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17 Jan 2006

naughty dogs
Dear Doc

I would just like to know why does dogs dig holes in the garden, eat plants and make everything they see their chew toy? I have 2 small dogs a corky and jack russel both not even 1 year old, they get plenty of attention, love food and toys to play with. Is there something I can do to prevent them from going mad in my garden and house.

Thank you
Answer 334 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Sonja

All pups dig and destroy things. There are ways to prevent it or divert it a bit. If they have tons of toys available to them every day, it will not stop them from doing it. They get bored with the same toys every day. Dogs dig due to boredom, loneliness, frustration, anxiety, etc. The best is to stimulate their brains. Take them for a short 10min walk every morning. On your walk you can do some positive reinforcement training. Allow them to sniff and see what goes on outside their own garden. If there is an area you do not mind them digging in, you can encourage them to continue going in the same place by putting their hooves, etc. in the hole. When they have dug a hole or eaten a plant, you should not discipline them if you have not actually caught them in the act. Negative attention is still attention. get them a toy box (coca cola crate) and fill it with toys for them. All new toys go at the bottom and old toys on top. They have to unpack the box to get to the new ones. This will help with stimulating the brain, also get a buster cube (food cube). This keeps them occupied for ages trying to get their food out of it. Divert their attention to something that is acceptable to you.

Hope you get some joy

Good luck


Animal Behaviourist
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