Does your backyard look like the surface of the moon? Are your cocker spaniel’s paws constantly dirty? Are you worried that your pup will dig too close to the fence and escape? And are you wondering just why the love to tear up the yard? Well, this article will list 5 reasons why your cocker spaniel just loves to dig!

Entertainment

If the yard looks a little boring, or you’re putting your cocker spaniel outside for long periods of time, they may start to dig for a bit of entertainment. Soil and plant roots are exciting stimuli for a young dog, especially if the roots lead to a bit of single-player tug of war. To prevent digging for this reason, go into the yard to play with your pup, put out some interesting toys, or find them a buddy, if even just for a little while. If there’s a corner of the yard you don’t mind filling in, make them a designated digging area. And don’t leave them unattended for long periods of time.

Comfort or Shelter

Does your cocker spaniel prefer digging on hot days? They’re probably trying to get to the cooler soil. On a cold or windy day, they might try to dig a makeshift den for protection. And if they’re thirsty enough, they might try to dig for underground water. Stopping this kind of digging is easy enough. Bring them inside if they need a break from the weather, and give them a nice, big, hard-to-tip bowl of water to drink.

Burrowing Prey

A gopher, rabbit, or ground squirrel makes for an interesting chase for your cocker spaniel, but a ruined yard for you. If they’re digging in a focused area, or near tree roots, that could be a sign of hunt digging. What should you do in this scenario? Find a way to humanely remove the prey animal, fill in its tunnels, and get rid of its scent. With the animal gone, your cocker spaniel won’t be driven to dig anymore. And be vigilant. If one animal has found your yard a good home, others might, too. Make your yard less attractive to the prey.

Escape

Escape

If your cocker spaniel is particularly interested in some spots near the fence, they could be trying to escape the yard. Maybe something in it is scaring them, or maybe something beyond it is enticing. Either way, this is something you want to prevent. Remove the incentive to escape, if possible, and make digging under the fence harder. Try blocking off their preferred tunneling space with some rocks, or put chicken wire in the ground to patch their hole. A bit of chain-link fence along the border of the yard will make it harder for them to walk there. If you make things difficult enough, and the yard safer, less scary, and more enticing, they’ll give up on their escape attempts before long.

Attention

If a cocker spaniel doesn’t get enough human interaction, they’ll do just about anything to be noticed. This includes some fairly undesired behaviors, like digging. To a dog who’s lonely or desperate enough, even negative attention works. This is one of the tougher habits to break. The best way to do so is with a combination of things. Ignore the digging behavior, no matter how much it may frustrate you. Give them plenty of opportunities to be a good dog, and p