Dangers of Excessive Digging and Chewing in Lhasa Apsos

Lhasa Apsos are known for their adorable looks and charming personalities, but like any breed, they have their share of bad habits. One of the most common and frustrating issues that Lhasa Apso owners face is excessive digging and chewing. It can be perplexing to watch your furry friend destroy your favorite possessions or dig up your garden. So, what could be causing this behavior, and why is it harmful? In this article, we delve deep into the reasons behind excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos and the negative effects it can have on their health and your home. We’ll also provide some helpful tips on how to prevent this destructive behavior, so you can enjoy your time with your beloved pet without any unnecessary stress.

Why Do Lhasa Apsos Dig and Chew?

Why Do Lhasa Apsos Dig And Chew?
It’s perplexing when your Lhasa Apso spends an excessive amount of time digging and chewing. But have you ever wondered why they do it? There are a few reasons why Lhasa Apsos have a natural inclination to dig and chew. Understanding these reasons will help you prevent excessive digging and chewing in the future. In this section, we’ll dive deeper into the reasons why Lhasa Apsos dig and chew, including their hunting and foraging instincts, boredom and lack of exercise, and anxiety and stress. By the end of this section, you will have a better understanding of your dog’s behavior, and will be able to take actionable steps to prevent it. If you want to learn more, check out our guide on how to stop Lhasa Apsos from digging and chewing.

Hunting and Foraging Instincts

Lhasa Apsos have a natural instinct to dig and chew due to their hunting and foraging background. As a breed originally from Tibet, they were used to being independent hunters, having to dig and search for food on their own. This instinct is still ingrained in them today and can lead to some destructive behavior if not properly addressed.

Digging: Digging is an instinctive behavior in Lhasa Apsos that is difficult to suppress. This behavior is typically done to hide things, such as food or toys, or to create a comfortable spot to rest. Lhasa Apsos may also dig to escape, especially if they feel confined or anxious. It is essential to redirect this behavior to a designated digging area that the Lhasa Apso is trained to use consistently. This can be done using a sandbox or a special digging pit that is filled with soft soil or sand. The pit should be in a designated area, and the Lhasa Apso should be encouraged to use it by hiding toys or treats in the dirt.

On the other hand, excessive digging can lead to serious problems, such as holes in the yard or even injuries to the Lhasa Apso’s paws. It is important to supervise the Lhasa Apso and redirect their digging behavior if it becomes problematic. Providing adequate exercise and mental stimulation helps to reduce the desire to dig in the first place.

Chewing: Another instinctive behavior in Lhasa Apsos is chewing. This behavior is typically done to relieve boredom or teething discomfort. However, if not properly directed to appropriate targets, chewing can become destructive. Shoes, furniture, and electrical cords are common targets for Lhasa Apsos, which can cause serious damage, as well as pose a risk to their health.

In some cases, chewing can also be a sign of dental pain or separation anxiety. If the chewing behavior is persistent or destructive, it is important to train the Lhasa Apso to an acceptable behavior or redirect them to chew toys. Allowing the Lhasa Apso unsupervised access to potentially harmful objects should also be avoided.

To curb an excessive chewing behavior, it is important to provide suitable chew toys that are safe and durable. Avoid giving them rawhide or toys that can easily break and pose a choking hazard, causing injury or digestive problems.

Lhasa Apsos have specific instincts that require proper redirection and management to avoid harmful effects such as destructive behavior or health issues. Providing adequate mental stimulation and training, as well as appropriate chew toys, will help to prevent excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos. For more tips and tricks on preventing destructive behaviors, visit /stop-lhasa-apso-digging-chewing/ or learn some DIY toys for your Lhasa Apso here.

Boredom and Lack of Exercise

Lhasa Apsos are energetic, playful dogs that require daily exercise and mental stimulation. Regular exercise helps to release excessive energy and reduce anxiety, preventing destructive behavior such as digging and chewing. When Lhasa Apsos don’t receive regular exercise, they can become bored and may resort to digging and chewing as a form of entertainment.

Why is this harmful?
Boredom and lack of exercise can lead to a myriad of behavioral problems such as restlessness, anxiety, and depression in Lhasa Apsos. This can increase the risk of destructive behavior such as excessive digging and chewing. Digging can cause injury to the dog’s claws, paws, and teeth, leading to costly veterinary bills. Chewing can also harm their teeth, and they may even ingest dangerous objects, leading to choking and gastrointestinal blockages.

How can you prevent boredom and lack of exercise?
To prevent boredom and lack of exercise, Lhasa Apsos should be provided with daily exercise routines and activities that challenge their minds. Regular exercise can be provided through activities such as walks, runs, and games of fetch. Dogs can also be taken on hikes to provide more challenging physical exercise and new environmental stimuli.

In addition to exercise, mental stimulation activities such as puzzle toys and treat-dispensing toys can be used to help Lhasa Apsos remain engaged and entertained. It’s also important to provide them with “safe zones” in the house where they can relax and feel comfortable.

By ensuring that Lhasa Apsos receive enough exercise and mental stimulation, you can prevent boredom and reduce the likelihood of destructive behavior such as digging and chewing. For more information on how to prevent excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos, check out our comprehensive guide.

Anxiety and Stress

Lhasa Apsos are also known to dig and chew excessively due to anxiety and stress. Some Lhasa Apsos may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone or become stressed in certain situations. This anxiety can lead to destructive behaviors like excessive digging and chewing.

The following are some common signs of anxiety in Lhasa Apsos:

  • Excessive barking or howling
  • Trembling
  • Pacing
  • Whining or whimpering
  • Peeing or pooping indoors
  • Destroying property

If left unchecked, anxiety and stress can lead to harmful effects on your Lhasa Apso’s physical and mental well-being. These effects can include:

  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Decreased immune system function
  • Repetitive behaviors like paw licking or tail chasing
  • Aggression towards humans or other animals
  • Hair loss or skin irritation

As a responsible pet owner, you can take steps to help your Lhasa Apso manage their anxiety and prevent excessive digging and chewing. Providing a safe and comfortable environment, maintaining a consistent routine, and seeking professional help if necessary are all effective ways to alleviate anxiety in your furry friend.

The Harmful Effects of Digging and Chewing

The Harmful Effects Of Digging And Chewing
As much as we love our furry friends, their destructive behaviors can sometimes be a headache. Digging and chewing are two of the most common habits that can lead to a range of harmful effects on your Lhasa Apso’s health and your household environment. It is essential to understand the risks associated with these behaviors and take action to prevent your pup from causing more harm than good. Let’s take a closer look at some of the dangers of excessive digging and chewing in our beloved Lhasa Apsos.

Dangerous Objects and Chemicals

When Lhasa Apsos dig and chew excessively, they may come into contact with dangerous objects and chemicals that can harm them. Dogs that love to dig may be more prone to encountering sharp objects or items that can cut their paws or mouth. Additionally, dogs that chew on various items around the house may accidentally ingest chemicals or non-food items that can be harmful to their health. It is important for pet owners to take steps to prevent their Lhasa Apsos from coming into contact with these dangers.

One of the most effective ways to prevent a Lhasa Apso from encountering dangerous objects and chemicals is to supervise them closely. Pet owners can keep an eye on their dogs while they are playing outside, and they can also limit their dogs’ access to areas of the house where hazardous items may be stored.

Pet owners can create a safe and secure environment for their dogs by providing them with a designated spot to play and rest in. This spot can be filled with plenty of toys and other items that the dog can safely chew on, such as bones and chew toys. This can help to redirect the dog’s chewing behavior away from items that are not safe, and towards items that are appropriate for them to chew on.

If a pet owner suspects that their Lhasa Apso has come into contact with a dangerous object or chemical, they should seek medical attention for their dog immediately. Some signs that a dog may have ingested a harmful substance include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. By getting their dog the help that they need right away, pet owners can help to prevent serious health complications from occurring.

It is important for Lhasa Apso owners to take steps to prevent their dogs from encountering dangerous objects and chemicals while they are playing, digging, and chewing. By providing their dogs with a safe and secure environment, and by supervising them closely, pet owners can help to keep their beloved pets healthy and happy.

Dangerous ObjectsChemicals
Sharp objectsCleaning supplies
Glass shardsInsecticides
Plastic bagsAntifreeze
Small toys or batteriesMedications

Destruction of Property

We all know that Lhasa Apsos love to chew things, which can lead to the destruction of valuable property in your home. From furniture to shoes, they don’t discriminate when it comes to finding things to gnaw on. This can be incredibly frustrating for owners who have spent a lot of money on their belongings. Let’s take a closer look at the effects of excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos:

Property DamageLhasa Apsos have incredibly strong jaws, and can easily chew through materials like wood, plastic, and even metal. This can result in costly repairs or replacements for items in your home.
Unsanitary ConditionsWhen a Lhasa Apso chews on something, they may break it into small pieces and scatter them around your home. This can create an unsanitary living environment and potentially harm your dog if they ingest any dangerous materials.
Increased StressDealing with constant destruction of property can be incredibly stressful for owners. This can lead to strained relationships with your pet and a decrease in overall quality of life.

To avoid these harmful effects, it’s important to provide your Lhasa Apso with appropriate chew toys and make sure they are receiving enough exercise and mental stimulation. Redirecting their chewing behavior and providing positive reinforcement when they are chewing on appropriate items can also be effective. Remember, a well-exercised and stimulated Lhasa Apso is less likely to chew destructively.

Injury to Paws and Teeth

Excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos can lead to injury to their paws and teeth, causing pain and discomfort. In some cases, the injury can be severe and require medical attention. Here are some ways excessive digging and chewing can lead to injury:

  • Paw Injury: Digging can result in scratches and cuts on their paws, which can get infected if left untreated. Constant digging can also cause calluses to form on their paws, making it uncomfortable to walk or run.
  • Tooth Injury: Chewing on hard objects like rocks and hard bones can cause dental fractures and damage to their teeth. This damage can lead to a lot of pain and sensitivity when eating or drinking. In severe cases, the tooth may need to be extracted.
  • Foreign Objects: Excessive digging can result in foreign objects like glass, nails, and other sharp objects getting lodged in their paws. Such objects can lead to severe pain and infection, and Lhasa Apsos may require a visit to the vet to have the foreign object removed safely.

It’s important to keep an eye on your Lhasa Apso’s digging and chewing habits to prevent injury. If you notice any signs of injury like limping, bleeding, or difficulty eating, seek veterinary attention immediately to prevent further damage. Proper training and guidance can help curb these behaviors and prevent potential injury.

Preventing Excessive Digging and Chewing

As a pet parent or Lhasa Apso owner, seeing your furry friend constantly digging or chewing can be concerning. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos. By providing adequate exercise, redirecting behavior, and using deterrents and safe chew toys, you can ensure that your furry friend remains happy and healthy. Let’s explore some effective ways to prevent excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos.

Provide Adequate Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Taking care of a Lhasa Apso’s exercise and mental stimulation needs is crucial in preventing excessive digging and chewing. Here are some ways to provide your furry friend with adequate exercise and mental stimulation:

  • Take your Lhasa Apso on daily walks: Regular walks are essential in keeping your dog physically and mentally stimulated. This could be extended to include running, hiking, and playing fetch.
  • Plan playtime: Interactive playtime is an excellent way to keep your Lhasa Apso’s mind engaged. Plan playtime sessions with your dog using toys such as a puzzle, balls, or even go on a treasure hunt with your pooch.
  • Give your Lhasa Apso an opportunity to socialize: Taking your Lhasa Apso on playdates or visiting the dog park helps socialize them and provides an opportunity to expend their boundless energy.
  • Enroll your Lhasa Apso in doggy day-care: Consider enrolling your Lhasa Apso in a doggy daycare from time to time. This will ensure your dog is getting adequate socialization, playtime, and exercise under professional supervision while you’re away from home.
  • Incorporate mental exercises: Mental stimulation is equally important as physical exercise. Incorporating mental exercises such as obedience training, hide-and-seek, or even scavenger hunt, helps keep your dog focused and mentally fit.

Remember, engaging your Lhasa Apso in regular exercise and mental stimulation is not only beneficial to them but also helps avoid excessive digging and chewing. Be creative, and try out different exercises to find what works best for your particular pet.

Train and Redirect Behavior

Training and redirecting your Lhasa Apso’s behavior is also an effective way to prevent excessive digging and chewing. Training your Lhasa Apso not to dig or chew excessively requires patience and consistency. Here are some tips to help you train and redirect your furry friend’s behavior:

  • Positive Reinforcement: When you catch your Lhasa Apso behaving appropriately, reward them. Give them lots of praise and some of their favorite treats. This process will associate positive behavior with positive outcomes and encourage them to repeat the desired behavior.
  • Redirection: When you catch your Lhasa Apso digging or chewing inappropriately, redirect their attention to something else. Offer them a safe and interactive chew toy or take them outside for a walk. This will help prevent them from forming a habit of inappropriate digging and chewing.
  • Consistency: Consistency is key when training your Lhasa Apso. Make sure everyone in the household is on board and follows the same rules and training methods.
  • Avoid Punishment: Avoid punishing your Lhasa Apso for their inappropriate digging and chewing behaviors. Punishment can lead to fear and anxiety in your furry friend, and they may become more destructive as a result. Instead, use positive reinforcement and redirection practices.

By consistently using positive reinforcement, redirection, and avoiding punishment, you can train and redirect your Lhasa Apso’s behavior and prevent excessive digging and chewing. Remember, training takes time and patience, so be persistent and consistent in your training efforts.

Use Deterrents and Safe Chew Toys

When it comes to preventing excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos, one effective strategy is to use deterrents and provide them with safe chew toys. Here are some options to consider:

  • Bitter sprays: Dogs have a keen sense of smell and taste, so applying a bitter spray to objects they like to chew on can discourage them from doing so. Look for pet-safe sprays that are specifically designed to taste unpleasant to dogs.
  • Noise deterrents: Lhasa Apsos can be sensitive to certain types of sounds, so using noise deterrents like motion-activated alarms or citronella sprays can startle them and interrupt their chewing or digging behavior.
  • Safe chew toys: Providing your Lhasa Apso with a variety of safe chew toys can help redirect their chewing instinct to more appropriate objects. Look for toys made from durable, non-toxic materials that are specifically designed for dogs. Chew toys can also help promote healthy teeth and gums.
  • Interactive toys: Interactive toys like treat-dispensing balls or puzzles can provide mental stimulation for your Lhasa Apso and help keep them from getting bored and resorting to destructive behaviors.
  • Supervision: One of the most important ways to prevent excessive chewing and digging is to supervise your Lhasa Apso and discourage inappropriate behavior whenever you see it. Redirect their attention to a safe chew toy or provide them with an alternative activity to keep them occupied.

By using deterrents and safe chew toys, you can help prevent your Lhasa Apso from causing damage to your property and keep them safe from harmful objects and chemicals. Although it may take some trial and error to find the right combination of strategies for your particular dog, with patience and consistency, you can help your furry friend develop healthier habits and enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life.


In conclusion, it’s important to understand that excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos can have harmful effects on both the dog and their environment. From dangerous objects and chemicals to the destruction of property and potential injury, it’s crucial to take action to prevent this behavior.

Providing adequate exercise and mental stimulation, redirecting behavior through training, and using deterrents and safe chew toys are all effective methods to prevent excessive digging and chewing. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to identify the root cause of the behavior and take proactive steps to address it.

Remember, Lhasa Apsos are intelligent and adaptable dogs that thrive on positive reinforcement and a structured environment. By implementing these preventative measures, you can help ensure your furry companion lives a happy and healthy life, while also protecting your property and surroundings. So, take the time to understand your dog’s behavior and prioritize their physical and mental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Lhasa Apso?

A Lhasa Apso is a small, energetic dog breed originally from Tibet. They are known for their long, flowing coat and their loyalty to their owners.

Is excessive digging and chewing common in Lhasa Apsos?

Yes, Lhasa Apsos are known to have a tendency to dig and chew excessively if not properly trained and stimulated.

How can excessive digging and chewing be harmful to Lhasa Apsos?

Excessive digging and chewing can lead to serious injuries, ingestion of dangerous objects or chemicals, and destruction of property.

What causes Lhasa Apsos to dig and chew excessively?

Lhasa Apsos dig and chew excessively due to their hunting and foraging instincts, boredom and lack of exercise, and anxiety and stress.

What are some signs that a Lhasa Apso is digging or chewing excessively?

Signs of excessive digging and chewing include a lack of interest in other activities, broken teeth or bleeding paws, and damage to furniture and other household items.

How much exercise does a Lhasa Apso need to prevent excessive digging and chewing?

Lhasa Apsos should have at least 30 minutes of exercise every day, but some may need more depending on their individual needs and energy levels.

Can training help prevent excessive digging and chewing?

Yes, training is an important part of preventing excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos. Training can help redirect their focus and provide mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

What types of deterrents can be used to prevent excessive digging and chewing?

Deterrents such as bitter sprays or electronic training collars can be effective in preventing excessive digging and chewing. However, it’s important to use these methods in a humane and safe manner.

Are chew toys a good solution for preventing excessive digging and chewing?

Safe chew toys can provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom, helping to reduce excessive digging and chewing in Lhasa Apsos.

How important is it to seek professional help if a Lhasa Apso is excessively digging and chewing?

If a Lhasa Apso is excessively digging and chewing despite efforts to prevent it, seeking professional help from a veterinarian or dog trainer can be important in addressing any underlying issues and finding effective solutions.


Matthew Farthing

Matthew Farthing

Сontributing author at DogCareHacks, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant.

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