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How To Stop A Dog From Digging

How to stop a dog from digging

Is your dog digging so much, your backyard is starting to look like the surface of the moon? While it’s a natural behavior, you can use training and management tools to stop your dog from digging up your property.

Why Dogs Dig

Getting your dog to stop digging comes down to understanding the motivation for their behavior.

Is your dog digging for prey?
Terriers, in particular, were originally bred to hunt small game by digging and squeezing through tunnels. You might have a mole infestation, rabbit nests, or another source of irresistible aromas coming from your soil.

Is your dog trying to escape?
If your dog digs along your fence line, it may only be a matter of time before they make a break for it - and risk getting hit by a car or injured by wildlife. You can bury underground fence panels, rocks, or chicken wire along the fence line to keep your dog from escaping.

Is your dog too hot?
Some dogs dig to access fresh, moist earth under the ground. Then, they’ll lie in the hole to help keep cool. Conversely, a dog may also dig holes in the winter to help stay warm. If your dog spends a lot of time outside, you may need to make sure they have proper shelter. Otherwise, just make sure your dog can get inside if they’re feeling too hot or cold.

Is your dog burying their treats?
Dogs sometimes save their bones and long lasting treats, so you may need to only offer those inside your home, or take away what they won’t eat.

Is your dog just bored?
Some dogs just dig because it’s fun. Digging provides mental and physical exercise, so you may find it worthwhile to create a sand pit or designated digging area, rather than expecting your dog to stop digging entirely. Redirect your dog when you catch them digging outside of their pit and bury treats and toys to teach them to avoid digging elsewhere.
When it comes down to it, digging is a natural behavior that relieves stress and cures boredom. Scolding your dog is unlikely to stop them from digging, especially if you can’t always monitor them outside. By giving your dog less access to digging spots and plenty of opportunities to play and learn, you can keep your garden safe from those curious paws.