So, you’ve just purchased your first sustainable, real-grass puppy toilet. You let your four-legged friend have their first Piddle on their patch, and what do they do? Dig it to pieces! While this isn’t the case for everyone, sometimes you can’t stop a dog digging.
Don’t fret, digging in dogs, especially puppies, is completely normal! Some pups might need more exercise, or entertainment, to stop this behaviour. While other breeds may be instinctively inclined to dig. Take a look at some of the reasons why your dog may be digging. What you can do to stop your dog digging. And, how you can keep your Piddle Patch intact!
Need some assistance with training your new puppy? Take a look at our Training Tips Hub! Here you’ll find everything you will need to have your pooch up to speed in no time.
Why does my dog enjoy digging?
For many dogs, digging is an enjoyable activity and instinctive behaviour. It can be a nuisance when house-training your dog, though. The good news is that it’s a manageable behaviour. Take a look at some of the most common reasons our four-legged friends enjoy digging:
- Instinct – all dogs have the predisposition to dig in them somewhere. It’s as much a part of their nature as barking or sniffing.
- Breed – while all dogs may have digging in their DNA, some breeds are more predisposed than others. Top diggers include; Jack Russel Terrier, Dachshund, Siberian Husky, Beagle.
- Prey – it’s true that some dogs will be sniffing out prey such as voles or rats. This may lead to digging when they pick up the scent of their prey.
- Energy – Digging is a common activity for dogs with extra energy. The same can be said for dogs who are bored or looking for a fun activity to engage in.
How can I stop my dog digging?
Providing your dog with plenty of exercise and stimulation will naturally discourage your pup from digging in the grass as a form of exercise and entertainment. As a new puppy, your dog may have a lot of extra energy to burn.
Taking an extra long walk each day, or multiple smaller walks throughout the day can help make sure your puppy is getting the exercise they need, which will reduce the likelihood of your dog digging in the grass.
If your dog seems particularly interested in the act of digging, then consider making them a special place to dig using old towels or sheets. This can provide them with a non-destructive way to engage in this fun activity.
If you catch your dog digging, take them away from Piddle Patch and encourage them to play elsewhere by providing a fun activity for them to do, or a fun game to play. Fetch and tug of war can be lots of fun for dogs with a lot of energy to burn.
What should I do if my dog digs their Piddle Patch?
While house-training your puppy, it’s important that you discourage all forms of play on Piddle Patch. Puppies can be easily distracted, and some puppies may think the grass is there to play with, sleep on or dig in, so it’s important to discourage these activities as soon as possible and encourage only the correct behaviour from your puppy so as to avoid teaching them bad habits. Once they have learned that the grass is a toilet area, and not a play area, the unwanted behaviours will stop.
Step-by-Step Guide on stopping your Dog Digging their Piddle Patch
Take a look at this easy step-by-step guide that will help you stop your little pup from digging their patch to pieces:
- When you bring your dog to Piddle Patch, use your command word (“go potty”, “go wee”, etc) to indicate that you want them to relieve themselves. If your pup is just starting out with their house-training, this step will be important for building the connection between the command word and the expected behaviour.
- If your dog starts to dig, say “no” in a firm voice, regain their attention and move your dog away from Piddle Patch to play elsewhere.
- After a few minutes, return with your puppy to Piddle Patch and again use your command word to encourage them to relieve themselves. If your dog does not go within a minute or two, it may be that they aren’t ready.
- Understanding your dog’s queues, such as sniffing, whining, circling, barking or scratching, can help you to anticipate when they are ready to go pee or poop.
- If they do not show these signals, keep an eye out for any other signals they may have, and bring them back to Piddle Patch every couple of minutes.
- If they try to relieve themselves somewhere else, pick them up and have them finish on Piddle Patch.
- After every successful potty break, shower them with lots of praise. After a few successful potty breaks, they will understand what you are asking them to do with Piddle Patch and will no longer need the assistance.
Why does my dog like digging | Final Thoughts
As we have discussed, digging in dogs is completely normal behaviour. Some pups are more inquisitive and ‘naughty’ than others. If you’ve got yourself a ‘digger’, just remember the steps you can take to occupy your pooch. A bored, or under-exercised dog, will be the most likely culprits for digging.
When it comes to your Piddle Patch, the most important thing to remember is it’s not a toy. Reinforcing to your pooch, that this is their toilet and not a toy, is crucial to the success of the Piddle Patch. When you are toilet training your pooch, practice patience, trust the process, and enjoy!
Can’t get your head around what vaccinations your pooch needs? Take a look at our Expert Guide on Vaccinations and Preventative Healthcare.