While Labrador Retrievers are known for being great family and house dogs for many reasons, one drawback is their affinity for digging. Many Lab owners know the woes of a backyard that looks like a minefield, thanks to their busy Lab. There are many reasons why dogs dig, but luckily there is a solution regardless of why your Lab is doing it. The following are four tips to get your Lab to stop digging.
#1 – Management
While you are working on solving the digging problem, which won’t happen overnight, the easiest way to stop your Labrador from doing it is to not leave him in the yard alone. This way, he won’t have a chance to practice the behavior. The more he practices it, the more he will continue to dig because it’s rewarding for him.
#2 – More Exercise
Digging takes a lot of energy. Many dogs do it as a form of self-exercise. If you provide more exercise for your Lab – like a couple mile jog, for example – then he won’t have the energy to dig.
#3 – Self-Play Toys
Boredom is another reason why your Lab may have taken up trying to dig to China. Providing self-play toys for your dog in the backyard is a great way to keep him occupied. The Wunderball is a great choice because when your dog drops it, it bounces unevenly, encouraging your dog to keep playing. Treat toys, iFetch, Tether Tug, and the like are all good options, too.
#4 – A Place To Dig
Finally, your Labrador Retriever digs because it’s self-rewarding. Aside from expending energy, your dog loves the feel of the dirt in his toes and the smells he unearths. He may even be tracking a mole or a gopher. If your dog is like this, you may find the only way to stop him from digging up your entire yard is to give him a sand or dirt box of his own. Use a kid box or build one yourself. Make sure it has a clearly marked perimeter and that the soil inside it is different from your landscaping so your dog can learn the difference. Bury toys and treats inside the box (shallow at first) to encourage your Lab to dig there and not anywhere else. This is a great solution because it gives him exercise and keeps him from being bored while saving your landscaping. And, there’s no risk he will dig himself out of your yard.
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