At heart, some Portuguese water dogs think they are on top form when digging. Furthermore, digging is an instinctual component of their psychology, and they really enjoy each moment of it. So, when you see your dog digging, its not yet time to panic, but to think that there are simply ways to lessen the time your dog spends on it.
Check out these methods on how to help your dog to do other activities aside from that amateurish earth-moving:
1. Before you start your training to make him less of a digger, you need to identify what makes your dog behave that way. His insistence to dig in just one area can be countered with a “leave” command while giving the dog treats to distract him. He can also be distracted with a smell that continually takes away his attention. These are called dog behavior modification techniques, and they tend to be effective.
2. Exercise is an essential ingredient of your dog’s well being. The more workouts your dog gets, the more energy he expends, which means that after the exercises, the less energy he has left to dig in the yard. If the dog likes to dig at more or less the same times in a day, then try giving him exercises on those particular times if you can, so he will not bother digging anymore.
3. Be more understanding of your dog’s tendency to dig whenever the winter months come around. During these colder times your dog will dig more, compared to his behavior for the rest of the year, for the reason that he is hankering for a warmer place to lie on. Whenever the temperature outside begins to fall and you notice your dog digging, observe how the dog reacts when you give him a sweater, or you try to turn on the heater.
4. There are also dogs that simply cannot say no to the urge to dig, so its time to take a different approach aside from stopping them altogether. Why not create a special spot for your dog to dig in? Train him also to dig only at this spot. Sometimes its enough to have a spot that is around three or four foot by six foot wide.
5. Neutering or spaying Portuguese water dogs will greatly reduce their desire to dig since their drive to mate is greatly lessened.
6. Have you observed how you correct your dog when you catch him digging? The trick to getting the dog to “get” it (see into his mistake) is to do it with firmness together with understanding. If you want the correction to be effective, it’s also extremely important to catch him in the act, and not to wait for him to finish. If you correct only when the deed is through, he is bound to get the wrong message.
7. What happens when you catch him digging? Try to replace one activity with another. You can distract him from his digging and replace it with his favorite sport.