Polaris wants desperately to bury her toys. I’ve never seen a dog with such a stong instinctual drive to dig.
Yesterday, she jumped up on me carrying a giant rope bone in her mouth. She pushed it down between my body and the arm of the couch, then began tugging at the throw blanket I had over my legs. Interested, I let her to see what she was trying to do-- it seemed like such odd behavior for her.
She pulled the blanket over to where the toy was stuffed and started using her nose and paws to push it down into the crevice “burying” the toy. She then started pulling on my robe, stuffing the hem down into the “hole”, too. I pulled it out after a few minutes. When she saw it, she gave me an indignant look, jumped up, and began the process over again. I could just see her thinking, “Look, fur-less one, I put that there for a reason!”
She did it again tonight, making this the second night in a row she’s done it. I’ve seen her stuff mouthfuls of food under her bed cushion. She tried to figure out how to worm her way under the area rug.
My husband left her outside with the older dog last weekend. She found a dirt pile left over from the building of the flower bed and dug a tunnel almost two feet deep down into the side of it. (I am greatly impressed by the amount of effort she must have put into this.) It’s a prodigious hole-- one to be proud of, I tell ya.
Our puppy is a digger. I don’t know if something so instinctual can be completely trained out of a dog. She’s always going to want to bury things. (Somewhere in the alphabet soup which is her mutty DNA, there is a tunnel-dog.)
So why fight it? Why not build her a “digging box?” I’m talking about a five-by-five area of loosened topsoil which she could dig in to her little heart’s content without destroying our lawn.
But Hubby had a very good point-- how are we going to restrict her digging to that one spot? If we allow digging, won’t she think it’s okay everywhere? Dirt is dirt, after all.
How do you deal with your diggers? Can it be stopped, or is it like chasing rabbits-- something which is an almost uncontrollable instinctual compulsion? Could it be developed into something useful, like when I want to plant a shrub to call her over to dig the hole for me?
What do you do when they bury a toy? Do you go back later and dig it up? Do they remember they’re there?