Did your favorite pup get an iDig for the holidays? Or maybe you’re considering getting one for your digging doggy? If so, we’ve developed some iDig tips to help your dog make the iDig his go-to digging spot!
We invented the iDig to solve a problem for owners (i.e., destructive digging behavior), while also creating a positive outlet for dogs to do what they were born to do. That’s right. Many dogs were actually bred to dig – like dachshunds, which were raised to hunt rodents and other animals that burrow underground. Many breeds like terriers, huskies, and beagles have an innate desire to dig, so as much as you try to keep them from digging in the garden, in your couch cushions, or in your clothes, they really do have a need to express that energy. And that’s why we invented the iDig. It provides mental situation, combats boredom, is good for dogs’ muscles, and so much more! Check out a recent article we wrote on “Why do dogs dig?” if you’d like to learn more.
But what if your dog just isn’t digging IN your iDig? We’ve developed our “top 10” list of iDig tips to help you teach your dog that their iDig is the place where digging is okay and encouraged! Read on and determine which of the following ideas work best for your pup.
- Be sure you are using a very tasty and smelly treat or a favorite toy to entice your dog to dig. Start by placing it just under the flap (in other words, make it easy), so any digging will get quickly rewarded with the yummy treat or favorite item.
- Pat the flap to encourage digging and use some fun phrases to encourage them to dig like “Get it! Dig it up! Find it! Where is it?”.
Doing a digging motion with your hands often gets dogs excited to dig too, so don’t be embarrassed to get on the floor and scratch the flaps with your pup. He may soon wonder what you are so excited about and join in too.
- Try putting your hand under the flaps and moving it around – making it something fun to chase and pounce on. They will naturally want to dig to catch whatever is moving. After a few times, remove your hand and continue to encourage your pup with patting or words.
- If your dog prefers digging on your bed or clothing, try putting a t-shirt or sock that you’ve already worn in the flaps to encourage digging. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell, so this should really motivate them to search. (If you’re going to be away from home for a little while, this is also a nice thing to set-up for your pet, so he has something with your scent to console him while you’re gone.)
- If your dog is only digging outside, such as in a dirt patch or garden, try putting the iDig in this location while you are outside together and encourage digging in the iDig instead.
- Remember that verbal praise goes a long way with your furry friend. If your dog starts to dig or paw at the flaps even once, then immediately tell him that he’s doing great!
- If your pet is nervous about the iDig at first, leave it out so it becomes part of the furniture. Also, try feeding your pup dinner near it, or put a couple pieces of kibble inside (with the flaps draped outside or removed) so they can sniff around and see that it’s not going to harm them. During playtime, incorporate the iDig by tossing a toy or ball inside the toy, or near it, as you play fetch.
- If your pet has a favorite toy that will fit inside the flaps, hide it away for a few days, and then bring it out and hide it under one of the flaps to encourage investigating and digging. They will be so happy to find their toy again!
- Once your pup is a pro, make it harder by ensuring all of the flaps are attached in different directions (i.e., criss-crossed) and hiding items in all of the pockets – especially the small pockets on the paw flap.
We hope these iDig tips help, and your pup has endless hours of digging fun. Still have questions? Leave us a comment, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message us through Facebook and we’ll get back to you. We are also working on more flaps for the expert level diggers that need more of a challenge so stayed tuned! Happy digging!