Dogs have a natural tendency to dig. When he digs, your dog may want to reach what’s under the ground or even to make a comfortable spot to relax. But, of course, you want to stop him from digging up your garden, carpet or couch. Redirecting him to another activity, such as distraction toys, can help.
Here are the 5 best distraction toys for dogs who like to dig:
A great way to have fun with your canine best friend is to interact with him using a flirt pole. Flirt poles consist of a PVC pole with a cord through it. A toy is attached at the end. Waving the toy around for your pup to chase and catch the toy at the end of the cord uses his natural prey drive. One point for you, zero for your garden. Cost $28.99.
Use a squeaky toy to get your dog’s attention — and then play! Although not truly invincible, this toy is pretty sturdy. The Invincible line of toys has a Dura-Tuff inner lining and double-layered outer seams with a plush exterior. They are fun for a dog to fetch (read here about teaching your dog to fetch) and to tug. Their multiple squeakers make the toy very enticing and can even make a pup forget that he wanted to dig. Costs $24,99.
What dog doesn’t love a tennis ball? These Kong balls come in various sizes and have a squeaker to tempt your pup to play. Fetching this fun ball will help your dog forget all about his plans to dig up your carpet. Costs $13.99.
- Puzzle toys for dogs who like to dig (here are our top 6)
There are many toys where a dog’s attention is drawn to solving a puzzle. He may have to roll the toy or push or pull various parts to obtain treasured kibble and treats that will be dispensed. The fun — not to mention the food — that these toys offer can help lure a dog away from digging.
Even though most dogs will love playing with some or all of the above toys, some will still have a need to dig. This is especially true of Terriers like Westies or Cairn Terriers, who were bred to hunt for vermin. But don’t despair: There’s even a toy meant for digging. The iFetch iDig Stay Toy encourages a dog to dig in the toy itself. You can hide your pup’s toys and treats for added interest. And it’s even washable! Costs $99.99.
Why do dogs dig?
Dogs dig at the floor or ground for many reasons. Sometimes it’s hard-wired into the dog’s DNA, other times it’s related to a pup’s environment. Reasons dogs dig include:
- Ingrained behavior
- Stress and anxiety
- Medical issues
- It’s fun!
- Attention seeking
- To hide valuable items
- Nesting behavior
- To control their temperature
How to keep your dog from digging
After ruling out any medical or stress issues, use toys and play to help release any excess energy. Exercise both his body and his mind.
Playing with your dog helps further your bond. Play fetch (here’s how to teach your dog to play fetch) or use other interactive toys, such as the dog toys for digging I listed above.
The key is to make his environment more fun than digging.
Digging is a natural canine behavior. But there are many toys that you can use to help distract your dog from digging. They’ll save your carpet and furniture. As an added bonus, you’ll both have fun using them!