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How to Stop Your Dog From Digging

It is a natural instinct for a dog to want to dig holes in the soil. Certain breeds of dogs like to dig or burrow more than others, but most if given the opportunity, will partake in this destructive activity.  Although digging  is very pleasurable for your pets, it can wreak havoc in your yard, bushes and landscaping.  Understanding why your pet likes to dig holes, will go a long way in finding a solution to the problem. Listed below are a few of the main reasons why dogs like to dig holes.


Dogs Dig Holes in Their Yard to Get Attention

A dog is happiest when he is spending time with his master, or other members of his family. If neglected, a dog may resort to digging as a way of getting attention. If your dog does most of his digging in your presence, this is most always the case. Dog Digging Holes In GrassThe obvious way to remedy this problem is to spend ample of sufficient time with your pet. If time permits, try to take your dog for at least two-fifteen minutes walks per day. This will help satisfy his desire to spend time with you also help expend some of his energy. In general, think of creative ways to spend time with your dog- games of fetch, basic training, rides in the car and daily walks will all be helpful.

Dogs Dig to Entertain Them Selves

If your dog is left alone outside for long periods at a time, he is without the company of his human family. When digging, the roots and soil, ‘ play back “, and in a sense, act as play toy. Since most dogs are very active by nature, they need an outlet to occupy themselves while they are alone. Digging up tree roots, bushes or grass are a great way for a dog to not only have something to play with, but it’s also a great way for them to expend energy.

Certain breeds of dogs are bred by nature to dig. Beagles, bassets and blood hounds are natural hunters, so by instinct they like to dig, as if hunting for squirrels, gophers or weasels. These breeds of dogs are natural hunters, and can dig with great determination at amazing speeds.

One way to try and lessen your dog’s desire to dig is to give him a few toys to play with. These toys will help occupy your dog’s time and help him to expend some of his energy. Teaching your dog some tricks may distract him from wanting to constantly dig. Throwing a frisbee, kicking a ball or even getting him to run into the water are very enjoyable activities and will help take their mind off digging up the yard.

Your Dog May Dig For Comfort or Protection

In hot or humid weather, your dog may dig holes in the yard to find a cooler place to lay in. The earth is cool, damp and can be 10-15 degrees cooler than the temperature above the earth’s surface. This is even more so if the digging occurs behind bushes, along the foundation of a building, or in a shaded area. Dogs are naturally bred with survival instincts, so they may also dig a hole in the yard for a feeling of security, or protection from wind or rain. Certain breeds of hunting dogs may also dig holes as a way of finding water, whether to drink it or lay in it. A solution to this problem is to make sure your dog has well structured dog house, with proper ventilation, and it is spacious enough for him to feel comfortable why laying in it. For areas of the country where the temperature is much lower during the colder months, a 100 watt light bulb strategically placed in the dog house will add some additional heat if needed.

Your Dog May Be Trying To Escape

A dog who is constantly digging holes in the yard may be doing so, because he is trying to escape. This may be because he is unhappy with his surroundings, uncomfortable, or he may be trying to get at something. A few easy solutions to prevent this is to install chicken wire or rocks at the base of the fence. If using chicken wire, be sure to roll dog_digging_holethe sharp edges away or embed them under rocks to prevent your dog from cutting himself. A chain link fence that is buried 12-18 inches under the earth will also deter your dog from digging. In general, to keep your dog from trying to escape, try to create an outdoor area that is appealing and an area where your dog feels safe and comfortable.

Designated Digging Areas

Certain types of dogs are instinctual diggers, and in some cases, none of the above methods will work. Punishing your dog will not work, as scolding the dog will only increase its fear and anxiety, which will lead to more digging. If you’re a homeowner with a size able back yard, you may have to designate a small area where the dog can dig.

Create a digging zone by covering the surface area with loose soil or sand. Make the area more attractive by burying a few play toys such as an old ball, a leather baseball glove, or a dog bone. Partially bury the toys so your dog will reward himself by finding the prize. When your dog digs in this area and finds the toy, reward him with praise.

In closing, the best way to stop your dog from digging is to make him comfortable, spend time with him, and provide him with activities to help expend his energy.


Remember, always be patient with your Pets. They are your best friends!

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