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Even the sweet, innocent look on your Cockapoo’s face isn’t going to calm you down when you see that his digging has ruined your garden again. Some dogs dig more than others and some might suddenly start this annoying habit after having never shown any interest in digging before.
This can make your garden look a real mess but it will also mean that he is tramping dirt into the house as well. Overall, it is the kind of habit that we want our Cockapoos to stop doing in any way that we can.
Before looking at possible solutions, it is important to, first of all, understand why he is doing this in the first place. There are a number of possible reasons for this that you need to think about.
Why Is Your Cockapoo Digging?
- Anxiety or stress. If your Cockapoo is going through a difficult time then digging may be his way of dealing with it. This is a likely cause if he has moved house lately, there is a new pet in the home or he is dealing with some other sort of major upheaval.
- One of the biggest issues with Cockapoos is that they get bored easily. If he has been spending too much time stuck in the house or garden then digging is a possible result. If he digs when he is left alone then this is the first reason that you should consider.
- Similar to the last point, if he is alone in the garden for a long time then he may find that digging helps him to forget his loneliness. Cockapoos are friendly and sociable dogs so if you notice that he is alone in the garden a lot then this could be the cause of the problem.
- Other breeds of dog will tend to dig holes for instinct, especially those that have a history as hunting dogs. This isn’t so common a reason with Cockapoos but if you can’t find a specific cause for his digging then you might have to chalk it down to pure instinct.
- To hide food and toys. Another possibility is that he wants to hide some food and toys for later. If it is food that he is hiding in holes then try giving him less with each meal, so that there is nothing left over for him to try and hide away. He may also do this if he fears another dog taking his food, so making each dog eat alone can solve the problem.
- To cool down. Some dogs will dig on very hot days in order to look for cooler soil to lie on top of. This is a possible cause if you notice that he digs relatively shallow holes that he can fit into when it is hot.
What Are the Possible Solutions?
The best solution usually becomes obvious once we understand why he is digging in the first place. For example, in the case where he is trying to hide left-over food then giving him less food could solve it.
However, there are also other, more general solutions to think about as well.
- Give him an area to dig. If you are happy for him to dig in a specific part of the garden then why not let him go ahead? You just need to make sure that he is in the right spot and can’t get access to anywhere else where we could cause damage.
- Pave the garden. It might seem like something of a drastic solution but putting down paving or decking will ensure that he can’t dig like before. The downside to this is that if you don’t deal with the underlying cause then he might start on some other sort of destructive behaviour instead.
- Keep him company. Do you often leave him alone out in the garden? If you do then it may be that he just needs some more company. Try playing with him outside and discouraging him from digging if he tries to start.
- Train him. This could be an opportunity for you to give him some extra training sessions. There are a number of ways of doing this, such as using positive reinforcement techniques. If you don’t feel comfortable with this then why not look for a dog training expert to do it for you? With this approach you get the satisfaction of knowing that he is learning how to behave better.
- Don’t leave him in the garden alone. This is the same sort of idea as paving over the garden, and it has the same sort of risks. If he has always had the freedom to wander into the garden then you could simply try closing the doors. Some dogs will just accept this change to their lifestyle but others may get upset.
- Put chicken wire in the holes. Another interesting tactic that has been successful in some houses is to put chicken wire in the holes that he digs. It seems that dogs don’t like the feel of this material and may stop their digging habit as a result of finding it in their holes.
No-one wants to see their garden ruined by a dog that won’t stop digging. At first this might seem like an impossible problem to solve but the truth is that there are some simple solutions that you can try.
To get started, you need to spend some time thinking about why he is doing this. There is a good chance that you find a fairly obvious reason once you do that.
Next, you can choose from the list of potential solutions in order to get him to stop. Of course, you might need to try one or more solutions until you are successful in getting him to stop digging.