How do I stop my dog from digging holes and chewing everything?

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra,

How do I stop my dog from digging holes and stop him from taking everything outside and chewing it up. He is part lab and chow. He is 8 months old.

Dorothy Perry


Sounds like you have two different behaviors you are dealing with.

First, the digging. Dogs dig for a variety of reasons. Digging may be a way for some dogs, especially puppies, to vent their excess energy. If you dog is digging to have fun – that is different than digging to get out. Make sure your yard is secure from him getting out. Digging can be a good way for your dog to burn up excess energy but bad for you with the garden!

Make sure you provide lots of exercise and play time for him. Also, you probably want to supervise your dog when he is in the yard and reprimand him when he starts to dig. When he starts to dig, reprimand him and get him involved in an acceptable play behavior such as fetch. If he likes fetch toys – play with him every day and let him expend his energy. Another time to intellectual toys some dogs really respond to is to food toys such as the Kong where you can place a hidden treat inside. They make some Kong styles that are nearly indestructible.

As far as taking everything outside, that may have to do with supervision. Don't let him take things out or stick with indestructible toys. Give the Kong a try and let me know what you think.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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