Before getting Saffi home I read Ian Dunbar’s After You Get Your Puppy which indicated that digging is a sign of separation anxiety: ‘When stressed dogs are more likely to indulge in bad habits, such as housesoiling, chewing, digging and barking’. When Saffi started digging I was therefore worried that she was bored, that we weren’t paying her enough attention or that something was amiss.
I was relieved when the Cockapoo Club of GB posted the following information on their website: http://www.cockapooclubgb.co.uk/cockapoos-basic-needs.html. New research suggests that chewing, barking and digging are, in fact, natural and normal dog behaviours, not a sign or anxiety or tension. Phew!
What owner may wish to do, rather than try to prevent these activities altogether thereby commencing a battle even the best owner/trainer may lose, is to vet the environment in which digging, chewing and barking take place.
Long-term we will encourage Saffi to dig in a certain part of the garden. We have chews that are specifically for her which we’ll make more challenging and exciting as she gets older. And I am working on getting her to bark on command and when we’re playing.
For the time being however, I’m just relieved that we didn’t spend any time or money on our garden this Spring…
Saffi doing what dogs do best: digging