Help! My Dog Is Turning Our Family’s Backyard into an Archaeological Site
Remember Monty? The dog who discovered Bronze age artifacts near the Czech village of Kostelecké Horky in 2018?
His owner, Mr. Frankota, was deeply astonished when his dog suddenly started digging in a spot along the field where they were out on a walk. Running over to where Monty was busy pawing the ground, he found a cache containing 13 sickle blades, two spear heads, three axe heads, and a number of bracelets made of bronze that archaeologists later declared to be around 3,000 years old.
The discovery caused such an elation to the archaeological community who further stated that the relics were probably used by late Bronze Age people of Indo-European Urnfield culture who used to inhabit the area. This particular period marks the transition of burials from inhumation to cremation, with the remains of the dead interred in urns and buried in the fields.
Mr. Frankota donated the historic finds to the local government but was also awarded with a finder’s fee for Monty’s discovery: 7,860 CZK.
Amazing! A remarkable feat you’ve been wishing for your dog to likewise accomplish. But, so far, what your furry best friend has achieved is turning your family’s backyard into some sort of an archaeological site — with lots of holes but no precious find.
Why does your dog keep digging even if it has no bones to hide? What should you do to stop it?
Actually, you’ll be surprised to learn that it will be detrimental to your dog’s well-being to totally stop this behavior. Digging is natural for dogs, and they do it for a number of reasons:
- Your dog wants a comfortable place for relaxing. He wants his own bed rather than compete for space on your couch. The solution? Give your dog his own cozy bed and train him to rest and sleep on it whenever he likes. Training should also include how he should take care of his bed and not destroy it.
- Your dog wants a cool place to rest. There are times when dogs will dig up cooler soil from beneath the ground and lie there to chill. They need it to balance their body’s temperature when the day feels too warm for them. You can help your dog ease his discomfort during hotter days by providing plenty of shade in your yard along with a cooling pad.
- Your dog wants to bury a bone or something else for his later use. Dogs naturally create a “dog cache” for bones, treats, or food to which they can return to enjoy the stuff. It protects their food from rivals, and it also means they don’t have to “hunt” for food every day. What you can do to control the damage that your dog is causing on your landscape is give him a “dig spot.” It’s a special spot for his stuff, and you can train him to use it consistently when he feels he needs to hide something. But for his safety, make sure that your yard doesn’t have any plants that are toxic to dogs, like aloe, azalea, and begonia.
- Your dog is bored. Lack of exercise, physical activities, and mental stimulation can cause your dog to dig in order to inject some excitement into his life. And so, it’s best to schedule regular exercise for your dog, including time to play games with him to fulfill his physical, intellectual, and emotional needs. It’s also advisable to provide him with interactive toys.
- Your dog is feeling anxious. This is another reason why dogs may start digging for a place to relieve their stress. Dogs love routines, and changes at home, like welcoming a new member of the family, may cause them to feel anxiety. Moving to a new house is another distressing situation for dogs; that’s why you should find time to ensure that your dog gets comfortable with the new environment. Also, it will help to regularly spend quality time with your pet to ease his worry.
- Your dog wants to escape or hide. Some dogs may dig for a place to hide when they sense threats. A lot of things can frighten a dog, like firecrackers, thunderstorms, strangers, and veterinarians. Make your dog feel safe at home by creating a secure environment. And whenever you go out, let him feel that you’re always there to protect him by giving him the hugs he needs and other reassuring gestures. Indeed, it’s important whether in or outside your home that you always act as the leader of the pack so that your dog can develop full confidence and a balanced attitude toward his surroundings.
Some dogs may also try to escape home in order to find other dogs to mate with. In order to limit this urge, experts recommend neutering. Neutering means the removal of a dog’s testicles to eliminate sexual impulses and thereby minimizing roaming behavior. It also makes the dog healthier by lowering the risks of hormone-related diseases and cancers. What’s more, this procedure adds years to a dog’s lifespan, which means the two of you can spend more joyful times together.
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