Clinic Hours:
Mon-Fri 8 to 5:30
Sat. by appointment only

31310 Woodhaven Trail
Cannon Falls, MN 55009

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Phone Numbers:
651-258-4050 office
651-258-4051 fax
651-222-0885 Twin Cities


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Canine Digging

For most people, the canine instinct of digging is a nuisance. We must understand that dogs dig for various reasons. In order to modify their behavior, it is important to determine the underlying cause.


  • Dogs that are left alone without sufficient stimulation are bored
  • Dogs desire entertainment
  • Dogs bury their bones and hide food
  • Dogs flush out prey and locate rodents when their predatory instincts activate
  • Dogs want to escape confinement from their kennel or yard to explore their surroundings
  • Dogs want a cool hole or place to lie (when it is hot outside)
  • Dogs have an acute sense of smell and hearing, that informs them when an animal is living under ground
  • For many dogs, digging feels good and becomes a habit
  • Many dogs dig in your bed because your scent comforts them
  • Many dogs dig in your furniture to hide their special toys or treats

Practical suggestions to halt digging

  • Unsupervised dogs must have jobs, more mental stimulation and increased physical activity as an outlet for their energy
  • When dogs are left unsupervised outdoors, it is important to provide alternative activities to distract them
  • Rather than trying to stop or curtail their natural instinct to dig, it makes more sense to provide them with a place to dig such as a sand or soil pit
  • Enroll them in a structured obedience class and train them for one half hour each day
  • Take them out for a walk or jog, play fetch, or doggy pushups
  • Owners must challenge the dogs mind and body in order to fulfill their needs
  • In the presence of owners, digging can be suppressed. However unless the cause is clearly identified and dealt with, the digging will continue in their absence
  • Place a sprinkler (attached to a hose) in the area where the dog is digging While in the act of digging, turn the sprinkler on
  • Bury a balloon in the dog’s hole and cover it with a layer of dirt. The unpleasant surprise of the balloon popping, takes away some of the fun

Happy dogs are more calm, relaxed, tired and attentive to their owners needs. Dogs live for your attention: It is your choice to provide positive or negative reinforcement!!!



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