Understanding the Reasons Behind Your Lhasa Apso’s Digging and Chewing Behavior

Have you noticed your Lhasa Apso digging holes in your yard or chewing on your furniture? You might be wondering why your furry friend has suddenly developed these destructive habits. Understanding the reasons behind your Lhasa Apso’s digging and chewing behavior can help you address the root cause and prevent further damage. It’s important to remember that these behaviors are not abnormal, but rather instinctual tendencies that can be addressed with proper training and care. Let’s take a closer look at why Lhasa Apsos dig and chew and how to address and prevent these behaviors for a happy and healthy furry companion.

Why Do Lhasa Apsos Dig and Chew?

Why Do Lhasa Apsos Dig And Chew?
Have you ever come home to find your favorite shoes or furniture chewed up and your backyard full of holes dug out by your Lhasa Apso? It can be frustrating and puzzling to understand why your beloved pet behaves like that. Digging and chewing are natural habits for dogs, but when it becomes excessive, it can be problematic for both owner and pet. In this section, we will delve into the reasons behind your Lhasa Apso’s digging and chewing behaviors. Understanding why they dig and chew is the first step in finding a solution to the problem. So, let’s explore these reasons in detail below.

1. Instinctual Behaviors

Lhasa Apsos are inquisitive and curious creatures, and their digging and chewing behaviors may stem from their instinctual tendencies. This can be attributed to their lineage as a watchdog and herding breed from Tibet. Digging may come naturally to Lhasa Apsos due to their history of digging in the cold Tibetan soil to find warmth, shelter, and protection from predators. Similarly, chewing may be associated with their natural inclination to chew on rawhides or bones in order to keep their jaws healthy and strong.

It’s important to understand that these behaviors are not necessarily negative or harmful, but they can become problematic if they are not managed properly. For instance, excessive digging or chewing may lead to injuries or damage to household items, which can be both costly and frustrating for the pet owner.

To address these instinctual behaviors, Lhasa Apsos will require appropriate forms of training, stimulation, and safe chewing options. Providing a range of appropriate activities can help keep them engaged and prevent destructive behaviors. Additionally, addressing underlying anxiety or stress may also help reduce these instinctual behaviors in Lhasa Apsos.

For more information on how to stop Lhasa Apso digging and chewing or to learn about the possible harms of these behaviors, please see our related articles here and here. As well, if you’re interested in creating DIY toys for your Lhasa Apso, check out our article about Lhasa Apso DIY Toys.

2. Boredom or Lack of Stimulation

Lhasa Apsos are an intelligent and active breed that requires mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. When they become bored, they may turn to digging and chewing as a means of entertainment. This behavior can be destructive and lead to damage to your home and property.

Signs of boredom or lack of stimulation:

  • Your Lhasa Apso may dig holes in the backyard or chew on furniture, shoes or other household items.
  • Your dog may seem restless or overly hyperactive, even after exercise.
  • Your Lhasa Apso may follow you around the house constantly, seeking attention.

If you suspect that boredom or lack of stimulation is the cause of your Lhasa Apso’s digging and chewing behavior, it is important to take steps to provide them with additional mental and physical stimulation.

How to provide stimulation:

  • Take your Lhasa Apso on daily walks to provide exercise and mental stimulation from exploring new surroundings and smells.
  • Enroll your dog in an obedience or agility class to provide mental stimulation and build their confidence.
  • Provide your dog with interactive toys, such as puzzle feeders, to keep their minds engaged and prevent boredom.
  • Rotate your dog’s toys and provide new ones regularly to maintain their interest.

By providing your Lhasa Apso with adequate mental and physical stimulation, you can help prevent destructive digging and chewing behaviors. If you suspect there may be underlying anxiety or stress causing your dog’s behavior, it may be necessary to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or veterinarian.

Click here to read more about understanding the reasons behind your Lhasa Apso’s digging and chewing behavior.

3. Anxiety or Stress

Anxiety and stress are common reasons why Lhasa Apsos may start digging and chewing excessively. Just like humans, dogs can experience various forms of anxiety, such as separation anxiety or phobias. When a Lhasa Apso gets anxious or stressed, they may start digging and chewing as a way of coping.

Here are some signs that your Lhasa Apso may be anxious or stressed:

  • Excessive panting
  • Whining or whimpering
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Hiding
  • Urinating or defecating in inappropriate places

If you suspect that your Lhasa Apso’s digging and chewing behaviors may be due to anxiety or stress, it’s crucial to address the root cause of the problem.

Here are some ways to alleviate anxiety and stress in Lhasa Apsos:

  • Provide a comfortable and safe space for your dog to retreat to when they’re feeling stressed. This could be a crate or a designated area in your home.
  • Use calming aids such as pheromone diffusers or supplements.
  • Keep a consistent routine so that your dog knows what to expect each day.
  • Practice positive reinforcement training to build a strong bond and trust between you and your Lhasa Apso.
  • Exercise regularly with your Lhasa Apso, as physical activity can help reduce anxiety and stress.

By addressing anxiety and stress in your Lhasa Apso, you can help alleviate their digging and chewing behaviors and improve their overall mental wellbeing.

How to Address Digging and Chewing in Lhasa Apsos

How To Address Digging And Chewing In Lhasa Apsos
Now that we know the reasons behind your Lhasa Apso’s digging and chewing behavior, it’s time to address the issue. The repeated destruction of your possessions or yard can be frustrating, but by taking the appropriate steps, it is possible to redirect your Lhasa Apso’s instincts and behaviors towards more acceptable alternatives. In this section, we will explore some effective strategies for tackling digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos. So, let’s delve into the solutions that can provide relief for both you and your furry friend.

1. Provide Training and Mental Stimulation

To address digging and chewing behavior in Lhasa Apsos, one effective approach is to provide training and mental stimulation. This can help redirect their natural impulse to dig and chew towards more appropriate activities.

Training: Consistent training is essential for Lhasa Apsos to learn proper behavior. Start with basic obedience commands such as “sit”, “stay”, and “come”. Use positive reinforcement techniques such as giving treats and praise for good behavior. As your Lhasa Apso learns these basic commands, move on to more advanced training such as agility exercises or trick training. This will not only mentally stimulate your Lhasa Apso, but also strengthen your bond with them.

Mental Stimulation: Providing mental stimulation is also important for Lhasa Apsos. This can prevent boredom and help reduce their desire to dig and chew. Some examples of mental stimulation activities include:

  • Interactive toys that dispense treats: These toys can keep your Lhasa Apso occupied for longer periods of time.
  • Puzzle toys: These toys require your Lhasa Apso to solve a puzzle to get a treat or toy.
  • Hide and seek games: Hide treats or toys throughout your home and encourage your Lhasa Apso to find them.
  • Scent work: Teach your Lhasa Apso to find certain scents, such as essential oils or treats, using their sense of smell.

By providing training and mental stimulation, you can redirect your Lhasa Apso’s natural digging and chewing behaviors towards more appropriate activities. This can also improve their overall well-being and reduce the likelihood of destructive behavior.

2. Offer Safe and Appropriate Chewing Options

Lhasa Apsos are natural chewers and providing them with safe and appropriate options can redirect their chewing behavior away from destructive activities.

What Are Safe Chewing Options for Lhasa Apsos?

When choosing a chew toy for your Lhasa Apso, it’s important to consider the size, texture, and durability of the toy. Lhasa Apsos have smaller mouths, so choosing a toy that is appropriately sized will reduce the risk of choking hazards. Here are some safe and appropriate chewing options for your Lhasa Apso:

Chew ToyDescription
Rubber toysRubber chew toys are a great option for Lhasa Apsos as they are durable, easy to clean, and come in a variety of textures to keep your dog interested.
Nylon bonesNylon bones are another safe and durable option. They come in various sizes and shapes, making them a good choice for small dogs like Lhasa Apsos.
Rope toysRope toys can be a fun and interactive option for your Lhasa Apso. They are also great for their dental health as they help to clean teeth and massage gums.
KongsKongs are a classic chewing option for all dogs. Fill a Kong with peanut butter or other tasty treats to make it even more enticing for your Lhasa Apso.

What Should You Avoid?

Not all chew toys are safe for Lhasa Apsos. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Small choke hazards, such as rawhide chews and small plastic toys
  • Bones that can splinter or break into small pieces
  • Hard toys that can damage your dog’s teeth

Remember to always supervise your Lhasa Apso when giving them chew toys to ensure their safety. Additionally, rotating out toys regularly can help keep them interested and engaged with their chewing options, making it less likely they’ll turn to destructive chewing behavior.

Offering your Lhasa Apso safe and appropriate chewing options can redirect their natural chewing behavior and prevent destructive chewing of items in your home.

3. Address Underlying Anxiety or Stress

One of the main reasons why Lhasa Apsos may engage in digging and chewing behaviors is due to underlying anxiety or stress. Some common root causes of anxiety in Lhasa Apsos include separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, or new environments. It is important for Lhasa Apso owners to be able to recognize signs of anxiety or stress, including excessive barking, panting, or pacing.

To address underlying anxiety or stress in Lhasa Apsos, there are several methods that can be implemented:

Behavioral trainingFormal behavior training can help Lhasa Apsos learn to cope with anxiety or stress triggers, such as loud noises or unfamiliar environments. Positive reinforcement techniques may be used to encourage good behavior.
Calming aidsProducts such as pheromone sprays or anxiety jackets may be used to calm Lhasa Apsos during stressful situations, such as thunderstorms or car rides. Consult with a veterinarian to determine what products may be best for your dog.
Professional helpIf your Lhasa Apso’s anxiety or stress behaviors are severe, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can provide guidance on how to train your Lhasa Apso to better cope with anxiety or stress and may recommend other behavioral interventions as well.

By addressing underlying anxiety or stress in Lhasa Apsos, owners can help reduce or eliminate destructive behaviors such as digging and chewing. Using a multi-faceted approach with training, calming aids, and professional help can be beneficial for both the Lhasa Apso and their owner.

Preventing Digging and Chewing in Lhasa Apsos

As a responsible pet owner, you want to prevent your Lhasa Apso from engaging in destructive behaviors such as digging and chewing. These behaviors not only cause damage to your property but also pose a potential danger to your furry friend. To prevent digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos, you need to take proactive measures to ensure that your dog is always entertained and satisfied. In this section, we’ll explore some effective ways to prevent digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos. So, let’s dive in!

1. Puppy-Proof Your Home

When you bring a Lhasa Apso puppy into your home, it’s important to create a safe environment for them. This includes puppy-proofing your home to prevent any potential hazards or destruction caused by your furry friend. Here are some tips to help you create a safe and secure space for your Lhasa Apso pup:

Keep hazardous items out of reachMake sure to store all household cleaners, medications, and toxic plants out of your pup’s reach. Lhasa Apsos are curious dogs, and they may accidentally ingest something that could make them very sick.
Tuck away cables and electrical wiresLhasa Apsos like to chew on things, and electrical cords and wires can be tempting. Make sure to tuck away any electrical cords or wires so your puppy cannot access them.
Put away small objectsSmall objects, such as coins or buttons, can be a choking hazard for your puppy. Make sure to put away any small objects, especially those that can be easily swallowed.
Secure your garbageLhasa Apsos love to explore the garbage can, but this can be dangerous for them. Make sure to keep your garbage can secured so your puppy cannot access it.
Invest in a crateA crate can provide a safe and cozy space for your Lhasa Apso to rest and play. It can also prevent them from getting into trouble when you’re not able to supervise them.

By following these tips, you can create a safe and secure environment for your Lhasa Apso puppy to thrive in. It’s important to stay vigilant and continue to monitor your puppy as they grow and explore their new home.

2. Supervise Your Lhasa Apso

One of the most effective ways of preventing your Lhasa Apso from digging and chewing is to supervise them closely. This means keeping a watchful eye over them, especially when they are in areas where they are more likely to dig or chew.

Here are some tips on how to supervise your Lhasa Apso effectively:

1. Designated Play Areas:Designate specific areas where your Lhasa Apso can play and explore safely. This could be a part of your yard that is fenced off or a room in your home that is puppy-proofed.
2. Keep Them on a Leash:If you’re unable to designate a play area, keep your Lhasa Apso on a leash when they’re inside or outside. This will give you more control over their movements and prevent them from wandering too far away from you.
3. Redirect Their Attention:If you notice your Lhasa Apso digging or chewing inappropriately, redirect their attention to an appropriate toy or activity. This will help them understand what they can and can’t chew or dig on.
4. Use a Crate:Consider using a crate or playpen when you’re unable to supervise your Lhasa Apso. This can help prevent them from getting into trouble and keep them safe while you’re away.

Remember, supervision is key when it comes to preventing your Lhasa Apso from digging and chewing. By implementing these tips, you can keep a close eye on your furry friend and redirect their behavior when necessary.

3. Increase Exercise and Play Time

One way to prevent and address digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos is by increasing their exercise and play time. Regular physical activity and play not only provide stimulation and release energy, but also help keep your Lhasa Apso’s mind engaged and well-equipped to tackle stress and anxiety. Here are some options to consider:

Type of Exercise/PlayDescription
Walking or RunningA daily walk or jog can help burn off excess energy, stimulate the senses, and provide a sense of routine and structure for your Lhasa Apso.
Interactive ToysToys that require your Lhasa Apso to think and problem-solve, such as puzzle feeders or treat-dispensing toys, can provide mental stimulation and help curb boredom and anxiety.
Fetch or Tug-of-WarInteractive games like fetch or tug-of-war can provide physical exercise and playtime, as well as opportunities for bonding and socialization with you.
Agility TrainingIf your Lhasa Apso enjoys a challenge and is physically capable, consider agility training which involves jumping, climbing, and weaving through obstacles in a controlled environment.
SwimmingIf your Lhasa Apso enjoys water, swimming can be a great form of low-impact exercise that also keeps them cool during hot weather.

It’s important to note that every Lhasa Apso has their own unique preferences and energy levels, so it may take some trial and error to find the best exercise and play routine for your furry friend. Additionally, always be sure to consult with your veterinarian before starting any new exercise regimen or making significant changes to your Lhasa Apso’s diet or lifestyle.


In conclusion, understanding the reasons behind your Lhasa Apso’s digging and chewing behavior is crucial to address these issues effectively. Remember that while some digging and chewing behaviors are instinctual in dogs, others can be caused by boredom, lack of stimulation, anxiety, and stress.

To address digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos, it’s important to provide training, mental stimulation, and appropriate chewing options. Addressing underlying anxiety or stress is also crucial, and seeking help from a veterinarian or professional dog trainer can greatly benefit your furry friend.

In addition, preventing digging and chewing behavior in Lhasa Apsos can be achieved by puppy-proofing your home, supervising your dog, and increasing exercise and playtime to provide the necessary physical and mental stimulation.

It’s important to remember that digging and chewing behaviors in dogs can be frustrating, but with patience, consistency, and appropriate training, these behaviors can be addressed and your Lhasa Apso can lead a happy and healthy life. Don’t hesitate to seek help or advice from professionals if needed. Your furry friend deserves the best care possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some natural instincts that cause Lhasa Apsos to dig and chew?

Lhasa Apsos are bred to be independent and self-sufficient dogs. Their natural instincts compel them to dig and chew to create a comfortable space for themselves to rest or to find food.

Is digging and chewing a sign of boredom in Lhasa Apsos?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos are intelligent and active dogs that require daily exercise and mental stimulation. Without proper stimulation, they can become bored and resort to destructive behaviors like digging and chewing.

What health problems can arise from excessive chewing and eating non-food items?

Excessive chewing of non-food items can lead to digestive problems, intestinal blockages, and even poisoning in some cases.

What is the best way to address chewing and digging in Lhasa Apsos?

The best way to address digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos is to provide them with plenty of mental stimulation, safe chew toys, and regular exercise. Additionally, addressing underlying anxiety or stress can also help to curb these behaviors.

Can Lhasa Apsos be trained to stop digging and chewing?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos can be trained to stop digging and chewing through positive reinforcement training. Consistency and patience are key to effectively training your dog to change their behavior.

Is it okay to punish a Lhasa Apso for digging or chewing?

No, punishment is not an effective way to stop undesirable behavior in Lhasa Apsos. It can actually worsen the behavior or lead to other negative behaviors.

What are some safe and appropriate chew toys for Lhasa Apsos?

Rubber toys, nylon bones, and KONG toys are all safe and appropriate chew toys for Lhasa Apsos. Avoid giving your dog small or easily breakable items that could be swallowed or cause choking.

What should I do if my Lhasa Apso has already ingested something they shouldn’t have?

If your Lhasa Apso has ingested something dangerous, contact your veterinarian immediately. Avoid inducing vomiting or giving your dog anything to eat or drink without first consulting a professional.

Can anxiety medication help to curb chewing and digging in Lhasa Apsos?

Yes, anxiety medication prescribed by a veterinarian can help to address underlying anxiety or stress that may be causing your Lhasa Apso to dig and chew excessively.

How can I puppy-proof my home to prevent chewing and digging in my Lhasa Apso?

Some tips for puppy-proofing your home include keeping all dangerous or chewable objects out of reach, providing safe chew toys, and using baby gates or crate training to limit your puppy’s access to certain areas.


Britta Thygesen

Britta Thygesen

A passionate dog owner and a full-time certified dog trainer. Aspires to make DogCareHacks a go-to place for all the doggo info. Shares personal experience and professional knowledge.

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