Why Yorkies Dig – What Can You Do About It?

why yorkies dig

Hello, everyone. Thanks for visiting. Today we are taking a look at why Yorkies Dig. Once we've established just why they do it we will look at what can be done about it.

If you have this problem with your dog you are not alone. A recent United States survey revealed that over 80% of all dog owners in the United States have dogs that dig.

A Brief History Of The Yorkshire Terrier

The Yorkshire Terrier breed originated in England in the early 19th century several small Terrier breeds were interbred to create the Yorkshire Terrier breed.

The dogs were initially known as Broken Haired Scotch Terriers and later as Toy Terriers. The breed officially became Yorkshire Terriers in the year 1874.The Yorkshire Terrier was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1886. By then the breed had become well established and the dogs were much the same as today.

The Yorkie was originally used as a Ratter (a dog sent to kill rats and vermin in mines and Mill buildings).

It did not take long for their owners to discover that Yorkies were very skilled at discovering animals that lived in dens and burrows hidden on the forest floor.The Yorkies proved particularly useful for those hunting foxes, badgers and other small to medium-sized game.

If these animals became trapped and cornered in their dens they would vigorously defend themselves and their young. The Yorkshire Terrier quickly became noted for their brave and courageous nature.

This behavior was highly praised and has become a hard-wired trait of the breed. It's the reason Yorkies are champion diggers to this day.

Why Yorkies Dig

1.0 Dogs Digging To Entertain Themselves

Yorkies often dig for the fun of it. Dogs that love digging usually adopt a playful posture. They alternate between digging and racing about. A sandy surface often triggers a frenzied dig.

Dogs that dig for the love of it usually leave holes randomly all over the lawn.

This kind of digging is the hardest to deal with since the digging is just great fun for the dog.

Try to redirect your dog’s digging to an area you have earmarked for this activity. Build a sand pit that’s especially enticing for your Yorkie.

Try installing a garden fence around areas where you would prefer your Yorkie not to dig. The thought of having to climb or break through a fence will deter some dogs. Others might need further convincing.

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2.0 Dog Digging To Keep Cool Or Get Comfortable

Yorkshire Terriers often dig at the ground and circle before they lie down. It's almost like she is attempting to conjure up a more comfortable landing place.

If a dog is feeling especially hot or cold, she may dig to find a warmer or cooler place to rest. These holes are usually in cool or warm areas, in the shade or sun or under bushes, decks or outdoor furniture.

Dogs living outside in very hot or cold weather sometimes dig holes to sleep in. This will be a problem if they don’t have access to an insulated dog house.

Not having a suitable dog house is not necessarily why Yorkies dig. Some may ignore their Kennel preferring to retreat under a deck and dig a sizable hole. Senior dogs often begin digging because they are unable to regulate their own body temperature as well as before.

If you find that your dog is digging so that he can lie in cool soil a shallow wading pool or a wire kennel with a roof will be a good idea.

Keep your Yorkie indoors, in an air-conditioned area..at least during the hottest time of day.

If your dog feeling the chill an insulated dog house will be the way to go. Put his bed into the sun.

3.0 Dogs Digging To Hunt Small Animals

If your dog starts to dig holes at random in the yard, he has most likely smelt or heard something beneath the ground and is attempting to get dig them up.

If your Yorkie is after small animals like chipmunks, moles, and ground squirrels you may need to get an expert in to take them off your property.

Try providing a larger hole for them in an acceptable place. Encourage your dog to dig there by burying treats for her to discover.

Punishing your dog for this type of digging isn’t going to work. A dog will ignore unpleasant consequences because the act of hunting is a naturally highly rewarding behavior.

4.0 Dogs Digging To Bury Stuff

If this is why Yorkies dig stop giving them treats, food or chews that they will not finish immediately.

You can build a sand pit and encourage her to bury items there, instead.

If you see your dog chewing something remove it before she has the opportunity to bury it.

5.0 Dogs Digging To Escape

We also soon discovered our Yorkie was the little Houdini in our pack. He escaped from our chain linked fenced yard through any nook or cranny he could find. none of my Beagles have ever gotten out of our yard. After adding some additional chicken wire and strategically placed flower pots we have managed to keep him in the garden area. I am sure this is how he was lost and found himself at the rescue in the first place.

What Can You Do About It?

Once you understand why Yorkies dig you are in a position to put measures in place to deal with the problem.

1.0 Limit Your Yorkies' Access To Certain Areas

Prevention is often better than cure. If your dog is not allowed near the garden or similar places, they can't dig and cause any damage to gardens or lawns.

2.0 Keep Your Yorkie Busy

To keep your dog digging, keep her occupied! This is especially important with puppies, so they do not acquire the unacceptable habit of digging. Exercise! Walk your puppy or dog. A tired dog is a good dog! Give your Yorkie plenty of exercise

3.0 Give Your Dog Plenty Of Exercises

Giving your dog plenty of exercises to release this built-up energy that’s causing your dog to dig. The more exercise your dog gets, the less likely they are to want to dig. If your pet is digging because he's bored, exercising can help as well.

4.0 Encourage New Skills

Encourage new skills, mental and physical agility and good habits.

5.0 Spend More Time With Your Yorkshire Terrier

Supervise your puppy or dog. Dogs left alone for extended periods become bored. Dogs dig to relieve the boredom. A large wire kennel under a shade roof may provide a solution.

6.0 Purchase A Dog House

Provide a Step 2 Tuff-N-Rugged Dog House for them to get out of the weather.

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7.0 Use Buried Chicken Wire

This is a great way to prevent your Yorkshire Terriers from digging. Simply roll up the top layer of turf in your garden. Then, place chicken wire under the turf. The chicken wire won't be visible, and once your Yorkie tries and fails to dig, he or she will soon give up, and won't attempt to dig there again.

8.0 Provide A Sand Box/Pit

Provide a designated digging area or "sandpit. I recommend the Frame It All One Inch Series 7' x 8' x 11" Composite Hexagon Sandbox Kit.

Digging is natural behavior for terriers. It's why Yorkies dig.

When not given the opportunity they tend to become depressed and may develop unexpected behavioral issues. Allocating a place to dig is probably the best solution if your dog will be spending a lot of time in the yard or garden.

When this digging area is there, you have to make sure that your Yorkie will only dig in this area, and not in other places.

Monitor your Yorkies behavior, and make sure he is only digging in the sandbox. Praise your pet when he uses the sandbox . Correct your Yorkie if he attempts to dig in other areas.

9.0 Don't Let Your Dog Watch You Dig!

To a Yorkie it's "monkey see, monkey do." Why is Yorkie digging? Well, if the pack leader is doing it, it's okay. Your dog might want to join in.

One Last Thing

Do not take your dog to an area where she has dug a hole and scold and spank or punish her after-the-fact.

Your Yorkie will not connect punishment with something she did hours or even a few minutes before. Delayed punishment won’t stop him/her digging in the future. You will just be frightening and upsetting her unnecessarily.

“You can say any fool thing to a dog and the dog will just give you this look that says, 'My GOSH, you're RIGHT! I NEVER would've thought of that!” Dave Barry.

Cheers for now

Richard S.

Richard S.

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