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Anyone who has had the privilege of owning a boxer knows their propensity for zoomies and dancing out of excitement. Since boxers are such high-energy dogs, do boxers dig?
Boxers are definitely dogs who like to dig sometimes, as it’s a great way for them to get out some of their pent-up energy. Because they have so much strength in their arms, this can, unfortunately, cause a lot of damage to your yard. Thankfully, there are some ways to avoid your boxer’s excessive digging, regardless of the reason they do it.
While it feels counterintuitive to stop your boxer from doing something they enjoy, you don’t want them getting into the habit of digging up your property or someone else’s property.
Do Boxers Dig?
Boxers are known to enjoy digging which could manifest in a few ways. They may dig in the backyard, front yard, or at the park, either through dirt or grass. They may also simulate digging on the couch, in their dog bed, or on the floor.
Boxers are not the only dogs who indulge in some digging, either. This seems to be one of those things that many dogs enjoy doing. Boxers like to be entertained, whether that’s through you or by their own efforts. Digging is just one of the few ways they choose to entertain themselves, much to the detriment of your garden or lawn.
Boxers look at digging as an innocent pastime. If they think that they might find something, or they stumble upon an animal’s den, they might go digging to see if they can find the animal. They have a strong sense of smell, so if they smell something that they perceive to be underground, they will want to dig away until they discover what they’re sensing.
Why Do Boxers Dig?
Boxers find digging a fun activity. They might dig because it’s a release, because they are simulating the action of burying something, or they are just bored and want to do something exciting. The reasons could be endless.
Boxers might also be digging out of frustration. This could be because you’re not spending enough time with them – they are needy dogs – or because they don’t know what else to do with their time or energy. This might mean they need more exercise or interaction with you.
Boxers, like other dogs, aren’t digging because they want to destroy property or defy your wishes. Like many other canine behaviors, this is one they’ve always had within them that hasn’t quite gone away just because of domestication.
With boxers having a history of working with their companions, they might also see you gardening and will attempt to “help” you by mimicking your digging. While it’s admirable they want to help you, you obviously don’t want to encourage this or they may keep doing it, even when you’re not gardening.
How To Stop Boxers From Digging
You want to be sure you’re supervising your boxer when they’re outside, even if they’re in your backyard and they are safely closed in. If they know you don’t like it when they dig, they likely won’t do it in your presence.
You will also have to implement some of your command training when your boxer starts digging. If you’ve taught them a certain command such as stop or no thank you, you can use that command when they dig. When they listen to you, be sure to give them a treat so they are inclined to stop when you ask them to.
The last thing you want to do is just simply ignore the behavior in the hopes that if you don’t pay attention, they’ll stop doing it. This strategy doesn’t work when it comes to digging. Conversely, you don’t want to yell at them or get harsh with them because boxers do not respond to that type of aversion training.
Having enough forms of entertainment outside can also help deter your boxer from digging. Puzzle toys with treats that your boxer has to work for can entertain them for a while. Balls and frisbees to throw back and forth will also tire your pup out so they won’t want to dig.
Digging Boxers May Need More Exercise
If your boxer seems to dig because it excites them, it’s a good indication that they need some more exercise. This could be both physical and mental exercise to tire them out. Try increasing the amount of time you go for a walk, or maybe add an extra walk to your routine.
You might also want to incorporate some different activities into your exercise routine with your pup, or even just give them a change of scenery. They might be bored going along the same old route and are looking for more excitement. You can try taking them to a trail, a new dog park, or go on a hike.
Have interactive toys at home, such as puzzles or rope toys, that make them work for a reward or let them enjoy play time with you. Toys that involve more than just chasing after a ball or chewing offers your boxer a mental workout as well. This can help reduce boredom and also lets your boxer show off how smart they are.
If you have a beach nearby, bringing your boxer to the beach can also let them give into their digging habit. It’s also a scenic area to get in some exercise and bonding time with your boxer. It’s likely to tire them out, and the wonderful experience with you is likely to encourage them to cuddle with you once you get home.
Supervision Could Prevent Boxers From Digging
Boxers don’t like being left alone, and that’s even more true when they’re outside. Even though these pups are active dogs that enjoy being outside with you, they don’t want to be left alone when outside. Tying up your boxer outside won’t help either. Being left alone outside isn’t good for your boxer’s physical or mental health.
If you’re not nearby to throw a ball or chat with them from a chair, your boxer will likely start to consider what else they can do to distract them from their lack of companionship. Digging might be what they turn to. Even if they have a couple of toys they can play with on their own while you’re sitting nearby, that’s good enough.
If your boxer is outside on their own and it’s hot, they might even dig to try and get some relief from the cooler ground. Boxers aren’t fans of extreme weather as it can affect them quickly, which you won’t notice if you’re not outside. They might dig a hole for comfort until you come out and rescue them.
Even when you are outside with your boxer, they need to have a bowl of fresh water, toys, and space to run around and get their zoomies on. It would also be helpful to have a shaded area or an area with a covering on top that they can go under when they need shade or protection from the rain.
Create A DIY Digging Station For Your Boxer
It’s worth compromising with your boxer a bit by setting up an area for them to dig to their heart’s content. This could be a sand or dirt pit in an enclosed area of your yard. You should make sure the soft substance within the pit is different from what’s in your backyard so they can see the difference between where they can and cannot dig.
Take your boxer to the pit and simulate a digging action so they know that’s what it’s for. Be sure to give your boxer a treat when they go to their pit to dig instead of digging up your grass. You can also bury some outdoor toys in the sand that they can dig for, which makes for a super exciting activity for your pup.
If you find that having a digging station doesn’t really stop them from digging in other areas, you may either have to move it, make it more intriguing with toys, or possibly take it away from them.
It’s up to you whether or not you want to take that risk of encouraging digging through having a dedicated area. Some boxer parents have found it doesn’t help, while others found that their boxers are satisfied with having just one area for digging.
It can be hard to reign in a boxer’s lively energy, and you shouldn’t; that’s one of the things that makes these dogs so charming. You do want to help them burn energy to keep them happy and calm while inside.
Do boxers dig? They like to, but they won’t resort to digging in a destructive manner if you make sure you’re nurturing their need for physical and mental activity, as well as their need for your undivided attention and love. A special spot only for digging can also be entertaining, not only for them, but for you to watch them in action.