Shiba Inus are pretty energetic dogs, their are a lot of things that this energy can be poured into, one negative thing is digging holes. Nobody wants their beautiful yard turned into a battlefield of holes and trenches. Especially not when it’s done by the beloved canine member of their family. Solving this kind of problem isn’t easy. But it begins with understanding why Shiba Inus like to dig, it doesn’t end there though but continues on with strategies to reduce the digging.
There are many reasons for why a Shiba Inu likes to dig. The most common is sheer boredom. Their energy needs something constructive like daily walks to be poured into lest it drills into the earth. Some other reasons for Shiba digging can range from hunting, protection from the weather, to even building a den for future puppies in the case of pregnancy.
The main key to stopping a Shiba Inu from digging holes is to understand why their digging in the first place. A dog doesn’t just dig up the yard to upset you. It’s usually that this is a symptom of a deeper problem. Some need that they have that isn’t being currently met.
A few reasons that your dog might be digging:
- Excessive energy combined with boredom.
- There are rodents in the yard that are triggering your Shibas hunting instincts.
- The Shiba is digging to escape bad weather, this could be it being either too hot or too cold.
- Pregnant dogs will sometimes dig in preparation for the arrival of their new puppies.
- They want to escape the yard under the fence, probably being egged on by a canine friend on the other side.
Now that you have identified the reason for your dogs digging the next step is applying the correct solution to the problem.
Lets list a few possible solutions that you can try on your Shiba:
- Regular daily walks help to burn off that excess energy and alleviate boredom.
- Taking them to a dog park where they can run and play with other dogs.
- Calling pest control to eliminate a rodent infestation.
- Making sure that they have shelter and amenities suitable for the weather outside. Shade for hot days and an insulated shelter when it starts to get a bit frosty.
- Designing a designated digging area for your Shibu. This is a place where its okay for your dog to dig.
- Having them come inside to hang out with you more. Giving them strong supervision whenever they go outside.
Whatever you do don’t punish your dog. They won’t understand what you’re upset about unless you directly catch them in the act. Dogs are like little kids and don’t always remember what they did. So punishing your Shiba Inu for that hole they dug an hour ago will feel to them like your punishing them over nothing.
Instead, you need to understand why their digging and solve the underlying problem. Keep reading on in the article as we’re going to get into more specifics on determining the reason that your dog is digging. A lot of it depends upon where their digging their holes and what they do with them afterward.
Shiba Inus Like to Dig When Their Bored
Many dogs will dig due to boredom with Shibas being no exception. There isn’t a lot to do in a lonely yard. Especially one bereft of canine friends with their human family often being gone to work for long periods of time. Absent toys or people to play with its no wonder that many Shiba Inus can become bored and find their solace in digging in the earth. Holes littered across the grassy landscape is the result of this boredom.
One way to identify whether your Shiba Inu is digging due to boredom is if the holes are somewhat scattered without rhyme or reason. It’s also good to just know your dog’s nature, do they have a lot of energy and seem lonely when you’re gone? Then boredom could be the cause of their digging.
There are several methods to solve this problem. One of course is to spend more time with them. Play exciting games with your Shiba while also filling your yard with toys that will distract them.
Daily walks and trips to the dog park can provide them with mental and physical stimulation. Helping to burn off some of that excess energy and anxiety. Its recommended that you try to walk your dog at least 30 minutes a day. Just this small habit can solve many canine problems not just digging.
Shibas Will Dig to Go After Rodents and Other Small Mammals
Sometimes your dog might be digging due to a varmint infestation in your yard. If you find lots of holes near trees and other shrubs in your yard then that can point strongly to this being the cause. Of course, it also helps if you’ve personally seen the critters scamping around.
Shiba Inus have a strong prey instinct so they will want to chase them and try to dig into their burrow. They may even regard it as them fulfilling some sort of duty to you. Not being aware of the negative effect it has on your backyard aesthetic.
Combat this form of Shiba digging by calling in pest control services. You can try something yourself but I wouldn’t recommend it. Especially if it involves any kind of poison. It’s not hard to accidentally poison your dog, after all, remember that dogs love to smell and taste new things they discover. You don’t want that to happen to be a toxic substance.
So it’s best if you call in professionals who have experience and make sure they know about your health concerns for your dog. This will probably end up being the easiest as well as the safest solution.
Your Shiba Inu Could Be Digging Because Their Either Hot or Cold
Shibas stand in the somewhat middle ground of temperature. They do have fairly furry coats so they are a bit covered for heat. But at the same time, they are obviously not as thickly furred as some northern spitz breeds of dogs.
The soil of the earth can provide a balance for whatever extreme temperatures that your doggy might be experiencing. A well-dug hole can cool a dog off in summer and keep them warm in the winter.
A good way to tell if your Shiba is digging holes, for this reason, is to observe if they are lying in the holes after their dug. This is an almost surefire sign that it’s the elements that are the underlying cause.
Make sure that your dog has shade during the summer with plenty of water. Likewise in the winter provide them a nice cozy well-insulated shelter. Refer to this article on Shiba Inus living outside for more information on how best to make your dog comfortable when your leaving them outside.
Shibas Might Try to Dig Under the Fence
A Shiba Inu stuck in a yard might long to go adventuring beyond the wooden fence that contains them. It could be to see a fellow dog friend somewhere on the other side. Or just a love of adventure and new smells. Shiba inus are very independent dogs so it’s not strange to think they may just want to forge a path of their very own. Far beyond the normal comforts of home.
Whatever the reason might be for your dog trying to get out of the yard, this can cause them to dig holes in their escape attempts. Identify this kind of digging is quite easy as you just look for holes your Shiba dug along the fence line.
The best way to solve this problem is just trying to provide them with entertainment, love, and play. But besides that, you can try to build your fence deeper into the soil so that they cannot escape easily. If they got out they could run the risk of getting run over which nobody wants. So you might need to rebuild your fence to give you a good safe guarantee.
Pregnant Shiba Inus Will Dig
Sometimes when your dog is pregnant this can actually cause them to dig. Its part of the instincts mother nature gave them. They will want to dig a burrow usually next to some thick brush. It kills two birds with one stone. The hole will both help protect the puppies from the elements and hide them from predators.
Of course, this won’t apply to you if your dog is male. If your Shiba is female and digging though then you might want to consider if their pregnant or not. It may not seem possible but there are stories of male dogs jumping the fence with nobody noticing.
The key identifier is if the hole is close to some thick brush. This could imply the rodent hunting reason for digging, but it could also suggest pregnancy. So take your dog to your trusted veterinarian for a check-up to at least rule it out if nothing else.
Some Shibas Are Diggers, So Let Them Dig
You can’t always win every battle when raising a Shiba Inu. Sometimes their just too stubborn and independent. Giving in and letting them have the point might be the wisest course. Of course, this doesn’t have to be a complete defeat. You can channel their digging into a part of the yard you don’t mind.
I’m talking about creating a designated digging area for your Shiba Inu. Scan your yard for a plot of land where your like hmm I could tolerate some digging there. Then go and make it the most diggable spot you can imagine. Give some nice soft soil or sand, something that just begs your Shiba to dig there.
Even go so far as burying some treats there. Like a chew bone or maybe a secret squeak toy. This will give them an endorphin boost when they dig there and discover the secret treasure. Making them a lot more likely to dig there in the future. You should even praise and encourage them when they dig but only digging in their designated location.
This way you can give them the digging that they crave but on your timeline and location.
A Shiba Inu who likes to dig can be really tough to deal with. The key is to always remain calm first of all. Then try to identify why their digging. The location of their holes should give you powerful clues. Once you have a reasonable guess as to why their digging then the solution can begin.
Things may not work out right away but give it time and a bit of elbow grease and things should work out eventually. Of course, if none of the ideas here end up working. Then you can always bring your Shiba inside to spend more time with you. In the end that might have been what your Shiba Inu was digging for the whole time, it was you.