Is Your Canine Like Houdini?

by Stacey Ennis Betters

A Wandering Dog is a Danger...

As much as we would like to think that there is an actual reason for the canine tunneling, dogs basically dig due to loneliness, stress, boredom or they just plain and simply find it pleasurable. Oh, and there is also the chance that they have spotted something fascinating on the other side. When you catch him in the act, he looks like he is having a blast, right??

It is seen as a canine behavioral problem. Although, in the wild, it is a normal behavior.

Some dogs just plain and simply are not getting the attention that they would like. Even if you scold them for digging...that is still one on one attention in their eyes.

Some consider it a fun activity. I have caught my dog, Buddha, in the act. His paws are so big, he looks like a backhoe just shoveling away almost in a frenzy. It is like he has had a Starbucks latte and he is out of control!

In the hot, humid summer weather, digging provides a cool place for them to lie down.

Digging is also a means of escape. When you pick up a stray dog, as I did, you have no idea of their previous habits. Possibly, they were stray because they dug out of the yard of their previous owner and the people got tired of filling holes.

Dogs may dig to bury their treasures. Maybe they would prefer to have their bone at a later date. They never know what the future holds.

There is nothing scarier than returning home to find your dog missing. I have a privacy fenced in backyard and a dog door so my dogs have lots of freedom. I also have a cat that likes to stroll down the fence and taunt them. I am pretty sure this has been the reason for a few tunnels by Buddha (whom I am starting to think is somewhat of a Houdini). He is a big 110 pound black lab mix that can tunnel out of an amazingly narrow tunnel.

Everyone I mentioned it to told me to put in an electric fence. That may be the case eventually. But, for now, I am going to the places in the fence where he has dug out and am laying down hardware cloth held with landscape anchor pins, which can both be bought at Home Depot. It is a metal 1/2" mesh. I used 1/2" to keep his fingernails from getting caught. Oh, I forget, a dog does not have fingers...I mean doggie digits. I am placing it right against the base of the fence. When he sees airspace at the bottom, the digging begins. Hopefully, the minute his paw hits the mesh he will realize it is a no-go. A dog will go the path of least resistance.

This does not seem as radical as an electric fence, but there is always that option.

Keeping your dog contained ensures his safety as well as the safety of others.