How to Stop Your Dog from Digging


Digging is a common behavior in dogs, and while it may be an instinct, excessive digging can be a nuisance and even destructive. To maintain a harmonious relationship with your furry friend and protect your garden, it’s essential to address this behavior. 

In this blog, we will talk about why dogs like to dig, and ways in which you can prevent your dog from digging.

Understanding the Root Causes

Before implementing any solutions, it’s crucial to understand why your dog is digging in the first place. Dogs dig for various reasons, including:

Instinctual Behavior

Digging is hardwired into many dog breeds, as their ancestors used it for hunting and shelter.


Dogs with excess energy or insufficient mental stimulation may turn to digging as a way to pass the time.

Temperature Regulation

Dogs may dig holes to find cooler ground in hot weather or to create a cozy spot in colder temperatures.

Anxiety or Stress

Some dogs dig when they are anxious or stressed, as a way to alleviate their discomfort.

Hunting or Burrowing for Prey

Your dog might be chasing after small animals or insects that have taken residence underground.

Strategies to Stop Your Dog From Digging

Dealing with your dog’s digging tendencies can be a challenging aspect of pet ownership. Let’s look at several effective strategies aimed at curbing your dog’s digging habits and allowing you to maintain a well-groomed yard and a happy, well-behaved canine companion.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Start by ensuring your dog receives an adequate amount of exercise and mental stimulation daily. A tired dog is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors like digging. Regular walks, playtime, and puzzle toys can help expend their energy and keep them mentally engaged.

Designate a Digging Area

Consider creating a designated digging area in your yard. Choose a spot where it’s acceptable for your dog to dig, and then encourage them to dig there. Bury some toys or treats to make the area more appealing. When your dog starts digging in this designated spot, reward them with praise and treats.

Training and Positive Reinforcement

Teach your dog basic obedience commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “leave it.” These commands can be used to redirect your dog’s attention when they start digging inappropriately. When you catch them digging where they shouldn’t, firmly say “no” and redirect them to a more appropriate activity, like playing fetch.

Supervision and Deterrence

When you’re outside with your dog, keep a close eye on them. If you notice them starting to dig, clap your hands or make a loud noise to startle them. This can deter them from continuing the behavior. Be consistent with this approach to associate digging with an unpleasant experience.

Provide Shade and Comfort

Ensure your dog has access to a comfortable and shaded area in your yard. If your dog is digging to escape the heat or cold, they are less likely to do so if they have a comfortable space to relax in.

Buried Wire or Chicken Wire

To discourage digging in specific areas, bury chicken wire or rocks just below the surface. Dogs usually find these textures uncomfortable to dig in, which can deter them from continuing.

Consult a Professional Trainer or Behaviorist

If your dog’s digging behavior is severe and persistent, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can assess your dog’s specific issues and provide personalized training techniques.

Address Anxiety or Stress

If you suspect that anxiety or stress is the root cause of your dog’s digging, consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist. They can help you develop a plan to address these underlying issues through behavior modification, medication, or other appropriate measures.

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