How to Stop a Dog from Digging



This article is posted as part of PGAA’s curation efforts. This was originally posted at Me and My Puppy



My dog is destroying my yard! How do I stop him from digging?

Dogs will do anything to amuse themselves when they’re left alone. It makes sense that a dog would resort to digging as it’s in their instinctive nature to do so.

You might not notice your dog digging at first, so make sure to regularly survey your yard if you tend to leave him outside often. If you start to notice holes, consider spending more time outside with your dog. Boredom is part of the reason why dogs dig.

If you’re able to catch them in the act, tell them “NO” and immediately remove them from the area.

It’s important to nip this dog digging issue in the bud early. It’s possible that your dog is simply doing this for attention without regard for destroying your yard – they don’t know any better.

Expending Energy

If your dog isn’t getting enough exercise, he’ll find other ways to burn off his excess energy (such as digging in the yard). In these instances, consider taking him on walks more often and giving him more opportunities to be active. Spending some time on long walks is a great way to tire your pup out and stop dog digging.

You should also try to make more of an effort to play with him during the day. There are so many benefits to spending time playing with your dog, but it does wonders to help cut away at their seemingly infinite energy levels.

Dogs often dig because they’re bored – it’s just something to do. Try giving them a chew toy to play with and stay occupied.

Hunting Small Animals

Your dog might be digging holes to hunt small animals (moles, groundhogs, etc.) that he sees roaming around his territory.

Check for trends as to where the holes tend to be located. Are they close to the roots of plants? Are they in particular areas (not at the outer boundaries of your yards)? Any of these could mean that he’s looking for some animal friends.

The best way to fix this is to get some expert help to rid your yard of these pests. Be mindful of your dog’s health if you decide to use harmful/poisonous products.

Seeking Comfort

Sometimes dogs dig because they’re looking to create a more comfortable space to rest. If you live in a hot climate and your dog spends a lot of time outside, his instincts may prompt him to dig and try to find a cooler spot to rest.

This is often evident if your dog digs in a spot and then sits/lies down in it. Pay attention to the temperature outside and bring your dog into an air-conditioned space to help him cool down if he needs.

Looking for Attention

If your dog digs in front of you, he may be looking for attention. Are you not paying enough attention to your dog?

Dogs require social interaction with their owners to ensure their health and happiness – please don’t neglect this.

Don’t Punish Them

It’s natural to be angry seeing damage around your home, but it’s important to refrain from punishment when your dog digs. It’s not going to bring the result that you expect.

Digging can be a result of anxiety and fear in your dog, and punishment can make that even worse.

It’s best to look for the root of the issue and to solve it from there (without punishment).

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