Why does my dog dig?

Professional dog trainer in Burnaby

Why does my dog dig?


When I was a kid, we had a mixed poodle dog.  We were taking care of it for my mom’s friend.  This dog, Brandy, had a white curly coat.  The first day we had him was not a great day.  It was rainy outside and whenever we let him out, he would come back dark and covered with mud.  My mom would wash him and dry him several times that day as Brandy’s repetitive adventure of digging and burrowing in the mud was fun for him.

A typical question asked is why do dogs dig?

It could be genetic such as with the Terrier group.  These dogs were brought up to dig holes in search of burrowing rodents.  With other dogs, digging is fun.  It’s a way to burn off energy and to keep themselves busy.  Digging could also be due to a dog having anxiety or stressed when left alone for long periods.  Then there are the escape artists, dogs that manage to dig big enough holes under a fence to get out.

Digging is a difficult behavioural problem to fix.  It is definitely not an overnight fix.  Some of the solutions to prevent a dog from digging is to keep the dog away from the area and not to leave the him or her unsupervised. One should never scold a dog while and/or after it has dug since this will induce fear and lower its confidence.

Catching the dog in the act and following through immediately with an obedience routine is a good way to help correct the dog in this behaviour.  Also, by continuing with a daily positive and motivational dog obedience training routine, it will help keep the dog busy and build on his or her confidence.

Moreover, we employ effective communication tools to explain key concepts quickly and easily. So, what are you waiting for? Call us now at 604 341 6509 to book your virtual dog training sessions today!

Private dog training in Vancouver 

Tony Giotto, Master Dog Trainer and Behaviourist has worked with many dogs since 2001. He studied with and worked for Master Trainer S. Prewitt of the Prewitt Canine Training Academy at the International College of Canine Behavioural Science.

Call us now at (604) 341-6509 for more information!

We serve in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Surrey, and Delta.

Our Training Philosophy & Services

Degenerative Myelopathy: Wicked and Deadly Disease

Is Your Dog Uncomfortable with Strangers? Here Is What You Should Know

Degenerative Myelopathy: Wicked and Deadly Disease

Degenerative Myelopathy, such a weird and scary term for a name of a disease.  In layman terms, it is a sickening and wicked disabling disease.  A disease that eventually crushes down the health of a dog.  It is said that it is compared to the Lou Gehrig or ALS disease in humans.

In short, Degenerative Myelopathy is a disease that there is no cure.  It starts as a deterioration of the middle core of the spinal column.  As this happens, the dog will start to lose sensation and motor skills of the hind legs.  It happens to specific breeds and the German Shepherd is one of them.  This disease can occur when the dog is approximately 9 years old and up.  More specific information is available on the internet.

At first, I did not know much about Degenerative Myelopathy until symptoms, as described earlier, were observed on our dog, Duke.  The first problem Duke experienced was slight wobbling of his hind legs and then after a period of time, dragging of his hind legs.  His walk was slower and one could hear the slight dragging of his nails as they rubbed against the ground.

As the disease progressed further, there was a loss of further sensation and he could no longer wag his tail. Duke needed more time in getting up and in the latter stage, he could not get up on his own.  Assistance was given by using a harness to bring him out regularly so that he could relieve himself even though some mistakes were made in the house.

Gentle care was given and a decision was made to take care of Duke at home.  A dog wheelchair was purchased for him so that he could keep mobile by utilizing his two front legs.  At first, it was difficult for him to get used to the balance and mobility of the wheelchair. With motivation and praise, just as in dog training, he became more successful. It gave him a chance to roam around giving him some freedom as his hind legs no longer had the strength to support his back legs.

As time progressed, Duke refused to eat or drink as this is what happens in the later stages of this disease. At this point, we noticed that the strength in his legs weakened further to the point he was not able to stand up.  With further research, it stated that the disease is painless and that the dog does not suffer.

We provided hospice care at home and by hand we fed Duke apple slices since this was the only thing he wanted to nibble.  We also made sure his mouth was kept moist by using a water dropper.  Changing Duke’s diaper was a regular routine.  Also, we flipped him on different sides as he rested so as to minimize any bedsores.

It is true that dogs do keep a schedule, whether it’s meal time, training, playtime, bedtime, or other routines.   Duke waited for my return from work to take his final breath.

The latest on a cure for Degenerative Myelopathy is that breeders are trying to breed out the gene that affects this disease.  However, this will take some time and we only hope that a medicine will be available to help these poor dogs afflicted by this deadly disease.

This story is in honor of our Duke, and in no way is advocating what decision to take when a dog is in the grave stages of illness.  Our decision in care was carried through by knowing through Duke’s eyes that he wanted to remain with us as long as it took until the end.

We serve in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Surrey, and Delta.

Our Training Philosophy & Services