How to Stop a Dog From Digging

How to Stop a Dog From Digging?

If you are a dog owner, you probably know that your canine friend loves to dig holes. Several reasons may cause the act of digging holes, hence, it is vital to figure out the cause of your dog’s destructive digging to help you rectify the behavior.

In this article, we will look at some tricks and tips on how to stop a dog from digging.

1. Exercise

Exercise is a well-known remedy to help a dog that loves to dig. Different breeds of dogs require a certain amount of activity each day. Ideally, dog exercise can tire out the pet, making them behave more so that they spend less time digging.

It is recommendable to exercise your dog for at least half an hour each day. This is an excellent way to burn off the extra energy that they put into digging holes.

Apart from cardio exercises, you can also take your dog for a walk and sniff for new smells. This is particularly a good trick for dogs that dig the earth for new fragrances.

2. Pest Prevention

One way on how to stop a dog from digging up plants is to get rid of the pest problem in your yard. More often than not, dogs dig near plants or trees when there are invasive pests and burrowing animals. Therefore, when you find them digging up plants, it could be that they are following the trails and smells of rodents or insects.

However, it is recommended not to use toxic or inhumane methods to get rid of the pests. Using products that are toxic to the pests could also harm your dog. Instead, use safe methods like making your yard unattractive or fencing them off. You can also seek the professional help of an exterminator.

3. Give Your Dog Attention

There is no denying that dogs love attention, and they will go to great measures to seek it, including digging a hole in the garden. Once they realize that you are giving them attention, they may go to find it in all the wrong places. In other cases, your dog can dig to receive your attention in the form of punishment.

To solve this problem, ensure that you spend ample time with your dog and praise them for good behavior.

4. Create Safe Discouragements

Does your dog have the tendency of digging under or along the fence? Well, this could be a sign that they are trying to escape. First, you need to determine why they may want to escape and create a safe and appealing environment for them. Besides, dogs that are not spayed and neutered are likely to flee in search of a company.

Additionally, you can consider several measures on how to stop a dog from digging under a fence. One effective method is the use of an invisible fence in frequent digging areas to put range restrictions on the pet.

You can also place chain-link fencing or bury chicken wire under the fence as this will prove uncomfortable for the dog’s feet. Another safe discouragement is burying large, flat rocks on the area of digging. This will prove inconvenient and challenging for the dog to dig.

5. Offer Shelter and Shade

Dogs prefer shaded areas to keep them cool during hot weather and shelters to protect them from extreme cold. If this is not provided, they are most likely to dig up holes to escape excessive heat or cold.

Therefore, if your dog stays outside for extended periods, make sure that they have access to shelter and shades. Furthermore, you should ensure that they have access to a bowl of clean water. An untippable dog bowl would be an exceptional choice to reduce the chances of tipping over the water while playing.

6. Provide Entertainment

Wondering how to stop a dog from digging in the yard? A quick trick would be to look for fun ways to enhance their mental stimulation. Several dog digging offenses are caused by boredom.

To avert this behavior, provide your canine friend with lots of entertainment, including playtime and toys. An assortment of toys like rope toys and tennis balls provide a great distraction from the need of digging. Dental chews can also offer great distraction while benefiting their gums and teeth.

You can also take your dog out to the park and allow him to socialize with other dogs. This will discourage the dirt-digging act.

7. Make Your Dog Feel Safe

When dogs feel stressed and threatened, they tend to dig up holes to find somewhere to hide. This is especially true if there is no safe place to hide in the house or yard.

In such a case, you need to provide a safe environment for your dog far from loud noises and other sources of stress. If they are affected by the change of environment, spend quality time with your dog to help them transition.

8. Remove Temptations

Discourage digging by removing any temptations that may lure your dog into digging in your yard. This includes things such as bones and pests. Also, ensure that your freshly tilled garden is fenced as dogs love to dig in such.

9. Use Unpleasant Smell

Believe it or not, an unpleasant smell like that of your dog’s feces can be used to keep them from digging. Most dogs can’t stand the smell of their feces, and putting it in the area where they dig can be a great turn off. This trick comes in handy if all the other methods don’t seem to bear fruit.

Alternatively, you can figure out the smells that make your dog anxious and irritated. For instance, some dogs dislike the smell of citrus peels. Once you know what they don’t like, you can use it to guard the area successfully.

10. Build a Digging Area

This is an excellent method of how to stop a dog from digging holes in non-designated areas. If your dog can’t seem to put off the digging behavior, it’s about time that you build a defined digging area. Construct a sandbox and fill it with sand before burying treats or his toys.

Encourage your dog to dig in this designated area by rewarding them. You can also use a dog training collar that warns them when they are about to dig in a restricted area.


We hope that these tips come in handy if you wonder how to stop a dog from digging in garden. However, if the unacceptable digging need continues, keep them inside, and seek professional help.

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