"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Cane Corso Puppy Digging Holes

– Posted in: Behavior Problems, Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff), Columns, Mastiff, Molosser, Newsletters
Cane Corso Puppy digging holes in the yard

Hi John,

Why do cane corso puppies dig in dirt? What can I do to discourage this behavior?

Alicia (Bedford Heights)

Hi Alicia,

Pups left alone in the yard (even if you’re there, if they’re not at least dragging some sort of long line they’re alone – “can’t be caught, can’t be taught”) are like kids left alone in the mall. Pups are going to dig, or chew things up and sometimes they outgrow it and sometimes they don’t (and Cane Corso’s are often going to grow up unnaturally territorially aggressive) and kids are going to take chocolate bars they haven’t paid for and sometimes they outgrow it and sometimes they don’t. During their developmental stages, neither is doing anything bad from their perspectives. All dogs need adult supervision until they’re young adults themselves. 18 – 24 months in the case of a Cane Corso.

For what it’s worth, I personally don’t recommend leaving a guarding breed unless it has been highly trained for any part of its life alone in a yard unsupervised for extended periods of time.


John Wade

2 Comments… add one

Im dealing with the exact same thing, except x2!!! I have to Cane Corsos 22 months old. One doesn’t really care to dig. However the one that does, makes up for the both of them! Literally, she can’t be left alone for 30 minutes without digging a way out under my 6 foot chain link fence. She only needs about 15 minutes and she’s gone. Every morning I have to check the perimeter(which is only where she digs) then usually fill holes that she started with concrete or VERY large and heavy stones. She never goes far though. My surveillance shows that. She has a playmate(her sister)… i don’t know what else to do but put her on a cable, kennel her at night and when I can’t keep an eye on her. I’m hoping she grows out of it. Seems to be separation anxiety from what I’ve been reading. Ironically, her sister doesn’t do any of this.. lol

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

A young Cane Corso is learning 24 hours a day/7 days a week whether you’re teaching or not. I never recommend that guarding breeds be left alone in a yard at all. They can become hair trigger reactors rather then considered guardians. Be thankful that you’ve learned this as a result of escaping rather then through an act of aggression.

If the point of the dogs is security rather then as pets then I’d say that the training that should accompany a security intended dog is missing in this case.


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