also extremely effective to get a dog to stop digging.
You can probably purchase some specific products on Amazon, but the cheapest (and perhaps also best) solution by far, is to just put one together yourself.
If you’re in doubt, try looking up videos on YouTube for advice, there are several solutions.
No matter what you find when studying your dog, just always make sure that the digging won’t end up becoming a really serious issue.
Remember that your dog isn’t actively trying to destroy everything and angering you.
Your Labradoodle is, perhaps even without him knowing it, trying to tell you something when the digging starts.
And it’s now your job to try and figure out what he is trying to say, you can quickly find the solution to his issues or concerns.
No matter what you end up doing, if the digging is a real problem for you, make sure you take affirmative action so he doesn’t build a habit of it and start relying on digging as his way to release some energy or as a coping mechanism.
Or if everything else fails, make sure to give Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray a try. You will most likely be surprised at how well it works. Check out the link to see the current price—it’s typically less than $20.
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