Having a Bernese Mountain Dog that likes to dig can be a frustrating experience. After all, nobody wants to have a yard that reminds them of the craters on the moon. But there are things that you can do to help your Bernese Mountain Dog to dig less. It will take knowledge, empathy, and a little bit of elbow work, however.
Bernese Mountain Dogs like to dig just like any other breed of dog. The reasons that they dig can vary from their predatory instincts, boredom, or even that their digging holes to help shelter them from hot or cold. Generally, Bernese Mountain Dogs dig holes because theirs something lacking in their lives that they’re looking for through digging in the earth.
A dog digging is perfectly natural. After all, they don’t have a lot of things that they can do outside in a backyard. They have to have some reason to use those large paws that look like shovels. They might as well dig, you would too if you were in their position.
While this might seem silly it gets at the heart of why a lot of dogs dig holes. Its to alleviate boredom. While this will not be the reason for every dog digging it will be the reason for a lot of them.
They also might dig for shelter from the wind, cold, or heat. so you need to make sure that they have effective shelter from the elements, absent your positive intervention they will take things into their own paws. Quite literally in this case.
There are many things that you can do however to help reduce this annoying behavior that dogs engage in. But you need to be aware of all the reasons that dogs dig and in particular the reason that your Bernese Mountain Dog is digging. Understanding why their digging will tell you what exactly you need to do to stop them.
Why Do Bernese Mountain Dogs Like to Dig
I believe that you can basically sum up all the reasons that dog dig holes into five different categories. These should pretty much cover all dogs digging behavior. But there might be one or two that I could have missed. We’ll dive into these five reasons for their digging and what you can do to stop the behavior.
Bored Bernese Mountain Dogs Like to Dig
A yard can be a very boring place. Especially if the dog doesn’t have any toys or playmates. I mean all they can really do is bark and maybe run around for a bit. Digging holes helps a Bernese Mountain Dog to break up the general monotony. Loneliness can play a role here as well. Particularly if the dog spends a great deal of time outside in the yard alone.
Younger dogs are more likely to be digging for this reason. Dogs generally in the 8 to 18 months life range are the ones most susceptible to this kind of digging.
So how do you train your Bernese Mountain Dog to not dig in this kind of situation?
The best solutions are exercise, toys, and play. Take your Bernese Mountain Dog for at least one thirty-minute walk each day. This helps give them a good outlet for all that energy plus the time that they get to spend with you can help alleviate that loneliness.
Dog parks can also be another great way to help cut down your Bernese Mountain Dogs digging. It helps give them mental stimulation from their interaction with other dogs and people. In addition all the running and playing around should tire them out enough that they won’t have the time or energy to be digging holes.
Get them also some great chew toys, kongs which are like a little oddly shaped ball that you can stick treats into are very effective here. They can entertain a dog like a Bernese Mountain Dog for literally hours.
A Bernese Mountain Dog Could Be Digging Because Their Hunting
While Bernese Mountain Dogs do not have a particularly high prey drive. But they are dogs, which means that of course, they do have some level of prey drive. A lot of little creatures like to dig to create nests or other kinds of shelter. Your dog who knows everything that goes on in their yard might be trying to get rid of them.
To get to them your Bernese Mountain Dog has to dig though, which of course makes you unhappy. Which is kind of ironic because that’s not their intention at all, they actually think they’re making you happy by driving out the rodent invaders.
One of the best ways to figure out if this is why your dog is digging is to investigate where the dog is digging the holes. If you find a lot of the holes next to trees or shrubs in the yard then this could be a prime proof that their digging because their trying to get to these varmints.
Really the best way to stop digging behavior in this situation is to remove the varmints your self. That way your dog doesn’t feel like the responsibility lies upon their shoulders. Just make sure that when you do you don’t use any kind of poison, substance, or method that would be dangerous to your beloved dog.
Dogs Dig When Their Cold or Hot
Dogs like to be comfortable just like people do. I mean when it’s too hot or cold don’t you turn up or down the thermostat? Well, sometimes when Bernese Mountain Dogs dig that’s just what their trying to do.
When the weather is hot something that its not hard for a Bernese with their big fluffy coats to experience. Then a nicely dug hole can be cooling, the feel of cool dirt can help to alleviate their discomfort. Unless you live somewhere with extremely cold temperature then being too cold is unlikely for a Bernese Mountain Dog, but if they are too cold then a nice hole can serve as a good windbreak to bring down the windchill.
The best way to know if your dog is digging, for this reason, is if you happen to catch them lying down in the hole they just dug.
Solving this problem is pretty easy, however. In hot weather make sure your dog has plenty of water and nice shaded areas. Beware of certain surfaces like concrete as well, as they can get very hot. Likewise, if it’s really cold consider bringing your dog inside or give them a nice well-insulated shelter that they can dive into when that thermometer drops in temperature.
Refer to our article on Bernese Mountain Dogs living outside for more information on how you can make your dog as comfortable as possible when spending time outside.
Bernese Mountain Dogs Dig When Their Trying to Escape
If you find a lot of the holes near the fence line then this is a surefire proof that they might be trying to dig to escape their yard. Don’t worry the reason isn’t likely to be that they don’t like you. Instead their probably doing it because theirs a doggie friend that they want to meet in a nearby yard. They also might simply want to explore beyond the boundaries of their yard.
Solving this problem involves a bit more work. Generally, your going to need to have your fence go deeper into the ground so that the dog sees that digging isn’t going to allow them to get out.
Female Bernese Mountain Dogs Might Be Digging Cause Their Pregnant
This is probably one of the more unlikely reasons for your dog’s behavior. But if you have a girl dog then and there not spayed then this might be the reason.
Expecting dog mothers have a natural instinct to want to dig. Its because they’re trying to build a little burrow for their future pups. This can be especially the case if the holes are dug in thickly wooded or brambly areas. The hole helps protect the puppies from weather and hides them from potential predators.
The chief solution to this kind of digging is one preventive. If your not planning on eventually breeding your female dog then its generally better for them to be spayed and that will cut out the possibility that they will engage in this kind of hole digging the future.
Really that’s all you can do so if none of the other reasons for doggie digging explain your female dogs digging behavior. Then take them for a vet check-up and see if they have pups on the way.
If All Else Fails Give Your Dog a Digging Area
Let’s face it some dogs were just meant to dig. Its what they love best in life and almost nothing will stop them from engaging in it. For these dogs, the best thing you can do is to actually encourage them to dig in a specially designated area.
Take a part of your yard and replace the grass with sand or loose soil. Using a child’s sandbox can be an effective solution as well. Then hide some chew bones, toys, and treats in the digging area. This will encourage your dog to dig in that area. Also, praise your dog whenever they dig their so that they fully understand that its okay to dig as long as they do it in the place that you set aside for them.
If nothing else works you can also simply bring your dog inside. Another reason that your Bernese Mountain Dog might be digging is to seek attention from you. After all even negative attention is attention after all. So by bringing them inside it could achieve two things at once.
They could get to spend more time with you and they definitely won’t be digging in the yard. Another thing to be aware of is that punishing your dog for digging won’t work. They won’t realize that your punishing them for digging. They’ll think your just being mean to them. So the best thing you can do is to bring them inside and redirect their energies to a less destructive habit then digging holes.