Dog Training – How to Stop a Dog From Digging Using the MUTT Method
Digging is a common behavior problem for a lot of dog owners. If the problem is not fixed, digging can make your yard look like a war zone and become a hazard for anyone walking through. Here I will discuss the M.U.T.T. Method to remedy the situation. You can use the M.U.T.T. Method for any behavior problem. The acronym stands for the steps you must take to solve the problem: Manage, Underlying, Train and Time.
Manage the behavior. Managing the behavior will not fix the problem, but will prevent the problem from getting worse. Managing the behavior requires the owner to not give the dog the opportunity to dig.
Figure out the underlying reason for the behavior. Every behavior problem has an underlying reason. The main reasons for digging are: frustration, boredom, heat and breed.
Is your dog frustrated because he can see another dog or cat but can’t get to it because a fence is preventing it? Is your dog bored hanging out in the backyard all day? Is the dog hot and digging to find a cool spot? Do you have a dog that is part of a full breed terrier? Terriers have a strong need to dig.
Once you figure out the underlying problem you can train a new behavior or provide an outlet for your dog. If your dog is digging because of boredom you can give your dog more exercise, bring her to dog daycare or perhaps have a dog walker help out. If your dog is digging because he is hot provide a cool area for him to lie down.
If you have a terrier and feel that your dog really just loves to dig you can build a sandbox and teach her to dig in that area. A sandbox can be built with (4) 6-foot 2×4 pieces of wood and some dirt. Bring your dog to this area every time he starts to dig.
The last T in the M.U.T.T. Method is for time. Give it some time for your dog to change the behavior. If you built a sandbox for your dog it will take a little time for him to learn that it is the only space where he can dig.