Your dog thinks the hole of all holes is waiting to be made in your carpet. And all you can probably think is what piece of furniture will cover up the hole. The key to stopping your pup's digging behavior is finding out why he's doing it in the first place.
Play with your pup and give him plenty of outlets to release his energy. While you may twiddle your thumbs when you're bored, some dogs decide to give digging a try and go to town on your carpet. Releasing your dog's energy through walks or playtime ends those sudden urges to dig and instead makes him plop his butt down and go to sleep when he's bored.
Crate your dog when you're away or sleeping. Crating helps keep dogs that dig out of separation anxiety or because they're bored at night out of trouble. If you need to keep your dog away from the delivery man or company momentarily, put him in his crate instead of locking him in a room. If locked in a room, your dog may try to bolt for the exit via the small opening under the door, which is going to require a lot of digging.
Look under couches, chairs, beds and other furniture for missing toys. If your dog's sacred ball has gone missing under the couch, he thinks the only way to get it back is by digging a hole and getting it himself. This type of digging happens in one specific place and near the furniture that has stolen the toy in question.
Give your pup a comfortable place to rest, such as a dog bed or a pile of blankets. WebMD explains some dogs dig in attempt to create a hole to lie in, if the ground is too uncomfortable. If your dog knows the couch is off-limits, he may resort to the ingenious hole-in-the-floor tactic.
Spray problem areas. If your dog digs in the same area of your carpet every time and you cannot stop him, an anti-biting and chewing spray may help. Coat the area lightly with the spray and never spray it at your dog's face. Common sprays include green apple and bitter cherry.
Take away items that your dog tries to bury. Burying bones and treats isn't only a tradition reserved for the outdoors; some dogs take the practice inside, even though it's far less effective. You won't usually see this happen with regular toys, only bones and treats. WebMD suggests feeding your dog treats he can finish in a few bites or simply taking away the problem treats and bones once he begins trying to bury them.
- If your dog digs because of separation anxiety, you must put a stop to his anxiety. Although a crate will help matters, if he's too upset, he'll try to dig out of the crate or chew his way out. Contact your veterinarian for assistance on separation anxiety.
- Never punish your dog for digging. Yelling at him or hitting won't fix anything.
Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.