How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Up Your Yard?


Dogs dig holes because this behavior is related to their origin. Many domestic dogs, like their wild ancestors, cannot resist digging holes in the yard.

Although some people interpret digging as lousy behavior, dogs’ main motive is an instinctive desire for pleasure.

Digging is a source of joy for many dogs. Has your dog digging holes in your yard? Does your garden look like the gophers are having a wild party?

Digging is typical behavior in dogs, and many dog ​​owners suffer the consequences at some point. It can be challenging to prevent. Dangerous if your dog digs under the fence and runs out of the yard.

Understanding why your dog is digging will help you better learn to deal with and live with this instinctive behavior. So, How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Up Your Yard?

This article will understand why dogs dig holes and find out how you can fight this outrageous habit. Why outrageous?

Yes, because, firstly, the dug garden looks unattractive, and secondly, the dog often digs holes, harming the plants that grow on the site.

Why is the dog digging up the yard?

  • The animal has a hard time tolerating heat and digs a hole for cooling. Even if the earth’s surface layer is hot from the sun, then already at a shallow depth, the ground is cool enough. In an earthen depression, the animal, exhausted by the heat, can rest a little. If a dog digs a hole and lies down in it, then this is a clear sign that it is very hot. The animal has a hard time tolerating heat and digs a hole for cooling. Even if the earth’s surface layer is hot from the sun, then already at a shallow depth, the ground is cool enough. In an earthen depression, the animal, exhausted by the heat, can rest a little. If a dog digs a hole and lies down in it, then this is a clear sign that it is very hot; Northern breeds with thick coats such as the Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky are especially prone to this.
  • Burrowing hunting dogs can dig a site searching for prey – moles, mice, hamsters, ground squirrels. Dachshunds are considered to be passionate about digging holes, as well as various varieties of terriers (scotch terriers, fox terriers, cairn terriers, etc.);
  • The dog digs holes near the booth, hiding excess food or the most delicious pieces for a “rainy day,” burying them in the ground. After a specific time, the animal tears apart the “yummy” hidden in the ground and eats it (and poisoning is not excluded here);
  • Digging holes for a dog is a kind of burst of energy. Digging is an excellent physical education for especially active animals, which are rarely taken for a walk outside the yard;

  • The dog can dig in certain places if the smell of the soil attracts it. It happens, for example, when the owners use bone meal (from the bones of cattle or fish) – an organic fertilizer to feed plants;
  • Some dogs dig under the fence to escape during the heat period. Moreover, both males strive to run to bitches in heat and bitches during heat in search of a sexual partner;
  • Some dogs dig the site out of boredom and loneliness. Thus, they seek to attract the master’s attention. They seem to want to say: “Hey, look, I have absolutely nothing to occupy myself with, play with me!”;
  • Animals dig furiously in times of stress. At the same time, pets can look both unusually excited and apathetic. Under stress, dogs’ appetite levels can change (from a complete refusal of food to overeating), and behavior changes, and not for the better (the pet can show aggression, howl, constantly whine, be overly intrusive, etc.). In such situations, the help of a specialist is needed;
  • It also happens that a dog digs only beds with root crops (potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.) with a lack of fiber, which is abundant in plant foods;
  • A pregnant dog can dig holes in the yard, thus providing its future puppies with a rookery in the form of depression in the ground.

No owner will certainly be delighted if his yard is all with pits. But what if the dog digs holes? The most important thing is to be patient, by trial and error trying to wean your pet from digging.

How to Stop Your Dog From Digging

  •  Train your dog

    Train the dog (“fu,” “no,” “place”). As soon as the animal begins to dig the ground, you should loudly and severely call out to him and pronounce the prohibiting command;

Can you imagine your dog stopping digging and obeying? It may sound hard to believe, but with proper training, you can do just that.

Teaching your dog to stop or sit down will stop doing what it is doing when you tell it to. However, the best team is “place.” Can use this command to get your dog to return to his kennel, bed, or cage.

This command takes your dog away from the digging area. After you tell the dog to stop digging, you must redirect his behavior to another location, such as a fun toy. Can’t train your dog? Ask your dog trainer for help!

  • Exercise your dog

You should pay enough attention to the dog. I know we are all busy from time to time, but there is no excuse to train your dog – significantly when it can help stop digging in the yard!

Have you ever noticed that when you go for a walk, your dog sniffs most of the time? The dog needs to be exposed to new odors. One of the reasons your dog is digging the yard is to smell new smells.

By sending your dog on a long daily walk, you satisfy the need for fresh scents. Your puppy is less likely to look for new smells if he knows he will encounter them every day.

Many dogs love these walks. Instead of going as fast as possible, stop and let the dog sniff whatever it finds along the way. As if you need another excuse to walk your dog, exercise is a great way to burn energy.

If your puppy is not good at running, then this pristine land is starting to look like a great way to channel that excess energy. If you don’t have time to deal with your dog, consider hiring someone to walk your pet.

It is advisable that during the walk, the pet has time to run and communicate with its fellows – other dogs.

  • Give the dog a toy

It will help your pet get bored while the owner is busy; Some dogs dig because they have nothing to do. The next time you catch your dog digging, try to distract him with a ball game, give him a toy, perform a trick, or even treat him to a treat.

If your dog doesn’t return to digging after being distracted, you know that he was looking for fun.

In this case, you should consider how to make the yard more interesting for your dog. The best solution is to play with her. It is where dog toys come in handy. But not every toy will work.

You want toys that your dog can play with on its own when you are not around. Such toys are called interactive dog toys. Chew toys are another huge single-player toy.

  • Сheck the dog’s diet

Does the dog dig the ground and eat the roots? Make sure your pet is getting enough fiber. Perhaps we should introduce plant foods into the diet. Ask your veterinarian. He may recommend a good food or supplement that is right for your dog.

  • Cool down your hot dog

If the dog digs holes only in the heat, then to escape from the heat, install a small pool, filling them with water so that the animal can splash a little. Also, near the dog booth, you can lay out a wet cloth on which the pet will be happy to rest.

The easiest option is to bring your dog inside on hot days, where temperatures are likely colder. If it is impossible to bring the dog inside, then shelter can be of great importance.

A tarp stretched between two trees, or a retractable umbrella can provide your puppy with some shade rest. It’s hard for those looking to pamper your dog to beat the dog pool for cooling.

  • Create a super dig-pit

Create a digging area for your pet. Fence in a small area (for example, a 2 x 2 meter square) where the dog can dig holes. Instead of letting your dog choose where to dig in your yard, why not decide for him?

All you have to do is create a digging area specifically for your dog. If you have the time and money, you can go further with this concept and create a sandy space for your dog to dig in – children’s sandboxes are great here.

The dog loves to dig in the sand because it is soft and easy to move. The animal should be praised and treated every time it starts digging in a permitted area.

Over time, the dog will understand that digging is permissible only where the owner allowed; No place in the yard to create a dedicated digging area for dogs? Take a look at this

  • Scare the dog with a balloon

I don’t really like this method, but if nothing else can help you, it’s worth giving it a try. You can wean a dog from digging holes like this: bury a delicious fresh bone shallowly into the ground along with an inflated balloon.

The dog, who has felt the smell of the bone, will begin to quickly remove it from the ground, by all means hooking the ball with its claw. The ball will burst with a loud and frightening sound, which in the future will surely discourage the pet from digging the earth;

It may take several tries before your dog realizes this when he hears that loud bang as he starts digging. Remember to collect all the rubber balls when you are done – you don’t want your dog to swallow them!

  • Blast your dog with water

Dogs usually have one or more favorite digging spots in the garden. You can install garden sprinklers in such places that will irrigate those areas that the dog especially loves;

If your dog hates water, then garden sprinklers are your saviors. Water will be the perfect deterrent when digging. Every time your dog approaches his favorite digging spot, spray the puppy with water, and he will run away.

He will forget about digging. But you don’t have to wait with a garden hose while your dog decides to dig – the motion-activated sprinkler does the job for you. If the sprinkler detects movement, it shoots a stream of water in a specific direction – and your dog will be wet.

  • Change the cover of your ground

If you don’t care what is under your feet: soft grass or hard surface, then this method is what you need! Dogs prefer to dig in soft soil. If the soil in your yard is too hard, he will try not to dig it. It is exactly the focus: to make the ground in the yard impossible for digging.

To do this, you need to cover the soil or grass with hard, dense, or rough material. Coarse pebbles are an excellent soil cover that prevents digging. If you stack pebbles or stones on top of each other, they will become too heavy to dig out. A thick layer of crushed gravel will also work.

Dogs will not dig them as large pieces will scratch your dog’s paw pads. Where it makes sense, you can even put paving stones or asphalt. If you live near forested areas, you may not even need to buy a ground cover.

Can place pointed pine cones and prunes of thorny plants such as blackberries in the areas your dog is digging – you have to go out and collect them! There are many other soil covers you could use, too – get creative!

  • Create a digging barrier

Restrict access to the ground. To do this, you can use a roll of wire mesh and half a day to set it up. Roll out the wire mesh so that it is laid flat.

Stick it on, and you now have a horizontal barrier that your dog can’t break through – if you don’t like the look, cover it with a thin layer of soil.

When your dog tries to dig, his paws will scratch the wire mesh, preventing it from scratching the soil underneath. Even the most determined digger will eventually surrender!

However, you should be aware that metal wire mesh has a serious drawback. It has sharp parts, especially if it rusts. It can lead to injury and severe health consequences.

Therefore, it is better to use plastic bird guards. It’s affordable, durable, and won’t hurt your puppy’s paws.

  •  Block off your dogs’ access

You can shield your favorite plants from your dog. Use a simple patio mesh for this. The dog won’t be able to dig your lawn or garden bed if your pet can’t walk up to it.

  • Make the area with bad smells

Bad smell is one of the best ways to stop your dog from digging holes. Have you ever noticed your dog sniffing the ground while digging a hole? We’re going to use this behavior against your furry mole-rat.

All you need is an unpleasant smell. The most effective digging-deterrent smell is red cayenne pepper. Sprinkle a small amount of this powder over the area where your dog is digging.

Once your dog sniffs, he avoids the area entirely. If inhaled, this red pepper will irritate your dog’s nostrils. You will know it worked because your dog is likely to snort, shake its head, or even run away …

Pieces of cloth soaked in citrus essential oil can be buried in your favorite digging places. Tobacco poured into the pit can also scare away from digging.

  • Rid your yard of rodents

If the dog is digging holes in search of prey, it is important to rid the yard of rodents. But not with the poison! So, for example, it will not harm the dog, but it will drive moles and mice away from the site with an ultrasonic repeller;

And if your curious dog smells, he will dig your yard until he finds his prey. Dogs bred to hunt or graze the herd is more likely to dig small animals in your yard. It includes greyhounds, hounds, and dachshunds – all dogs with an excellent prey instinct.

The solution is simple: remove the animal your dog is hunting and solve the sock problem. Generally, the best way to keep these pests out of your yard is to remove their food source.

For example, moles will move on if there are no larvae to eat. Depending on the pest, you may need to contact a pest control officer or even animals. Whichever pest removal method you use, make sure it is safe for dogs. Many pesticides are toxic to dogs.

  • Your dog is pregnant

How to Stop Your Dog From Digging Shortly before giving birth, a pregnant dog will seek a haven for its puppies. If your pregnant dog is digging a hole, it tries to create a safe place to hide its newborns.

When dogs were in the wild, this instinct protected puppies from predators. These instincts are so strong that your dog still has them today. And this is the very reason your dog is digging your yard.

If you leave your pregnant dog alone to find the perfect nest for her puppies, she will dig up your entire yard. That is why you must create a safe and comfortable place for your puppy to give birth.

And the easiest way to do this is to use a puppy box. The puppy box is an enclosure that your mom dog can quickly get in and out of, but newborn puppies won’t be able to escape.

Just one problem. Puppy boxes are expensive. It’s hard to justify the cost of one litter … But don’t worry, I’ll share an available option.


These are the most popular ways to stop your pet from digging your area. However, these are only temporary solutions and will not necessarily correct the cause of this behavior.

For example, if your dog is digging because he is bored, no matter how much cayenne pepper you use, your dog will still be bored and unhappy.

For this reason, you should use a digging deterrent in addition to addressing the cause – your dog will be happier!


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