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How to Stop a Dog From Digging

May 09, 2018 0 comments
How to Stop a Dog From Digging

Certain dogs love to dig holes in the yard. This might cause you to wonder how you can stop a dog from digging. After all, it can be a real nuisance. Honestly, having holes around your yard’s very dangerous: you could end up with a sprained ankle just from walking around. Additionally, it just makes your yard look terrible.

Unfortunately, for your dog, digging is a way for them to get exercise. It’s normally a sign that they’re bored and need something to stimulate their time. Basically, your dog is telling you that if you want them to stop digging, get them more exercise. Honestly, it’s similar to a child throwing a tantrum about getting more playtime.

However, there are other reasons for your dog’s digging: hunting prey, comfort, protection, seeking attention, or trying to escape. It really depends on circumstances surrounding your dog’s decision to dig.  

Nonetheless, there are certain tips you can follow to stop dog digging from becoming a part of your everyday life.  

Get Your Dog More Exercise

Let us get the simplest tip out-of-the-way first, turn your dog’s need for exercise into a more positive form. Take them on a walk or to a local dog park. It will allow them to burn off that excess energy that’s making them turn your yard into a disaster zone. In addition, it will give your dog more time to socialize with other dogs: a key factor in stopping them from digging around the yard. If you don’t have the time to walk your dog or take them to a dog park, look into investing in a dog walker or a dog sitter. Each will occupy your dog’s time and remove their focus from digging.

dog is walking in a park

Reduce Your Dog’s Boredom With More Toys

Dogs that are digging need something to occupy their time. Getting them more toys is a way to stimulate their minds. Honestly, the toys you do have could just not be good enough. So, it’s time to buy some new ones. Just like with walks or a dog park, the new toys will put their excess energy into something beneficial rather than making your yard a mess.  Basically, you just need to focus their attention on something other than the sticks and dirt. 

Therefore, investing in some outside toys like a ball or rope could remove your dog’s digging temptation.  Maybe engage them in a game of fetch or tug of war.

a dog with a toy in mouth

Supervise Your Dog

Don’t just open the door and let them roam around the yard. Instead, make your presence know to your dog when they’re outside. It will keep them on their best behavior. In addition, this allows you to stop your dog’s digging the moment it starts. In the case you do see your dog digging, distract him with a noise: clap your hands, whistling, or shake a can filled with rocks. The noise will make your dog switch their focus on you. Use this to your advantage by refocusing their energy toward a more proper form of fun: their favorite toy, a ball, rope, or a treat. It will make the dog digging stop immediately and switch their focus to whatever you have inside your hand.

supervising a dog  

Designate an Area For Digging

Some dogs just won’t stop digging. It’s just a part of their DNA. They’re just following their natural instincts. If your dog is a digger in every fiber of their being, it’s a good idea to choose an area in your yard where it’s okay for them to dig. Basically, containing the problem into one area. You can do this by fencing in a spot or using plants as borders around the area. In addition, you can fill the area with substances your dog likes to dig in: sand, dirt, etc. This will make the area more appealing to your dog and give them an incentive to dig there. You can increase the incentive by putting their toys inside the area or even burying them in the sand/dirt.

To make sure this works, every time you see your dog digging in a non-designated area, make a sound (whistling, clapping, or can shaking), pick them up, and put them inside digging area.  Then, when they start to dig in the right area give him plenty of positive reinforcement. Maybe even a couple treats.

Provide a Shaded Area Outside

As mentioned above, some dogs dig to escape the heat, effectively, to cool themselves down. If this is the case for your dog, you should expect to find holes near your shed, trees, or a place with water: any place that can offer them some shade or cool them down.  In this situation, the logical next step is to build or buy them a doghouse. It will give them somewhere to go when the heat becomes too much. Additionally, it will protect them from the cold during those awful winter months.  Honestly, the doghouse doesn’t have to be fancy. It just needs to offer them shade and a place that can act as a shelter outside.


Get Rid of Their Prey

Simply, your dog might be digging to get some sort of animal that lies below your yard. In this case, you’ll find the focus of your dog’s digging is at the roots of trees and plants or there’s a noticeable path leading toward the digging site.

In order to get rid of the animal, you should try to trap and move the animal; the woods would be an acceptable option. If you don’t know the kind of animal your dog is attempting to hunt, make sure to call a professional.

You can try setting up a fence to make entering your yard more difficult for animals.

One thing to never do is use poison. It can harm your dog just as bad as the animal you’re trying to move out of your yard.

With these six tips, you now know how to stop a dog from digging. Therefore, use this knowledge to your advantage and keep your lawn free of all those pesky holes caused by dog digging.

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